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John William Kinschott - Quadruple Bigamist!

John Kinschott is one of two Kingshott family members that I have found so far who have been convicted of bigamy - the offence of illegally marrying another person whilst still legally married to another. As with the other chap - Roger Kingzett - John was not content to commit this offence once! 


Before moving on, we need to have a quick look at the spelling of the surname.  Though this is the spelling of a Dutch family that may, or may not be related - see here - the spelling, in this case, appears to have simply been the phonetic spelling of the surname that this branch of the family happened to settle upon. 


John William Kinschott was born in 1881 to James Kingshott and his wife Isabella nee Longhurst. Note that James spelt his surname int he more conventional manner. James was born in Warblington, Hampshire in 1859 to James Kinchett (!) and his wife Margaret Bridle. I've talked before about the fluidity of the spelling of the surname, which is why I didn't really link the Kinschott branches in until very late in the day. In this case, I only did this on 17th November 2018! 


John Kinschott, confusingly using the middle name of James married a lady called Esther Elizabeth Simmonds at Holy Saviour Church, Croydon, Surrey, England on 23rd November 1903. This was the first marriage, and therefore the only legal one. 


John Kinschott and Esther Simmonds Marri

It appears that John and Esther lived together for a number of years, but moved apart around 1918. In the intervening period, in 1913, John - now calling himself William Kinschott - emigrated to Australia. On the way there he met a lady called Annie Harris and became engaged in Cape Town, South Africa. Shortly after arrival, they were married in Australia. John had two children with Annie, to go with the two legitimate children he had with Esther.


In 1917, John was convicted of the offence of bigamy and sentenced to one month in prison. 


Daily Record Monday 16 July 1917.jpg

This conviction didn't really seem to phase John, and in December 1920 he was convicted again for the offence of bigamy. At this time I do not know the name of this second bigamous wife, nor if there were any children. What I do know is that John received a sentence of nine months imprisonment for this offence. By this time he was using the alias name of John Armstrong. 


On 3rd August 1924, again using the alias name of John Armstrong, John married a lady called Sophia Larden. This was the third offence of bigamy, as he was still legally married to Esther making subsequent marriages invalid. There was one child born from this relationship, though I have yet to find out that child's name. 

Not content, and using the alias name of John Armstrong, 20th April 1930 he once again bigamously married Lucy Cowan at St Mary's Church, Kennington, London, England. He lived with her for a few years and had two more children with her! 

All of this seems to unravel in 1934. The first newspaper clipping is from the Illustrated London News, dated Thursday 11th October 1934. 


Illustrated Police News Thursday 11 Octo

The following week a write-up appeared in the same newspaper, dated Thursday 25th October 1934. The judge's comments tickled me at the end. 

Illustrated Police News Thursday 25 Octo

I am still looking into this complicated family, and would love to know if anybody links in through one of the illegitimate marriages. Updates will be posted as I find them. 



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