Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Thursday 18 April 1907
WHERE IS MR. ALEC GARRETT?
HIS WIFE'S STATEMENT.
Since April 5th Mr. Alec Henry Garrett, son of Mr. Henry Newson Garrett, of 101, Sidney Place, Bath, has been missing, and no tidings can gleaned of his whereabouts.
His disappearance is the sequel to some remarkable occurrences of a personal nature in which it would not have been expected by those who know the missing gentleman that would have been the central figure. For as his wife states, Mr. Alec Garrett was "slightly afflicted", and certainly did not look the person closely identified with a romantic experience such that which has happened.
The first public intimation of the affair was made on Thursday by the Daily Mail, who evidently had received information from a neighbour of Mr. Garrett, and in consequence sent a representative from London to make inquiries, which resulted in the following appearing, after a short preface, in that paper:
Mr. Alexander Garrett is thirty-seven years of age. He is rather below the medium height, with a peculiar walk, a face of marked individuality, and he wears a moustache. He has an impediment in his speech, but, despite this, has proved himself an excellent man of business, managing capably his father's works, where fifty men are employed.On Easter Monday Mr. Alexander Garrett went Bristol, and was quietly married to Miss Sauvarin, who had lived in Bath for some time. The couple spent their brief honeymoon at Weston-super-Mare, and went back to Bath on Wednesday afternoon about three o'clock, parting at the railway station. There was no secret regarding the marriage.Mrs. Alexander Garrett states that she was introduced to her husband by his father."On Wednesday," she said to a "Daily Mail" representative yesterday, "after we had parted, he came to tea with me. He also came on Thursday, both afternoon and evening. He ought to have come on Friday, but he did not. I thought nothing of it, thinking business might have detained him. But I made inquiries on Saturday. It appears that he dined in his father's house, and after dinner said was going out for a little.Mr. Garrett's father, when interviewed, said, "Either my son has been made away with or he has lost his memory. For years he has had charge of my affairs, and I know of nothing which couid lead him to desert now."
Mr. Garrett has been telegraphing all parts of England where his son was likely go, but these inquiries have led to no elucidation of the mystery.
The Bath police knew nothing of Mr. Garrett having disappeared until Wednesday, when information was brought to them, and they caused a notice to forwarded to the Bristol Constabulary, which gave the missing man's name and age, his height as 5ft. 4in. or 5in., as having dark hair and moustache, and being in a grey cycling suit and cap.
The information also stated that he was accustomed to travelling between Bath and Bristol, that he suffered from certain physical disability, and concluded with the words. "It is feared something has befallen him."
Mr. Garrett, senior, and his wife declined to see any newspaper representatives with regard to the matter on Thursday.
They have informed the police that the man left his purse at home behind him, and that they believe him to be unprovided with financial means.
Mrs. Alec Garrett, when seen, was not at all disinclined to impart information about the strange disappearance of her husband.
It may be mentioned that her maiden name is Sauvarin, that she hails from the Channel Islands, and has been in Bath for the past three years engaged as a nurse. She is a lady of 25 years, of petite figure, dark, and decidedly prepossessing appearance.
For some time past she has been in partnership with a fellow nurse at address in a central part of Bath.
She stated that the particulars in the London paper were correct, and amplified them.
Her husband, she said, was introduced to her his father, who himself suggested that they should marry. She told Mr. Garrett, senior, that she had wish marry, and this answer she gave to the son when proposed. This, she said, happened about a year ago.
Mr. Alec Garrett, however, renewed his offer soon after Christmas, the matter being led up to by the second marriage of Mr. Garrett senior, who February last was wedded at the Bath Registry Office to Mrs. Abbott, who formerly lived at 2, Walcot Parade.
The father joined in the wish that she would marry Mr. Alec Garrett. As his wife related us:
"He (Mr. H. N. Garrett) took me to the Empire to tea, and I said I would become engaged to him. He very anxious that I should marry his son, saying he knew he would be well looked for was really bit afflicted."
Miss Sauvarin, as she was then, promised to marry the son, and stated that it was arranged that the wedding should take place in Bath, the father suggesting the Registry Office where himself had been married.
"I went there at his advice, and gave notice. They wanted the marriage to take place in three weeks, but I did not wish to be married for three months. Then the son came and told me he had been to the Registrar's office and torn down the banns. It was, I believe, in consequence some row at home, his stepmother, being averse to the marriage."
We may here state that this part of the narrative is borne out by the Superintendent Registrar (Mr. Winckworth). who said that on Feb. 22nd notice was given by the bride-elect, a copy of it displaved in the public room on the North Parade. This set forth the approaching marriage of "Alec Henry Garrett, bachelor, fuller's earth manufacturer, with Alice Mary Sauvarin, spinster, 25."
Mr. Winckworth says his assistant informed him that about ten days after the notice was posted the bridegroom-elect came into the office in a great rage, tore the notice from the wall, pulled it into pieces, and flung it into the fire.
Mr. Garrett was quite within his rights in doing this, though probably had Mr. Winckworth himself been present there would have been a few words about what was done.
Mrs. Garrett, junior, continued that she then said him, "I've announced my wedding my friends, and you'll have to marry me." He replied, "I have not said I would not," and was quite agreeable, but added his father was very anxious that his wife should not learn of it.
The wedding, special license, at the Bristol Registry, with Nurse Manning as one witness and another person provided at the office, was then spoken of by Mrs. Garrett.
They stayed at Weston-super-Mare until Wednesday, returning to Bath that afternoon. On the Wednesday and Thursday night Mr. Garrett slept at his father's house. He had tea with his wife on Thursday, and that was the last time she saw him. He then told her, she says, "It will all right. I will see my father knows. I have given him little hints, but I haven't said a word to my stepmother."
The wife believes that there was a scene when it was known by Mrs. Garrett, sen., that the son had married. Apparently Mrs. H. N. Garrett and Mrs. A. H. Garrett have had interviews since the son's disappearance, and the wife of the missing man made some remarkable suggestions to our representative as to her views about her husband's disappearance, and it is evident she did not incline to the belief that harm has befallen him.
Mrs. Garrett, junior, also informed us that she had called at 101, Sydney Place with the idea of seeing his father, but had not been able obtain an interview.
It transpires that on Friday afternoon the missing man called at the house of Dr. Morris, Combe Down, to consult him about the trouble mentioned in the police report, but the doctor was out.
We hear that Mr. Garrett left a note behind him at his father's house which is calculated give ground for the worst fears.
His wife has stated that she cannot confidently say that the note produced which Mr. Garrett expresses his "last wishes" was in her husband's handwriting. This paper is now in the custody of Messrs. Rooke and the family solicitors.
In it the missing man asks that all that belonged to him may be taken possession of by his father, but that his wife should be allowed ten shillings a week.
Mrs. H. N. Garrett appears to have taken much interest in the matter, and obtained from Mrs. A. H. Garrett her marriage certificate, which, however, has been returned to her the legal firm mentioned.
Mr. H. N. Garrett has denied to the police that he ever asked Miss Sauvarin to marry his son, and has even gone to the length to say that he did not wish that they should married.
The Bath Police have distributed all over the country official "informations" as to Mr. Garrett's disappearance, with a description him.
The first intimation of him being missing received by the Bath Constabulary was taken to the Orange Grove by Mr. Garrett's gardener.
There being an idea in some minds that the missing man had never left 101, Sydney Place, the police have made a thorough inspection of the house, and satisfied themselves that this theory was unfounded.
Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Thursday 9 May 1907
THE LATE MR. A. GARRETT
At the Guildhall Bath, on Saturday, the City Coroner (Mr. Basil A. Dyer) held an inquest concerning the death of Mr. Alexander Garrett, son of Mr. H. N. Garrett, of 101, Sydney Place.
The deceased disappeared on Friday, April 5th, four days after being married, and it was not until Thursday last, May 2nd, that his body was taken from the river Avon in the Kensington Meadows.
The case had aroused much interest, and though the inquiry did not begin till three o'clock, half-an-hour before that the public gallery was full of people.
Mr. H. Hookway watched the proceedings behalf of the widow of the deceased, and Messrs. Rooke and Macdonald, solicitors to Mr. H. N. Garrett, were also present.
