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A baptism followed by a marriage

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A baptism followed by a marriage

Postby sdup26 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:05 pm

On 13th April 1834, Betsy Davenport was baptised in the parish of Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire, parents David and Jane Davenport. (Jane was nee Smith)
On 14th April 1834, also in Bolton Le Moors, David Davenport married Jane Smith, by Banns. Might there be a particular reason for the two events being 'the wrong way round' or was it just a simple case of a marriage 24 hours later being better than never?
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Re: A baptism followed by a marriage

Postby 1888 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:28 pm

It could be possible that they planned to marry before the birth but she gave birth early. They then had her deliberately baptised the day before their wedding.


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Re: A baptism followed by a marriage

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:11 pm

"Better late than never" suggests an "Oops, you're not married?" moment at the baptism. But since it was a marriage by banns, then the church should have known exactly what the situation was.

It may be significant that the baptisms on the 13th are a job lot of 12 done by the curate. He's clearly been eager, going round finding unbaptised children. He may have picked up that Betsy hadn't been baptised and arranged for her to be baptised on the 13th as one of the 12 - when they picked up that David and Jane hadn't yet been married but had had the banns called, etc., then someone with a kind heart might have skated over the inaccuracy of not recording her as illegitimate - indeed maybe her parents had been married (by the vicar, not the curate) by the time that the baptism was written up so they recorded her parents as married.

So it looks like David and Jane got pushed into having Betsy baptised and a degree of fudging has gone on to disguise her illegitimacy at the date of baptism. Very interesting!

NB - I have checked the images in Ancestry's Manchester PRs and on a quick scan there is no other David & Jane Davenport / Devonport, etc., in the area at that time.
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Re: A baptism followed by a marriage

Postby Guy » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:49 pm

Or perhaps they intentionally left the marriage until after the baptism due to Bolton's possible attitude to the new Poor Law that was to come in August 1834, were there rumours about this new Act?

It could be far fetched to think that because Bolton was one of the parishes that continued with out-relief the parents thought there might be an advantage for Betsy to be recorded as illegitimate. Had there been talk about this possibility?

I doubt if that was the reason and feel it was more likely they simply could not arrange their marriage for an earlier date.

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Re: A baptism followed by a marriage

Postby sdup26 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:36 am

Very many thanks 1888, Adrian and Guy. It was one of those 'oh, is that right?' moments you get when finding a record, and good to get other opinions on it.
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