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THE QUEEN v. MILLES, AND THE QUEEN v. CARROLL.
ANDREW MILLIKEN, 104, GRAFTON STREET,
BOOKSELLER TO THE HON. SOCIETY OF KING'S INNS.
STEVENS & NORTON, AND A. MAXWELL & SON,
THE COURT OF QUEEN'S BENCH.
THE QUEEN against GEORGE MILLES.
THE prisoner was tried for bigamy at the last Spring Assizes for the County of Antrim, held at Carrickfergus, before Mr. Justice Perrin, when the jury, under the direction of his lordship, found the following special verdict:
"We find, that about thirteen years ago, to wit, in January, 1829, the prisoner, George Milles, accompanied by Hester Graham, then spinster, and three other persons, went to the house of the Reverend John Johnston, at Banbridge, in the County of Down; the said Reverend John Johnston, then and there being the placed and regular minister of the congregation of Protestant Dissenters, commonly called Presbyterians, at Tullylish, near to Banbridge, aforesaid; and that the said prisoner, and the said Hester Graham, then and there entered into a contract of present marriage, in presence of the said Reverend John Johnston, and the said other persons; and that the said Reverend John Johnston, then and there performed a religious ceremony of marriage between the said prisoner and Hester Graham, according to the usual form of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, and that after the said contract and ceremony, the prisoner and said Hester, for two years cohabited and lived together as man and wife, the said Hester being, after the period of said ceremony, known by the name of Milles.
"And the jurors aforesaid, on their oath aforesaid, further say, that the said George Milles was, at the time of said contract and ceremony, a member of the Established Church of England and Ireland, and that the said Hester was not a Roman Catholic, but the jurors aforesaid, do not find whether she, the said Hester, was a member of said Established Church, or a Protestant Dissenter.
"And the jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, further find that afterwards, upon the 24th day of December, 1836, while the aforesaid Hester was still living, the said George Milles was married to one Jane Kennedy, then spinster in the parish Church of Stoke, in the County of Devon, in England, according to the forms of the said Established Church, by the then officiating minister of the said parish, he being then and there a priest in holy orders. And the jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, further find, that the said George Milles, afterwards, on the 2nd day of September, 1841, was apprehended and in custody at Belfast, in the County of Antrim, on the charge of bigamy, because of his having so married the said Jane Kennedy, as aforesaid.
"And the jurors aforesaid, pray the advice of the Court in the premises, and say, that if the Court shall be of opinion that the said contract and ceremony between the said George Milles and Hester Graham, followed by such cohabitation as aforesaid, constituted a valid marriage in law, then the jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, say, and find, that the said George Milles is guilty of the offence above laid to his charge, in manner and form as in the said indictment set forth. But if the Court shall be of opinion that the same do not constitute a valid marriage in law, then the jurors aforesaid, on their oath aforesaid, do say, and find, that the said George Milles is not guilty of the said offence, in manner and form, as in the said indictment set forth."
This special verdict being set down for argument in this Court, the same came on to be argued on Tuesday, the 26th of April, in Easter Term, by
Holmes for the Crown.-The question for the Court turns entirely upon the validity of the first marriage contracted under the circumstances mentioned in the special verdict, which finds that a religious ceremony of marriage was celebrated between the defendant and Hester Graham, spinster, in January, 1829, by the Rev. John Johnston, a regular Presbyterian Minister, in his house at Banbridge, in the presence of three witnesses, and that this was followed by cohabitation as man and wife for the period of two years. It also finds that the defendant was, at the time, a member of the Church of England, that Hester Graham, at that time, was not a Roman Catholic but was a member of the Church of England or a Protestant Dissenter, and that she afterwards bore the name of Milles.
The 10 Geo. IV., c. 34, is the statute upon which the defendant is indicted, the first section of which repeals former statutes, and the twenty-sixth section enacts "that "if any person being married, shall marry any other person "during the life of the former husband or wife, whether "the second marriage shall have taken place in Ireland or "elsewhere, every such offender shall be guilty of felony,” &c. The generality of the words "being married," is worthy of remark. The statute does not refer to any form, ceremony, or rite of marriage. The words are the most general, perhaps, that could have been used. And they are the very same which are used in the earliest statute of Bigamy in England, the 1 Jac. I, c. 11, Eng. It will be found in the 3rd Institute 88, cap. 27, " Of "felony to marry a second husband or wife, the former "husband or wife living." The enactment is in these words, "If any person or persons within his Majesty's