San Francisco Examiner

Death Parts Couple Whom Divorce Court Failed to Separate

David T. Hanbury

Dies Suddenly

At Springs

Death Ends Career of Erratic Englishman Who Came Here Five Years Ago.


Couple Had Gained Notoriety

By Divorce Suit and


After four years of rather eventful married life. David T. Hanbury died suddenly from heart failure last night at White Sulphur Springs; where he had gone to take the waters in the hope of regaining the robust health which had been his when he traveled in the Arctic and rode with Roberts' Horse in the Boer war.

With him at the time of his death was his wife. Marie Eleanor Mansfield Hanbury. Whom he married, sued for divorce and reconciled to a second honeymoon, all within the space of four years.

Hanbury had been in ill health for some time. In January, while drinking King George's health he had fallen on the bottle from which he was drinking and broke several of his ribs. This was after an extended journey in Europe, whit her he had gone with his wife seeking the cure of his ills. His last words which Mrs. Hanbury says she heard leaning over his death bed, were:

"I have left my wife all the property I possess."



Hanbury's wealth had been variously estimated at from $500,000 to $1,000,000. It is said to have included an interest in the Hanbury Breweries in London, mines in the far north, and island No. 2 in the Napa river above Hare Island.

He was the action of an aristocratic family of London, his sister being Lady Willoughby de Broke. Hanbury himself was often broke and was sued by Jake Rauer for the collection of some unpaid bills at one time.

He came here five years ago and purchased Island No. 2 for his residence. Soon afterward he met Miss Mansfield, who was a telephone girl at Benicia at the time, and the couple were married in May, 1906. After an extended honeymoon in the East and Canada they returned here, and Mrs. Hanbury became known at "The College Widow: in Berkeley society.

This was the beginning of trouble, which culminated when Hanbury filed a divorce suit in December, 1907, charging his young wife with cruelty and infidelity. She filed a counter charge of the same nature, and the trial before judge Hunt was the sensation of the hour, when, one morning, the couple appeared in court and announced that they were reconciled.

 October 26, 1910



This reconciliation was speedily followed by the announcement that Hanbury had made a will leaving his all to his wife, and that he also had given her a deed for island No. 2. It was but a short time after this that Hanbury's brother. John McKenzie Hanbury, appeared from London. Rumor had it that his journey was to prevent his brother from disposing of his share of the family fortune to his wife, and the possession of island No. 2 occupled the attention of the court reporters almost as much as had the previous divorce trial.

On one occasion a mortgage deed to this properly was filed signed by Hanbury, with his mark, it being explained by his wife that he was too ill at the time to write his name. The question of possession was finally compromised with the London brother.

Hanbury had spent much of his earlier life in travel and had written a book under the title, "Sports and Travels in Northern Canada." During the Boer war he served without pay in the Roberts Horse in South Africa. He was a native of England and 45 years old.

Some months ago Mrs. Hanbury gave birth to a son, and since that time the couple had been staying at Island No. 2 until they departed for the springs. Before the birth of the son they had spent much of their time at Del Monte. Hanbury had spent money lavishly since he came here, and it is thought that his fortune was somewhat impaired.




What happened next?
The Banta Saga...

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