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Feas of Clestrain \ James I \ James II \ James III \ Patrick Fea I of Whitehall \ James Fea II of Whitehall \ James Fea VIII of Clestrain

Ann Corbet

Ann’s son, John Fea, had been left with her mother when he was born in 1762.  On her return to Belfast from Kirkwall in 1764, the news of her antics has already arrived and her mother refused to let her daughter take the child away or even see him.

Ann moved to Dublin and from there to London.

James Fea, thinking that Belfast would be the most likely place to find her, sent a servant named Thomas Greig to find and bring her back.   On Greig’s return, James Fea set out for London.

It appears that while Ann was in Dublin, an Irish army captain fell for her charms and went to London with her.  In the end, she had to fall back on her brother, Richard Corbet, who practised there as an attorney and it was through him that she was found.

James Fea arrived in London in August 1765 and found a substantial bill run up by his wife.  He had already been forced to sell his half army pay prior to leaving Ireland.

In attempting to make a fresh start, Ann posed as a single woman ensnaring a Mr Sandford, the son of a clergyman, who had certain means.   They were “married” at St. Anne’s Church, Soho in May 1766, although of course she was still married to James Fea.  She had the audacity to write to James defying him to show that he had any right to her.

A Mr Cooper, who had been dealing with James’s interests in London wrote of the “marriage”

You may take this for granted, she was married in May last, at St. Anne’s Church, and her brother was employed as a strange lawyer to draw the writings to settle on her £3,000.  He was introduced as her brother some time after. 

He (Sandford) is a man of fortune and family and they are already parted.  He was certainly arrested for her debts, but he gave bail, and there will be a trial soon, and I am told that she intends to swear that she was underage when she was married to you.

Petition of James Fea of Clestrain, 26th July 1768
From “The Real Captain Cleveland” (1912), Allan Fea - p219-220

Mr Sandford discovered fraud and turned her out.

Ann subsequently fell upon a “reduced officer of the guards.”

In the divorce proceedings from James Fea, Ann is described as Ann Jane Maria Harriot Corbet, alias Cormack, daughter of John Corbet, alias Cormack, Esq. Attorney-at-law, residing in the city of Lancaster.

Thomas Greig, then described as vintner in Kirkwall, gave evidence.  He was the servant sent to Belfast by James Fea in 1764 to locate his wife. He stated that the child had always been called Jackie or John and that when Ann Corbet had left Orkney for Belfast, she had told him that she was going to Ireland to see her son and that she was going to return immediately.

When in Belfast, Thomas Greig had been told by Ann Corbet’s mother that she was in London.

James Fea, in a petition dated 27th July 1768, states that their son was born in Limerick in 1762.  Ann Corbet left the bairn with a friend in Chester but had him with her in London in 1765.

In what would appear to be her will, dated 18th April 1820, Ann Corbet left a property to her son, John Fea .

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