View Full Version : Marriage by license

Lynn The Forest Fan
10-12-07, 08:44
Can anyone tell me if it is possible to get more information on a marriage license, from 1908? I've just got my gg grandparents' marriage cert and it is the first that I have seen, where they married by license. I understand that this probably had something to do with them marrying in Hull when they actually lived in Barton upon Humber, (although he gave an address in Hull), but was curious to see if there would be any further information.

Uncle John
10-12-07, 12:08
What church did they marry in, or was it a Register Office wedding? They could only have Banns read in a CofE church, so any other wedding venue would have required a licence.

Merry Monty Montgomery
10-12-07, 13:14
I have my grandparents original marriage licence (1917)......so it's not at the RO!! (unless they signed more than one copy, I suppose.....)

10-12-07, 14:50
From what I've read, not many actual licences are held in the record office, because the couple would keep the licence. I think the record office or whatever is more likely to have the application for the licence, but I'm not sure where you would look.

Lynn The Forest Fan
10-12-07, 14:55
They married at St Stephen's church in Hull, which is C of E, their children were baptised in a C of E church in Barton. But they were already grandparents when they married, hence the reason for marrying accross the water!

Christine in Herts
10-12-07, 15:07
The whole point of marriage by Licence is that it gets round the time & publicity demands of a marriage by Banns, so it's extremely unlikely there will be any Banns records.

I should have thought there would be some kind of Licence register. There certainly are for historical records. The trick would be to find out where they would be. The RO may be able to offer some ideas.


Lynn The Forest Fan
10-12-07, 15:15
Thanks Christine, it would make sense that they wanted to avoid a fuss, as they had been living as a maaried couple for over 40 years. I doubt event heir children knew that they weren't married.

Little Nell
10-12-07, 17:20
Marriage Certificate Tutorials (http://home.clara.net/dixons/Certificates/marriages.htm#COL9)
"(2) "by licence" which would be found in the same set of registers and would indicate that the couple may have married with less than three weeks between giving the notice and getting married (minimum of 1 clear working day). However - a licence lasts three months so the marriage wasn't necessarily done in a rush. It may have been easier to give only the one licence notice rather than the two that would have been needed for a marriage by certificate if the bride and groom lived in different districts."

I'm not sure that there would be any information on the licence that you wouldn't have on the marriage certificate.

Lynn The Forest Fan
11-12-07, 08:03
Thanks Nell, that is interesting. I have emailed the RO & will see what they have to say.

11-12-07, 10:57
The christmas edition of the Hampshire genealogical Society's journal said that from 1837, licences were issued by the registrar, rather than the church. Not sure if that is true for all marriages, or just those outside the c of e.

You might find details differed very slightly from the actual certificate. The only difference, I suppose would be if someone had to stand surety for them: you would presumably get an address and possibly occupation for them.

As a matter of interest, were the witnesses friends and family, or strangers off the street?

Lynn The Forest Fan
11-12-07, 14:53
The witnesses weren't family, they were listed as Robert and Mary Paulian Abram. I haven't found them for definite in 1901, but think they were from Hull

Merry Monty Montgomery
11-12-07, 15:28
Lynn, would you like me to try and find my grandparents licence to see what info it actually has on it, compared with the marriage cert? (It isn't where it should be, but I can have a look later this evening!)

Lynn The Forest Fan
12-12-07, 07:50
If I am not too late Merry, that would be great. :)

Merry Monty Montgomery
12-12-07, 12:22
Oops, forgot.

I'll go and find it now (hopefully!)

Merry Monty Montgomery
12-12-07, 12:57
Transcript: (I'll get OH to scan it later as it looks quite nice!)

The Worshipful Allan Cyprian Bourne Webb, Master of Arts, Barrister at Law, Vicar General of the Right Reverend Father in God Frederic Edward by Divine Permission Lord Bishop of Salisbury and Official Principal of the Consistorial and Episcopal Court of Salisbury lawfully constituted

To our Beloved in Christ Walter Henry Clark of the Parish of Wyke Regis in the County of Dorset and Diocese of Salisbury, 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd Dorset Regiment, Bachelor of the age of twenty-nine years and Winifred Mai Harriet Maynard of Willowdean, Queens Road, Twickenham in the County of Middlesex, Spinster of the age of twenty-one years Health Whereas it is alledged that ye are desirous to proceed to the Solemnization of true and lawful Matrimony And Whereas we being willing that these your desires may the more speedily obtain a due Effect and to the End thereof That this Marriage may be Publicly and lawfully Solemnized in the Parish Church of Wyke Regis aforesaid by the Rector, Vicar or Curate thereof without the Publication or Proclamation of the Banns of Matrimony and at any time within three Months from the date hereof provided there shall appear no Impediment in this Case by reason of any former Marriage, Consanguinity, Affinity or any other Cause whatsoever nor any Suit, Controversy or Complaint be moved or now depending before any Judge, Ecclesiastical or Civil for or by reason thereof And likewise that the Celebration of this Marriage be had and done Publicly in the aforesaid Parish Church between the Hours of Eight in the forenoon and three in the afternoon we for lawful causes graciously grant this our Licence and Faculty as well to You the Parties contracting as to the rector, Vicar or or Curate of the aforesaid Parish who is designed to Solemnize the Marriage between you in the Manner and Term above Specified according to the Rites of the Book of Common Prayer set forth for that Purpose bt the Authority of Parliament provided always that if in this Case there shall hereafter appear any Fraud Suggested to us or Truth suppressed at the time of obtaining this Licence then the Licence to be void and of no Effect in Law as if the same had never been granted And in that case we inhibit all Ministers if any thing of the Premises shall come to their Knowledge that they do not proceed to the Celebration of the said Marriage without consulting us or our lawful surrogate Given under the Seal which we use in this behalf this sixth Day of November in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and seventeen

"signature" (Illegible!)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~

I do wonder if my gran actually read the blub on the licence? Probably not, but she should have felt guilty if she had, as I do believe she thought herself already married, as she had gone through a ceremony two years before!

In fact her first "husband" had married her bigamously, but she was probably unaware of this at this time....also he was dead, but she was probably unaware of that as well, so how did she feel going ahead with this ceremony to my unsuspecting grandfather?? She suffered with her "nerves" all her life......was she waiting to be caught out? (when, of course, there was actually nothing to be caught out doing........)

Uncle John
12-12-07, 14:34
Yoiks! My civil licence (issued in Surrey, where I was living, because I was getting married at my fiancee's church in Scotland) was nowhere near such a hell-fire and damnation document.

Lynn The Forest Fan
12-12-07, 16:42
Thanks Merry, that is interesting.

Uncle John, I would guess that yours was more recent, unless you are older than you look! :D

The record office have got back to me & they say that copies of the licenses for Hull are kept at the Borthwick Institute in York.