Breach of the Registration Act.

Items of general interest

Moderators: Global Moderators, Pandabean

garibaldired
Posts: 614
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 2:42 pm
Location: Dorset, UK

Re: Breach of the Registration Act.

Post by garibaldired » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:00 pm

Thanks, Sarah =D>
Best wishes,
Meg

Anne H
Global Moderator
Posts: 2118
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 5:12 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Breach of the Registration Act.

Post by Anne H » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:11 pm

Sarah said
Anne! How ghoulish you are! :lol:
What can I say, Sarah? hee hee :lol:
[cheers]
Anne

Currie
Posts: 3829
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 am
Location: Australia

Re: Breach of the Registration Act.

Post by Currie » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:03 am

Thanks Anne, Sarah, Wilma and Meg.

The next, and last, story in this series is again from the 1930s, and concerns a nursing home, and the prosecution of its owners. It gives a bit of insight into adoptions at that period. As it is relatively recent names have been modified to protect the relatives.

I didn’t expected it to be this long a story when I started, and I got a bit carried away. I’ll post it in four chunks.



Dundee Courier, Tuesday, February 7, 1939

WOMEN CHARGED WITH FALSE BIRTHS REGISTRATION.
101 WITNESSES FOR CROWN.

Women have been called from many parts of Scotland to be witnesses at the trial in Glasgow before Sheriff Kermack and a jury of two women charged with offences against the False Oaths Act and fraud in registration of births. The trial began yesterday.

Mrs E******** R*** and Mrs E******** M‘C**** deny six charges. These include abetting 23 girls and women to give fictitious addresses to registrars of births.

They are also charged with pretending to two married women that they must represent to a registrar that they were unmarried and their children illegitimate, or their children would not be adopted, and
abetted them in giving these false particulars.

There are 101 Crown witnesses.

An appeal to the press not to reveal the names of young women witnesses was made by Sheriff Kermack.

It was not in the public interest, he said, that the names of certain witnesses should be published. It could do no good and would cause unnecessary pain and suffering.

IN NURSING HOME.

The first witness, a 26-year-old unmarried woman, said that in 1937, when she was going to have a child, she replied to a newspaper advertisement about a nursing home for confinement.

She got in touch with Mrs R*** and told her she wanted her baby adopted. She was told that the confinement fee would be £15, and there would be a weekly charge as well.

She entered the nursing home at 18 Monteith Row, and there a baby was born with Mrs R*** in attendance. There was no medical assistance.

She was told that expenses for adoption would be five or six guineas for legal fees and £2 for advertisements. In addition, Mrs R*** told her that the woman who was adopting the child wanted a pram, and £5 was paid for that.

Before going to the registrar a week after the birth she had a conversation with Mrs M‘C****, who gave her a form. On this form she gave a wrong address.

The Procurator Fiscal — Did Mrs M‘C**** take any exception to the address you were putting down?—No, she said other girls had done it before.

WITNESS BREAKS DOWN

The Fiscal—Did you know that the giving of false information to the registrar was a criminal offence?—No, I did not think of it from that point of view.

At this stage the witness broke down. After a glass of water had been brought she continued her evidence seated.

Re-examined by the Fiscal, she said she did not fill up the form. She merely signed it. She could not say how much of the form had been filled up when Mrs M‘C**** brought it to her.

The next witness, another 26-year-old girl, also wrote to Mrs R*** after seeing a newspaper advertisement. She identified a letter shown to her by the Fiscal as having been written by Mrs R*** in answer to her inquiry.

“DO NOT WORRY.”

The letter ran—“You letter to hand inquiring terms. Board and lodging before confinement is 25s weekly Confinement and board, lodging, and attendance for lying-in period, seven guineas. Dresses are 15s, making in all your expenses for confinement £8 2s.

“You do not say if you would be taking your baby home or do you want it adopted? If you want it adopted you would have adoption expenses, too.

“Do not worry, I can do the business for you, and I can take a patient at any time, having every accommodation. Should my terms suit you, £1 deposit secures a room.”

The letter was signed, “For Nurse R***.”

The question of registration was raised by witness after the birth of the baby. She asked Mrs M’C**** if it would be all right to give another address from her home,
and was told that Mrs M‘C**** would fix it all right.

