Author Topic: How RC priests decided a bp was lawful or not  (Read 238 times)

Offline Flemming

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How RC priests decided a bp was lawful or not
« on: Wednesday 08 May 19 08:25 BST (UK) »
Just wondering how the local priest decided whether a child was lawful or unlawful back in the mid 1800s. Would he know the parents (or unmarried mother) because they were in the congregation? Would he expect to see proof of the parents' marriage if he hadn't married them himself? Would the father just turning up and agreeing paternity of the child be enough?

I have visions of a very unhappy priest writing 'lawful' when he knows the two parents in front of him aren't actually married but not wanting to make a scene or make things difficult for the child.

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Offline Miriam_90

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Re: How RC priests decided a bp was lawful or not
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 08 May 19 09:23 BST (UK) »
I know my cousin was asked to present her Wedding cert to the priest when trying to book her sons baptism. This was in the 80's in Dublin. Could have been something or similar. It's an interesting question to raise.

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Offline jim1

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Re: How RC priests decided a bp was lawful or not
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 08 May 19 11:40 BST (UK) »
What was written in the margins was up to the Priest & it can vary wildly.
In this case lawful may be the woman was pregnant before marriage but went on to marry the father making the child lawful instead of illegitimate.
Warks:Ashford;Cadby;Clarke;Clifford;Cooke Copage;Easthope;
Edmonds;Felton;Colledge;Lutwyche;Mander(s);May;Poole;Withers.
Staffs.Edmonds;Addison;Duffield;Webb;Fisher;Archer
Salop:Easthope,Eddowes,Hoorde,Oteley,Vernon,Talbot,De Neville.
Notts.Clarke;Redfearne;Treece.
Som.May;Perriman;Cox
India Kane;Felton;Cadby
London.Haysom.
Lancs.Gay.
Worcs.Coley;Mander;Sawyer.
Kings of Wessex & Scotland
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Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: How RC priests decided a bp was lawful or not
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 08 May 19 17:05 BST (UK) »
I doubt if people had much in the way of documentation in their possession in mid 1800s.
It might have operated on the basis of not telling lies to a priest.  If a couple were 'living in sin' but told a priest they were married, that would be 2 sins instead of 1.