A Maintenance Case

As you would have read on my post of the 19th July 2014, the local Geraldton Express had an article relating to Charles Lymburner being sued for maintenance by his wife Zenobia. These being the parents of Annie Norma Lymburner.

Descendants of Alice Zenobia CAMPBELL


On further research of the Lymburner name, I came across another three articles, this time in The West Australian, in relation to the maintenance court case.

To add a little more intrigue to this story, you may remember on my post of the 19th July, I wrote about my visit to Broken Hill to find the grave of baby Frederick Lymburner. A few days after I left, an email came from the Broken Hill Family History Society saying that they had found an interesting thing and that Frederick was listed as Fred Parker of South Street Broken Hill. At this stage I’m still trying to find out the full details of this entry, however the information hasn’t been very forthcoming.

To bring this into context, when reading the newspaper articles below, it appears that Zenobia left Charles in 1898 in Melbourne. Coincidently, this is the year that Frederick died in Broken Hill. As to why he is entered under the name Parker in the burial records is intriguing as he has the name Lymburner on the death certificate. Supplied by Marie Dux nee Temple.

From conversations with nanna (Norma Lymburner) I remember asking her why she and her mother had come over to West Australia and she told me she wanted to get an education. When you read these articles, that appears to be what Charles wanted for Norma and hence the case was dismissed as he was providing for his wife and daughter. On another occasion, I asked her if her mother and father got on, seeing as one was in WA and the other in Victoria. “Well, they must have once, mustn’t they”, she replied!

Also note that Zenobia worked as a barmaid and a singer – I will reveal more about some of this in another post!

A Maintenance Case.–Charles Lymburner was sued by his wife, Zenobia Lymburner, for maintenance. Mr. F. Bateman appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. A. F. Abbott for the defence. Complainant said that she was married to defendant in Adelaide in August 1892, and lived there for about a month, and then she went to her people, and did not see her husband for about four years. She lived with him again for a few months, and he then went away on business, but she received no money from him. She had to earn her living as a barmaid and a singer, and also did sewing. She next saw him in Adelaide, and lived with him for about six months. He then went away, and she did not see him for over eight years. There was one child of the marriage. She came to Western Australia in response to a telegram from her husband and went to live at Geraldton. She came to Perth later on and stayed at the Royal Standard Hotel. Her husband was a surveyor in the Government service, and had told her that he was making over £1,000 a year. To Mr. Abbott, witness said the reason why she left her husband on one occasion was because she found him misconducting himself. She had not acted improperly on the goldfields. She admitted having received several sums from her husband. It was not a fact that she had “jollifications” in an hotel at Geraldton. Her husband had always supplied her with money while she was with him. The case was at this stage adjourned till the following day at half past 2.

Source: The West Australian, 10th April 1908 on trove.nla.gov.au

A Maintenance Case The hearing was continued of the adjourned case in which Zenobia Lymburner sued her husband, Charles Lymburner, for maintenance. Mr. F. Bateman appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. A. F. Abbott for the defence. Plaintiff, continuing her evidence, said in answer to Mr. Abbott that she came to Perth from Northampton on account of an injury to her arm. To Mr. Bateman: She would have to have her arm re-broke and re-set. She had kept herself and her daughter for about 12 or 13 years out of the 14 1/2 years that she had been, married. She wished to place her child, who was at present in a convent at Northampton, in the New Norcia Convent. For the defence, W. Harrison hotelkeeper at Geraldton, said that the plaintiff had stopped at his place under arrangement with defendant, who paid for her keep: He also advanced her money on behalf of defendant. The defendant said that he was a surveyor at Northampton. He had an interest in some conditional purchase land, but this was of no use to him. The only revenue he received was his salary, which was about £280 a year. His wife left him in 1898 in Melbourne without cause. He denied the misconduct alleged against him by his wife. His wife was away for about eight years. About four months before she left witness gave her a cheque for £200. Why she left Melbourne was because she had received a telegram from someone over in Western Australia. He sent for his wife because he knew the child was growing and wanted an education. He always treated his wife well and supplied her with money. He did not know that his wife had gone to Perth. He had a home at Northampton, and was willing to take her back. He would not give up the child, and wanted it to be kept in the convent at Northampton. The case was at this stage adjourned till April 23.

