A widow could not, however, be forced to marry against her will. Dowry, the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings to her husband or his family in marriage. The bonds for Faculty Office licenses, 1694-1824, also at Lambeth Palace Library, will provide the occupation of the groom if this does not appear in the allegation [not filmed by FHL]. Details are given in the Gibson Guide mentioned below. The trade in these irregular marriages had grown enormously in London by the 1740s. It represents a spiritual and emotional bond. The large sum of money to be forfeit was intended to underline the serious nature of the oath, and it should not be thought that the couple had these funds at their disposal. It remains uncertain as to whether the Archdeacons of London (after 1691) and of Middlesex (after 1669) continued to issue licenses or if (as with those of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster between 1699 and 1772 and after 1804) the allegations and bonds were sold as waste paper. However, for the above reasons licenses are found right across the social scale. All the entries prior to 1714 are indexed in the Miscellaneous Series of Boyd's Marriage Index. When the wives and daughters of farm labourers were not toiling in the fields or in their insanitary cottages, they were giving birth to children or recovering, in rough conditions, from the effects of child-birth. Marriage is only the beginning. Very grand people who wanted to marry in a private house or chapel could pay even higher fees for a special license. Valuable abstracts of the later licenses have been published by the Institute as An index to the Archbishop of York's Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1735-1839 [FHL 9 vols. A marriage settlement in England was a historic arrangement whereby, most commonly and in its simplest form, a trust of land or other assets was established jointly … They left honest couples in doubt. The system was not, however, codified until Canons of 1604 which said that a license should only be granted "upon good caution and security taken". At whatever age, marriage was the desired path for most people. 942.74 K22n]. The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) forbade clandestine marriage, and required marriages to be publicly announced in churches by priests. Considered to be "special acts of grace and favor" on the part of the Archbishop, their granting was much restricted in 1759. The second bondsman soon became a formality, any convenient person acting. Not all the essays focus on marriage as such. D’Avray, David. It was only when a lady became a widow, writes Maurice Ashley, that a glorious opportunity for authority and freedom suddenly flooded in upon her. In the early-17th century, women usually married between ages 20 and 23. Analyzes how attitudes about Anglo-Indian marital unions changed over time in the colonial south and in New England. The great majority of licenses were obtained from the bishop of the diocese in which one of the parties lived and in which the marriage was to take place. 6. In Tudor England, most people who married did so only after they had the wherewithal to establish a household of their own. 1987, 942 K23c]. From 1 July 1837 it has also been possible for a marriage to take place, without banns, in a District Register Office or in a certified building (usually a Roman Catholic or Nonconformist church or chapel), either by Certificate or by License, both issued by the Local Superintendent Registrar. Indexes of names have been compiled by the Society of Genealogists and published on microfiche [FHL has 1726-1750 on fiche 6202698 and 1801-1825 on fiche 6202699]. Elsewhere, the license was frequently applied for on the day before the marriage, but in these cases it is often found to have been issued on the same day. During the seventeenth century, women were in theory, and in practice so far as the law went, inferior to men. The chapter is basically an analysis of Bray, Alan. Many earlier licenses used to exist and extracts of these for the period 1567-1714, made by the 19th century antiquary, William Paver, were printed by the Yorkshire Archaeological Society [see the FHL Title Catalog under "Paver's Marriage Licenses"]. Different marriage laws in Scotland mean that very few marriages followed license, although they may be found in periods in the 17th century when the Episcopalian Church was in the ascendant. To learn more about England Church Records click here. The licenses issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury are particularly important in this respect and enable many marriages in the London area to be located easily. 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