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PREVIOUS CASE

WOMEN "MARRIED" !

NOTORIOUS AMY BOCK '

Only one similar instance of a woman "marrying anothei woman has been recorded in New Zealand, that of the infamous and colourful Amy Bock, whose adventures of fraud" and forgery first captured, public imagination in the SO's of last century. Amy Bock was educated in a ladies' boarding school in Melbourne and studied to be a teacher. Within a year or so of entering her chosen career she was convicted and discharged for false pretences in Australia. This was the beginning of a record of fraud, crime and male impersonation which made her known to the police throughout Australia and New Zealand.

She had an agreeable manner and 'was an adept at wheedling money out of unsuspecting males. Though not by any means of prepossessing Appearance, she possessed an engaging personality and made up as a very convincing man. The adventuress'showed great versatility as an. amateur actress, and also was credited with the ability to write no fewer than seven different styles of caligraphy, an accomplishment that stood her in good stead in many"of her plans. She was known by the police from one end of the Dominion I to the other and by many aliases.

Around 1909 she capped all her previous records by "marrying" a young woman in the South. She had once been heard to say she was tired of defrauding men—they were too soft and easy to work upon—and women were much more difficult to deceive. The inference drawn was that the air of novelty of deceiving one of her own sex into a marriage ceremonv appealed to her more strongly than the duping of men. Amy Bock served many years of her life in gaol. When she was sentenced in the Supreme Court at Dunedin on May 27, 1909, on charges of forging and uttering, false pretences and making a false statement under the Marriage Act, she was dressed in a grey costume with a sailor hat tied firmly on her head by a white veil. She gave her age as 46 Counsel for the defence contended that there was a prima facie case that accused was not responsible for her actions. The judge agreed to a medical examination but declined to commit the prisoner to a mental hospital. At that time her total sentences amounted to over 16 years, her first conviction in New Zealand having been recorded in Christchurch in April, 1886. The sobbing prisoner was sentenced to two vears' hard labour and declared an habitual criminal.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19450926.2.80

Bibliographic details

PREVIOUS CASE, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 228, 26 September 1945

Word Count
421

PREVIOUS CASE Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 228, 26 September 1945

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