Alderman E. E. Phillips, J. P., and the Chief Constable (Mr. Vaughan Philipps) occupied seats on the Bench.
FINDING THE BODY
Frederick Fisher of 1, Rockliffe Avenue, Bathwick, boat-builder, said on Thursday morning he was at the Bath Boating Co.'s station. He saw an object floating down the river, about 200 or 300 yards above the station. When he got near enough he saw it was the body of a man.
He got assistance and got the body to the bank on the Kensington Meadows side. The police were then informed. The police came and took out the body from the Kensington Meadow side.
D.C. Marshfield, of the Bath City Police Force, said on Thursday morning, shortly after eleven, information was brought to the police station by the last witness. He went to the Kensington Meadows with D.C. Lovell and the ambulance.
The body was in the water face downwards. He pulled it out on to the bank. The face was covered in mud, and having washed the mud off the body, witness put it upon the ambulance and removed to the Widcombe Mortuary.
At the mortuary he searched the body. He found threepence in coppers, a bunch of keys, a pipe, tobacco pouch, pocket knife, a pocket handkerchief, with the initials "A.H.G." in one corner, and a gold ring which the deceased was wearing on the left hand. He found the ring inscribed inside, "Dearest mother left me, Jan. 31st 1900."
The Coroner: Did you recognise the body?
Yes, that of Alec Garrett.
The Coroner: The things you found on him, have they been shown to his father?
No, not yet. sir.
Witness added that one of the keys—a latchkey—was of the same pattern as one which was shown to him by the deceased's father on Friday morning.
The Coroner: Have you been making inquiries into the matter since he has disappeared?
I have been making inquiries since the 9th of April. As far as I could ascertain Mr. Garrett was last seen alive at 8.40 p.m. in Powlett Road, Bathwick, on Friday, April 5th; I received information that he was missing on April 9th.
Isabel Nelly Tucker, of 11, Powlett Road, said she knew deceased and heard he was missing four days after. She saw him on April 5th, about 8.40 in Powlett Road. He went up the road in the direction of Hampton Row; he was alone. He was wearing a grey cycling suit. She noticed that he was breathing very heavily; she was standing still he passed her.
Mr. John Maurice Harper, medical practitioner, said that he saw the body on Thursday, at the Widcombe Mortuary. He knew the deceased well and recognised the body as his. He found it in an advanced state of decomposition. The body been in the water a considerable time. He was unable to say the time of death.
The Coroner: Were you able to discover any signs of ante-mortem injury?
None at all.
Witness found signs of injuries to the head and face which were post-mortem and must have been caused in the river by its coming against snags of trees. He found that the deceased was wearing a truss; he found no hernia; had deceased been suffering from that, it must have been reduced.
THE WIFE'S EVIDENCE
Alice Mary Garrett, who was not now wearing her nurse's costume, wife of the deceased, living at 20, Charles Street, said she was married to the deceased on the 1st of April at Bristol Registry Office.
The Coroner: After the marriage did you go away with him?
Yes, sir. To Weston-super-Mare.
The Coroner: The same day?
The Coroner: Did anyone accompany you?
Not to Weston.
The Coroner: Have you been living with somebody else, Nurse Manning?
The Coroner: Was she with you?
No, sir. She only went to the marriage.
At Weston they stayed at the Pier Hotel. They came to Bath on April 3rd. She went to 20, Charles Street, and her husband to his father's house. He came to 20, Charles Street, the same afternoon to tea.
The Coroner: After that, did he go home to his father's house?
l believe so. I did not see him any more that day.
l saw him on the Thursday evening at 8.30.
The Coroner: Did he go to see you at Charles Street?
Did he leave you to go to his father's house then?
About what time?
Did you see him after that?
When you saw him the last time, how was he? How did seem?
Very well. The same as usual.
Did he say anything specially to you?
Did he complain of anything?
Did you part on friendly terms?
Had he ever said anything to you as doing himself any injury or anything of that sort?
It was arranged that they should continue live at 20, Charles Street, and 101, Sydney Place respectively until July. They were then to take a house in the Wells Road subject to a lady who now it leaving. Mr. Garrett was to furnish it.
The Coroner: How do you know?
His father told me so.
When did he tell you that?
At the time of the engagement.
And when was that?
At the Empire Hotel. I went to tea with Mr. and Mrs. Garrett.
The Coroner: Did you of your own motion or did you go by invitation?
Did you see him personally?
At 20, Charles Street.
Did he call at 20, Charles Street, to see you?
And asked you to go the Empire to tea?
Did you go?
Did you have tea with them?
Was this marriage talked about then?
Was Alec Garrett (the deceased) there?
What was said about your engagement?
Whenever we liked to arrange to be married we could have a house furnished for us with furniture from 101, Sydney Place.
Who said that?
Mr. and Mrs. Garrett.
Was anything arranged as to when the marriage would take place?
When was notice of the wedding given?
l think it was the 2nd February.
The Coroner: At Bath?
How came that notice to be put up?
Mr. Garrett asked me to do so.
Which Mr. Garrett?
Mr. Alec Garrett and Mr. Newson Garrett.
Where were they when they asked you to put up?
At 101, Sydney Place.
Was anyone else with you?
Nurse Manning was with me.
The Coroner, handing the witness a book, asked if contained deceased's writing, and she said it did.
The Coroner said it was a pocket note-book and diary, and under date 22nd February was the entry: "Put my name up to married."
Witness said she fixed the date, as Mr. Newson Garrett had been married three days earlier.
The Coroner, reading again from the diary, said under Wednesday, 4th appeared the entry: "My father married Mrs." and nothing else.
The Coroner: That would make it the 10th February you went the Empire?
Now you say you were at 101, Sydney Place, with Mr. Alec Garrett and Mr. Newson Garrett, and asked to nut the notice for marriage, and Nurse Manning with you. Tell me how did that come about? Did you go down there to see them?
l went down about an operation for Mr. Alec Garrett.
Was it suggested that there should be an operation?
Was it decided against having an operation?
And what then was said about this marriage or supposed marriage? You say it was at the same interview?
Mr. Alec Garrett asked his father where I could put the marriage notice. He said. "Where I was married myself at North Parade."
The Coroner: Yes. What else was said? Was anything said about fees?
Mr. Garrett said I should have to pay 2s.
Anything else about the fees?
No, sir. The rest was to be paid after, at the time of the marriage. Witness added that Mr. Alec Garrett paid the fees there and then.
Did he (your husband) subsequently tell you he had torn down the notice?
The Coroner: I see another entry in the same day he did it.
When did tell you had done it? The diary under March 6, says "I broke off my engage with Alice." Would that be about the time did it?
Yes. He said had been upset and wished to take it down for a time. He said he had had a row at home.
Did you see him after that?
l wrote him.
What did you say in the letter?
That he ou2ght to have asked me and I would have taken it down.
BREACH OF PROMISE THREATENED
Yes, and what else?
And that I would bring a breach of promise against him.
Yes. What else?
l think that was all.
What else did you say?
Witness hesitated, and the question was repeated.
What else was there in the letter?
Did you say what you would do, something else?
l don't remember.
Do you really pretend you don't remember to-day what you said yesterday about it. You know you made a statement yesterday?
Still no answer.
What else did you threaten? You had better say at once; it will be better for you to say it at once.
What else did you say?
Now. did you have any reply to that letter?
The Coroner: Did you threaten to expose his father?
The Coroner: Was that the letter (handing witness the letter)?
The Coroner, read the letter as follows:—
Sydney Place.March, 1907.My dear Alice,I pulled down that paper in the R.O. (Registry Office) because I thought it was best down for a time, as I could not stand people talking about you and me any longer. I not give hope that when things have blown over a bit that you and me can be the same again. As for your letter, I did not take any notice of it—(The Coroner: That was the threatening letter?—Yes)—because I love you just the same the first day I knew you.Now good-bye, from your Alec.
You received that letter from him?
And after that, what took place? Did you go to see him or did he come to see you?
He came to see me.
Did you make up again?
Was he upset by your letter?
Did he say so?
What did he say about it?
He said he had a good laugh over it. He said I could not bring any breach of promise against him as he had not said he would not marry me.
Did he make any reference your threat to expose the father?
None at all?
Was he upset about it?
Not at all?
The Coroner: There is an entry on the 10th March in the diary: "Went and saw Alice and made it up again." Is that so?
Witness: Yes, sir.
Witness added that she put the notice up at Bristol Registry Office. She did not know whether Mr. Garrett, senior, knew it.
She wrote a postcard to the father from Weston, saving "Alec quite well and happy."
Was that the day you got down there?
She had known deceased since September. They were introduced by the father. She went away for some time to London, and they corresponded.
The Coroner said he did not want to read all the letters, but asked, Were they of a friendly and even affectionate nature?
The Coroner read one dated October 2nd as follows:
My dear Alice,
Just a line. I'm glad to hear you are well and happy. We are very busy at our works. Don't forget to write me, dear, as I'm always thinking of you.
Now good bye, darling Alice, your most loving Alec.
In another letter deceased said:
I do hope you will write me soon. If I spell words wrong you must forgive me, for I could never spell right. I think it is because I don't give myself time to think, I'm always in a hurry. I hope you are enjoying yourself in London. It seems such a long time since I saw you. I would come London myself, but am too busy the works now. Write me as often as you can.Good bye, my dear girl. With much love from your Alec.P.S. Could you send a photo yourself? If so it will very kind. I've not got one, but will get one.A.H.G.
Did he make you some presents when you were engaged?
And anything else?
Did he send you locket when you were London?
No, sir. gave it to me when I came back.
Did you have any money from him when you parted at the station, for you to go to Charles Street and he went home ?
Did you see him in possession or did he show you a sum of £50 or anything like that?
Did you know that he was ruptured?
When did you know that?
After I was Weston-super-Mare.
Was he wearing a truss?
He was the day he went, but left it off the day after. He complained about it on Wednesday morning.
You stayed at Weston two nights and returned on the Wednesday morning?
Was the marriage consummated?
When he saw you on the Thursday evening, did he then tell you of any row at all.
Did he indicate to you that anything was wrong?
Did he seem excited or upset?
Did he make any appointment to see you again?
On the Friday evening.
Did you see him on the Friday evening?
And not hearing or seeing him, what did you do?
Nothing. I expected a letter the next morning.
And not getting one, what did you do then?
Nothing. Mrs. Garrett called to see me and told me that he had not slept in his bed the Friday night.
Did she tell you that any paper had been found?
She did not.
Did she tell you anything else? Did she say there had been any row or difference?
And what then, after that? Did you see Mrs. Garrett?
On Saturday evening I saw Mrs. Garrett for a moment or two.
Where was that?
At his house.
And what was told you?
That they had heard no news.
She went to Mr. Rooke's office to see a note handed her by the Coroner; it was not given to her.
Do you know if your husband had made will?
He told me he had; on the Thursday evening, he told me so.
Did you understand he had made it since marriage or before?
No, I did not; he did not say.
The Foreman: Did Mr. Alec Garrett suggest marriage to you?
Who hurried matters along?
Why was the notice pulled down?
He gave me no reason, except that he had had a row with his people at home.
What were your relations with Mr. Garrett, senior?
l had not seen Mr. Garrett, senior, for nine months.
The Foreman: You don't understand.
The Coroner: She says she had not seen him for nine months.
Witness Except when we went to the Empire about the engagement.
What was the object of saying in the letter you would expose him?
I only said it in temper.
The Foreman: There must have been some object in the temper, you know.
The Coroner: Some cause for the temper.
No answer was given, and the witness stood down.
NURSE MANNING CALLED
Alice Beatrice Manning, of 20, Charles Street, said she had known deceased for about nine months.
Mr. Garrett, senior, she had known for two or three years.
On the Sunday after his own marriage, Mr. Garrett, senior, called on her at Charles Street. Mrs. Garrett, senior, came in afterwards. Miss Sauvarin was also there.
Mr. Garrett, senior, asked her if she had any objections to marrying his son. Miss Sauvarin said she did not love Alec sufficiently and she also objected to the impediment in the speech. An operation for getting rid of this impediment was proposed, and witness thought it was rather late in life.
Mr. Garrett was present at part of the interview and was anxious also for the operation. Witness agreed to take Alec to a doctor.
Was that the day the last witness went to the Empire in the afternoon?
Did you go with her?
Did you hear her invited there?
By Mr. Garrett.
In consequence of this talk about the operation did you go to any doctor's with Mr. Alec Garrett?
l went to Dr. Melsome with him.
Did he examine him?
Witness said that afterwards she told Mr. Garrett at Sydney Place that the doctor would not promise a cure, but also that it would be too dangerous an operation to performed.
Conversation then turned to the marriage.
The notice was to be put at the Registry Office.
The Coroner: Who suggested that?
Mr. Newson Garrett. He told them that the notice could be put up at North Parade.
Mr. Newson Garrett promised to furnish a house for his son and wife. Witness also heard Alec say he had torn the notice down because there was a row with the family at home. He seemed upset, and Miss Sauvarin was rather upset. She went to the wedding at Bristol, returning to Bath in the evening.
The Coroner: You did not to Weston?
Witness (smiling): No, sir.
Were you present when Mr. Alec Garrett saw the last witness after her threatening letter?
How did he take that letter?
He was very amused, and told her would engage her as a lawyer, and pay her 6s. 8d. for writing letters.
Was he upset?
Not at all, very amused.
With regard to what was said about his father, was he vexed about it?
Did he make any inquiries about it?
Did he ask what it meant?
Did he know what it meant?
l suppose he did; he said nothing.
Albert James Palmer, living at Midford, foreman at Mr. Garrett's works Midford, said that deceased had been there for many years. He was manager. The works were closed on Easter Monday, having been dosed from the previous Friday till Wednesday.
Witness could not remember that deceased came back on the Wednesday. He was there on Thursday afternoon. The deceased told him he had been to Bristol on some business for his father in connection with the works. He did not say that he had been to Weston. He told him (witness) that he was still a bachelor.
The Coroner: How did that come about?
l don't know, I'm sure.
Did you ask him anything?
No, sir. He had given me hints about his marriage before. He had talked about it for a long time.
Witness, continuing, said she saw him on the Friday. The deceased told him then that he was married. He said he was married the Easter Monday. He appeared that wanted to keep it quiet. He did not say so, but must have thought that, as within an hour telling him (witness) he told another man on the works that he was not married.
He was excited on the Friday. He said nothing about the cause of his excitement, and made no complaint. He did not seem more excited than usual.
Witness was aware of the deceased's disability; he had suffered from it for the sixteen years witness had known him.
Did he show you the letter he had received from the woman who is now Mrs. Garrett?—He showed it me, but I did not read it; he read part of it to me the same morning he received it.
Did he seem upset or worried about it?
Not at all. He was writing frequently to the girl, and they came there to have tea once or twice.
The Foreman: Did he appear anxious to get married?
The Coroner: Why do you say that?
l can't say, sir. He didn't worry about the letter he had from Miss Sauvarin, and said he should get married all the same. He had expressed himself as desirous of getting married.
Did he want to get away from home?
No, I don't think did.
MR. H. N. GARRETT
Mr. Henry Garrett, living at 101, Sydney Place, father of the deceased, said his son's age was 36.
He had always lived at home. He assisted him in his works at Midford.
The things found on his body he (witness) identified as belonging to his son.
He (deceased) was away on Monday and Tuesday in Easter week, returning on Wednesday afternoon.
The Coroner: Did you know where he was
Yes. We had a postcard.
Did you have two postcards?
l believe we did.
Did you have card from Mrs. Alec Garrett saying he was well?
Have you got that?
No. I don't know what became it. I think probably it was put in the fire.
You kept your son's card, on which he said. "I shall be home to dinner to-morrow night"?
Yes, that came on the Wednesday morning.
How was the other card signed?
You knew who was from?
I knew he would have put "A.H.G" so I imagined that it came from his wife.
Didn't you know her handwriting?
I did not notice.
You knew her handwriting?
l'm sure it was not his writing.
