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Uncertain UnionsMarriage in England 1660–1753$
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Lawrence Stone

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202530

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202530.001.0001

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Elmes v. Elmes, 1706–1709

Elmes v. Elmes, 1706–1709

11 Elmes v. Elmes, 1706–1709
Uncertain Unions

Lawrence Stone

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a case study on valid clandestine marriage in England, focusing on the court case Elmes v. Elmes which was filed in 1706. The case involved poor widower Henry Elmes who took the twenty-year-old Mary Wise as his mistress in 1706 and claimed that they were married in May 1706. He said that they were married within the Rules of the Queen's Bench Prison in Southwark. However, in 1708, Elmes claimed that he was never married to Mary and later married a certain Anne Ordway. The secular and ecclesiastical courts had different positions on which marriage the was valid.

Keywords:   clandestine marriage, court cases, Elmes v. Elmes, Henry Elmes, Mary Wise, Anne Ordway

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