Page:Marriageinhousev00okesrich.djvu/5

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SINGLE & PLURAL MARRIAGES

English laws of marriage are only to be found in the English State laws. The Englishman marries according to his state laws. He takes a wife from the State and he is not permitted to marry again until death of his wife or until divorce has been procured; on the contrary he is held for Bigamy—a crime recognised by the law:—

Concubinage is a word meaning a state of living either as husband and wife without being married lawfully; it is therefore the very opposite of Legal marriage, although it is no crime. A man who takes two wives together; one being under the State laws and the other under the law of Nature, is not guilty of any crime. The English people therefore are polygamists by Nature, e. g. (i) One lawful wife and one unlawful wife are two wives.
(ii) One lawful wife and one lawful wife (after death or divorce) are two wives. Henry VIII., the First "Supreme head of the Church of England" married in succession: (i) Katharine of Aragon. (ii) Anne Boleyn. (iii) Jane Seymour (iv) Anne of Cleves (v) Katharine Howard (vi) Katharine Parr?

How many wives had he altogether?

The Englishman therefore is not a husband of one wife.

The African neither makes a state-daughter of his wife, nor marries such. The word for 'marriage' in Yoruba is Igbeyawo i.e. the taking of Bride, This happens when the Consent (Ijohun) of the parent, and the payment of dowry (Idana) have been effected. The husband is not required to procure a divorce or wait till