CHESHIRE-L ArchivesArchiver > CHESHIRE > 2006-03 > 1142429205
Subject: Re: [CHS] Mystery
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 08:26:45 -0500
I found a little more information on the marriage act of 1753
Marriage Act 1753
In England and Wales, the Marriage Act 1753, also called Lord
Hardwicke's Marriage Act (citation 26 Geo. II. c. 33), required formal
ceremony of marriage, therefore abolishing common-law marriage. The act
required that if both parties to a marriage were not at least 21 years
old, then consent to the marriage had to be given by the parents. Even
with consent, parties were not allowed to be married unless the male
was at least 14 years old and the female was at least 12. Previously,
people could be married at as early as seven years of age, but until
the participants reached the age of consent of 14 and 12 years, such
marriages could be voided easily. The act was precipitated by a dispute
about inheritance in a Scottish marriage.
When the act was passed, it required, under pain of nullity, that banns
should be published according to the rubric, or a licence obtained, and
that, in either case, the marriage should be solemnized in church; and
that in the case of minors, marriage by licence must be by the consent
of parent or guardian. The act came into effect in 1754, and exempted
Scotland and the Channel Islands. The law set forth much stricter rules
regarding marriage, including that marriages must be performed in a
church and must be officially recorded. Children of marriages that did
not meet these requirements could not inherit property. Such children
were considered 'base'.
This act had the effect of putting a stop to clandestine marriages,
e.g. the Fleet Marriages associated with Fleet Prison. Henceforth
couples had to fare to Gretna Green, in Scotland and thus outside the
jurisdiction of English law.
It says that marriage must be performed in a church, but it does not
specify the Anglican Church. I suppose a marriage could be solemnized
in a nonconformist church, but this was probably very rare, as these
churches were not licensed to perform marriages.
From: Ray Jones <>
Sent: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 07:52:06 -0500
Subject: [CHS] Mystery
My thanks to James, Ellen, Guy, Allan, Kieron and John for their
regard to my Whittingham marriages in Bunbury and Marbury in 1779 and
As remote as it is, there is still the possibility that the Richard and
Elizabeth Whittingham, nee Dutton, who married in Bunbury in October,
moved to Marbury and had son, Ahab, in the Summer of 1780.
The Richard and Elizabeth Whittingham nee Shenton who married in
January, 1780 may have moved elsewhere.
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