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Written by JulieW
(5/12/2005 5:43 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Marriages, penned by Elena
Under Lord Chancellor Hardwicke’s so called Marriage Act of 1753, the only religious groups who were exempt from its provisions were the Quakers and the Jews ,basically on the grounds that these two religions already had in place stringent rules concerning marriage and the recording of them.
All other religious groups, and that included Catholics, had to go through two marriage ceremonies. One in their local parish church where it was recorded in the register as stipulated by the provisions of the 1753 act, and then one in their own church to comply with their own religious beliefs.
One famous example form real life is Elizabeth Inchbald the actress and translator of “Lovers Vows”( used by JA in MP),who underwent two such ceremonies when she married her husband in Suffolk in the 1780s.
These ceremonies were not secret however, but since anti-catholic feeling and opinion was still rife in 18th century England(for reasons we do not need to indulge in here) Catholics were permitted to follow their religion but probably were wise not to flaunt it.
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