That is not the question.
l should say it was her writing.
Then you knew that he was at Weston with her?
Did you know that they were going Weston?
I really forget. I don't think we did until we had the postcard.
Now you have heard the evidence of Mrs. Alec Garrett and of Nurse Manning as to your calling at Charles Street on a Sunday morning in February. Is that correct, or do you wish to say anything about that?
No, only that my son called at the Empire Hotel, where I was staying, and asked me to go with him to see Nurse Sauvarin, and my wife and I accompanied him there, and at his request we invited her to come with him to have tea in the afternoon at the hotel.
The Coroner: The point is about the interview at Charles Street in the morning, when you invited her to come to tea in the afternoon at the hotel, when the conversation took place about the proposed marriage?
I don't think that is true. I don't remember anything of the kind.
But you ought to know one way the other?
I deny entirely that I gave the money to put the notice up.
We are talking the present time about the interview in Charles Street
There is very little in that. I cannot say anything about it.
It was said, at the interview in Charles Street, that a marriage was arranged between your son and this nurse?
Well, sir, that is quite wrong. My advice the whole time was that she should keep on the same terms that he was, without marrying. Anything contrary to that was not true.
I believe you asked her what her objection of getting married was?
I don't remember such a thing.
Did she say to you that one thing was the impediment in his speech and another thing was that she did not think she loved him enough?
She may have done. We talked a great deal about this impediment to his speech and of the terrible flow of saliva that he had, and whether it could be cured. I think that was the principal subject we talked on on that interview in Charles Street.
Did that arise out of the question whether she would marry him?
l believe did.
Is it true what Miss Manning has said, that it was arranged that she should take him to a doctor and see if some operation would relieve him?
Was it correct that she and he came to Sydney Place and reported what doctor had said?
And then something further was about marriage?
I always said "Keep on the same line. Go on as you are at present for six or twelve months, see how you get on." I always advocated that.
Did you say anything about putting up the notice at the North Parade?
I believe they asked me where they should put up the notice.
Then there must have been something said about marriage?
I knew nothing about being up until sometime after.
When they asked you where to put it up, what did yoy say?
I said at the Poor Law offices. I never saw money pass for the fee.
Did they ask you what the fee was?
I think so. They had been discussing it.
Did you know he was going to Bristol to get married?
No. He said he was not. He had a new hat and a new tie on, and I said, "I suppose you are not going married?" and he replied, "No, father, certainly, not."
When you had the card from Weston I suppose you knew they were married?
I only guessed it then. "A.G" might mean any thing. When came back on the Wednesday he said was not married. He said they had had a good time and spent a lot of money.
He told you he had been away with Nurse Sauvarin?
Yes, he said, "My friend," that's what he called her.
You knew who that was?
Yes, quite well.
Witness said on the Friday deceased said, "I must make a clean breast of it. I am married."
Witness said he remarked, "It is a bad business, but you are married so we must make the best of it."
He was very excited, and witness advised him to calm down and go to business.
Was there what you would call a row?
No, I didn't get angry any more than I am now. I was very vexed about it.
Witness said that his wife was not present then; he told her after Alec had gone to the works.
When deceased came back from Midford he was very excited, and witness could do nothing with him.
What was the cause of his excitement?
He was of a very excitable nature. I didn't know it then, but evidently he was not sane then.
Was he always very excitable?
Oh, very. I had many years ago to send him to Brislington (Mr. Fox's Asylum).
Yes, I think he was there a year. It cost me £200.
I advised him to get on a tramcar and go and see Dr. Morris at Combe Down. Dr. Morris had been attending him for a long time. He was very friendly with Dr. Morris. I advised him to go and ask Dr. Morris to give him some quieting medicine and, if necessary, to keep him there tor the night or for two or three nights.
I told him to go himself.
Did you see him after that?
He returned and said he had walked to Combe Down and walked down, but Dr. Morris had gone to the Theatre with some friends, so he had not seen him. He got back about seven or eight, and had a little dinner. He then went into his own room, where he usually had a bath before dinner, and he came out and opened the dining-room door, where I was sitting, and said, "Father. I'm off." I said, "Are you going to the Theatre or to Morris?" He made no answer. He went out and shut the front door, and I have not seen him since.
The Coroner: I want to know, after he told you that he was married on the Friday, what was there to upset him and to make him in this highly excited condition?
I cannot answer that. I don't know. He was so.
Do you know anything about taking a house in the Wells Road?
No, he did not say anything to me about it.
Did either of the two nurses?
They may have mentioned such thing, but I did not pay any heed it.
Did you say that you would furnish the house and let them have enough furniture from 101, Sydney Place to furnish it?
What do you say about that statement?
l think they have imagined it. There was some furniture at my house at Midford, which, I believe, he proposed to take, but there was no arrangement.
Did you increase his salary or allowance if he married, make it to week?
No. I believe he asked Mrs. Garrett put the case before me. I said I should nothing of the kind.
Was that before or after he was married?
That was before was married.
Was that in contemplation of marriage?
Not in contemplation.
Is it true that you introduced him to Nurse Sauvarin?
And that you have known her for some years?
Probably a couple of years.
Did your son know that?
At the time?
Did he know that before or after he was married?
Before. I introduced him at his earnest request that I should find him some one to visit.
When I found that my son did not come back, I thought that he had gone to his wife and would come back to breakfast in the morning. We did not get anxious until towards evening.
The Coroner: And then did you make inquiries?
l sent to my foreman, Palmer, to hear if he had seen him. We called at 20, Charles Street, to know if they had seen him, and we made private inquiries of my family in different parts to hear if he had gone to any of them. I did not make any official inquiry of the police, acting under the advice of several friends, until, I think, the Tuesday.
Then I took this box (produced), and not finding the key, had one made.
He found the paper (shown to witness the Coroner).
The Coroner read it follows:—
"This is my last wish, that all I got in the world I leave to my dear father, and also 10s. to my wife a week.Alec. April 5th. 1907."
Witness knew of no other will or document. He found in the box £5 and 12s. 6d. in a purse which was laid on the dressing table in deceased's room.
The Coroner: Did you know anything of a sum of £50 that he was accustomed to carry about with him and put under his mattress at night?
No, don't. I have had the house searched, and there is nothing.
In reply further to the Coroner, the witness said he knew nothing of any order about receiving or refusing to receive clothes at Sydney Place.
Replying to a juryman, witness said that no-one except he and his wife were present when the box was opened.
A juryman: Where you anxious that you son should marry this lady?
Most certainly not.
What were your relations with this lady?
I leave you to judge. There are some questions a man cannot answer (hisses in Court).
The Coroner thought that they need not go into more detail.
The Coroner, at this point, said he should suspend the inquest for one or two reasons, and the jury were bound over to be in their places again on Wednesday at three o'clock.
THE LATE MR. A. GARRETT
At the Guildhall, on Wednesday, the City Coroner (Mr. Basil A. Dyer) resumed the inquest on the body of Alec Henry Garrett, son of Mr. H. N. Garrett, of 101, Sydney Place.
The deceased disappeared on Friday, April 5th, four days after being married, and it was not until May 2nd that his body was taken from the River Avon in the Kensington Meadows.
Mr. H. Hookway again watched the proceedings on behalf of the widow of the deceased, and Messrs. Rooke and Macdonald, solicitors to Mr. H. N. Garrett, were also present.
The Court was again crowded, the seats in the public gallery being taken long before the time for commencing the proceedings. Many were unable to obtain admission to the Court.
Albert James Palmer, foreman of the Midford Works, was recalled and said deceased did not tell him he had told his father he was married. He told witness of the fact on the Friday.
"There must be silence in Court, or else everybody in the gallery will be turned out," said the Coroner when there was some noise in the packed Court.
Witness said he did not remember deceased said he was going to tell his father; he did not say there would be a row at home when he did tell him. He knew he had been anxious to get married for some time.
Was he quite aware of his father's relations with Nurse Sauvarin?
Do you know that?
From what he himself told you?
Did you know that last September or rather earlier he proposed to a young lady he had not seen for some years
Yes. He told me something about it.
His statements as to marriage or proposed marriage, could they be always relied upon?
