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1-261 (Text)

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author,male,Broadside,un addressee
Newspaper Article
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Public Written
Newspapers & Broadsides
Ingleton, 1988
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BOTAMY BAY Or the Wife of Four Husbands!!!!
Police Office, Chester, Sept. 24, 1825.
The one he was an Irishman, Another was a Scott,
The next he was a Dutchman, But the Scott was best, I wot.
The Overseer of St John's Parish conducted before the Magistrates, an elderly-looking woman, in order to prove her settlement, previous to receiving parochial relief. - Town Clerk: "What's your name?" With a very significant look the applicant said,
'Well my name, your honour's, a very ugly name - its Kitty Gravy, (dropping a curtsey) I come from the Vale of Clwyd."
"Are you a married woman?"
"Married! O Yes; I are be married very often; I have had four husbands, and the last he is in Liverpool Infirmary with a broken leg, and his name's John Joachim Gravy; a very ugly name isn't it, your Worship?"
"Where were you married at?"
"Married at? Why I was married at Botamy Bay!"
"At Botany Bay? Do you mean Botany Bay, opposite Queen-street, adjoining the Canal?"
"Pooh, no; I mean Botamy Bay - the real Botamy Bay, 30,000 miles off, your honour!"
"And what took you there ?"
"'Pon my word, they transported me for seven years for doing nothing - nothing at all; God knows what for, I can't tell. I never stole nothing in my life."
Mrs. Kitty Gravy here inserted her hand into her sinister pocket, and produced several documents, including a number of receipts for Poor Books, and a certificate from Sir Charles Brisbane, Governor General of New South Wales, October 25, 1804. On the back of it was endorsed her personal description, and on the Town Clerk reading the passage "fair complexion", Mrs. Kitty, looking very knowing, and with a shrug of her shoulders, exclaimed, "Aye, but its withered now."
She then stated that Gravy was a native of Hamburgh, and was a free settler at New South Wales, residing at Wollomoolo. She was asked why she did not go to her fourth and last spouse at Liverpool, and she excused herself by stating that she did not like to go there, on account of crossing the water, and besides he was better off than she was, although he had a broken leg, and hobbled crutches.
Mrs. Kitty appeared to be in high glee during the whole of her examination which called forth rebuke from Alderman Bowers for her levity "Thank your Honour, (Curtseying,) I'm much obliged; I paid £100 for my passage home, and every one loves poor Kitty. I'm all fair yea and nay, your Honour's."
It was insinuated that Mrs. Kitty, (who was years old) lived with a Frenchman, in Brighton, but she repelled the charge indignantly.
Mrs. Kitty now proceeded to recapitulate the period of her nuptials in chronological order, but we shall be content with the following: - "My first husband was James Miller, and he was a Scotchman; Thomas Wilson was my next, and he was a Hollander in the Navy; my third husband John Grace, an Irishman, from the County of Wicklow; and my fourth was John Gravy, a German; so you see, (said Mrs. Kitty with all the naivety of an accomplished punster) that for my last two husbands I had Grease and Greavy! Gravy was a sailor in the Press Gang, and I like a fool married him. But my first husband, the Scotchman, was worth them all."
"When were you first married?"
"Eh! The Lord knows, it's a long while ago, but I've got a daughter at Little Neston, 46 years old with six children. When I landed in England two years ago, I was robbed of £170 in London."
Mrs Gravy's fingers were decorated with a variety of rings, some of them silver.