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Parental Consent to a Marriage

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    Parental Consent to a Marriage

    Does anyone know the answer to this please.

    I have a 1938 Civil marriage where the bride is aged 18 and her age is correctly recorded as that on the certificate.

    She therefore needed parental consent to marry.

    It would appear that neither of her parents attended the wedding.

    My query is how would the Registrar require to be informed that the bride had consent to marry - in writing? Also did both parents have to consent?

    Surely just her word that she had such consent would not suffice?

    Thanks for reading,


    Hiya Ice

    welcome to Family Tree Forum,

    I'm pretty sure that the age as to which a person can get married is 16 (this is without parental consent)

    have a look here it might help?
    They're coming to take me away haha hee hee..........


      I think that the law allows marriage at a minimum age of 16 but parental consent was required if under 21....however I do not know the answer to the original question


        Julie, I'm pretty sure you do need parental consent at 16. I think it is when you get to 18 that you don't now. But I don't know when it changed from 21 to 18.

        Every five years or so I look back on my life and I have a good... laugh"
        (Indigo Girls, "Watershed")


          The age of consent changed at the same time as the voting age I would think.
          That was in the early 1970's.

          You can have permission to marry via a letter. An ancestor of mine married under 21 and I have copy of a letter that confirms that the mother wrote and gave her permission to the priest. The father was dead at the time.



            I'm in a right muddle today...

            this is what wikipedia says...

            England and Wales: 18, 16 with parental consent

            and as for the 18-21 thing wasnt that to do with marriages/visas??

            BBC NEWS | Politics | Marriage visa age to rise to 21
            They're coming to take me away haha hee hee..........


              fron GENUKI:

              Until 1929, the minimum ages people could marry were 12 for girls and 14 for boys; in 1929 both ages were raised to 16. The consent of parents was required for those under 21.

              somewhere on this page - GENUKI: Church Records
              Zoe in London

              Cio che Dio vuole, io voglio ~ What God wills, I will



                It used to be you could marry at 16 with parental consent. Only when you turned 21 could you marry without consent.

                This was then lowered to 18.


                  Thanks Margaret,

                  I think I must be losing it today................

                  *goes for a lie dark room*
                  They're coming to take me away haha hee hee..........


                    The logical point to collect this information would be when the date of the marriage was actually arranged.
                    I doubt if there was any vigorous checking of the facts.
                    I provided the details to the local registrar for my brother's marriage and what I said was accepted without comment (both brother & sil to be gave incorrect addresses to ensure the registrar of choice).

                    What makes you feel that the parents might not have given consent? Is there a family story that they stayed away from the wedding?
                    Phoenix - with charred feathers
                    Researching Skillings from Norfolk, Sworn from Salisbury and Adams in Malborough, Devon.


                      For a wedding in a Registrar's Office, written consent should have been presented when the marriage was arranged.

                      However, I doubt if the Registrar went to any pains to ensure that the written permission was signed by who was supposed to have signed it - there are big notices up in the Registration Office about giving false nformation.

                      My mother married at 16, with her mother's permission (her father objected). My Granny "didn't like paperwork" so my mother filled it all in and when it came to a signature, Granny said "Oh, you sign it for me" which my mother did!



                        Thank you all very much for your replies.

                        Taking bits from them all gives me very useful information.

                        I am not certain that one of the parents did not attend the wedding but family circumstances suggest that they did not and there are no photos.

                        Many thanks again.