No; he gave different accounts sometimes.
Was he fond of his father?
Did he tell you of any row at home?
As to the second Mrs. Garrett, did he make any complaint about her?
None at all.
Of his treatment at home did he complain?
What did he say about her. Anything?
His sister left home, I believe, shortly after Mr. Garrett's second marriage?
Was he much upset by that?
Yes, very much.
The Foreman: Did he ever say that his father desired him to marry this woman?
Mr. Hookway desired the witness to be asked whether on the Thursday or Friday he knew that the deceased was in pain, suffering from the physical disability that had been mentioned.
Witness said deceased never mentioned it and seemed all right.
Mr. Samuel Thomas Clack, fishmonger, of 'Kildare', Sydney Gardens, said he knew deceased very well, and Mr. Garrett made confidante of him. About a fortnight before his disappearance deceased consulted him about a letter and deceased produced a roll of bank notes and gold.
It was a threatening letter they had been discussing, and deceased said, "I've got £50 I have saved. Shall I send her £20 or £50; that will shut her up."
Witness said, "Not one farthing with consent." He walked about and said, "I don't know what to do; still, if you say 'No' I won't do it."
The Coroner said deceased drew £10 out of the Post Office Savings Bank on March 25. Did witness think this the £10 deceased showed him?
Witness thought it was about £30 he saw, by the size of the packet.
Was he of a saving disposition?
The Coroner said the £10 would have been drawn out after witness saw the money.
Witness said this interview was on Sunday, and on the following Saturday he saw deceased in Sydney Place. He said, "My dear friend, I have had great trouble and a very bad week."
Witness asked what it was, and deceased said, "My father has forbidden me to visit your house, Mr. Russell Duckworth's, and Dr. Preston King's. He has forbidden me to write to Dai (his sister). Will you write to her and tell her not write home, it will only cause a row." Witness said would not think of it, and if wanted to write deceased must writp himself.
Deceased promised to come the following evening (Sunday) for tea and talk it over, but did not turn up.
On the Sunday week, April 7, he met Mr. Garrett, senior, who asked him if he had seen deceased, whom he told him was married.
He he had found some money in his box.
Witness said he knew deceased had £50, and suggested he had gone abroad to his brother.
Deceased once asked witness if he thought it would very wicked if anybody took their life. Witness said thought it was. That was three months ago quite. Deceased never threatened do it.
He always sooke well of his father: the worst heard him say was "He's a very naughty, naughty man, but he has always been very kind to me."
The Foreman: Did he ever say his father was pressing him to marry this woman?
No, quite the reverse.
The Coroner: What do you mean?
Witness: Three or four days before the paper was pulled down at the Registry Office deceased came to him in very trouble crying.
He said, "I've got something on my mind. I feel I'm bound do it."
"Out with it," witness said, and advised him to have nothing to do with "that woman."
Deceased said, "Don't ask me to give her up, because if you do it will break my heart."
Witness said, "If you give her up, it may not break your heart: but if you do marry her it will be sure to do so."
After that he walked about the room and seemed a little more consoled.
A few days after he walked into the shop and said, "It is over. I have pulled the papers down."
Witness said, "What papers?"
Deceased said the papers in the Registry Office which he had pulled at down bis father's wishes, adding. "I would not pull them down for anybody else."
Witness, continuing, said, "The opinion formed was that Mr. Garrett, senior, did not wish his son to marry this woman, that would rather him live with her or keep her: something of that kind. That was very much against the deceased's wishes, for he told me, "If I could not love a woman and marry her, I would never dishonour her."
The Coroner: His father's view for him was not marriage?
No, I don't think so, sir. I don't think he ever wished it.
The Foreman: Do you think the deceased married this woman under a threat?
The Coroner: Oh, no, no, no! You may form your opinion when you have heard the evidence, but that is not a question to put the witness.
Mr. C. J. Morris, surgeon, of Combe Down, said he had known the deceased for many years; he had a hernia. Witness performed a slight operation and he then had some hysterical fits.
By the Foreman: There was no reason why the deceased should not marry.
Alice Mary Garrett, the widow, was recalled.
She said she knew nothing about the deceased's money matters except that he said he had saved and called himself a miser.
He was fond of his father, and said the second Mrs. Garrett was very good to him and did all she could to make him happy. The marriage was consummated when they came back from Weston, on the Thursday.
She had no idea what deceased did with his savings.
Mr. Henry Newson Garrett, the father, was recalled and said he had no wish for his son to marry Nurse Sauvarin. He introduced him to her as a patient and told her why.
The Coroner: Had you ceased to have relations with her sometime before you introduced him?
I should think two years at any rate, as far I can count up.
Were those relations ever resumed after?
There have been great changes your house recently. After you re-married, your daughter left?
My daughter left.
Was your son upset about it?
They were a great deal to each other?
Yes, and she was great deal to me.
Had the servants gone?
An old servant named "Nursie" had gone?
Yes. She went away with daughter.
Had she known him since childhood?
Did you know he was a friend of Mr. Clack?
Did you know he was a friend of Dr. Preston King?
And Mr. Russell Duckworth?
Did you forbid him to visit these people?
Can suggest that he was given to romancing?
I know that latterly he did not tell me the truth as he used to.
Why should he tell Mr. Clack that he was forbidden to go near him?
I can't imagine.
Can you suggest?
I cannot. It is all wrong.
You don't mean that Mr. Clack's evidence is all wrong?
l think he told Mr. Clack one thing and told me another. I can't say more than what I told you is the truth.
Have you any reason for him not visiting those friends?
I wished him to visit these friends.
Have you heard what Mr. Clack has said about the money produced? Do you say that he was of saving disposition?
Yes, he was; but latterly I think he spent a great deal.
On these ladies. There are some heavy jewellery bills. There is one for £7.
The Coroner looked through the bills and mentioned that there was one for a 13-carat gold ring £7 10s. and another for 15-carat bangle £7 10s. The bills were paid in February.
Mr. Garrett, addressing the Coroner, said he thought he would find in his (deceased's) diary an item of £12 for something. He had not seen it, but he had been told it was there.
The Coroner, having looked through the diary, could not find the item, and remarked to witness: What made you say that; why did you say it?
Will you allow me to ask my wife?
Mrs. Garrett told her husband, "It is in another account book."
The Coroner: You say you did not forbid him to visit his friends the Kings and the Duckworths?
Most decidedly not.
Did you write "curses on your friends the Kings and the Duckworths?"
I believe I wrote, "If you take your loving father's advice instead of these friends, you would have been at home now."
Did you lay "curses" those friends?
I may have done so.
Having ordered against them, did you not tell him not to visit them?
Although you cursed them?
I don't know where the curse came in. I thought my daughter had taken bad advice—not him.
Inspector Payne went in search of some further books, and on returning into Court, some books were looked at, and Mr. Macdonald (Mr. Garrett's solicitor) being shown one, discovered an entry of £12 10s.
The Coroner (to whom the book had been handed): I see a number of very small items running back to January. There is a book somewhere where there entry of £3 for going to Bristol. That was, of course, for the marriage fees.
Mr. Garrett then stood down.
Ellen Garrett, the second wife of last witness, living at 101, Sydney Place, said that Mr. Alec Henry Garrett was living there up to the time of his visit to Weston and also on his returning home on Wednesday afternoon in Easter week.
On his return he said nothing whatever.
The Coroner: Did you hear him tell his father anything about his visit to Weston?
Did you know that he was married then?
He said, "Father, I'm not married."
When did you first know that he was married?
I knew it Friday, between one and two o'clock. He told me at the breakfast table, "Do you think my father will allow me to get married on my birthday?" I said, "When is your birthday?" and I think he said it was either the 25th or the 26th of September. And I said, "Don't ask me that, but ask your father." He was talking to me very wildly at the breakfast table.
He was very excited Friday morning. He asked if she thought his father would allow him more money, saying he should not be able to keep honest unless he did.
Witness advised him to ask his father, and she was sure he would allow it to him.
Then witness went to her business at Walcot Parade, which she had kept on.
Her husband told her later that Alec was married, but that they must make the best of it.
