Maria Frost

Origin
Sheffield
Father
Thomas Frost, Merchant Tailor in Sheffield
Address
17 Castle Street, moving in 1816 to 2 Queensferry Street
Profession
On her return to Sheffield in 1818 she sought work as a music teacher, but apparently without great success.
Story
In 1815 the marriage broke down after he began having an affair with Mrs Steele of Stockbridge, and to treat Maria with appalling violence. Maria took him to court in 1818, just after he had been appointed as organist at St John's and then imprisoned for debt. They heard how he:
instead of behaving with that affection tenderness and humanity which it is the duty of a husband to observe towards his wife he has with the greatest tyranny maltreated and abused her in words and deeds, beat, bruised her head face and other parts of the body in a variety of instances,
recorded in horrifying detail (and facinating circumstantial detail) in the testimony of Maria and various neighbours, friends and servants. Maria was awarded separation, custody of the children, and aliment (another drain on his St John's salary), and returned to her relations in Sheffield. Both in 1820 and 1828 when John was sacked from St John's, she wrote to the vestry in financial desperation as the aliment they were paying her direct was her only means of support. (3, 4)
Chapel connection
Organist's wife
Married
25 December 1804 - 25 July 1818 (when Maria left)
Spouse
John Mather
Children
at least two daughters

Sources

  1. Registers of Charlotte Chapel (NAS CH12/3)
  2. Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1818
  3. Minutes of St John's Vestry, National Archives of Scotland CH12/3/3
  4. Process of Separation and Aliment, National Archives of Scotland CH8/6/1703

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