Saints and Sinners in Queen Victoria’s Courts

Ten Scandalous Trials

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About the Book

This chronicle of ten controversial mid–Victorian trials features brother versus brother, aristocrats fighting commoners, an imposter to a family’s fortune, and an ex-priest suing his ex-wife, a nun. Most of these trials—never before analyzed in depth—assailed a culture that frowned upon public displays of bad taste, revealing fault lines in what is traditionally seen as a moral and regimented society. The author examines religious scandals, embarrassments about shaky family trees, and even arguments about which architecture is most likely to convert people from one faith to another.

About the Author(s)

Tom Zaniello, a former professor of literature and film studies, has organized film festivals on labor and working-class culture as well as on Hitchcock in Washington, D.C., Liverpool, and London. He has published numerous essays and books on topics in film studies, literature, and popular culture. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Bibliographic Details

Tom Zaniello
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 242
Bibliographic Info: 27 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8081-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4095-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
Part I—A Crisis of Victorian Culture
1. The Specter 6
2. Outside the Law 10
3. The Court of Lost Causes 21
4. The Family Tree and Genealogical Puzzles 25
5. The Victorian Intellectual Aristocracy 32
6. Architects on the Defensive 44
Part II—Ten Scandalous Court Cases
7. The ­Ex-Priest and the Nun Who Was His Former Wife: Connelly v. Connelly, 1849–1851 52
8. The Defrocked Dominican Priest and the Future Cardinal Whose Brothers Were Atheists: Regina v. J.H. Newman, 1851–53 64
9. The Royal ­By-Blow, the Wandering Statue, and the Religiously Divided Church: FitzClarence v. Blount, 1851–1852 88
10. The Medieval Architectural Folly, the Tenth Cousin, and the Earl Who Was a Jesuit: Talbot v. Earl of Shrewsbury, 1857–1867 99
11. The Convent Scandal, Fatty Mutton, and the Goosebury Fool: Saurin v. Star and Kennedy, 1869 113
12. The ­Twenty-Six-Stone Claimant and the Invisible Stonyhurst College Quadrangle: Tichborne v. Lushington, 1872–1873, and Regina v. Tom Castro, 1873–1874 125
13. The Catholic Lord and the Protestant Vicar in the Valley of Martyrs and Queens: The Duke of Norfolk v. Arbuthnot, 1879 152
14. The Archbishop and the Jesuit College Building Fund: Eyre-Eyre v. Eyre, 1883 165
15. The Lord Chief Justice and His ­Anti-Vivisectionist Son-in-Law: Adams v. Coleridge, 1885–1886 171
16. The Deathbed Letter and the Secret Codicil of the Perfidious Jesuit: Jerningham v. Caddell, 1888 187
Part III—The Unbuilt Victorian Church
17. Divided Churches, Divided Souls 194
Chapter Notes 207
Bibliography 217
Index 229

Book Reviews & Awards

“Gives a rare glimpse into the controversies, large and small, that made their way into the courtrooms of 19th century Britain and the intriguing, nefarious and sometimes hapless characters who were caught up in them.”—Capitol Hill