Celebrity for the week ending
Saturday, 9 October 2004

Adelina Patti (1843-1919), celebrated Italian soprano;
her marriage to the Marquis de Caux, 1868, and separation, 1877

Adelina Patti and the Marquis de Caux

Adelina Patti and Henri, Marquis de Caux on their wedding day, London, 29 July 1868

(photo: Southwell Brothers, London, 1868)


'The case of Madame Adelina Patti was, says a Paris correspondent settled late on Friday afternoon. She applied in the first instance for a judicial separation from her husband. He made a counter application; but out of consideration for his wife's reputation he refrained from preferring a charge which, if proved, would, according to French law, have entailed a sentence of imprisonment. He, therefore, contented himself with a counter application for separation, and, on the documentary evidence adduced, the President, M. Aubepine, of the Tribunal de Premiere Instance, delivered this afternoon a verdict which was wholly favourable to the Marquis de Caux. President Aubepine took the greatest care to prevent even barristers knowing that he was to hear it that day. It was placed at the end of a long list of cases, some of which could be very rapidly heard, and the rest of which he knew he would be asked to adjourn. The usher muttered in a scarcely audible voice the words, "De Caux contre de Caux," as M. Senard and three more advocates were quitting the court, where they had been to ask for more time for further preparation of briefs. President Aubepine then hurried through the reading of the judgment in "De Caux v. de Caux." It runs thus:- "Whereas, touching the Marquise de Caux, she has in no wise established or even offered to prove the facts she has alleged in her petition; and whereas, touching the Marquise de Caux, inasmuch as a correspondence addressed to her, and articles inserted with her privity in the Morning Post, constitute an offence of the gravest nature to the husband, we hereby rule the separation of persons and of goods which [he] asks for in his petition; and we moreover commit to the care of Maitre Champetier de Ribes, notary, the liquidation of the community, and to M. L'Evesque, judge, the drawing up of the report on said liquidation; and we hereby also reject the petition of the Marquise de Caux and condemn her to pay the whole costs of the suit." The property vested by the Marquis de Caux for his wife in France amounts to nearly 80,000 sterling. As they were married without a contract, he will at the winding-up or liquidation get the half of it. Her diamonds and other jewels and trinkets, and I am told also laces, velvets, and shawls, which come under the head of article[s] of luxury, will be sold; or, if she chooses, she can take one half and the other at valuation.'
(The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, London, Saturday, 11 August 1877, p.514c)

Adelina Patti

Adelina Patti

(photo: W. & D. Downey, London, late 1870s)

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John Culme, 2004