Montreal Standard, 26 July 1919, page 1

Lady Charged with Marrying a Second Time

Gave herself up after finding that she had been deceived

Gave $500 to secure divorce

Second husband introduced to first as paying guest

London – July 24 – A remarkable story was told at Brantford police-court when a fashionably dressed woman named Elsie Lillian Wernham aged 32, was charged with bigamously marrying Lawrence Ferneaux.

Detective-inspector Prothero stated that the defendant called at Twickenham police station and gave herself up.  She made a statement in which she said that Ferneaux came to stay at her boarding house she kept.  He represented himself as the son of a barrister who was very wealthy and personally acquainted with Mr Justice Darling.  He persuaded her that he could obtain a divorce for her in Canada so that it could be kept quiet. She gave Ferneaux £100 to secure a divorce. Later he assured her he had done so, so she married him.  Subsequently she found out that he had never taken any steps and she gave herself up.

Mr Wernham, the defendant’s husband said that he was living apart from his wife, and had done so since 1917.  In 1918 he went to her house, and then met Ferneaux who was wearing officer’s uniform, and asked witness if he would let him get a divorce on behalf of his wife, as Ferneaux wished to marry her.

About three months later witnesses again visited his wife’s house, when she astonished him by saying that he had been divorced from her.  He replied, “That is absolutely news to me.”  His wife then related the whole story, and added that Ferneaux had told her that he (witness) had been sent to prison for seven years for bigamy and that their child had been put in a convent.

Later in the proceedings he gave evidence and said that Mrs Warnham assured him she had obtained a divorce, and he believed her.

Both Mrs Wernham and Ferneaux were committed for trial, the former being admitted to bail.

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