7 Ladd v. Lynn, 2 M. & W. 265.
§ 178. A husband is not, however, bound for necessaries furnished to his wife, if she have left his house voluntarily without sufficient cause, although she do not go away with an adulterer or in an adulterous manner;3 except for funeral expenses incurred in burying her in a suitable manner.4 But if he turn her out of doors without sufficient cause,5 or if she leave him, because of ill-treatment,6 or because he has brought a prostitute into the house to live with him as his mistress,7 or for any essary for her to exhibit articles of the peace against him, he is liable for expenses thereby incurred, although he allow her a separate maintenance.1
1 Cox v. Kitchin, 1 Bos. & Pal. 338; Collins v. Rowed, 1 Bas. & Pul. N. R. 54.
2 Liverpool Association v. Fairhurst, 9 Ex. 422; ante, § 111, note 3; post, § 180.
3 Horwood v. Heffer, 3 Taunt. 421; Child v. Hardyman, 2 Str. 875; Hindley v. The Marquis of Westmeath, 6 B. & C. 200; Mainwaring v. Leslie, 2 C. & P. 507; M'Cutchen v. M'Gahay, 11 Johns. 281; Walker v. Simpson, 7 Watts & Serg. 83; Brown v. Patton, 3 Humph. 135; Cany v. Patton, 2 Ashm. 140; Brown v. Mudgett, 40 Vt. 68 (1868).
4 Bradshaw v. Beard, 12 C. B. (n. s.) 344 (1862).
5 Thompson v. Hervey, 4 Burr. 2177; Montague v. Benedict, 3 B. & C. 631; Lungworthy v. Hockmore, 1 Ld. Raym. 444; Etherington v. Parrot, 2 Ld. Raym. 1006; s. c. 1 Salk. 118; Hodges v. Hodges, 1 Esp. 441.
6 In Hodges v. Hodges, 1 Esp. 441, Lord Kenyon said that, where a wife's situation in her husband's house was rendered unsafe from his cruelty or ill-treatment, he should rule it to be equivalent to a turning her out of the house, and that the husband should be liable for necessaries furnished to her under those circumstances. Brown v. Ackroyd, 5 El. & B. 819 (1856). It was held in this case that when the wife was compelled, for her protection, to obtain a divorce a mensa et thoro, she might pledge his credit for the expenses of the proceeding. But the wife must show reasonable cause for entering the suit; and neither a momentary ebullition of temper nor a threat of violence, not seriously made, afford this reasonable ground. See Rice v. Shepherd, 12 C. B. (n. s.) 332 (1862); Wilson v. Ford, Law R. 3 Exch. 63 (1868), a very interesting and important case. See also Johnston v. Manning, 12 Irish Com. Law, 148 (1860).
7 Corbett v. Poelnitz, 1 T. R. 5. In Horwood v. Heffer, 3 Taunt. 421, it was held, that the fact that the husband kept a courtesan under his roof was not a sufficient cause to justify the wife in abandoning him. But in Houlis-ton v. Smyth, 3 Bing. 127, this case is severely reprobated. In this latter case, Best, C. J., said: " There is not the least pretence for this motion; other adequate reason, he will be liable,1 and must support her according to his means and position in life,2 although the only ground on which a new trial can be asked for is a supposed misdirection on my part. I told the jury that if they were of opinion the defendant's wife had reasonable ground to apprehend personal violence, she was justified in leaving her husband; that the man who received and supported her under such circumstances acted like a Christian, and in a Christian country was entitled to compensation. I am still of that opinion, and it is warranted even by the case of Horwood v. HefFer; for Lawrence, J., says, 'You did not state any apprehension of her personal safety;' from which it may be inferred that if evidence had been adduced of such apprehension, the decision of the court would have been the other way. But a woman is not bound to wait till actual violence is committed, and if she has reasonable ground for apprehending danger, may fly from the presence of her husband. It has been objected, that the establishment of this principle may lead fanciful women to quit their homes without sufficient reason. The apprehension, however, is not to be merely such as a fanciful woman may entertain, but such as a jury shall esteem to have been felt upon reasonable grounds. It was put to the jury in the present case whether they thought the woman had reasonable ground for apprehending personal violence. The jury were warranted in concluding she apprehended a repetition of the violence offered to her the year preceding; and more horrid treatment no female had ever experienced. If I had recollected the cases decided by Lord Ellenborough, I should have decided, even at Nisi Prius, against the case of Horwood v. Heffer. The doctrine in that case cannot be law. Is a decent woman to stay under the same roof with a prostitute ? to sit at the same table with her ? or to give place, and receive her meals in a separate apartment ? The law can never require a woman to act contrary to decency. If a wife remains in the house with her husband and an adulteress, I doubt whether she could afterwards obtain a divorce for the adultery of her husband; her continuance in the house with her husband under such circumstances, might be considered as an assent to his conduct, and prejudice her case in the spiritual court." Mr. Justice Park said, "There is no ground whatever for interfering with this verdict. The direction to the jury was perfectly correct, notice be given that she is not to be trusted. But when she leaves him on account of difficulties and disagreement in the family, it must clearly appear that they arose from his misconduct, or he will not be responsible on her contracts.1 If the wife voluntarily elope, and not with an adulterer, and afterwards solicit her husband to receive her again, and he refuse, he will be bound from that time for necessaries furnished to her.2 Yet if such an elopement be with an adulterer, it would be otherwise.3 If, however, the husband receive his wife again, after she has been turned away by him for adultery, and then turn her away again, he is liable for necessaries furnished to her.4
1 Houliston v. Smyth, 3 Bing. 127; Reed v. Moore, 5 C. & P. 200; Emery v. Emery, 1 Younge & Jerv. 501; Sykes v. Halstead, 1 Sandf. 483. And where the wife lives apart from her husband, for justifiable reasons, and takes a minor child with her, the husband will be liable for necessaries furnished the child, by the mother's order; she having no means adequate to her support according to her husband's degree. Bazeley v. Forder, Law R. 3 Q. B. 559, Cockburn, C. J., dissenting (1868) ; s. c. 9 Best & S. 599. See Hall v. Weir, 1 Allen, 261 (1861) ; Reynolds v. Sweetser, 15 Gray, 78 (1860).