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Married or not?

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Married or not?

Postby vas13 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:57 pm

I have a distant relative on my husbands side who married in 1951 - CofE church in Dorset. The male indicated that he was a Bachelor on the wedding certificate, when he was actually a divorced man. I know that giving incorrect information is perjury, but does anyone know whether this would have made the wedding illegal and therefore he never truly married his new wife? Or was 'bachelor' acceptable for a divorcee?
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Re: Married or not?

Postby AntonyM » Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:39 pm

As long as he actually was divorced and so free to marry then the marriage would be legally valid.
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Re: Married or not?

Postby MayHam » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:03 pm

Before 1858 the church courts could provide only one of two remedies. Both were costly and infrequent, there being only about forty a year in the 1840s:

2. Divorce from the chain or bond of matrimony (a vincula matrimonii) which declared invalid the marriage itself and thus allowed either party to remarry. It could be granted if the marriage were... in error...
https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Divorc ... e_Act_1857

It doesn't sound like the second marriage would be legitimate but I don't know if a court would have to rule on it.
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Re: Married or not?

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:18 pm

Just to add to the above, I've just been trying to see what Rebecca Probert's book says on this topic but can't find the exact question.

What she does say is that "since 1857 Anglican clergymen have been able to refuse to solemnise the marriage of a divorced person". Now that is a long way from saying that the Church in general refused to marry divorced people.

Yes, there is a slight untruth on the certificate, presumably to avoid the risk of a refusal, but RP is at pains to draw a distinction between what must happen in relation to marriages and what should happen. Seems to me that this is just a "should".

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Re: Married or not?

Postby SoozOne » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:06 am

My Dad was previously married but separated then eventually divorced when he met my Mum. They married in 1940 but it had to be a registry office marriage as being divorced he couldn't marry again in a church.
I would think that putting Bachelor instead of divorced was a stretching of the truth in order to have a church wedding for his new wife. I don't see that this would make the marriage illegal though, as long as the divorce had been legally granted.



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Re: Married or not?

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:41 am

I agree with your suggestion of a motive, while I think we can defer to Antony's professional knowledge of the legality.

Strikes me that this was a very minor issue - marriage to a deceased wife's sister or deceased husband's brother seems to have been, I *suspect* a bigger issue and we get enough of those...

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