Photo of the Day

A contemporary French print of an English wife sale.


One of the Queen’s direct ancestors escaped from eight years of marriage to a “despicable rogue” who imprisoned and tortured her for her fortune

Tragedy made Mary Eleanor Bowes the richest child in Britain. Mary was one of the wealthiest women in Britain: an heiress worth ?1 million (over ?150 million in today?s money) and raised in a life of privilege.?Yet in the late 1700s, no amount of money or status could save her from the man described as Georgian Britain?s worst husband. At a time when women had no legal rights and were not even recognised as separate beings in marriage, divorce was taboo.

This tale set in the late 1700s of a wealthy, intelligent heiress tricked into marriage with one of the worst human beings who ever lived. “Wedlock” is truly the correct title as it evokes the image of being chained, locked, stuck in a marriage. Mary Eleanor has a loveless first marriage, but her marriage to Andrew Stoney (he takes her last name as stipulated in her very smart father’s will) is truly horrific. Stoney physically and mentally abuses Mary: punching, kicking, burning, starving, isolating, etc. And then there’s the fact that a woman had no legal protection from this sort of behaviour. It was a husband’s right to treat his wife as he chose.

When a woman married, she surrendered her wealth to her husband. And such was the legal system and social mores that a man could verbally and physically abuse his wife with impunity. For eight years, Mary endured just such a humiliating fate at the hands of her second husband, the vicious adulterer Andrew Robinson Stoney-Bowes.

With the death of her fabulously wealthy coal magnate father when she was just eleven, Mary Eleanor Bowes became the richest heiress in Britain. An ancestor of Queen Elizabeth II, Mary grew to be a highly educated young woman, winning acclaim as a playwright and botanist. Courted by a bevvy of eager suitors, at eighteen she married the handsome but aloof ninth Earl of Strathmore in a celebrated, if ultimately troubled, match that forged the Bowes Lyon name. Yet she stumbled headlong into scandal when, following her husband?s early death, a charming young army hero flattered his way into the merry widow?s bed.

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Photo of the Day

Seymour, Bisset is looking at you ... Worsley, his wife and Bisset had once attended a bath-house in the town and, while Lady Worsley was getting dressed, her husband had allowed Bisset to climb on his shoulders to ogle her half-naked form through a window.

Seymour, Bisset is looking at you … Worsley, his wife and Bisset had once attended a bath-house in the town and, while Lady Worsley was getting dressed, her husband had allowed Bisset to climb on his shoulders to ogle her half-naked form through a window.

Sex, Scandal and Divorce

?Lady Worsley had 27 lovers and Sir Richard was a Voyeur, a Pervert, a Deviant

The Battle between Sir Richard Worsley and George Bisset

In 1782, the chattering classes of Britain and the United States were held transfixed by the trial of George Bisset for criminal conversation. The transcript had seven printings in the first year–even George Washington requested one.

Lady Worsley ran off with her husband?s best friend, Captain George Bisset and by March 1782, their names and cartoon images were plastered all over London. Sir Richard was a voyeur who used to pimp Lady Worsley out to his friends, and then tried to unsuccessfully sue Bisset for 20,000 pounds in a Criminal Conversation, or adultery trial. The couple took great pains to completely ruin each other ? and the public loved it. They queued outside booksellers shops for copies of the trial transcripts and the newspapers covered the farce for months. Poems and pamphlets of purported exploits were printed and hungrily consumed all that year and in the years to follow.

What legal options were available to the cuckolded husbands of 18th-century England? Divorce was a fantastically costly, excruciatingly public business, and only really viable for those blessed with deep pockets and lofty social rank.

The so-called parliamentary divorce was one possibility, which obliterated the marital union and left the parties free to re-marry.

However, there was also the solution dispensed by the ecclesiastical court of Doctors’ Commons: a legal separation of “bed and board” might be pronounced, but the former husband and wife were not then entitled to find new spouses. This was the vengeful cuckold’s first port of call: a wife who was unable to remarry stood an excellent chance of falling into penury.

What, though, of the scoundrel who had ravished her? Here the concept of “criminal conversation” – a euphemistic way of saying “having adulterous sex” – came to the fore.

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Photo of the Day

Carole Tregoff puts her head on her manacled wrist and breaks into tears after her arraingment.

Carole Tregoff puts her head on her manacled wrist and breaks into tears after her arraignment.

The Fascinating Finch Affair

Rampant greed, sex, and a considerable dose of comedy ensured that this trial of a wealthy doctor and his mistress as joint defendants on charges of murder dominated newspaper headlines for months.