The latter told witness to say the birth had taken place at a certain address in Glasgow.

Some time after leaving Glasgow she got a letter from Mrs M‘C**** saying the registrar wished her to call. When she went to see Mrs M‘C**** she was told to go and see if there was such a place as the address she had given.

She did so and found there actually was a tenement close at the address she had given.

“NO HURRY.”

A 28-year-old man, who was the next witness, stated that his wife entered this nursing home a short time after their marriage. The figure quoted was £17 10s, inclusive of adoption expenses. There was a deposit of £1.

He said he would see about registration and Mrs M‘C**** said—‘‘There is no hurry in a case like this. I will take your wife along later and do the adoption at the same tine.”

Shown a form containing particulars for the registrar, witness said it had been signed by his wife, but the rest of it was not in her handwriting. On the form his wife was entered as a spinster, having been a trouser machinist, and having a Paisley address. None of that was true.

Later he gave Mrs R*** £5 for a pram. She said there was a far better chance of getting the child adopted if it had a pram.

A 36-year-old single woman, who was next to give evidence, said she paid about £16 for her confinement and 25s for board and lodging.

She identified a form containing particulars for the registrar as having been signed by her. It was filled up, she said, in Mrs M‘C****’s handwriting. Certain entries were untrue.

The hearing was adjourned until to-day.

Currie
Posts: 3829
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 am
Location: Australia

Re: Breach of the Registration Act.

Post by Currie » Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:01 am

Dundee Courier, Wednesday, February 8, 1939

MAN SAYS HE WAS TOLD TO “DENY GIRL”
WOMEN ACCUSED OF FALSE BIRTH REGISTRATION

Hearing of charges against two women under the False Oaths Act in relation to the registration of births was continued in Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday.

E******** M’D***** or R*** and E******** R*** or M‘C**** deny a charge alleging they aided and abetted 23 girls and women, when giving particulars of birth to the registrar, to give false and fictitious addresses as being their usual place of residence.

It is also alleged they made false statements in notifications to the Medical Officer of Health of 22 births and defrauded five women of £27 in all by purporting the money was required for the purchase of perambulators by the adopters of their children, and by similar means, it is also
alleged, they defrauded a man of £3.

WENT TO HOME

First witness yesterday, a 36-year-old man, said he was on friendly terms with a girl—a previous witness. When she was going to have a child by him he went with her to the home, where it was arranged she would have her confinement for a cost of about £18.

Some time later he got a note from Mrs M‘C****, who told him the girl had got into trouble through giving a false name and address at the registry office.

“She told me I might get a message from the police and I was to deny the girl,’’ said witness.

The young woman, said the witness, had told him she was given a false address by Mrs M‘C****.

A 33-year-old unmarried woman, who had a child in the home, said she had intended giving the correct particulars as to her place of residence, but when given a false address by Mrs M‘C**** she just used it because she thought it to be all right since Mrs M‘C**** had given her it.

A 31-year-old nurse, when asked why she had given false particulars to the registrar, replied she was under the control of Mrs M‘C****, who had given a false address to her. She was in a weak condition due to the birth of her child.

A young man who was responsible for her condition said he questioned Mrs R*** as to why she advised the girl to use a false address. She informed him that it was ‘‘to cover things up.”

Hearing will be continued to-day.
Last edited by Currie on Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Currie
Posts: 3829
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 am
Location: Australia

Re: Breach of the Registration Act.

Post by Currie » Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:03 am

Dundee courier, Thursday, February 9, 1939

MOTHER SAYS SHE FOUGHT NURSE IN STREET
ACCUSED WOMAN’S CRY FROM DOCK

A mother, giving evidence in Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday, alleged she was prevented taking her baby from the nursing home where it was born because she refused to have it adopted.

She said she had fought in the street with a nurse on the way to the registrar's because the woman wanted her to register the baby incorrectly.

Hearing was the resumed trial of two women—mother and daughter — who run a private nursing home at 18 Monteith Row, Calton. The accused—E******** M'D***** or R*** and E******** R*** or M'C****—deny charges of contravention of the False Oaths Act relating to the registration of births, and two charges of fraud.

Married and the mother of four children, a 38-year-old woman told the Court yesterday that she entered the nursing home when a child, of which her husband was not the father, was about to be born. Nurse R***, she said, told her to use her single name while in the home.

