Five Rivers wrote:
[snip] my recollection is there was a common law in England stating if
after seven years a husband (or wife) had not returned they were considered
dead and the remaining spouse was free to remarry, barring any caveats the
Church (Rome or England) might have placed upon the couple.
Ray Hobbs added:
Mmmm! Linda, I wonder whether this was so. The 41st Regiment of Foot, of
honoured memory, were stationed in the Canadas for sixteen years
(1799-1815). Would the married rank and file be considered dead because of
this? The matter - like all we raise - was more complex.
1/41st Regiment of Foot (CD)
Jim adds: I think the Common Law says 7 years absence = "legally" dead.
But "absence" means: whereabouts totally unknown.
Which of course would not apply if everyone knows one was serving on
blockade duty on one of HM ships, or garrisoning a hill station in India,
Now, if the soldier or sailor deserted , and then "disappeared" for seven
years, or went missing in action etc., the wife could apply for an order
that he was legally dead... which makes her a widow, who could then legally