Here’s one that takes you back to, when automobile tailfins were at their height, Ike was still in the White House, and newspapers were full of stories about the doctor, his girl friend, and his murdered wife.

Dr. Bernard Finch was a middle-aged Los Angles–area surgeon who was having a torrid romance with his shapely young receptionist, Carole Tregoff. The only problem was that Finch was already married, and his wealthy and socially prominent wife would clean him out financially in the event of a divorce.

What to do? Murder seemed like the most profitable solution, but a hired assassin failed to get the job done. So the determined lovers were left to do it themselves.

On February 26, 1961, Carole Tregoff?received a letter from Dr. Bernard Finch.? In it, he told her of his undying love, of his thoughts about their future together, of how, from the beginning, he had considered her the most wonderful girl he had ever known.? It was an anniversary letter, he said, for it celebrated the very first time they had lunched t?te-a-t?te?four years before.? Under ordinary circumstances the letter would have been no more remarkable than any of the billions of exchanges between men and their women since the first cave man chiseled a valentine to his chick.? But the circumstances weren?t ordinary.? Both Dr. Finch and Carole Tregoff were serving life sentences in California penitentiaries: he for obtaining an ?instant divorce: with the help of a .38-caliber bullet; she for conspiring with him to commit the crime.

Carole had been introduced to Finch three weeks after she was hired as a receptionist at the West Covina Medical Center in Los Angeles.? Finch and his brother-in-law were partners in the Center and had borrowed a quarter of a million dollars to set it up.? When the doctor and the ravishing redhead met he said, ?Hello, and that was that for about seven months.? Carole soon heard gossip at the Center about the doctor?s marriage ? not good ? and that he was, in fact, dating a couple of the Center?s pretty employees.? Since she was having marital problems of her own at the time, the gossip made little impression on her.? But, from a distance, the handsome doctor did.

Carole, eighteen when the employment agency sent her to be interviewed at the Center, was tall, red-headed, extremely pretty, with an outstanding figure ? if you know what I mean.? She was married to a chap named Jimmy Pappa, whom she had first dated during high school.? The marriage wasn?t working.? Not at all.? They shared an apartment and little else.

Dr. Finch at forty had a lucrative surgical practice, was a ranking tennis amateur, and had a winning way with the ladies.? He was, in short, notably successful both as surgeon and operator.? The home in which he and his wife lived, with their small son and her young daughter by a previous marriage, was quite elegant.? They each had a car, he a Cadillac, she a Chrysler.? They had a dog.? And they had a lovely young Swedish girl, a part-time college student, to take care of the two children and help around the house.? In the end, it was this girl more than anyone who cooked the doctor?s goose.

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Let’s talk about marriage


Nicholas and Rafaela Ordaz, from California, had a double party last weekend to mark their 82nd wedding anniversary and Nicholas turning 102.

When we read about couples who have been married for a long time they are rarely investigative, in-depth articles. I wish these would be written as we would all benefit from learning the secrets of a long and successful marriage. Unfortunately stories like these tend to be summed ?up with a flippant few words. In the case of the above couple, the ?secret of their success was distilled down to…

respect, affection and not sweating the small stuff.


In today’s throwaway society we need more of a guideline than that. Marriages have gone the way of food. No longer do we expect full course meals; we are happy to settle for takeaways. ?When Cam and I got married he mentioned in his speech the statistics for marriage. The odds were not in our favour. ?He stated his intention to beat those odds.

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We had both attended friends’ marriages before our own. What surprised both of us was the content of their vows. One line that stuck with me was the vow to ‘walk beside you in life’. ?What did that mean? What kind of promise was that? I was only 23 but I knew that it would take a lot more than walking beside someone in life for a marriage to make it. In our vows we promised to turn every difficulty into a stepping stone to a deeper love. They were brave words but ones we never lost sight of, though we did forget them for many years and focused on just surviving instead.

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Muslim sense of humor

Some of you will recall a post I did about a website called Happy Muslim families. Since I visited it and downloaded some Pdfs containing tips to help husbands and wives have a happy marriage I have been receiving regular newsletters in my in box.

My latest newsletter is too good not to share. It provides we infidels with an insight into this chaps sense of humor and the reality of how easy it is for a Muslim man to divorce his wife or control and cower her by threatening divorce.I wonder if the female New Zealand converts to Islam featured in the Herald on Sunday are aware of their new diminished rights and status under Islam?

