Thursday, February 3 – 1910
A painful case came before Alderman Dr. George Booth (in the chair) and Mr. Theo. Pearson, at the Chesterfield Borough Police Court, on Thursday, when Sam Raybould, the well-known footballer, who at present plays with Chesterfield Town in the Midland League, asked for a separation order from his wife, Selina Raybould, on the ground that she was an habitual drunkard.
Mrs. Raybould sat in the well of the court, with a baby in her arms, and repeatedly interrupted the proceedings.
Mr. J. Middleton, who represented the applicant, stated that the parties had been married twelve years, and there were four children. At the beginning of their married life they lived at Staveley. Since then Raybould had attained considerable eminence in the football world. For several years he held the highest goal average in England, and had played several times for England. He had been sought after by different clubs up and down the country, and some eight or nine years ago he went to play with Liverpool.
Up to that time he had nothing to complain about, but after they went to live at Liverpool his wife fell in with some women neighbors of a very undesirable character, and took to drink. He conduct became so bad that he had to give up what was a lucrative appointment there, and go away. He worked at different places afterwards, and finally went back to Staveley. Recently, on his wife promising to leave drink alone. Raybould came to Chesterfield, and became the licensee of the Old Angel Hotel. His wife, unfortunately, had lapsed, and had again taken to her drinking habits. The money the applicant provided for the house she in liquor, and during the night she would sometimes go down to the bar for more drink.
For some time her conduct had been almost unbearable, and some months ago after her last baby was born, assistance had to be procured, as on account of her drinking habits, she was incapable of looking after the child. The doctor who was called in, gave her a “talking to” in his capacity as a magistrate, and warned her of what would happen is she did not mend her ways. She had, however, gone from bad to worse, and sometimes seemed out of her mind altogether. One day she smashed all the pictures on the walls, and last Sunday night she smashed all the crockery in the kitchen. Police-sergeant Prince had to be called in to help to quieten her.
Mrs. Raybould: Did he tell you about blacking my eyes and ill-using me, as he had done?
The applicant bore out Mr. Middleton’s statement, and said that at the time of his marriage e worked for the Staveley Coal and Iron Co. He himself had always been a temperate man. When he went to Sunderland seven years ago his wife drank, and used to come home at nights “canned up.”
Defendant: “How did you come home?
The Clerk: Wait a bit, and you shall have your turn later.
Continuing, the witness said his wife drank gin. He had given her £1 15s a week for household fee, but he had to give her more each week. He had been lucky time after time in having his head split open by her.
The defendant raised no defence, and seemed agreeable to being separated from her husband.
The bench granted a separation order, with maintenance at the rate of 15s. a week, the applicant to have the custody of the three elder children.
The defendant remarked excitedly that she was run down and overworked.
Mr. Middleton: You will have an opportunity of taking a rest cure. (Laughter.)
(Derby Daily Telegraph, 04-02-1910)