When Alec came home again he was very excited.
Deceased got on well with her; he told her he was never so happy since his mother died, that he had better food, a better bedroom to sleep in.
He constantly told witness this; she did not know whether he meant it or not.
There was never angry word. She was very fond of him.
Asked about the interview at the Empire Hotel, witness said she did not stay to hear the conversation: she went to her home at Walcot. Mr. Alec Garrett took her as far as the trams and went back to his father and this nurse.
Further questioned: She had never refused clothes sent to the house for the son. A parcel was sent addressed Mr. Garrett, but it turned out to be for gardener. That was refused.
The Foreman: Have you any idea as to the disposal of Mr. Alec Garrett's savings?
Did Mr. Garrett, senior, desire this marriage?
l know nothing whatever about it. I had nothing whatever to do with it.
D.C. Marshfield said he found among the keys in deceased's pocket one which fitted the deceased's cashbox.
The Coroner, in summing up, said it was one of the strangest cases, if not the strangest, he had ever had to deal with.
It was another illustration of the truth of the saying, "Truth is stranger than fiction."
It reminded one in some respects of a certain classical drama, with the story turned round and with a somewhat different termination.
He must warn them not to let any strong feelings on a moral question to carry away their judgment in fairly estimating the evidence.
If it were true that Mr. Garrett, senr., procured and desired the marriage, then it would not only be unnatural but abominable. The question, of course, was—Did he desire or procure it?
He saw no reason at all why he should desire it. There was very strong evidence that he objected to it.
That it was talked about in his presence by the two nurses and sometimes his son was undoubted, but he seemed always opposed to it, and said, "Go on as you are."
That he had had relations with her himself was quite in accordance with his view that he should desire the relations of his son with her to continue without marriage.
There was abundant evidence that the son was infatuated with this young woman and that his views did not square with his father's to marriage.
In support of the view that the son was infatuated with Nurse Sauvarin, the Coroner referred to the endearing letters wrote to her and read another of these letters, in which Mr. Alec Garrett said:—
"l thank you very much for all your kindness to me in saying you will love me. When I think of your little kind face it makes me go about my work quite a different man. I feel so happy when I think of you, dear. I feel happier than ever on getting your first letter. I shall keep it in my pocket all day and at night under my pillow."
This was on the 1st October last.
Speaking of the father's second marriage, the Coroner said all the evidence was that the second Mrs. Garrett got on well with the deceased.
They must in this case not forget this letter (holding the deceased's letter containing his last wishes). He not only said that this was his last wish—clearly that he was contemplating his immediate death, but they would notice that he spoke of his "Dear Father."
He (the Coroner) must say it did not seem to him to indicate at the time he was suffering under any sense of wrong or irritation against his father.
That letter, the Coroner pointed out, was an important piece evidence.
The jury, after a short deliberation, returned into the Court, and the foreman announced that they found a verdict of "Suicide while temporarily insane," and, added the foreman, "We consider that the father is deserving of great censure."
There was great applause in Court at this remark, which was promptly suppressed.
The Coroner: Do you consider that the father is deserving of very great censure for procuring bringing about this marriage, or for other reasons?
The Foreman: For other reasons.
In answer to Mr. Hookway, the Coroner said he presumed that the police would hand the papers to the proper persons.
Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Thursday 9 May 1907
On Monday morning the remains of Mr. Alec Garrett were interred in Bathwick Cemetery.
Soon after nine o'clock the funeral car with two horses drew up outside the City Mortuary, near the Old Bridge, and on this the coffin was taken the foot Bathwick Hill, where a mourning brougham joined it. In this was the deceased's father (Mr. H. N. Garrett), who had entered the carriage from the rear of his residence in Sydney Place.
Despite the fact that the hour of the funeral had been kept secret, there was a large crowd in the cemetery, mostly females.
inspector Barter, with Sergt. Scott and three constables of the city police were on duty at the gates, and surrounded Mr. Garrett, senior, to the grave.
The employees from the Fuller's Earth Works at Midford were present and also Mr. Taylor, the old gardener and coachman to the family.
The Rector of Bathwick (the Rev. C. H. Hylton Stewart) and the sacristan (Mr. W. S. Chasey), who had driven up in a brougham, were awaiting the body, and a shortened special form of service was conducted by the Rector.
The body had not been taken into any consecrated building—neither St Mary's nor the mortuary chapel—and the Rev. Hylton Stewart explained subsequently to our representative that he read a form "which may be used in any case where the Office for the Burial of Dead in the book of Common Prayer may not be used."
He explained that, though a verdict has not been returned, he felt he dare not use the ordinary Order in the face of the rubric by which it is prefaced, that the Office not to be used for any that "have laid violent hands upon themselves."
The service he read is composed of prayers from the Prayer Book, and was prepared by the late Bishop Walsham How.
Mr. Garrett's body was placed in the same grave where lies the body of his mother. "Mary Susannah, for years the dearly loved wife of Henry Newson Garrett, died January 31st, 1900," is the inscription on the tombstone, which also records the death of a sister of the deceased, Miss Ethel Garrett, who was laid to rest at St. Ouen, Paris, in July, 1905. The coffin which the remains were interred bore a breastplate giving the date of death as April 5, 1907.
There were a few floral tributes follows:—
"From his dear father and Mrs. H. N. Garrett's love";
"From the employees, Midford Fuller's Earth Works";
"From Stella with love";
"In affectionate remembrance from George and Elizabeth Taylor";
"In sympathy from Mr. and Mrs. John Hewlett";
"With deepest sympathy from Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Payne and family."
The undertakers were Messrs. Bush and Mansfield, Stall Street.
There is no doubt that the police acted with judgment in having so many officers present, for many remarks were to be heard, and one woman, addressing the Inspector after the interment, said, "It's good you were here, sir. I'd have thrown the wreath in his face."
The Rector of Bathwick also thanked the police officers for attending.
Numbers of people continued to enter the cemetery during the morning.
Soon after the carriages had left, the deceased's widow, with Nurse Manning, appeared at the bottom of the road leading to the cemetery, with the object of proceeding thither, but they were advised the police, who were just returning to the city, not to do so. They retired to a lane close for some time, but as they were both wearing nurse's costume and had evidently been recognised by people who hung about, Inspector Barter advised them to desist from going to the cemetery that day, advice which they accepted, and walked back the city.
Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Thursday 19 December 1907
SEQUEL TO GARRETT CASE
COUNTY COURT PROCEEDINGS BRISTOL.
A case of great interest and forming a sequel to the death by drowning of Mr. Alec Henry Garrett, son of Mr. Henry N. Garrett, of 101, Sydney Place, Bath, came before Judge Austin and jury at a special sitting of the Bristol County Court on Friday.
The action had been directed to be transferred to the Bath County Court by an order of the High Court of Justice, dated July 26th, 1907, but at the instance of one of the parties--the action was of the nature of interpleader--the trial was remitted to Bristol.
In the action Mr. Henry Newson Garrett, of 101, Sydney Place, Bath, proprietor of Fuller's Earth Works Co., Midford, was the applicant, and Alice Mary Garrett (formerly Nurse Sauvarin), administratrix of Mr. Alec Henry Garrett, deceased, was the respondent.
The grounds of the action were that:
- the sum of £200 represented the balance of a sum of £500 assured in the Edinburgh Life Assurance Company on the death of Mr. Alec Henry Garrett, now deceased;
- that the policy of assurance was an arrangement between the said Mr. Henry Newson Garrett and Mr. Alec Henry Garrett, effected for the purpose and the benefit of the said Henry Newson Garrett;
- that the said Henry Newson Garrett paid all premiums and other sums of money necessary to effect and keep on foot the said policy, and
- that he is an equity entitled to the said sum.
Mr. B. R. Vachell (instructed by Messrs. Rooke, Macdonald and Longrigg, of Bath) was for the applicant, and Mr. E. E. Weatherley (instructed by Mr. H. Hookway, of Bath) was for the respondent.
Mr. Vachell, for Mr. H. N. Garrett, applicant in the action, said the case arose over the reason that the National Provincial Bank of Bath held at the bank £200 to which they made no claim, but a claim arose from two persons who were parties--Mr. Henry Newson Garrett and Mrs. Alice Mary Garrett.