Screen shot 2015-02-23 at 10.04.56 AM

Irfan Ullah Khan Co-Founder Happy Muslim Family


This is one of the funniest and rare stories about the people
who threaten with divorce.

In one of their conversations, a man told Khaleefah Ar-Rasheed: “I was informed that an Arab had divorced five women in one day.”


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Face of the day

via 3 News

Saint? -3 News

Today’s face of the day was expected to know that her husband was a sinner not a saint. Screen shot 2015-01-07 at 11.00.12 PMHowever which one is she? Maybe Angel was her car and the rest belonged to Kim. Like many kept women the world over I am sure she didn’t worry her pretty head about such trivialities as where the money was coming from and whether it was legitimate or not. She just enjoyed it and spent it. If she was more involved in the financial side of things as her lawyer is claiming then it is harder to deny that she did not know what was going on.


Sinner? -FHM Magazine

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An end to cock tax? Not likely…but women are more economically empowered now

Apparently, according to Jane Shilling at The Telegraph women have moved on from gold digging.

But if anyone thinks that this is an end to cock tax then I have a bridge I can sell you.

I have never been to an Islington dinner party, mainly because I?m nervous of the conversations I might have to endure. Over plates laden with Nigel Slater?s pumpkin laksa, I shudder to imagine the banter that embraces the outrageous cost of educating one?s children or the thrilling rise in London property prices ? areas in which I find myself sadly short of conversational roughage.

Then again, the independent peer Baroness Deech, evidently an habitu?e of such gatherings, suggests that the discourse runs in different channels. According to her, the hot topic for kitchen supps in north London isn?t state versus private or equity release, but d-i-v-o-r-c-e. ?Go to an Islington dinner party and say the word divorce,? she remarked recently, ?and people will tell you the most horrendous stories.?

Divorce, like people?s operations, does lend itself to horrendous stories. When flesh or emotions are raw and weeping, the narratives tend to come up lengthy and lurid. But what the Baroness really seems to have meant is that it?s the men who will tell you horrendous divorce stories. And on this vivid anecdotal basis, she proposes a change in the law.

Baroness Deech is currently steering a private member?s Bill through the Upper House that would make pre- and post-nuptial agreements binding. The idea is that in future, when couples divorce, the assets they acquire after their wedding should be divided, but that the division should not include whatever the parties brought to the marriage. A jolly sensible idea, you might think, and a boon to the sweet-natured Bertie Wooster type of chap who gets his assets ruthlessly stripped by gold-digging trollops from vaudeville and other low joints.

Do they still exist, these delightful stereotypes? Yes indeed, according to Baroness Deech ? though in a slightly different social milieu from that of?PG Wodehouse?s Drones Club (or, indeed, the Islington dinner tables or the High Table of St Anne?s College, Oxford, where she was principal for 14 years). Existing divorce legislation, she argues, intimates to young women that financial security lies not in an honest day?s toil, but in marrying a rich man. ? Read more »

$1bn in cock tax and it still isn’t enough!

With $1bn in cock tax she could at least smile a little bit.

With $1bn in cock tax she could at least smile a little bit.

Cock tax is the most evil and regressive tax known to man.

Worse still there is no known exemptions, no loop holes and no avoidance, although?Sally Ridge might not agree.

One woman has recently been awarded $1 billion in cock tax and she is now appealing that saying that it isn’t enough.

Sue Ann Hamm, the ex-wife of Oklahoma oil magnate Harold Hamm who was awarded cash and assets worth more than $1bn in the couple’s divorce this week, plans to appeal the judgment on grounds that it grossly undervalues the marital wealth she is entitled to. ? Read more »

The pitfalls of breaking up

Well. ?Turns out, when you break up with your partner, and you also employ them, you still need to follow due process to fire them. ?awk-waaaaard

A Taranaki man’s company has been ordered to pay his ex-wife more than $100,000 in wages and other costs after he sacked her when they split up.

Employment Relations Authority member Paul Stapp found Hee Seung Lee, sole director of Dream High Ltd, failed to pay his estranged wife and former employee Hye Rim Ji for work she did at their sushi business on High St in Hawera.

Stapp also found Lee was responsible for Ji’s unjustified dismissal in 2013.

Dream High, which Ji and Lee have equal shares in, was ordered to pay her a total of $95,287.50 in unpaid wages and holiday pay, lost wages and compensation.

In addition, the company will also have to pay Ji $5474.89 in ERA hearing costs and fees – a total payment of $100,762.40.

You know Labour, employment law is just fine when it is easier to get rid of the mother of your children than it is to get rid of an employee. ? Read more »