Marriage Law and Practice in the Long Eighteenth Century: A by Rebecca Probert

By Rebecca Probert

This booklet makes use of quite a lot of basic assets - felony, literary and demographic - to supply an intensive reassessment of eighteenth-century marriage. It disproves the common assumption that married just by replacing consent, demonstrating that such exchanges have been appeared purely as contracts to marry and that marriage in church used to be virtually common open air London. It indicates how the Clandestine Marriages Act of 1753 was once essentially meant to avoid monks working out of London's Fleet legal from undertaking marriages, and that it used to be winning in so doing. It additionally refutes the concept the 1753 Act was once harsh or strictly interpreted, illustrating the courts' pragmatic method. ultimately, it establishes that very few non-Anglicans married based on their very own rites prior to the Act; whereas afterwards such a lot - store the exempted Quakers and Jews - equally married in church. in brief, eighteenth-century complied with regardless of the legislations required for a legitimate marriage.

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Extra info for Marriage Law and Practice in the Long Eighteenth Century: A Reassessment

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As Baker notes, a man who had entered into an unwitnessed contract per verba de praesenti with one woman and then publicly married another would be required by the church courts to live with the second, but ‘[t]heologians were forced into the position that such a man ought in conscience to disobey the Church and suffer excommunication on earth, safe in the knowledge that he would be absolved at the last judgment’: J. H. Baker, An Introduction to English Legal History, 4th edn (London: Butterworths, 2002), p.

Collins, Dicey and Morris on the Conflict of Laws, 13th edn (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2000), ch. 17. Of course, on the evidence presented in this chapter, the possibility of such a marriage is based on a misunderstanding of the legal position prior to 1754. (1811) 2 Hag. Con. 54; 161 ER 665. , Outhwaite, Clandestine Marriage, p. 2; R. H. Helmholz, Marriage Litigation in Medieval England (Cambridge University Press, 1975), p. 26; H. Elphinstone, ‘Notes on the English Law of Marriage’ (1889) 5 Law Quarterly Review 48.

55 As the judge of the Court of Arches noted in Goole v. 56 This, of course, was based on the assumption that Miss Hudson would still have admitted the contract with the Rev. Goole in this situation. This brings us on to the rules that were applied if there were no third party, but where the two parties disputed the existence of the contract. Even in this context, the court’s task was not simply a matter of assessing the veracity of the opposing parties. 57 In the absence of such evidence it would not be possible to prove that consent had been exchanged.

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