Arthur Brightmore applied for an order prohibiting certain publicans supplying liquor for consumption by his wife. he said the case as a very bad one, and he had found himself quite unable to restrain her. He called two of his daughters - girls about eight or nine years old - who stated that they went every day for beer and brandy to Bashford's Lancaster Park Hotel and Collier's Royal George Hotel. Their mother drank it herself. One of them stated that on one day last week she brought her mother three shillings and sixpence worth of brandy, and she drank it. An order was made prohibiting the persons named as required, with a promise of extension to others if found necessary.
Arthur Henry Brightmore (1842 - 22 March 1931, Christchurch) married Mary Ann Atherton (1841 - 8 December 1902) in 1864. Mary Ann and Arthur probably met on the ship they both travelled on to New Zealand - the "David G. Fleming" which came from London, arriving at Lyttleton Harbour on 9 December 1863. Arthur was a 21 year old brick layer from Middlesex and Mary Ann was a 22 year old domestic servant from Cambridge. It would seem that if they had initially fallen in love, by the time they had been married ten years, they were not well suited, and Mary Ann was not an ideal mother or wife. By the time Arthur applied for the prohibition order, Mary Ann had had a number of children:
1. James Arthur Brightmore (1865 - 1938)
2. Frances Mary Brightmore (1867 - 1953). I can't find an early marriage for Frances, but it seems that she had three children, the father of whom was not recorded:
2.1 Mabel Brightmore (1897) married Arthur Hawkins in 1925.
2.2 Violet Brightmore (1900)
2.3 John Brightmore
As a single mother, Frances had to support herself and her children. In the 18 November 1897 edition of the Star, Frances was advertising for a job "Situation by Respectable Person as Housekeeper". There was no DPB for women in those days, and given the state of her mother, no doubt little if any help from family.
However later, in 1927, Frances married widower James Abraham Bate (1870 - 1944). James had been married previously, to Isabella Dickie (1874 - 1923) in 1895.
3. Edward George John Brightmore (1868 - 1870). This twin died as a two year old.
4. Arthur Henry Ernest Brightmore (1868 - 1868). This twin died as an infant.
5. Mary Ann Maria Brightmore (1869 - 25 August 1923)
6. Elizabeth Emily Brightmore (1871 - 1896)
7. Hannah Jane Brightmore (1873) married George Scott Reid (1870 - 1942) in 1898.
7.1 Daisy Reid (29 September 1898 - 1977) married Lester Mark Wall (1899 - 1964) in 1925
7.2 James Reid (1900)
7.3 Nellie Jane Reid (17 May 1906 - 1987)
7.4 Nihina Mary Reid (1908)
7.5 George Atherton Reid (14 January 1909 - 1986)
8. Louisa Brightmore (1874 - 3 July 1909) married Henry Robert Blythe in 1901. Their first daughter was probably born prior to their marriage, accounting for the many years delay in registering her birth. Louise and Henry lived at Marsh's Road, Prebbleton. Louisa died after "a long and painful illness".
8.1 Winifred Brightmore Blythe (4 April 1897 - 1980) married Wilfred Kent (1893 - 1971) in 1923.
8.2 Lilian Ruth Blythe (28 October 1902 - 1972) married Frank James Kent (3 January 1900 - 1990) in 1929.
In 1874, there had obviously been marital troubles between Arthur and Mary Ann. The Press reported on 16 January 1874:
Arthur Brightmore was charged with deserting his wife and five children on the 2nd January, and failing to contribute towards their support since that time.
Mr Callendar stated that Mrs Brightmore applied for relief and received it to a small extent. she stated that her husband had deserted her and left her without any means of support.
The defendant said there had been a little disagreement between himself and wife. He did not wish to go into the particulars in the absence of his wife, but there was not the slightest occasion for her to have gone to the Government for assistance. He had since returned home.
His Worship would mark the case as adjourned until Saturday, and if he found then that the amount advanced by Mr Callender had been refunded, and that defendant was supporting his wife and family, he would dismiss the case.
The following later appeared in the 19 January 1874 edition of the Press:
The adjourned summons case against Arthur Brightmore was dismissed, as the money advanced by Mr Callender had been refunded, and the defendant had returned home.
