Wellington Local History & Museum Society

THE recent event of the Society heard John Porter drawing similarities between Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera ‘Trial by Jury’ with a case at Monmouth Assizes.

The opera concerns a breach of promise of marriage lawsuit and was first performed in March 1875 at London’s Royalty Theatre.

John related this to a lawsuit, Williams versus Haines, brought four days later at the newly opened Monmouth Assizes.

At times this case was to prove almost as farcical as its fictional counterpart in London.

The case focused on Margaret Williams’ brother-in-law instructing William Haines to prepare a will, in which Margaret was left nothing.

When William also called off the marriage, Margaret brought a case of breach of promise of marriage. The case was proven and she was awarded damages.

Both Margaret and William subsequently met new partners and married.

The next event will be held on February 23, when the subject of Colin Spackman’s talk will be ‘The Town Stream, the A38 and other stories’.