North East Daily Gazette March 23rd. 1917.

At Rochdale today, Harry Mortimer, a miner, of Front-street, Trimdon Colliery, Durham, was charged with feloniously marrying Elizabeth Tattersall, of Rochdale, his wife being then alive.

The evidence showed that Mortimer, who was arrested at Oldham, where he was a sergant in the Royal Engineers, was stationed in a hospital as a wounded soldier, and whilst there he met and courted Mrs. Tattersall, who was one of  a party of entertainers at the hospital. They were married and lived together.

The Chief Constable said there was no evidence of a third marriage, and if that were proved it would alter the situation, if the first wife was still alive. He therefore asked for a remand.

Sergeant Sutton produced certificates of two previous marriages, and sad Mortimer, who real name is Henry Coghill, was a native of Hunslet. His first marriage was contracted at Hunslet in October, 1903, with Ada Mary Elizabeth Poulter. The second marriage was with Ellen Kell at the Sedgefield Registry Office County Durham. He had not yet ascertained whether the first wife was alive.

The Chief Constable asked for a remand for further inquiries.

Mortimer had nothing to say against the proposal, and was remanded in custody until Wednesday.


Northern Daily Mail Hartlepool March 28th. 1917. 


At Rochdale, on Wednesday, Harry Mortimer, a sergant in the Royal Engineers of Durham, was committed for trial at the Assizes on two charges of bigamy. The Chief Constable said the man had contracted three marriages. While a wounded soldier in a military hospital at Rochdale. Mortimer formed an acquaintance with a Miss Charlotte Tattersall, whom he married in November last by special licence.

Ada Elizabeth Coghill, a domestic servant at Leeds said she married the prisoner, whose real name is Henry Coghill, at Hunslet in 1903, and after living together for a short while, he deserted her. Three years later he induced her to go to Barrow, where he said he had a home. They stayed in lodgings, and the next morning he went away, taking £10, the whole of her savings.

Ellen Kell said she married the accused in the name of Harry Mortimer at the Sedgefield Registry Office, Durham in 1909. She last saw him in November last, three days before he married Miss Tattersall.

Charlotte Tattersall said she went through a form of marriage with the prisoner at Greenbank Chapel, Rochdale, on November 14th. Last. Mortimer described himself as a bachelor.

Mortimer said he admitted the whole of the three marriages, but denied that he took £10, as alleged by his first wife.


Yorkshire Evening Post March 28th 1917. 


At Rochdale, today, Harry Mortimer (35), a miner, of Trimdon Colliery, Durham, was brought up on two counts of committing bigamy.

THE Chief Constable said Mortimer was a wounded soldier’ and while in an auxiliary hospital at Rochdale he formed an acquaintance with a young woman named Charlotte Tattersall, who was one of a party of entertainers at the hospital. After keeping company, they were married and stayed together on two occasions for the period of a week. When Tattersall applied for a separation allowance, it transpired that the allowance was already being drawn by another “wife.” When taxed with the offence, Mortimer expressed regret and said he would always respect her. The three “wives” were all present in court and gave evidence.                                                                      

Mortimer, whose real name is Harry Coghill, is a native of Hunslet, and was married there in October, 1903, to Ada Mary Elizabeth Poulter. His second marriage was contracted at the Registrar’s Office, Sedgefield, Durham, with Ellen Kell, who is still alive, and the third with Charlotte Tattersall, at Greenbank Wesleyan Chapel, Rochdale, in November last.

Ada Coghill, the first wife said she was married to the prisoner at Hunslet. They lived together at Hunslet and Wakefield a short time and he the deserted her. She was now a domestic servant at Leeds. About three years later he visited her at Bradford and induced her to go to Barrow, where he said he had a home. She stayed with him one night and the next morning he again deserted her, taking with him £10, the whole of her savings.

Other evidence was given, and the prisoner was committed on the two charges.

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