Three days after her baby was born Mrs M‘C**** handed her a pink piece of paper with an address on it. She said Mrs M‘C**** said to her—“Digest it. Your name is —— and you live at ——“

Witness added she had never lived in the town mentioned in her life.

ADOPTION FEES.

The father of the child, continued witness, had told her he had a good home for it, and she was not going to let Nurse R*** have it adopted. She was to pay £17 10s as confinement and adoption fees, but without adoption the fee was £8 8s.

Mrs M’C**** accompanied her to the registrar's.

Witness said that Mrs M‘C**** said—“Remember that your name is ——, you live at ——, and you are a domestic servant, and the baby's father is unknown.”

Witness replied—“I could not tell a lie like that when I have gone with him for five years, and he is quite willing to be registered as the father.”

The Fiscal—As a matter of fact, did you refuse to go to the registrar?—Yes. She turned on me in the street, and we had a fight in the street at the tram stop. I refused to go on unless the baby was registered correctly.

The woman said that some days later she went with the father of the child and they registered the baby together.

She had paid all the money she was owing—amounting to £26. The reason given by Nurse R*** for not allowing her to take the child away was that there was something physically wrong with it. She offered to get a doctor, but she said the nurse would not let her go for one.

“THIS IS TERRIBLE.”

“She gave me another alternative,” said witness. “If I did not go and register the baby as she wanted, she would send for my husband, and he would cut my throat from ear to ear.”

Nurse R*** (from the dock)—Oh, you liar. This is terrible.

Accused was told by Sheriff Kermack not to interrupt.

Witness walked out of the home, but the accused would not allow her to take her child with her, she said.

She visited the police office, and later she and the father of the child went to the home and were told by Nurse R*** that if they wished the child they would have to sign “a register or something.” The father and witness then returned with a policewoman and they got the child away.

Later in the week. on receiving the assurance that Nurse R*** had a good home for the child, she and the father handed the child over and signed an adoption declaration.

Cross-examined, witness said she was quite satisfied with her early treatment in the home. She had a quarrel after the child was born and refused to register it. She then wanted her child away.

Mr Robert M‘Guire—You are very interested in your child?—Certainly. I love him like nothing on earth.

Witness agreed that before she entered the home she was very worried. She was living with her husband and concealing from him the fact that she was about to become the mother of another man’s child.

Mr M‘Guire—Is it the case that your husband still does not know of what has happened—He does not even know to this day. I pretended to him that I was away on holiday. I have still this worry yet.

UNEMPLOYED ADOPTERS.

Women witnesses testified to having adopted children from the nursing home. They stated they neither paid nor received any money in respect of the children. They did not receive a pram or cot.

Several witnesses, questioned about prams or cots, declared that when they asked at the home whether they got one with the baby, they were informed that they did not.

Several of the adopters stated their husbands were unemployed. One woman, questioned by the Sheriff, replied her husband became unemployed ten weeks after they had adopted the child.

Hearing will be continued to-day.
Last edited by Currie on Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

Currie
Posts: 3829
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 am
Location: Australia

Re: Breach of the Registration Act.

Post by Currie » Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:03 am

Dundee Courier, Saturday, February 11, 1939

WOMAN AND DAUGHTER HEAVILY FINED
Abetted False Registration of Births

The trial of E******** M‘D***** or R*** and her daughter, E******** R*** or M‘C****, charged with having aided and abetted 22 girls or women to give false addresses when registering births, and with having made false statements and notification of births, ended yesterday after five
days’ hearing in Glasgow Sheriff Court.

Nurse R*** was found guilty on four charges and fined £50, with alternative of three months’ imprisonment.

Mrs M‘C**** was found guilty on three charges and fined £40, with the alternative of two months’ imprisonment.



---------------------------------------------------------------
Next week, Tales from the Crypt etc. Are your ancestors resting in peace, or are they resting in pieces.

All the best,
Alan

Anne H
Global Moderator
Posts: 2118
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 5:12 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Breach of the Registration Act.

Post by Anne H » Wed Aug 26, 2020 11:35 am

Thanks Alan.

I wonder if the sentence imposed was enough to stop those two woman from continuing their ''work''.

[cheers]
Anne

Currie
Posts: 3829
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 am
Location: Australia

Re: Breach of the Registration Act.

