Jane Wareham was 26 years old when she married John Noble on 15th April 1852 at St Pancras Church in London. They both worked as shopkeepers in a large drapers store, Stagg and Mantle, at 2 & 3 Leicester Square in London. John's older brother, Thomas, had already emigrated to Sydney and was probably already working there as a buyer of fashionable garments. Almost immediately after their wedding, John and Jane followed in his footsteps.
I suppose if you are running a store you should expect trouble occasionally. One incident reached the Maitland Mercury around Christmas 1854. This involved a customer, Edward Thornton, coming into the store to buy a straw hat "for which he was charged one shilling and he then said that they were a set of prigs". This led to Thomas getting in the way of a fist aimed at his brother before "the defendant then seized him by the throat" and, when he had released himself, he then attacked John, attempted to tear some dresses and then tore the sleeve and back of the shirt of another salesman. The perpetrator was prosecuted, found guilty and given the option of paying a £5 fine or going to prison for 14 days.
A couple of months later Maria Bishop was charged with stealing three coats from the store. An assistant said she had come in and wanted to buy some socks but didn't make a purchase. As she was leaving she "put into her apron three Alpaca coats of the value of 18 shillings each". The assistant told John what had happened and he apprehended her in the street. Witnesses saw her drop the three coats on the pavement and a Constable took her into custody. At the trial she pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment, with hard labour, at Parramatta Gaol on the outskirts of Sydney.
The following month Mary Kirkson was charged with stealing a shirt valued at 3s 6d. "On being taken to the watchhouse she was searched and a pair of shoes and 6s. lOd found on her. Prisoner said she had bought the shoes at a store in West Maitland but could not tell which. She was drunk when apprehended." She was found guilty and sentenced to one months imprisonment with hard labour in Maitland Gaol.
On 24th October John was summoned under the Masters and Servants Act charged with having refused to pay one week's wages due to his hired servant, Ellen Hines, as required under the Act. "The complainant stated that she had been in the defendant's service for five months as a weekly servant, and having given one week's notice she left on the 7th October. The defendant stated she had given no notice of her leaving, but took away her clothes when he was at dinner. The bench dismissed the case". If she had been employed for five months, this was around the month of May when the baby was born. Perhaps this was an indication that funds were running out and it was time to reduce costs ?
Mr. J. WISDOM, at the London store, East Maitland, at eleven, remaining assets in the insolvent estate of John Noble.
We are requested to call attention to the sale by Mr. Wisdom at the London Stores, East Maitland tomorrow of the remaining goods in the insolvent estate of Mr. John Noble. A good opportunity for bargains.