Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Kuehne Beveridge Marriage with Charles Coghlan

Besides being an artist Kuehne Beveridge was also a "celebrity" not only thanks to her artistic talents but to her love life!  



In October 1893, aged 16, Kuehne Beveridge marries Charles Coghlan, a British actor. Kuehne is the grand-daughter of overnor Beveridge, former governor of Illinois. At the time, Kuehne takes part in a thetare's company, directed by Rose Coghlan, Charles' sister. That's how Kuehne and Charles first met and decided to get married.  
The press refers to it as a "clandestine marriage" and expressed how worried Kuehne's family was. In fact, soon after their mariage Kuehne discovered that her husband has been married three times before and still lives with his wife, which will refer as Mrs Coghlan, and even has a kid, Gertrude. They are supposed to have been married for more 20 years. 

In November, another drama emerges Charles' sister, who produces several of his plays, refuses to let Kuehne and Charles play their role in her play "The Woman of No Importance" in New York. Rose seems to be hostile to Kuehne and Charles' relationship, she even lets Mrs Coghlan and Gertrude sleep in her house in New York. 

In December, Mrs Coghlan tries to talk to Charles in his hotel room. She is welcomed by Kuehne who then let her talk to Charles. Ella, Kuehne's mother, talks to journalists and confirms that there will be no "reconciliation" between Mrs Coghlan and Charles. She goes further in saying that Kuehne and Charles are "passionately devoted to each other and their union is a perfectly natural and proper one".  

The day after, Mrs Coghlan expresses her feelings by giving an interview to the New York Times about the "affair". She still considers herself Coghlan's "lawful wife" even if they got married in a rush and without taking it seriously. She particularly annoyed that Kuehne her mother, Ella, had expressed pity for her and her daughter. Furthermore, she is suing her husband and Kuehne. 

Their love story comes to an end in May 1894, six months after their marriage, Kuehne and Charles do no longer live together. Charles who is sick, is being nursed by his "legitimate" wife, Mrs Coghlan, and their daughter. 

In June 1894, Charles is in danger of being prosecuted for bigamy in Indiana, where he married Kuehne. Her family and friends seem to be behind the enquiry and are trying to "get the record of a first marriage from England".

Unfortunately that is where the story ends,after a few years of marriage they realised what a masquerade their romance was. Charles goes back to his previous wife and dies in 1899. Kuehne goes back to her family and will marry again in 1903 a South African expat but that's another story... 



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