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Kennedy v Lowe -Breach of Promise

January 11, 2017

Bridget Berlinda KENNEDY, known as Berlinda or Belinda was my great great great grandmother. The breach of promise action against James LOWE  was brought about in 1835. The couple did marry in February 1836 and were together until separated by death. Bridget Belinda passed away in 1851 abd James Lowe in 1865. Both died in Hobart, Tasmania.

The child mentioned in this article was my great great grandmother, who was born before their marriage in January 1836

from The Tasmanian, October 23, 1835, page 5

KENNEDY v. LOWE. This was an action brought for a breach of promise of marriage by the plaintiff, Belinda Kennedy, against James Lowe, the defendant in this action. Mr.. Attorney General appeared for the plaintiff, who stated that the defendant had a short time since, he believed, gone to Sydney, although he had previously been served with notice of this action, and he had suffered judgment to go by default. After explaining the nature of the case, he called— William Marks, who deposed, that he knew Belinda Kennedy the plaintiff, and James Lowe, the defendant. Plaintiff was in the service of Mr. H. Bilton as housemaid. Witness was also in Mr. Bilton’s service. Defendant had been paying his addresses to plaintiff for twelve months before she left Mr. Bilton’s, which is about two months ago. He appeared to be very, fond of her until within the last three months, when he did not appear to be so attentive. The last time witness had any conversation with defendant, he (witness) told him that as he had got the girl into trouble, he ought to get her out of it. Defendant made light of it, and said it was not the same here as in England, and they could not make him pay for the child. He said his father was going to set him up in business, and he would marry the girl in September, but he (witness) was not to tell her so, but to keep the secret. Defendant is twenty one, and the girl is 18. Thinks defendant is gone to Sydney. Mr. Henry Bilton.—Knew of the courtship; defendant’s visits were not clandestine; plaintiff had been in his service eighteen months. She left about eighteen months ago in consequence of her own wish. She was a very respectable girl and the best servant he ever had for honesty, industry and sobriety. Defendant lived with his father as a clerk.  Verdict for the plaintiff. Damages £200

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4 Comments
  1. Fascinating Jennifer. I wonder if the huge damages was merely to ‘persuade’ the defendant to do the right thing. Surely he didn’t have $200 lying around?

  2. Good to see she got her man.

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