Once Ursula and Sidney were engaged, they couldn’t wait to be married. What was the hurry? In the flapper era of shorter skirts and “petting parties” among the younger generation, was Ursula a “nice” girl who considered sex outside of marriage scandalous? Perhaps she truly loved Sidney and wanted to spend the rest of her life with him, or perhaps she mistook lust for love. Short of finding her diary (one could only hope!), we will never know. It seems their romance was intoxicating enough that they were married just a short time later—one week, in fact!
Not only that, but, according to the Oakland Tribune, they also eloped! Apparently, a week after they were engaged in Florence, Ursula and Sidney:
“…left the Cheshire apartment for a luncheon. A message that they had been married in London on February 27 was the next word Mrs. Cheshire had from her daughter.”
Another article in the Tribune, published on March 29, reported that the couple was spending a honeymoon in London, “where the marriage occurred.”
They may have had a ceremony in London, but I discovered that Ursula Claire Cheshire and Sidney Lanier Bartlett were legally married later—on April 16, 1925 in the Chiaia district of Naples, Italy by Barone Michele Chiaranda. Behold, their “Certificate of Marriage,” issued by the Consular Office of the United States of America:
At 20 years old, Sidney was considered a minor, and required written permission from his mother, Pansy Edna Bartlett, which she evidently provided.
Whatever will happen next? Stay tuned…