Post by Currie » Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:02 am

Thanks Anne,

I found a couple more of these stories lying about, which I’ll post as well. I think we’ve seen some cases like the first one on the forum, where the informant gave the wrong generation as the parent. Perhaps they were a bit hard of hearing. The second case is rather unusual and would be bad news for a genealogist.


Evening Telegraph, Dundee, Monday, May 6, 1912

“IMAGINED HE HAD MADE A MISTAKE.”
Broughty Ferry Waiter Convicted of False Registration.

James Sidey Reid Burnett, waiter, Kerbat Cottage, Broughty Ferry, was convicted in Dundee Sheriff Court this afternoon of a contravention of the Registration of Births, Deaths, and Marriages Act.

From the evidence it appeared that accused went to register the birth of a female child at Broughty Ferry, and in reply to the Registrar gave the father’s name as David Martin Burnett, commercial traveller, Kerbat Cottage, Broughty Ferry, which was afterwards found to be his own father.

Accused stated that after he got home he imagined that he had made a mistake in giving his father’s name instead of his own. He spoke to his wife about the matter, and she told him he should go back and correct the error. He could not say why he had not gone back.

Sheriff Neish imposed a fine of 5s, with the alternative of three days in prison.


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Dundee Courier, Tuesday, April 19, 1910

CHILD'S MYSTERIOUS PARENTAGE.
Extraordinary Story Told In Dunfermline Court.

At a Sheriff and Jury Court at Dunfermline yesterday, Jane Aitchison or M‘Guire was charged with having, on 18th June, 1906, in the registrar’s office at Dunfermline, falsely stated to the assistant registrar that a male child named Harry M‘Guire was born on 29th May, 1906, at 28 Baldridgeburn Street, Dunfermline, and was the legitimate child of her and her husband, Bernard M‘Guire, stableman, thereby causing to be inserted the false statement in the register that the child was legitimate. The accused, a young woman, pleaded guilty.

Mr J. S. Soutar (fiscal) stated there were elements which they should if possible further investigate.

The Sheriff said it would have been more serious had the false registration taken place after the Children Act was passed.

Mr George Crichton, solicitor, stated on behalf of accused that in May, 1906, an advertisement appeared in the papers offering a child to be adopted. The advertisement was replied to by the M‘Guires, who had no children of their own. After that they had a call from a person who was presumably a nurse, and she made arrangements whereby they were to take the child. The arrangements were, he understood, that the M‘Guires were to take the child without payment and without asking any questions. The nurse also mentioned that the child was to be registered as their own. The M‘Guires inquired whether the child was a boy or girl, and were informed that it was not yet born. The nurse returned with the child about nine o’clock one morning, and stated to the M‘Guires that it was born at twenty minutes past five that same morning, so that it must have been handed over three or four hours after birth. Again instructions were given by the nurse that the M‘Guires were to ask no questions, and register the child as their own. This the accused foolishly agreed to. He understood that when the child was handed over a sum of £10 was given. The accused was of opinion that the child was of somewhat gentler birth than children of her own station. The child was born in Edinburgh, but unfortunately the nurse gave no name, and it would be difficult now to trace the parents.

Sheriff Shennan—You will probably never trace them.

Mr Crichton said it was of no moment to the woman where the parents were or whether the child was legitimate or illegitimate.

His Lordship said it was a difficult case to deal with, because it was important to keep the registers accurate. He imposed a fine of £5, or thirty days’ imprisonment.


----------------------------------------------------------------------

All the best,
Alan

WilmaM
Posts: 1683
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 10:46 am
Location: Falkirk area

Re: Breach of the Registration Act.

Post by WilmaM » Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:26 pm

I suppose the first one could be the fault of the Registrar, if he merely asked " father's name?" instead of " who is the father of the child?"

The second I suppose, is in the same situation as a foundling child, of no known parentage. How are they usually registered?
I wonder just how many more similar births are registered? with nobody asking any questions.

garibaldired
Posts: 614
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 2:42 pm
Location: Dorset, UK

Re: Breach of the Registration Act.

Post by garibaldired » Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:09 pm

I keep waiting for one of 'mine' to appear here throwing my family tree into complete mayhem :lol:

Thanks, Alan.

Best wishes,
Meg

Post Reply