Source: The West Australian, 11th April 1908 on trove.nla.gov.au/

SUED FOR MAINTENANCE. A CITY COURT CASE. At the Perth Police Court yesterday, before Mr. W. A. G. Walter acting P.M., the hearing of the case in which Zenobia Lymburner sued her husband, Charles Lymburner, for maintenance was continued.
Mr. F. Bateman appeared for the plaintiff and Mr. A. F. Abbott for the defence. In cross examination the defendant stated that he was not in the habit of going on drinking bouts for three or four months. He had never bought dresses for barmaids, but had paid £2 for a hat for one of them. Why his wife left him was because she received a letter from Western Australia offering her a position. It was untrue that he had been found misconducting himself in Melbourne with another woman. He had not paid this woman’s fare from Melbourne to Sydney. He and a man named Mcllray had never to his knowledge gone into witness’s wife’s bedroom whilst in a drunken state. He denied having gone through a mock marriage with a Miss Harvey; he did not give a dinner to celebrate this, but, for no reason, gave a dance. This was one Christmas time. In September last, as he was having his dinner with his wife and daughter at a hotel in Geraldton, a Miss Gough entered the dining-room. He denied leaving the table to go and sit at another table with Miss Gough. He had heard that in a drive of 18 miles 85 bottles of beer were consumed by a party of five. He denied being one of the party. He did not treat his daughter cruelly, nor could he remember whether he had sent a telegram to a fortune-teller asking her to take care of his daughter. He did not get a reply from this woman saying “Yes, I will go through fire and water for you.” He had written to Detective-sergeant (then Detective Mann asking him to keep his eyes on witness’s wife, but Mr. Mann apparently took no notice of it. He denied ever having told his wife he was making £1,500 a year. He had given his wife large sums of money on several occasions. He denied ever having received money from his wife. After his wife left Geraldton he received a letter from her saying that she would never go back to him, and that he was never to interfere with her. He had made arrangements to have his daughter kept in a convent for two years. He did this without consulting his wife.
The child had been brought up and taken care of by Mrs.Lymburner. During the eight or nine years while his wife was away from him he had given her about £110, but he did not know where she was all the time. Since she came to live at Northampton he had never had a house for his wife to live in with him, but they had stayed at hotels or camps.
To Mr. Abbott: He was at present in a hospital to get his eyes treated. He had received a letter from his wife since the case was adjourned, saying that she was happy where she was. It would cost him about £80 a year for the education of the girl, who was 14 years of age. While in Melbourne his wife ran away from him without any reason whatever. There had been no request from his wife, whilst she was away, for maintenance. His wife was extravagant. He never refused his wife money, and she had the full use of his credit. He wanted her to stay at Northampton, where his work was. Mr. Walter, in giving his decision, said that he thought that the husband had treated the wife well and had no intention of deserting her. The case was dismissed.

Source: The West Australian 24th April 1908

Please feel free to add any comments below. Any stories that nanna (Norma) may have told you at any time, I’d be interested to hear.


About Jenny MacKay

Just a person who is looking forward to retirement and enjoying the golden years!
This entry was posted in Blog, Lymburner and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Maintenance Case

  1. Pingback: And an Opera Singer at That! | Cripps-Lymburner Scrapbook

  2. Joanne Parker says:

    Always interesting to read what is recorded in history..so glad you continue to investigate our family….now for Frederick, Parker….interesting…what a great tribute to our family…Jenny..thanks

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      Those Parker’s! Need to watch them:-) thanks Joanne, it’s amazing how this information is out there for us to put together the history and create timelines of our ancestors.

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