Author Topic: Completed - Great Grandparents married twice  (Read 184 times)

Offline phil57

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Completed - Great Grandparents married twice
« on: Saturday 24 April 21 09:44 BST (UK) »
My GGF married his wife in church in 1885. At the time he was a bachelor, and she gave her status as a widow, but in fact she was still married to her first husband who it appears was likely incapacitated and in a workhouse. The first husband died in the workhouse in December 1887.

In July 1888 GGM and GGF married again, this time in a different but still local church, again recorded as bachelor and widow.

Whilst I realise the second marriage would have probably taken place to legitimise their union, would this have been a matter of personal guilt or preference, or would there have been other (e.g. legal) reasons that might have rendered it a necessity?

Another of my ancestors married 5 times, two of which were bigamous, yet he didn't repeat either ceremony when circumstances could have allowed them to be "legitimised".
Stokes - London and Essex
Hodges - Somerset
Murden - Notts
Humphries/Humphreys from Montgomeryshire

Offline Jebber

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Re: Great Grandparents married twice
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 24 April 21 11:44 BST (UK) »
Most likely it was guilt and a desire to do the right thing. Bigamy was not uncommon at that time, and often went undetected.

It would be interesting to know who the witness were at each marriage. Presumably the brides family were aware of her marital status, so a relative was unlikely to have been a witness at the 1855 marriage.
CHOULES All ,  COKER Harwich Essex & Rochester Kent 
COLE Gt. Oakley, & Lt. Oakley, Essex.
DUNCAN Kent
EVERITT Colchester,  Dovercourt & Harwich Essex
GULLIVER/GULLOFER Fifehead Magdalen Dorset
HORSCROFT Kent.
KING Sturminster Newton, Dorset. MONK Odiham Ham.
SCOTT Wrabness, Essex
WILKINS Stour Provost, Dorset.
WICKHAM All in North Essex.
WICKHAM Medway Towns, Kent from 1880
WICKHAM, Ipswich, Suffolk.

Offline Girl Guide

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Re: Great Grandparents married twice
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 24 April 21 11:48 BST (UK) »
People did all sorts of strange things for reasons which can be obscure.  The second marriage as you say was probably to make their marriage legitimate as the first was bigamy on the woman's part and therefore not legal.

Were the churches of different denominations at all?  That sometimes explains a second marriage.

Were there any children from the first bigamous marriage?  That could be a reason for the second legitimate marriage.

In many ways your guess is as good as mine  ::)
Ashford: Somerset, London
England: Devon, London, New Zealand
Holdway: Wiltshire
Hooper: Bristol, Somerset
Knowling: Devon, London
Southcott: Devon, China
Strong: Wiltshire
Watson: Cambridgeshire
White: Bristol
Windo - Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire


Offline phil57

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Re: Completed - Great Grandparents married twice
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 24 April 21 12:05 BST (UK) »
Thank you both, you've pretty much confirmed my thoughts. I was just wondering if there might be something I had missed or wasn't aware of.

Both were CofE marriages. The witnesses at the first wedding were not related to either party as far as I can ascertain. One of them is shown simply as "Charles".

The bride's parents were the witnesses at the second ceremony.

There were no children born prior to the second marriage, but their only child (my GF) was born just over three months after the second marriage, so could well have been the catalyst. There were two children from her first marriage who lived with them as well.
Stokes - London and Essex
Hodges - Somerset
Murden - Notts
Humphries/Humphreys from Montgomeryshire

Offline Girl Guide

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Re: Completed - Great Grandparents married twice
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 24 April 21 12:13 BST (UK) »
Ah that's a much more likely reason for the second marriage, a child on the way.  By marrying they would make the child legitimate and any others born further down the line.

Ashford: Somerset, London
England: Devon, London, New Zealand
Holdway: Wiltshire
Hooper: Bristol, Somerset
Knowling: Devon, London
Southcott: Devon, China
Strong: Wiltshire
Watson: Cambridgeshire
White: Bristol
Windo - Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire