The Times/1836/Letter to the Editor/New Marriage Act
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|Source: The Times, Mar 12, 1836; Issue 16049; pg. 7; col E — New Marriage Act. LECTOR.|
New Marriage Act.
To the Editor of The Times
Sir,—Admitting the necessity of an amendment in the law respecting marriage, which the bill for this purpose, recently brought before the consideration of Parliament, is generally, and perhaps deservedly, thought to be well calculated to effect, I would respectfully request the attention of your readers to one of its provisions, which, to to say the least, appears to present a wide contrast to the general tenor of its enactments.
It is proposed that a written notice of an intended marriage, specifying the names of the parties, &c. should be given to the registrar of the proper district, and to be entered by him in "The Marriage Notice Book," and that a certificate of such notice and party should be given by the registrar to the party requiring the same, sections 1 and 2. We have then the following singular provision, section 3:—
"Provided always that no such notice shall be received, or certificate given, by any registrar, and by whom the parties intending marriage are known, shall personally appear before the registrar at the time of delivery of the notice, and certify thereon under his hand that, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, the parties intending marriage are therein truly described."
In other words, no person shall marry unless they have some mutual friend known to the registrar, and who shall appear personally before the registrar at the time appointed to give the proposed certificate.
Here the registrar is, indeed, made a person of importance, for it is not sufficient that one well known to the parties themselves should give the proposed certificate, which should seem to be all that is requisite—no, it is essential that the person should be known by the registrar!
Such are the simple facts of the case, from which I would respectfully leave your readers to draw their own conclusions.