| 1793-- 94
|| Mary Jane Vial leaves France at the outbreak of war, and travels first to Cadiz to her brother, and then to England.
||June 4: Charles Gaulis Clairmont born, possibly in Bristol. His father is thought to be Karl Abram Marc Gaulis, merchant and son of a wealthy Swiss family.
|| Karl Gaulis dies in Schmiedeberg.
|| The Lethbridge correspondence starts here.
MJV seems to be living in London, lodging with “A C” (who may have been a seamstress) and earning her living through needlework. She commences a relationship with John Lethbridge. The present correspondence does not reveal where they met or where the relationship was conducted. Later correspondence suggests that JL knew, or knew of, “A C”; and also that he was very displeased when MJV arrived in his neighbourhood in late 1798 / early 1799. [#47]
July: If her given date of birth (27 April 1798) is accurate, Mary Jane’s daughter is conceived around this time.
MJV spends some time at Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales, where she is acquainted with Mr. Brewer Senior, a surgeon, and his wife: Mrs. Venner, and Miss Pye. At Barry Island, also during this period, she is known to Mr Robert Vizer, a merchant and commercial agent of Bristol. She uses the name St. Julian. [#44][#45][#46][#48][#49]
December: By the end of 1797, MJV is living in Bristol as Mrs. St Julian, a widow. “A C” writes to her for the first time. By this time the relationship with Lethbridge is either over or souring. [#47]
||April 27: Daughter Mary Jane is born in Brislington.
By this time, MJV is in debt to William Kingdon, a financier and money lender.
October: MJV writes to Lethbridge, probably seeking financial assistance. (It is not known whether he knew of the child before then). Through a Mr. Thring* Lethbridge arranges to pay 5/- per week to the Parish of Brislington to be given to MJV for the child’s maintenance. [#09][#02]
* (It is not clear whether Thring is a Parish Officer in Brislington, a lawyer acting for Lethbridge, or has some other role).
End 98: Through a “blunder of the Overseer”, MJV is brought to the attention of Mr James Ireland, JP, presumably as a pauper with a bastard child. Mr. Ireland regards this as an error. Although Lethbridge later refers to MJV having obtained a settlement, neither Mr Ireland nor any other person in the parish conducts an examination of her circumstances.* She is angry and believes JL to have been responsible. [#06]
* Under the poor relief law enacted in the 17th C, individual parishes used examinations conducted by one or two Justices of the Peace, normally acting in petty sessions, for three purposes:
MJV’s son Charles Clairmont is presumed to be in paid care at this time.
- to police bastardy, and as a basis for reclaiming the costs of supporting illegitimate children from the father
- to determine the settlement of an individual (a claim to a right of legal residence and relief in a parish)
- as a contribution to the wider county prosecution of vagrancy.