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    Default Parental Consent

    I've just received a marriage certificate dated 24th July 1845 (Appledram in Sussex). The groom was William Howick "of age" and a bachelor. His father was Thomas Howick. The bride was Sarah Howick "a minor" and a spinster. Her father was George Howick. Both fathers were labourers and the groom was a mariner. William Howick signs his name and underneath (where Sarah's signature would appear) is "Sarah Howick + her mark". I haven't seen it written quite this way before but presume she was illiterate and someone wrote her name and then she made her mark. The witnesses are puzzling me though.

    The first witness reads "Thomas Howick + her mark" and the second reads "Eliza Dunnaway (or Dumaway) + her mark".

    If the Thomas Howick is the groom's father was "her mark" the bride's mother? Does this mean she was giving consent to the marriage of her daughter at the time of the marriage? I would presume it was given prior to the actual day of the wedding?

    It seems slightly odd unless "her mark" should read "HIS mark"? Any experience of this please.

    (William was born 1824 so (21 in 1845) whilst Sarah was born in 1827 so only 18 at the time of the marriage.)


    Audrey

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    AN UPDATE. A bit of research on the Sussex OPC website has revealed that William was baptised on 20th April 1817 in Westbourne to Thomas Howick & Ann Greentree. Sarah was baprised in Appledram on 16th August 1828 - parents George Howick & Charlotte. So William was 28 years old.

    Audrey

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    The first witness reads "Thomas Howick + her mark"
    If it does indeed read "Thomas", then "her mark" is a clerical error for "his mark".

    If the Thomas Howick is the groom's father was "her mark" the bride's mother?
    No.

    Does this mean she was giving consent to the marriage of her daughter at the time of the marriage?
    No.

    I would presume it was given prior to the actual day of the wedding?
    If the marriage was by banns in the bride's (and her parents') parish, permission was implicit in that there would have been no objections raised when the banns were called.

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    AudreyF (14-04-2012)

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    For this time period and with the respect to the bride who was a minor, if the marriage was by banns then active consent was not strictly required. When the banns were being read, a parent/guardian would have had the opportunity to object and so prevent the marriage taking place. If there was no objection then consent was implied.

    As the groom was of age, he did not require the consent of his parents, either implicitly or explicitly.

    Quote Originally Posted by AudreyF View Post
    If the Thomas Howick is the groom's father was "her mark" the bride's mother?
    As for the witnesses, it was not a requirement for a parent to be a witness regardless of whether one of the parties was a minor or not. Witnesses, were often (but not always) related to or close friends of the bride or groom. Bearing this in mind, Thomas Howick could have been a parent or brother or cousin to one of the parties. Also, I would say that the mark you refer to is Thomas' mark and should read 'his mark' rather than 'her mark'.

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    AudreyF (14-04-2012)

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    OK, that clears things up. The certificate does note that marriage was "by banns with consent of parents" I'll go with the fact that consent was implied by the bride's parents and that "her mark" is a clerical error. Thanks very much.

    AudreyF

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    Quote Originally Posted by AudreyF View Post
    The certificate does note that marriage was "by banns with consent of parents" ... I'll go with the fact that consent was implied by the bride's parents
    Although consent could be implicit, since it states "by banns with consent of parents" then it looks to me as if active (explicit) consent was given by the bride's parents.

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