On the first of April last Mrs. Garrett married Alec Garrett and he died three days afterwards by committing suicide and throwing himself into the river Avon at Bath on April 5.
The facts of the case were that the money which the bank had paid into Court was the balance of a policy of assurance upon the life of Alec Garrett. That policy was dated 13th April, 1906, and effected with the Edinburgh Life Assurance Co., and Mr. Garrett, for whom he (Mr. Vachell) appeared, claimed that although that policy was taken out in the name of the son, that really belonged to him (Mr. Garrett), and that it was effected for his purpose by agreement with son, and that Mr. Garrett paid the premiums and all sums of money necessary to keep the policy on foot.
He did not know what Mrs. Garrett said. He supposed that prima facie it belonged her. He did not know whether she would seek to disprove some of the facts on which he (Mr. Vachell) was relying.
Mr. Garrett, senr., was in the habit of raising money by getting the bank at Bath to discount the promissory notes.
Mr. Garrett in 1905 had his son living at home with him, and was obliged, because thought it was important, to give some sort of idea, if he could, of what sort of young man Alec Garrett was.
At the time of his death he was 31 years of age. He was clearly not the same other young people were. Unfortunately he was afflicted. He did not mean to say in any sense he was imbecile or anything like that. He was not. He was in some matters quite shrewd. He was of little education. He was devoted to his father and took the greatest possible pride in the business at Midford.
He had some small vested interest under his father's and mother's marriage settlement. It would come to him upon the death of his father. His mother at the time of which he (Mr. Vachell) was speaking, had already died. At that time Mr. Garrett, senr., was widower, but had since married again in February of this year.
Several conversations took place between Mr. Holt and Mr. Garrett, and it was suggested that Mr. Garrett, senr., should insure his life. He tried to do it, but found that he was not able to do so on anything like reasonable terms, and therefore it was suggested that the life of Alec Garrett should be insured. Eventually a policy was effected with Alec Garrett for £500 at a premium of £15 a year.
The next point in the case was the marriage of Alec Garrett and then his death.
In May there was running at the bank a promissory note of £300, and in due course the bank received the insurance money of £500 and they retained, as they were entitled to retain, £300 and paid the balance of £200 into Court.
Mr. Weatherly: They paid into the account of Alec Garrett's estate?
Mr. Vachell: There was authority in law that, if those facts were substantially proved, that the policy belonged to the father and not to the son's estate. There were other circumstances in the case which made it peculiar and unpleasant. Mr. Garrett had broken down in health, and was wholly unnerved and unable to be present as a witness, and it was necessary that his evidence should be taken by examiner at Bournemouth, where was staying. It happened, therefore, at the commencement of last month that Mr. Weatherly and himself went Bournemouth and the examination of Mr Garrett was taken, and having examined him, Mr. Weatherly cross-examined him and obtained a long and unpleasant story on the depositions.
Weatherly: I think, in fairness to myself, that the unpleasant and unsavoury part the story came as a surprise to me and was elicited after your (Mr. Vachell's) re-examination. I did not know what was going to say.
Mr. Vachell said he had told them that Alec Garrett married, the 1st of April of this year, a person named Alice Mary Sauvarin, who, he understood, was a nurse in Bath, living with another nurse named Mannings. They went out nursing and received patients at their house.
He was not going to be mealy-mouthed about it, but Mr. Garrett, senr., knew Nurse Sauvarin, and used to visit her at her place for immoral purposes, as he understood. He did not suggest that she was kept by Mr. Garrett. He used to come from time to time to see her.
That intimacy had finished some two years before September last, but in September last, under circumstances which he (Mr. Garrett) explained in the depositions, he was foolish enough to introduce his son to this young woman with the result that the son appeared to have fallen in love with her, strongly against the father's wishes, but in spite everything he did, the young man married the young woman.
The young woman did not appear on the scene at all until long after the policy had been effected. She did not know Alec Garrett in February, 1906. It was not until September that she first knew him, and therefore he did not think that the matter had anything to do with the case. He could only say if it was going to introduced all, asked the jury to suspend their judgment, as it was quite possible there might be feelings of disgust and indignation towards the father.
He did not think that the young woman was coming out wholly without some feelings of disgust on the part of the jury towards her.
His Honour asked for a statement as to the health of Mr. Garrett, senr.
lt was mentioned by both counsel that when examined Bournemouth he was in a bad state of health.
Mr. Weatherly said did not complain of his absence.
The evidence of Mr. Henry Newson Garrett, which was taken on commission while was staying at Knockholt, West Cliff, Bournemouth, was then read by Mr. Vachell.
He said he was sole proprietor of the Midford Fuller's Earth Works, and lived at 101, Sydney Place, Bath. He had an account at the National Provincial Bank, of which Mr. Holt in 1905-6 was manager. Witness's son lived at home with him. He married on April 1, 1907, Nurse Sauvarin (the respondent); disappeared April 4, and was found in the Avon May 2; the verdict of the jury was suicide while temporarily insane. His son was "somewhat afflicted"; he was not exactly like other people, but he had carried out instructions his (witness's) business. He was paid £1 per week, and lived at home. At times witness was in the habit of raising money from the bank on notes or bills for the purposes of his business. In June, 1905, the bank discounted for him a note for £220 and his son was a party to it; was a joint and several promissory note. There were other similar transactions. On January 23, 1906, when a note for £200 was discounted, there was £100 owing on previous notes. He had conversations from time to time with Mr. Holt, the manager, as to giving security for his account, and from June, 1905, to February, 1906, Mr. Holt constantly pressed him to give security. He suggested that should insure his life, but witness inquired and found this would very expensive. He could not say who first suggested insuring Alec's life. Hie son had a reversionary interest in his marriage settlements. He conversed with his son about the proposed insurance. It was to the effect that he should insure his life, and he (applicant) would pay the premiums, and agreed to what applicant wished. He (the father) told his son it would cost him nothing; the policy would belong to his (applicant's) business. It was arranged that the son (who knew of the conversation the father had had with Mr Holt) should see the latter, who was also agent for the Edinburgh Life Insurance Co. Applicant was not present at this interview, and did not know who filled the proposal. He never saw the policy, but knew it was deposited the bank. The £200 on the note of January 23 became due on April 26, and was renewed by two notes for £100 each, and these we're paid maturity. On February 19 he raised a sum of £300 upon a fresh promissory note, in which his son joined. That note had been discharged out of the money for the policy on his son's life for £500. He (applicant) paid two premiums for £15, one drawn to Mr. Holt, the other to Mr. Gwynn, the present manager of the bank.
Cross-examined by Mr. Weatherly, Mr. Garrett said his son, except as to the interest in the marriage settlements, was entirely dependent upon him. His case was that he (the father) insured his son's life. He did not think it contained his name except as parent, and was not aware that he signed anything to assign the policy the bank; neither did give notice to the Edinburgh Assurance Co. that the policy was his, nor tell Mr. Holt so. He did not tell Mr. Holt to send him the renewal notices.
He could not remember if Mr. Holt or witness himself suggested that the policy should be taken out upon his son's life. It was arranged that his son was to insure his life, and the bank would take it as security. At that time his son was already liable for £300.
He admitted that he introduced Nurse Sauvarin about September, 1906. He did not wish his son to marry her. He (Mr. Garrett, sen.) married his present wife February 6, 1907.
It was not true that his son then said should make a home for himself, or that was going to marry Nurse Sauvarin. He lived with them happily.
His wife and he called on February 10 on Nurse Sauvarin to tell her that she must not marry him; it would very wrong, because of her former relations with him.
He denied telling Nurse Sauvarin before her marriage "There will be more than some furniture if you marry my son; he is insured for £500, and I will see that he keeps up the premiums. At my death you will all right."
Applicant added, "I said it would be a disgraceful thing to do, because of my former relations with her".
He did not tell his son he had better make over the insurance policy to his wife.
He did not suggest putting up the notice at the Poor Law Offices.
He never promised him any furniture.
The policy was not taken out by his son for his protection. He covered him in his will. The reason his son took out the policy was to relieve his pressure at the bank.
