Monday, August 29, 2016

Why Alice did not accompany Walter to Canada.

Just over a year ago Dennis asked about Walter Ginn and his wife Alice Barns, the parents of Olive Victoria Alice Ginn, born in 1891, and who ended up in the workhouse at Ware. He specifically asked "Would you have the date when Olive's mother and father immigrated to Canada." I pointed out that Walter seems to have gone on his own, and someone called Alice Ginn had died a few years previously.

Mike, who is researching the Ginn family in Hertfordshire (see his blog the blog has drawn my attention to a case history on the excellent Herts Past Policing web site.

A saying at the time was "A wife, a dog, and a walnut tree - the more you beat them the better they be." and clearly Walter hit Alice too hard ...The Policing web site quotes the contemporary newspaper accounts in detail and it would seem that both the all male coroner's jury, and the one trying Walter, took it for granted that a husband could normally hit his wife - and Walter was only convicted of unlawful wounding - despite the fact that the wound was fatal! As a result he had a comparatively minor sentence and went to Canada after being released from prison.

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