My great grandfather, Alexander Alexander Harley, had a sister Elizabeth Bower Harley. Elizabeth was married to Arthur Salmon, and they later divorced. For this week’s Trove Tuesday, I have decided to share an article about their divorce.
ROMANCE OF THE STAGE
Mr Justice Gordon was applied to in the Sydney Divorce Court by Elizabeth Bower Salmon, formerly, Harley, for a dissolution of her marriage with Arthur (otherwise Harry) Salmon, on the ground of adultery.
The petitioner, who was represented by Mr Davidson, said she married the respondent, who was a bootmaker, in February, 1887, at South Melbourne, according to the Wesleyan rites. They lived together in Fitzroy for six or seven years. In March, 1880, he left her, telling her that she could live with her mother. He remained away for about eight or nine years, during which time she never heard from him., and had to support herself by making sun bonnets. In 1901 he came to her place of business in South Melbourne. He had entered the theatrical business, and had been away touring with a company. She had heard something of his conduct with a girl who belonged to the profession. He admitted that he had misconducted himself with her, but promised that he wouldn’t do so again. Petitioner agreed to take him back, and he then remained with her for about two weeks, when he again went away with a company. He told her he would write to her and send her money. She had two letters from him after he left. On this occasion he remained away for six years.
In 1906(?), continued petitioner, “my husband returned, and said if I would sell my business and come to Sydney he would keep me, and never go away again. He said he liked Sydney better than Melbourne. For a week he stayed with me, and then he said he had an engagement in Brisbane. Instead of going to Brisbane he went to New Zealand, and subsequently I received a letter from him from Sydney asking me to join him. I had sold the business and I came to Sydney where he met me, and we went to live in a furnished cottage in Uluna(?) Point road North Sydney. There he resided with me for ten days or a fortnight. He had been doing a stretch at the Tivoli. He afterwards went touring again and I remained in the cottage for two weeks(?) and then took and unfurnished house. I subsequently became ill and went to the Sydney Hospital where my husband came to see me, but I was too indisposed to speak to him. He went away, and later I received a letter from him saying that the girl he had referred to have gone to America while he was in Sydney and had taken all his plays.”
His Honor: Did you know the girl? – I had seen her playing with him in the sketch at the Tivoli.
Evidence was given to show that the respondent and a woman had lived together as man and wife for a couple of months in a house at North Sydney.
His Honor granted a decree nisi makng it returnable in six months.
The article is faded in places, making some of the words, and particularly the years, difficult to make out.