He knew that had got him to make himself liable at the bank before he took out the policy.
Re-examined, Mr. Garrett said his intimacy had ceased more than a year before introduced his son to her, which did in September, 1906. His son knew of his intimacy with her. He was forced introduce him to her, and witness went on explain that said that could not control his nature.
He (Mr. Garrett) went to Nurse Sauvarin first and asked her to take him "as a patient." She thought it over, and he said would pay 10s. a week. His son paid the money. He visited her and fell in love with her, and that's how the question of marriage came about.
He got him to tear down the notice for the marriage.
Nurse Manning lived with her, and sometimes they had cases in to nurse and sometimes out.
He did not remember seeing Mr. Bethell at his house. He would not swear he was not there.
Witness knew nothing about the £15 policy except that he paid a man at the works 1s. a week. Except as to the present insurance with Mr. Holt he had no recollection of his son ever proposing to insure his life for any heavy sum.
Further cross-examined, Mr. Garrett said the 10s. a week was a "business arrangement" for him to come her. His son went, and on returning expressed his obligations to him (his father).
The Judge said the only material point about the proposal form was the answer to Question 9, "Is this proposal for insurance being made by you or by another person having insurable interest your life? In the latter case state the full name, occupation, and address of the person making the proposal, and also the amount and nature of the interest. Answer: By me." The sum assured was £500.
Mr. Weatherly pointed out that there was a space at the foot where, if the person making the proposal was not the person assured, he had to sign, and that space was blank.
Albert James Palmer, Tucking Mill, Midford, foreman Midford Fuller's Earth Works, said Alec Garrett had an impediment in his speech.
His Honour: What is commonly known slobbering? Yes.
He told him that had insured his life for £500, and Mr. Garrett gave his (witness's) name as one of the references.
He had always said that when his father died the works would belong him and his sisters.
He had heard him say something about marrying a cousin whom had not seen for years.
He suddenly received an affection. for her, and he thought proposed to her. He told him so. That was in September, 1906.
Mr. Vachell: By letter a matter fact. I have the letter here.
This was the case for the applicant.
Mr. Weatherly, addressing the Court, said the story was this.
It was undoubtedly the case that the father obtained the name of his son as surety for himself on the promissory notes which he gave to the bank. He did not know what the good of it was, because according to the case of the father the son was penniless and entirely dependent upon him.
It was undoubtedly the case that the bank wanted secuixty. They would see how that bore upon the case.
In November, 1905, Alec Garrett, who was then insured with the Britannic Industrial Association for a small policy, went to the agent for the purpose of taking out a policy his own life for £500. He (Mr. Weatherly) suggested that applicant's son was at that time contemplating marriage with his cousin, whom it was true he had not seen for many years.
When he went to the agent he went there independently of any liability he might have with his father.
Nothing came of it because of a small question as to whether, if he took out a policy for the larger amount of £500 he would get back the premiums he hadbeen paying for the smallerr policy.
Mr. Bethell called at the father's house for the purpose of seeing the son upon that very business and whilst there talking to Alec Garrett, the old gentleman came into the room.
In January, 1906, Alec had been signing promissory notes for his father, and he supposed that the bank was not content to have security for the princinal debtor, which was Mr. Garrett sen., but if they had Alec Garrett's signature on the promissory notes they wanted to see that he was good too.
He thought the jury would believe that it was not arranged by Mr. Holt with Mr. Garrett at all, but that conversation took place before the taking out of the policy with Mr. Garrett, sen., but that the arrangement was made at the suggestion of Mr. Holt and Alec Garrett. Why? That Alec Garrett, who was then liable to the bank for £300 as surety for his father, should insure his life, not for the benefit of for his father--it would be indirectly for his benefit--but for the benefit of the bank.
Although it quiite true that the father paid the premiums, the receipts lor the premiums were made out to Alec Garrett, the notice for renewal was sent to Alec Garrett, when the policy was assigned to the bank it assigned by Alec Garrett, and Mr. Garrett sen. said that was his policy.
If so, he would have assigned it to the bank, or at any rate would have joined in the assignment.
It was admitted that the son owed the father no money, and therefore had no insurable interest.
If the father's case was that he was entitled at the death of his son, why did he not write to the Insurance Company saying it was his policy? He did not do so because the Company would have wanted to know where his name was on the proposal form, and would asked what was his insurable interest. He could have shown none.
The only person the Insurance Company knew was Alec Garrett. The only point of evidence in favour of the contention of Mr. Garrett that the policy was his was that he paid the premiums. Was that worth anything at all when they considered the circumstances of Alec Garrett?
Counsel stated that it was an uncharitable attitude that there was any "business arrangement" with the lady whom he (Mr. Garrett sen.) had seduced, and the lady to whom he introduced his son.
The jury would be told that the marriage was not against Garrett's wish. On the contrary, he wished it so far as they could judge by his words and actions.
Continuing, counsel said his (deceased's) conduct from November, 1905, when he intended to take out a policy on his own life down to the day before he died, shewed he regarded that policy as his property.
Alice Garrett said she was a professional nurse living in Charles Street, Bath, with Nurse Manning. She went out to day patients and received lady patients at the house. She had two rooms--a sitting room and large bedroom. She first knew Mr. Garrett sen. in September, 1904.
Mr. Weatherly: I think it is a fact that he seduced you? Yes.
Was there any question of marriage between you? Yes.
The Judge: whose part?--On his part. He proposed it.
Mr. Weatherly: This state of intimacy went on about the end of 1905? Yes.
Witness said she endeavoured to put an end to it when she heard that was courting somebody else, and she told him that he was either to put an end to the acquaintanceship or marry. He stopped calling.
Witness then told how he introduced his son Alec to her in July, 1906.
There was no truth in the arrangement to pay 10s. week.
Mr. Garrett sen. made the suggestion that she should marry the son to make up for what had happened in the past.
Some letters were shown to the Judge, who remarked that there was suggestion of impropriety in them. He said the jury could see the letters.
She further stated that Mr. Garrett at an interview at the Empire Hotel said he was pleased about the marriage, and she could have all the furniture she wanted from his house, and that there was a £500 policy on Alec's life, which she would have at his death.
In reply to Mr. Vachell, witness said that Alec knew of the intimacy between her and his father. She was seduced by Mr. Garrett, senr., on promise of marriage.
Mr. Vachell: Did it occur to you that you had a substantial action against him for breach of promise of marriage? I didn't want to.
Did you threaten Alec with a breach of promise of marriage? Yes.
When? At the time tore down the notice.
After some discussion, his Honour admitted the following letter found at Mr. Garrett's house in Sydney Place: "This is my wish that all I have got in the world I leave to my dear father and to allow 10s. to my wife a week. Alec. April 5, 1907." T
The Judge, however, pointed out that it was written by man who drowned himself and was insane.
Mr. T. Holt, who was manager of the National Provincial Bank from 1900 to 1906, said he proposed to Alec Garrett that a policy should be taken out.
Mr. Weatherly: Did the father ever propose it to you? I proposed it to secure the bank. I made no proposal to the father that Alec should be insured. There was an assignment of the policy to the bank.
Nurse Manning was then called.
Mr. Daniel Bethell, District Superintendent of the Britannic Insurance Co.,, was also called, and counsel then addressed the Court.
His Honour, in the course of his summing up, said it was to those who had no sin to cast stones at their neighbours. It seemed to him whichever way they looked at the explanation of Mr. Garrett's conduct that was no ordinary sinner. He was a filthy old man. That was the only way could be described.
Whether it was that he took his son to his cast-off mistress for the purpose of his son fornicating with her, or whether he took his son to his cast-off mistrees, in order that his son marry his cast-off mistress seemed to him of very little moment.
Indeed, in either case his action was as disgusting as they could find detailed in any disgusting details in a Court of Justice. He did not tell the jury for that, that they were bound to disregard his evidence. But when they were weighing his evidence they would weigh it remembering to some extent what manner of man was give evidence.
After five minutes' absence from the Court, the jury returned a verdict for the widow.
Judgment was entered for the widow with costs, and his Honour made an order on the bank for £200.