Today, I bumped into this article ...
My! A Gaiety Girl? Whatever that means. One of the Big Six? Or a walk-on? Clearly a little bit iffy ... all this business with jewellery and bouncy cheques. Let's have a wee investigate ..
Nellie Stanton. Ellen Agatha Ursula née Cassidy (b Mile End 20 October 1882; d Farnborough 10 February 1966). Daughter of an Irish County Council schoolmaster. 'You common, horrible little person' to a Bond Street jeweller seems a bit ... um .. round the wrong way.
A Gaiety girl. Really? Well, I have every Gaiety show programme from night one. No Miss Cassidy or Mrs Stanton that I can see, even though the showponies and 'thinking roles' are all listed. But yes, there she claims, in the 1911 census, to be 'an actress'. Maybe the Gaiety Theatre, Hastings?
Well, perhaps she married a moneyed swell ('L600 for the builders') and climbed from Mile End to Bond Street via Earl's Court. Let's have a peep at Mr Herbert Stanton (b Nether Heyton, Northants 21 January 1877). There he is, in 1901, living in the Anchor Inn, Stamford, working as a 'brewer's clerk'. In 1907 he was sentenced to three years' imprisonment for embezzlement as 'an habitual criminal'. The records show that he was 5ft 2 3/4ins. Horrible little person!
Well, Nellie can't have had very high aims to have married him! The episode of the jewels seems to bear all the marks of some kind of scam. And no, I don't imagine that Mr Freedman was entirely clean of the odd bit of shady doings. But I also suspect he was a class or two above the gushing, then furious Nellie. I rather get the feeling that she was a bit of an amateur con lady, and no match for 'Cecil' who had, doubtless, seen it all.
I'm still not quite comfortable with this story. Just what was the relationship between 'Nellie' and 'Cecil' which, after a dozen years of acquaintanceship ended in a totally stupid lawsuit?
Bzzzzzing!!!!!! Cecil Freedman of 13-14 New Bond Street and 16 Park Lane. Wife Henrietta Maud née Haeberlin ...
Courtesy of ebay: Miss Haeberlin as a baby. And her mother (née Louisa Maud Webster), wife of a wealthy iron ore merchant ...
'Cecil' was actually Moses Tobias Freedman ... I see he died 20 August 1931 in Frankfurt, aged 52.
End of investigation.