Blantyre mans Bigamy

A middle-aged Blantyre man, Mr. Malcolm Ritchie, was still in custody in mid December 1930 after appearing before Sheriff Macdonald at Hamilton Sheriff Court on Monday 8th December charged with bigamously marrying Georgina Marshall or Duff, 5 Charlotte Street, Glasgow. It is alleged he had done this well knowing that her husband was still alive.

It was stated by the Fiscal that the accused was a widower with three children, residing at High Blantyre. On one occasion, while in Glasgow, he met this woman, whom he subsequently bigamously married. He invited her to keep his house in Blantyre and attend to his children. Before the woman consented, however, she explained to him that she was already a married woman.

On His Conscience.

While Mrs. Duff was working as a housekeeper, Ritchie had courted her and ultimately declared that he was prepared go through marriage ceremony with her. A form of marriage was gone through, and was performed by the parish minister who was none the wiser. Mr. Ritchie and Mrs Duff separated on different occasions, but invariably came together again. Mr. Ritchie, in the summer of 1929, contracted appendicitis, and while ill had the bigamous ceremony on his conscience. The woman ultimately was apprehended, and sentenced to 30 days’ imprisonment.

An agent on behalf of the accused said that Ritchie did not know the true character of the woman he had married. He had befriended her and tried to lift her up socially. Mr Ritchie in court was noted as having had suffered a great deal, and he had sinned largely from ‘kindness’. In view of the parental circumstances, Sheriff Macdonald limited his sentence to one month’s imprisonment.

Source: Motherwell Times 12th December 1930


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