San Francisco Examiner December 12, 1916
The question of parentage of 4 year-old Maria Mansfield, which is denied by Mrs.W.H. Banta, former wife of David Hanbury, wealthy Englishman, will be taken before the Marin county Grand Jury at the next regular session.
District Attorney E.L. Butler prepared a written acknowlegement of the maternity of the child and sent it to Attorney Frank J Golden yesterday for Mrs. Banta to sign. Butler stated that in any event the case would be taken to the Grand Jury.
San Francisco Examiner January 7, 1917
The divorce courts have been opened again for Mrs. Marie Eleanor Mansfield Hanbury Banta, former sister -in-law to Lady Willoughby da Boke, and before that a telephone girl at Benicia.
A complaint charging cruelty was laid against her in Martinez Hotel, and was placed on the secret file. Harry Ruiz, clerk at Banta's hotel, came to San Francisco with the papers and served them on Mrs. Banta Thursday .
The complaint alleges abusive language and cites that on certain occasions Mrs. Banta struck her husband.
W. S. Tinning of Martinez, the attorney who filed the complaint, said last night that there was no reference in the papers to the litigation now pending in the courts of Marin county, in which the allegation has been made that Mrs. Banta is the mother of Maria Mansfield, who, was left with Mrs. Anna Porteous of Fairfax by Mrs. Banta when the child was 14 months old.
Mr. and Mrs. Banta were living together in Martinez until Dr. Edward Topham testified in San Rafael December 8 that he attended Mrs. Banta, then Mrs.
Hanbury, at the King Edward Apartments in this city in April, 1912, when a girl was born Mrs. Banta denied that she was the child's mother, and Judge took instructed District attorney Butler to prepare charges of perjury against her.
Nothing has happened in the Marin court since that date, but efforts have been made to affect a settlement for the care of the child out of court.
Mrs. Banta's first appearance in the divorce courts was when David H. Hanbury son of an early and millionaire resident of Vallejo, sued her for separation. Ardent love letters, alleged to have been written by Mrs. Hanbury to Bradley Sargent a University of California undergraduate were introduced in this case, but a reconciliation threw the case out of court.
Hanbury died in 1910, and left the widow three-quarters of Island No. 2 in Napa county. The other forth is held in trust for David H. Hanbury Jr., the child of her first marriage. Mrs. Hanbury acquired half of the island by deed when the divorce proceedings were dropped. The island is valued at $100,000.
Mrs. Hanbury was married to Banta at St. Helena October 6, 1912. There is one child by this union and no community property.
Most of the Hanbury estate is in England, and is held in trust by the Court in Chancery for David H. Hanbury Jr. Mrs. Banta is the guardian of the Hanbury heir and he has been living with her at Martinez.
The marriage of the British capitalist of noble birth to the Benicia telephone operator occurred in 1906 after rapid courtship. The romance occasioned much discussion and some opposition from the Hanbury family in England
©2002 Cyd Rawls