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is in lieu of the publication of banns, and the clergy may, but are not bound, to marry persons under it. The forms to be observed we will set out later on, under the head of the Registrar's Certificate.
Marriages under any of the foregoing, except the special licence as to hours, must be solemnized between the hours of 8 a.m. and 12 noon, in the presence of at least two witnesses, besides the officiating clergyman.
2. Marriages not according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church.
Although by the Toleration Act of 1 Will. and Mary, the status of Dissenters was recognised, and their marriages, celebrated according to their own rites and usages, were treated as marriages de facto, yet Lord Hardwicke's Act made the Church of England the sole medium of contracting legal marriage. The Marriage Act of 1823 [4 Geo. IV., c. 76] in no way altered the law in that respect; and it is not until we come to Lord Russell's Act of 1837 [6 & 7 Will. IV., C. 85] that the hardship of compelling persons of one religious persuasion to frequent the sacred edifices of those of another, in order to be married, is removed. The scope of the Act was to enable dissenters to celebrate their marriages according to their own rites in their own places of Worship, if so registered, and in the presence of a Registrar of Marriages. It also enabled those to be married who did not care to employ a religious ceremony; also those who, being of different creeds, thought the civil rite should be added to the religious.
Such marriages may take place—(a.) on the Registrar's certificate, or (b.) on his licence.
(a.) On the Certificate.—One of the parties desiring to marry must give notice in writing to the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which they must have lived at least the seven preceding days (and if they live in more than one district, then to the Superintendent Registrar of each
district], and must also state their names, surnames, and profession or condition ; how long they have lived in the district (or districts), and the building in which the marriage is to take place. He or she must also make a declaration that there is no impediment of kindred or alliance, or other lawful hindrance to the marriage; and that the consent of the proper persons (if both or either of the contracting parties are or is under age, and not previously married), has been obtained. Such notice is to be entered in the “Marriage Notice Book,” which is to be open at all reasonable times for inspection. An exact copy of this notice must be suspended in some conspicuous place in the office of the Superintendent Registrar during 21 consecutive days after the entry of the notice in the book. The issue of this certificate may be forbidden at any time before it is issued ; and if so forbidden, all proceedings based on it become void. At the end of the 21 days, and if no objection to the projected marriage has meanwhile been offered, the Superintendent Registrar issues his certificate. The parties can now marry at any registered building, according to the rites and usages of their communion ; provided that they are married within the hours of 8 a.m. and 12 noon, and in the presence of a marriage Registrar; or at the Registrar's office between the same hours, and in the presence of the Superintendent Registrar, and one of the marriage Registrars of the district, and two witnesses.
(b.) On the Registrar's Licence.—The same sort of notice must be given to the Superintendent Registrar; but there must be a statement that both or either of the parties have or has had their or his or her usual place of abode for at at least the fifteen preceding days within the district. The other declarations are the same as under the certificate. This notice need not be suspended in the office. The certificate of the notice, unless forbidden, may be given after the expiration of one whole day next after the day of
entry of such notice, and the marriage may be thereupon solemnized at any registered building mentioned in the licence.*
Certain exceptions to the above provisions are made in favour of Quakers and Jews. The members of these bodies require, like other Nonconformists, the Registrar's certificate or licence; but they are not restricted to registered buildings, or to buildings within the district or districts in which the parties dwell. Any place within the Superintendent Registrar's district in which marriages can properly be solemnized, according to the usages of these denominations, may be inserted in the licence or certificate. Neither Jews nor Quakers require the presence, at their marriages, of the Registrar. In the case of the Quakers, the presence of an officer, called the “ registering officer,” and in that of the Jews, of the certified “secretary of a synagogue," dispenses with that of the Registrar.
A marriage contract may be vitiated and rendered null in law by the falsification or even slight disguise, through the fraud of both parties, of a Christian name or surname in the publication of banns, and possibly in a Registrar's certificate, but not in a common licence. Instead of nullity for such fraud in a licence, it is now forfeiture of all property accruing from the marriage.
Marriage Laws of Ireland. Since the beginning of the year 1871, great changes have taken place in Ireland in the relative position of the religious bodies. Before that date there was an Established Church; now there is no church or communion more
* No licence can be granted for a marriage in any church or chapel belonging to the Church of England, or licensed for the celebration of divine service according to its rites. Nor can a certificate be issued for a marriage in a registered building which is more than two miles out of the Superintendent Registrar's district, except for the reasons specified in 3 & 4 Vict., c. 72, secs.
particularly favoured than another, but all the more important denominations are placed on the same level in the eye of the law.
We propose to treat the Irish law of marriage on the denominational basis, and to notice only those points which do not appear in the English system; for the two systems as created by statute are substantially the same.
1. Marriages according to the Rites of the Episcopalian Church.
(i.) By publication of Banns, under 33 & 34 Vict., c. 110.Banns may be published on any holy day, as well as Sunday. The clergy have not the power of making certain inquiries before publishing banns, which in England they are entitled to do. The ceremony must be performed within the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.
(ii.) By Special Licence.—Under 33 & 34 Vict., C. 110, s. 36, where any persons are both of them Protestant Episcopalians, and desire to marry, any bishop of the Episcopal Church may grant them a special licence to marry, at any convenient time, in any place within his episcopal superintendence. The parties must now, under 34 & 35 Vict., c. 49, s. 22, before the marriage, produce a Registrar's certificate, which must be signed by the contracting parties, at least two witnesses, and the officiating clergyman.
(iii.) By Common Licence.*_This licence is issued by persons nominated by the bishops, under 33 & 34 Vict., C. 49, s. 35,+ and authorizes marriage in the churches or chapels within the districts for which the surrogates are appointed. These persons so appointed must, before acting, give security by bond for £100 to the Registrar-General, for the
* The cost of this licence being cheaper than that of the publication of banns, the majority of Episcopalian marriages is by licence rather than banns.
+ This statute legalizes “mixed marriages," i.e., marriages between persons of different denominations; and exempts from punishment Episcopalian and Roman Catholic ministers for celebrating such marriages in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
proper performance of their duty. A licence is granted, after the expiration of a seven days' notice, to the party applying for it, who has resided not less than seven consecutive days in the district of the licencer previous to the application for such licence. Before it is granted, such party must on oath declare that he or she has resided fourteen days in the district. The licencer is bound to send a copy of the notice as received by him, and entered in his book, to the incumbent of the parish [or of each of the parishes, if more than one) in which the parties reside.
(iv.) On the Registrar's Certificate.—The clergyman is bound to marry the parties on the production of a proper certificate.
2. Roman Catholic Marriages.
Between the laws affecting these marriages and those ordinarily prevailing in England there is a wide divergence, which is due to more modern legislation on marriage in England than in Ireland anterior to the passing of the Irish Church Act. The common law in Ireland in matters matrimonial is considered to be the decrees of the Council of Trent, which have been and are accepted as binding, save where they have been altered or over-ridden by legislative enactments.
(i.) Publication of Banns.-By the law of the Church, banns ought to be published on three consecutive Sundays or holy days, but are usually dispensed with by episcopal licence.
(ii.) Necessity for the Intervention of an Ordained Minister.By the common law marriage must be solemnized by a clergyman in holy orders ;* and a marriage solemnized by any such clergyman in a church, or private house, at any time and anywhere, between persons competent to marry,
This applied equally to a clergyman of the United Church of England and Ireland; but see the case in Scotland, where the decrees of the Tridentine Council do not obtain, Folly v. MacGregor, 3 Wil. and Shaw 85, which goes to the opposite contention.