This article appeared in the Yorkshire Post on 26th October 1925.
Girl and Man of Sixty
Story at Westmoreland Quarter Sessions
An extraordinary story concerning a 63 year old man and an 18 year old girl was related at Westmoreland Quarter Sessions on Saturday, when Herbert Thomas Brocolding (sic) Brazenor, a farrier, and a native of London, and Amy Amelia Brazenor, aged 18, and described as a married woman, were charged with stealing between September 17th and 19th, at Grasmere, four pairs of ladies shoes, of the value of 6 GBPs 16 Shillings, the property of Mary Jane Dodgson. Brazenor was further charged with obtaining credit to the extent of 7GBPs 17 Shillings by false pretences.
The male prisoner, who conducted his own case, pleaded not guilty, as did the girl, who was defended by Mr Noel Goldie, of Manchester. Mr R S T Chorley, prosecuting, said the prisoners went to Grasmere on September 15th and stayed at a boarding house called Fairy Glen, kept by Miss Dickson. On the morning of the 17th they went down to a shop kept by Mrs Dodgson, where they saw several pairs of ladies shoes, and had four pairs sent on approval to Fairy Glen. The female prisoner said “Money is no object,” and gave her name as the Honourable Mrs Jones. That was the last they saw of her. After a few days a Miss Dodgson went to Fairy Glen, and found that the prisoners had left the day before. Upstairs in their bedroom she was shown by Miss Dickson four empty boot boxes and an old pair of shoes. Information was given of the prisoners and the prisoners were traced to and arrested at Dumfries. They had about 13 Shillings in their possession.
The girl in the witness box gave her name as Roselyn Mary Williams, and her age as 18. Previous to knowing the prisoner, she said, she had been a ladies maid in North Kensington. She met Brazenor in London near Hyde Park, and he described himself as the Hon. H.D. Jones, a wealthy gentleman with a lot of property, and he wore many gold rings on his fingers. She met him again several times, and on August 4th went for a motor ride in a Sunbeam car which he drove. She agreed to his suggestion to go North together, and they went from place to place, eventually arriving at Grasmere. Witness refused to live with him as his wife, but later did so at Grasmere. Brazenor and not she had ordered the shoes. She had 3GPD’s 10 Shillings of her own money with which she could have paid for the shoes herself, but this sum he eventually took from her. Although she went under the name Brazenor, she did not know until the police proceedings that the male prisoner was not the Hon. H D Jones.
The male prisoner repeatedly refused to answer a question as to whether he had married the girl and was sternly rebuked by Lord Lonsdale, who warned him he would be committed for contempt of court. He then admitted he had never legally married the girl. He alleged she had given him her age as 27. The jury found the male prisoner “guilty”, and returned a verdict of not guilty against the girl, who was discharged. On the second charge of obtaining credit by false pretences at Grasmere, the male prisoner was found “guilty,” and he was sentenced to three years penal servitude for the first offence, and six months for the second, the sentences to run concurrently.
The gentleman involved in this court case was Herbert Thomas Brookholding Jones Brazenor, the son of George and Charlotte Brazenor and brother of Letitia. At the time of these proceedings in 1925, he was aged 47, and not a frisky 63 year old. His long deceased, well- to- do grandfather, Henry Brookholding Jones, of Laugherne House, Worcester, had been a wealthy maltster. George and Charlotte, nee Jones, had lived somewhat beyond their means for much of their lives, causing grief to themselves and others, and the trait appears to have been passed on to Herbert. His sister Letitia Brazenor, had died a spinster on October 3rd 1924, and Administration of her estate of 173 GBP’s, was granted to her brother Herbert Thomas Brookholding Brazenor, on February 27th 1925. Herbert had obviously found this money was burning a hole in his pocket and decided to relieve himself of it and more, as soon as possible.
Herbert was described in this newspaper article as a farrier. In Letitia’s probate notice he was a furrier. Some Brazenor cousins were furriers at the time but there is no known evidence that Herbert was involved in the trade.
No trace has been found of Herbert T B Brazenor after the date of the court case in 1925. However, in the 1911 Census, he had used the name George Brazenor. A George Brazenor had been charged with fraud and assault in 1922, and was then sentenced to terms of 12 and 18 months imprisonment to run concurrently, which probably explains the severe sentence that he received when he offended again, in 1925. A George Brazenor passed away at Bristol, in 1971, reputedly 101 years old. If this George Brazenor was the person who had been christened as Herbert, in 1877, he would have been 94 years old. It is also possible that the Salome Brazenor who died at Bristol, in 1945, aged 65, was the wife or more likely the defacto of George Brazenor, as no marriage event has been found for them.