1711: 10 Anne c.19: Customs and Excise Act

1711: 10 Anne c.19: Customs and Excise Act

CLXXVI. And whereas great loss hath happened of the duties already laid upon stamps vellum, parchment, and paper, and other inconveniencies daily grow, from clandestine marriages; for remedy thereof for the future, be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That every parson, vicar, or curate, or other person in holy orders, beneficed or not beneficed, who shall, after the four and twentieth day of June, one thousand seven hundred and twelve, marry any person in any church or chapel, exempt or not exempt, or in any other place whatsoever, without publication of the banns of matrimony between the respective parties according to law, or without licence first had and obtained from the proper ordinary for the said marriage, shall for every such offence forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds, to be recovered with full costs of suit, by action of debt, bill, plaint, or information, in any of her Majesty’s courts of record at Westminster, wherein no essoin, protection, or wager of law, or more than one imparlance shall be allowed; one moiety thereof to the Queen, her heirs and successors, and the other moiety to him or them who shall sue for the same; and if such offender shall be a prisoner in any prison or gaol (other than a county gaol) at the time of such offence committed, and shall be duly convicted of such offence, by action or information, as aforesaid, then upon oath made of such imprisonment before any judge of her Majesty’s courts of record at Westminster, and upon producing a copy of the record of such conviction, to be likewise proved upon oath before the said judge (which oaths the said judge is hereby impowered to administer) the said judge is hereby required to grant his warrant to the keeper of the gaol or prison where such offender is a prisoner (which warrant such keeper is required to obey) to remove such offender to the gaol of that county where such offender is a prisoner, there to remain charged in execution with the penalty inflicted by this act, and with all and every the causes of his former imprisonment; and if any gaoler or keeper of any prison shall be privy to, or knowingly permit any marriage to be solemnized in his said prison, before publication of banns, or licence obtained, as aforesaid, he shall for every such offence forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds, to be recovered and distributed, as aforesaid.

CLXXVII. Saving nevertheless, to all archbishops, bishops, archdeacons, and other ordinaries, their vicars general, commissaries, and officials, the free exercise of all ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and full power and authority of inflicting all such pains and censures for this or any other crime or crimes, as they might have done if this act had not been made.

CLXXVIII. Provided always, That the said provision for marriages do not extend to that part of Great Britain called Scotland.

Note: This is an extract of the three clauses, nos. 176 to 178, dealing with clandestine marriages in prison. The whole act is 186 clauses long, mostly to do with taxation upon soap and paper. The effect of these clauses was to move the clandestine marriages out of the prisons and into the rules.

Source: Pickering, D., Statutes at Large, vol 12, The Statutes at Large from the Eighth to the Twelth year of Queen Anne, pp.389-390