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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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Osborne v. Williams, 1714–1716

Osborne v. Williams, 1714–1716

(p.175) 20 Osborne v. Williams, 1714–1716
Uncertain Unions

Lawrence Stone

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a case study on valid clandestine marriage in England, focusing on the court case Osborne v. Osborne which was filed in 1714. The case involved Lady Bridget Osborne, the elder daughter of Peregrine Osborne, and the Osborne's domestic chaplain William Williams. They were secretly married in January 1715. This case gives an extreme example of the twin conflicts generated by the choice of a spouse: a conflict over authority, between patriarchy and individualism; and a conflict over motive, between interest and love.

Keywords:   clandestine marriage, court cases, Bridget Osborne, William Williams, love

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