Author Topic: Living in sin  (Read 1462 times)

Offline J Buxton

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Living in sin
« on: Monday 27 July 20 18:44 BST (UK) »
I came across a group of records on Family search.  It appears to be notes by the clergy at Bakewell about burials   It was interesting as it identifies most of the parents and relatives as well as who people think was the father of Grace Blackwell’s “natural” son.

This entry caught my attention, in the standard burial records, Elizabeth Harrison was buried on 27 March 1817 at Bakewell, Derbyshire, aged 22.  In the note book it says “ 27th  Elizabeth Harrison of Sheldon, spinster aged 22 years, she was not taken into the church on account of a lover” and it was signed  Francis Hodgeson, Vicar.
I have never heard of this before , has anyone else heard that you cannot go into church (even in your coffin) if you are not married to your partner.?
Buxton - (Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire)

Offline Redroger

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Re: Living in sin
« Reply #1 on: Monday 27 July 20 20:45 BST (UK) »
Never seen that before, but on the same subject unmarried couples living together put a sweeping brush over the door to signify the fact, hence the term "living over the brush"
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Offline Viktoria

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Re: Living in sin
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 28 July 20 01:02 BST (UK) »
Living over the brush was also a term given when a couple wished to marry
but there was no member of the Clergy available, such as the Navvies’s
camps which grew around places like Manchester Ship Canal and The Viaduct
on the Settle to Carlisle line for examples.
The couple would get someone to say some words etc  and  there 
might  be  a cheap ring, even a brass curtain ring.
Then to seal the agreement the couple would jump over a brush .
Hence Living over the Brush.
I did not know the custom of having a brush at the door of the home.
Viktoria.


Offline stanmapstone

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Re: Living in sin
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 28 July 20 08:47 BST (UK) »
In "Marriage Law for Genealogists" Rebecca Probert explains that so called "Broomstick Marriages" are a myth, as are "hand fasting rituals". She says;
In brief the idea that it was possible to marry by jumping over a broomstick came about during the nineteenth century because the earlier meaning of the word "broomstick" had fallen out of circulation. In the 1700s and early 1800s, 'broomstick' was used as an adjective to describe something that was a sham or was in some way a poor substitute.

Stan
Mapstone, Mapston.
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Offline stanmapstone

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Re: Living in sin
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 28 July 20 09:34 BST (UK) »
For a more detailed explanation see pages 84+ in "Marriage Law and Practice in the Long Eighteenth Century: A Reassessment" By Rebecca Probert http://www.rootschat.com/links/01prk/

Stan
Mapstone, Mapston.
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Offline Mike in Cumbria

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Re: Living in sin
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 28 July 20 10:07 BST (UK) »
In "Marriage Law for Genealogists" Rebecca Probert explains that so called "Broomstick Marriages" are a myth, as are "hand fasting rituals". She says;
In brief the idea that it was possible to marry by jumping over a broomstick came about during the nineteenth century because the earlier meaning of the word "broomstick" had fallen out of circulation. In the 1700s and early 1800s, 'broomstick' was used as an adjective to describe something that was a sham or was in some way a poor substitute.

Stan

Thanks Stan, I always suspected that the different "marrying over the brush" stories were a load of nonsense. I hadn't heard of "broomstick" to mean a sham though.
Petit a petit, l’oiseau fait son nid

Offline Viktoria

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Re: Living in sin
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 28 July 20 10:33 BST (UK) »
Well it is strange then that the term “ living over the brush “ is still used hereabouts to denote a couple living together without actually having a church or registry office wedding.
“ Livvin over t’ brush”.
It has come from somewhere ,not used so much nowadays when couples living together are quite common, but previously was not so common and quite a slur on the characters of those who did.
Over the brush would to me also denote the brush first mentioned in this topic would perhaps not be over the door but across the threshold .
Although why it would be advertised in an ordinary setting  I don’t know but in the shanty towns  that  developed round tunnelling sites, canal digging and viaduct building settlements it would denote an understanding and agreement
between the couple and would be some security for the woman.
ie she was out of bounds to other men!
Viktoria.

Offline ReadyDale

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Re: Living in sin
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 28 July 20 10:34 BST (UK) »
Then to seal the agreement the couple would jump over a brush .
Hence the old Brenda Lee song "Let's Jump The Broomstick" (other cover versions are available)

Offline Redroger

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Re: Living in sin
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 28 July 20 11:05 BST (UK) »
I first heard the term in the South Yorkshire coalfield, so it fits well
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