Page images
PDF
EPUB

the meaning of the Marriage Act, 1898 (d), must be present ; (ii.) in addition two or more credible witnesses must be present ; (ii.) the marriage must be celebrated with open doors and between the hours of eight in the forenoon and three in the afternoon (e) ; (iv.) in some part of the ceremony, and in the presence of the registrar and witnesses, each of the parties must say—“I do “ solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impedi“ ment why I, A. B., may not be joined in matrimony to “ C. D."; and each of the parties must say to the other, I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, “ A. B., do take thee, C. D., to be my lawful wedded “ wife (or husband) ” (f).

Or, secondly, the marriage may be solemnized at the office of the superintendent registrar, in his presence and in that of some “registrar of the district,” and also of two other witnesses, and with open doors, and between the hours aforesaid ; and the parties are to make the same declaration and use the same words as in the case of marriage in a certified and registered place of worship (g). But at no marriage had in such office may any religious service be used, although the parties are permitted by statute to add such religious ceremony afterwards as is ordained or used by the denomination to which they belong (h), such latter celebration being, however (in such case), without any effect in law.

Or, thirdly, the marriage may be solemnized according to the rites of the Church of England, the church in which the marriage is solemnized being situate within the district of the superintendent registrar by whom the certificate is issued, and the consent of the minister

(d) 61 & 62 Vict. c. 58, ss. 4, 6. The "authorised person" is the person (usually the minister) authorised by the trustees or governing body of the building.

(e) Marriage Act, 1886 (49 & 50 Vict. c. 14), s. 1.

(5) The words in italics may be omitted in the case of a marriage celebrated in the presence of an "authorised person."

(9) 6 & 7 Will. 4, c. 85, s. 21. (h) 19 & 20 Vict. c. 119, s. 12.

being obtained, and the marriage being solemnized by a duly qualified clergyman according to the office of the (Church ().

Or, fourthly, the marriage may be solemnized according to the usages of the Quakers or of the Jews, where the parties are of those persuasions respectively (k). A marriage may even be celebrated in accordance with the usages of the Quakers between persons of whom one or both do not belong to the Society of Friends, if such marriage is authorised by the general rules of that society (1).

Such, then, are the different methods in which, in a marriage upon a registrar's certificate without licence, the solemnization may be had ; but as to each of them, it is material to repeat, that the building in which the marriage takes place must be that specified in the notice and certificate (m).

(2.) A person intending to be married on a regjistrar's certificate with licence, gives a notice to that effect and obtains a certificate as in the former case ; and the course of proceeding and the state of the law applicable to such notice and certificate are in either case the same, subject only to the following differences. First, if both the persons about to marry do not dwell in the same superintendent registrar's district, notice need not be given to the registrar of each district, but only to the registrar of the district in which one of such persons resides; and it will be sufficient also, if the notice states how long he or she has there resided, without making any statement of the same kind with respect to the other party (n). Secondly, the declaration subscribed to the notice must

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

state, that the person giving it has, for the space of pifteen days immediately preceding, had his or her usual place of abode and residence within the district of the registrar to whom the notice is given (o). Thirdly, it is not requisite, that either the notice, or a copy thereof, should be suspended in the office of such registrar (p). Fourthly, the certificate may be obtained after the expiration of one whole day (instead of twenty-one days) next after the entry of the notice (q). Having obtained the certificate, the applicant next procures from the registrar a licence, and for this the officer is entitled to receive from the party the sum of 11. 10s., over and above the amount paid for the necessary stamps on the instrument (r). Then, after the issue of the licence, and within three calendar months from the entry of the notice, the marriage may take place (s) ; and it may be solemnized according to any of the several methods before stated, except that of the Church of England, subject to the rules and distinctions already laid down in respect of them (t). But the registrar may not grant any licence for marriage in a church or chapel of the Church of England (u), it being the design of the legislature not to interfere with the exclusive privilege in that respect previously vested in the archbishop and other ecclesiastical authorities.

No marriage upon the certificate of a registrar (either with or without licence), may be solemnized in any building registered and certified for religious worship, without the consent of the minister thereof, or of one of the trustees, overseers, deacons, or managers ; nor in any registered building of the Church of Rome, nor in any church or chapel of the Church of England, without the consent of the minister thereof (.).

[merged small][ocr errors]

Every notice, certificate, and licence, and all proceedings thereupon under the Marriage Act, 1836, and the amending Acts, are void, unless the marriage is celebrated within three calendar months from the entry of the notice (y)..

Every marriage under these Acts is void, if the parties knowingly and wilfully intermarry (i.) in a place other than that specified in the notice and certificate, or (ii.) without due notice to the superintendent registrar, or (iii.) without certificate duly issued, or without licence (where licence is required), or (iv.) in the absence of the “ registrar of the district " or of the superintendent registrar, or of the “authorised person,” where the presence of such persons respectively is required (2).

A valid marriage, procured by means of a wilfully false notice, certificate, or declaration, exposes the party offending to the same consequences as are provided under the Marriage Act, 1823, with regard to marriages procured by false oath or fraudulent procurement, viz, a forfeiture of all the property which would otherwise accrue to the offending party from the marriage (a).

All marriages celebrated in England, whether under the Marriage Act, 1823 (6), or under the more recent Marriage Acts, are now registered. By the Marriage Acts, 1836 and 1898 (c), and the Births and Deaths Registration Acts, 1836 to 1874 (d), the duty of registering marriages is imposed on every clergyman of the Church of England (e), “authorised person ” (f), and registrar (9), by whom or in whose presence a marriage

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

is celebrated, and upon the registering officer of the Quakers and secretary of a synagogue (h), in whose district or synagogue a Quaker or Jewish marriage is celebrated. Except in the case of marriages celebrated before a registrar, such registration is to be in duplicate in two books, one of which when filled is to be delivered to the superintendent-registrar of the district, and the other retained in the custody of the parish clergyman, or otherwise in the local custody of the religious body. In the same way, the registrar transmits the register book kept by him, when filled, to the superintendent-registrar. In addition to this, every clergyman and other person whose duty it is to register marriages, is required to deliver to the superintendent registrar of the district, in the months of April, July, October, and January, in every year, a copy (certified under his hand, and on durable materials) of all entries of marriages in such book for the current quarter ; and such certified copies are four times a year to be transmitted by the superintendent registrar to the Registrar-General (().

None of the Marriage Acts extend to the Royal Family (k); nor do these Acts extend to the marriages contracted by British subjects in Scotland or in Ireland, or in any foreign country (1). Marriages celebrated out of England are therefore (so far as regards the form of celebration) considered as valid by our law, provided they are made in such form as is sufficient by the law of the place where they are solemnized ; and this is so, even though the parties have eloped out of England, on purpose to evade the forms of marriage prevailing in England (m). But the mar

(h) 6 & 7 Will. 4, c. 86, ss. 31, 33 ; 19 & 20 Vict. c. 119, 8. 22.

() 6 & 7 Will. 4, c. 86, s. 34.

(k) 4 Geo. 4, c. 76, s. 30 ; 6 & 7 Will. 4, c. 85, s. 45. As to the disabilities of the Royal Family

in respect of marriage, see bk. iv., pt. i., ch. iv.

(1) 4 Geo. 4, c. 76, s. 31; 6 & 7 Will. 4, c. 85, s. 45.

(m) Scrimshire v. Scrimshire (1752), 2 Hagg. 395; Forster v. Forster and Berridge, 4 B. &

« EelmineJätka »