Author Topic: Bigamy?  (Read 2431 times)

Offline RW1

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Bigamy?
« on: Monday 20 April 20 13:48 BST (UK) »
Hello.
I would like to ask whether a 19 year-old man marrying in 1891, would have been considered not married at all, if he hadn't had permission from his surviving parent?
He joined the army six months after this marriage, possibly deserting the wife, and then married again in 1899, stating his condition as "Bachelor".
His older brother was a witness at the first wedding, but not his mother, who of course may have attended but not signed as a witness - but how would she have given her permission otherwise?  Could the older brother have given it?
Any comments would be much appreciated.

Offline IgorStrav

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Re: Bigamy?
« Reply #1 on: Monday 20 April 20 13:59 BST (UK) »
Did he show his age as 19 on the first marriage, or was there a note saying 'of full age'?

There wouldn't have been any investigation in the two possibilities a) saying he was of full age, and therefore being able to marry on his own cognisance or b) stating his correct age, and saying that he had the permission of his parents

I believe the first marriage will be legal, and therefore any second marriage whilst his first wife was living would have been bigamy which was more common (I have an instance in my tree) because of the cost of divorce.

What happened to the first wife?  Was she still alive at the time of the second marriage and did she marry or 'live with' another man?

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Cooley, Kent.
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Offline RW1

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Re: Bigamy?
« Reply #2 on: Monday 20 April 20 14:06 BST (UK) »
Thanks for that.
Yes, he did state his age as 19. I hadn't realised that he could simply say that he had his mother's permission.
I've had no luck at all tracing his first wife - no remarriage or death in either name.


Offline IgorStrav

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Re: Bigamy?
« Reply #3 on: Monday 20 April 20 14:33 BST (UK) »
Thanks for that.
Yes, he did state his age as 19. I hadn't realised that he could simply say that he had his mother's permission.
I've had no luck at all tracing his first wife - no remarriage or death in either name.

She may well be living with another man under his name as 'married' which will make her tricky to find....

my bigamous example was my greatx2 grandfather who split up from my greatx2 grandmother after what I can demonstrate must have been a very short period.

He moved away from their local area and after a few years and a couple of children 'married' using his mother's maiden name as his own, and saying he was a bachelor.

My greatx2 grandmother simply lived with a new 'husband' and had another family.  She didn't marry bigamously though.

I only know this because my great grandmother was the offspring of their short-lived marriage, and was registered under the correct name of her father

She subsequently lived under the name of her mother's second 'husband', and I don't know if she ever knew he wasn't her father.

Pay, Kent. 
Barham, Kent. 
Cork(e), Kent. 
Cooley, Kent.
Barwell, Rutland/Northants/Greenwich.
Cotterill, Derbys.
Van Steenhoven/Steenhoven/Hoven, Nord Brabant/Belgium/East London.
Kesneer Belgium/East London
Burton, East London.
Barlow, East London
Wayling, East London
Wade, Greenwich/Brightlingsea, Essex.
Thorpe, Brightlingsea, Essex

Offline Ruskie

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Re: Bigamy?
« Reply #4 on: Monday 20 April 20 14:37 BST (UK) »
It's not that unusual to see 'bachelor' or 'spinster' rather than 'widower' or 'widow' on a second marriage certificate. It does not necessarily indicate bigamy or deception.

The groom's mother not being a witness to the marriage is not of any particular relevance.

Were there any children from the first marriage?

It may be a coincidence that his second marriage was 8 years after the first, but if he had no contact with the first wife after seven years he would be free to remarry.

Offline RW1

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Re: Bigamy?
« Reply #5 on: Monday 20 April 20 15:24 BST (UK) »
I can't find any children on GRO named Greenland, mmn Mountain.

He was David Moody Greenland, 19 (actual age); she was Elizabeth Mountain (age given 26); married on 11 October 1891, Parish of Old St Pancras.  Bride's father's details were: William Mountain, station master.  This has led me to Great Grimsby, Lincolnshire - 1871 Census: Elizabeth is 11 and living with mother and father, William Mountain, a station master.  This leads to: GRO Reference: ELIZABETH MOUNTAIN 1860 M Quarter in CASTOR Volume 07A Page 586, mmn Hockney - if this is her, she was 31, not 26, on marriage.  But then this could be another "William Mountain - station master"!

I did find a newspaper article about Elizabeth Greenland shoplifting in 1895 - her age is given as 38 and address as Clemence Road, Limehouse.  But I can't get any further with this.

It's a shame because I know what David did.  Army career for 20 years, married Susan Tandy in 1899 and had three children, who settled in South Africa.  David came back to England for medical discharge and died in 1913.  Susan died in 1942 in Durban.

Offline RW1

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Re: Bigamy?
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 07 June 20 11:55 BST (UK) »
Just an update on this....

If I am right about Elizabeth Mountain being the one born in Lincolnshire, c.1860, then she married Joe Athey in 1879 and had a daughter, Edith Jane Athey.  After they appear together on the 1881 Census, they are never together again.  Edith is with her maternal grandparents in 1891, and then died in 1893, at the age of 13.  Joe appears on the Census as a lodger with various families in 1891, 1901 and 1911, describing himself as "Married", and even filling in the 1911 bit, saying his present marriage has lasted 33 years.  Unfortunately, he died in 1925, after falling over a wall above a river in Hooton Street, Kilnhurst, Yorkshire.
So, I may have had it right about bigamy - but David was the innocent party and it was his first marriage that was possibly bigamous, but on his wife's part, not his!  Sorry, David!
If he married and later found all this out, no wonder he went off to join the Army.
I still can't find what happened to Elizabeth, or even find her on the 1891 Census, when she had possibly already left Joe Athey and gone to London.
I shall keep trying.....

Offline jim1

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Re: Bigamy?
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 07 June 20 12:16 BST (UK) »
It's possible the marriage was annulled shortly after.
It may have been reported on in the local press which might
be an avenue to follow.
Being in the Army his 2nd. marriage would have needed the permission of his C.O.
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 RW1

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Re: Bigamy?
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 07 June 20 12:36 BST (UK) »
David's second marriage is detailed on his service record and, bearing in mind the other comments about him, I can't believe that he did anything other than follow all the regulations
I have found nothing in the papers about this.
Thanks.