Obviously things eventually got back to normal, as the couple went on to have three more children:
9. Arthur Robert Brightmore (1876 - 1948) married Emily Jane Blythe (1874, Australia - 28 December 1935) on 27 January 1903 at the Public Hall, Gloucester Street, Linwood, by the Rev. J. Orchard. According to her burial records, Emily came to New Zealand with her family when she was only a year old.
9.1 Thelma Edith Brightmore (16 November 1903 - 1998) married Charles Stuart Cameron (11 January 1905 - 1978) in 1927
9.2 Hazel James Josephine Brightmore (1909)
10. Prudence Brightmore (1879 - 1880). This baby died aged just nine months.
11. John Atherton Brightmore (1882 - 2 September 1949, Christchurch). John worked as a bricklayer with his father.
In the 4 July 1877 Press report, Mary Ann was summoned for having committed an assault on two women:
ASSAULT - Mary Ann Brightmore was summoned for having committed a violent assault on Elizabeth Wright and Mary Ann Wright. Mr Slater appeared for the complainants. Mrs Wright stated that she sent her son to take her cow off the defendant's section and defendant declined to allow the cow to be taken. Complainant then went to get the cow; asked defendant for the cow, where she threw a tub at her, which struck her violently on the face, cutting it over the eye. She called her a wretch, struck her a second time, and threw a brick at her. Complainant's son and daughter gave corroborative evidence. There was a cross case, in which Elizabeth Wright and Mary Ann Wright were charged with using abusive and threatening language towards Mary Ann Brightmore. After hearing the latter's evidence, the Bench dismissed the cross action, and in the first case ordered Mary Ann Brightmore to pay a fine of 20s and costs. Mr Slater applied to have defendant bound over to keep the peace. His Worship thought this would be a warning to her, but if Mrs Wright was annoyed in future he would bind Mrs Brightmore over to keep the peace in heavy sureties. Mr Slater's application for a professional fee was declined.
There was obviously a lot of pressure on the family - five months prior to Arthur obtaining the prohibition order the following report appeared in the Grey River Argus, 20 March 1884 edition:
A bricklayer named Arthur Henry Brightmore, residing at Sydenham, attempted to commit suicide by hanging himself. The rope, however, broke. Thereby his life was saved. He has been pronounced insane by one medical man.
A fuller report appeared in the 19 March 1884 edition of the Star:
Luckily for the family, Arthur appears to have regained his sanity fairly quickly but a report a few months later - report of 28 July 1884 in the Star - shows the kind of unhappy life the family were living, and gives some insight into Arthur's apparent suicide attempt:
Mary Ann Brightmore was accused by her husband of assaulting him. The woman was stated to be addicted to drunkenness, and making her home miserable. On the occasion referred to in the information, she had, complainant stated, struck him with a poker. The Bench admonished the woman, and advised the husband to take out a prohibition order against her.
On 29 July 1884 the Press also reported:
Arthur Brightmore charged his wife Mary Ann with assaulting him on July 19th, and asked for sureties to keep the peace to be exacted from her. The evidence showed the present assault to have been trivial, arising from the drunken habits of the woman. The case was dismissed, the Bench recommending the husband to take out a prohibition order against the wife.
Following this, seemingly at his wits end, Arthur inserted the following advertisement into the 31 July 1884 edition of the Press:
Notice is hereby given, that I WILL NOT be RESPONSIBLE for any DEBTS contracted by my Wife, Mary Ann Brightmore.
Mary Ann, due to her drinking presumably, was obviously not mixing in the best of circles. The following appeared in the Press on 21 August 1890:
John Miller was charged with being illegally on the premises of Mary Ann Brightmore on the night of August 19th, also with assaulting Mrs Brightmore. After calling Constable McGill, who deposed to finding the accused in Mrs Brightmore's house on the night in question, Sergt.-Major McDonald said the prisoner appeared to be suffering from drink, and asked for a remand. He was remanded till August 17th for medical treatment.
On 4 June 1891, the Press reported that Arthur had applied for another Prohibition Order against his wife, Mary Ann - obviously in a desperate attempt to keep her from drinking. This was granted by the Court, for twelve months.
Later, in 1891, it becomes even clearer why Mary Ann Brightmore's drinking problem would have caused so much distress to Arthur - he was by then a member of the Salvation Army. On 22 July 1891, the Star reported on a court case, initiated on the information of a Mr John McMahon, with essentially being guilty of conduct calculated to annoy the public. The report follows: