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The Diary of James Brogden, August 1871 – December 1872

19 December 1872

19 December 1872

On Thursday Dec. 19th an event of considerable interest occurred. Our attention had been occupied for a few days previously in getting up a Breach of Promise Case which came off the evening. My little Harmonium had been in requisition on Sundays for our services; - and page 115 In the week evenings to singing, and in accompaniment to a violin we managed a Band for dancing. The Captain and Officers kindly gave us lamps and cleared the deck, so that we enjoyed the evenings greatly, laughing very much, - some times, to add to our amusement, by the ship’s roll we were all thrown in a heap at the side of the decks. Mr Thornton proved to be a great acquisition in singing and music, - and altogether we were a happy lot of Passengers.

The Programme of the Trial was

Victoria Regina
A Trial for Breach of Promise of Marriage will take place on the Quarter Deck of the S.S.Behar, at 8.15 p.m. on the evening of the 21st inst.
Court of Rolls and Lurches
Before His Honor Mr Justice Shallow
Jones v Brownsmith

Plaintiff:Miss Aromenta Arabella Jones
Defendant:-Mr Thomas Olephule Brownsmith
Counsel for Plaintiff,Sergt. Gammon & Mr Wrangle
“ DefendantSergt. Bluster & Mr Tangle
Witnesses for Plaintiff:-Dr Esculapius Squills, ASS. M.U.P.H.
Mr Golightly Jones.Ye Father
Mrs LirriperLodging House Keeper
Chas. WhitebaitGreenwich Waiter
for Defendt.: -Miss May Anne MiggsPerfidious Friend
Sammy SnaffleRejected Addressee
Court Crier - Brawler

Some page 116 Some fun was created, - as only the outlines of the Programme were given to the performers, who were expected to fill up the parts at the time. Miss Jones (Aromenta Arabella) permitted the Courtship of Sammy (Snaffle) and they were to be married, but during a visit to Margate, being fond of tea and shrimps, she made the acquaintance of May Anne Miggs, who kept a refreshment stall, and to whom she confided her love affairs. While at Margate, she stayed at Mrs Lirriper’s Lodgings, and while walking out they met T.Olpehule Brownsmith, and a case is ultimately trumped up by means of Chas. Whitbait, the waiter. Letters pass between them, and the poor Brownsmith finds the heartless Arabell Aromenta his very own, his adored, who throws over the faithful Sammy to gain his hand – and his money.

The outline is not very brilliant but we had great fun in detail - a theatrical professional on board, assisting at the getting up, which in itself was first-rate, considering the appliances and the short notice.