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Warrant of Sherriff Substitute

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  • Charles A. McQuarrie
    I just downloaded a copy of a marriage registration for 1924 that contains, under the heading of, If an Irregular Marriage........., the terminology Warrant
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 6, 2004
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      I just downloaded a copy of a marriage registration for 1924 that
      contains, under the heading of, If an Irregular Marriage.........,
      the terminology "Warrant of Sherriff Substitute of Lanarkshire, dated
      December 15th 1924".

      I thought that I understood what an irregular marriage was but
      obviously I don't and I am wondering if there is any significance to
      the warrant of the Sherriff Substitute.

      Could someone please straighten out this poor misguided soul?

      Charles McQuarrie,
      Victoria, B.C.,
      Canada,
      camcq@...
    • IACSCOTT@aol.com
      Hi Charles It is my understanding that an Irregular Marriage was perfectly legal and binding but as such was not performed by a clergyman after the
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 9, 2004
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        Hi Charles

        It is my understanding that an Irregular Marriage was perfectly legal and
        binding but as such was not performed by a clergyman after the proclamation of
        banns. However, to have that marriage registered it was necessary to go to court
        and prove to the court the marriage had taken place. Having done so the
        Sheriff issued a Warrant which enabled the Registrar to record the event.

        Ian A C Scott


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      • Charles A. McQuarrie
        ... legal and ... proclamation of ... to go to court ... the ... event. ... Thanks very much Ian. As I understand it now, this marriage took place in front
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 10, 2004
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          --- In scots-origins@yahoogroups.com, IACSCOTT@a... wrote:
          > Hi Charles
          >
          > It is my understanding that an Irregular Marriage was perfectly
          legal and
          > binding but as such was not performed by a clergyman after the
          proclamation of
          > banns. However, to have that marriage registered it was necessary
          to go to court
          > and prove to the court the marriage had taken place. Having done so
          the
          > Sheriff issued a Warrant which enabled the Registrar to record the
          event.
          >
          > Ian A C Scott
          >

          Thanks very much Ian.

          As I 'understand' it now, this marriage took place in front of the
          two people names in the When, Where, and How Married column who would
          seem to be friends of the couple in question. One of these lived at
          the same address of the bride-to-be.

          Would this then be close to today's civil marriage?
          Do you know if the two who witnessed the vows had to have any
          particular qualifications to perform this marriage?
          Any thoughts on why the couple chose not to have a 'regular marriage'
          other than the thought that there was likely going to be a premature
          birth soon?

          I don't remember now whether or not I mentioned this in the original
          posting but this marriage took place in 1924.

          Charles McQuarrie.
        • IACSCOTT@aol.com
          In a message dated 10/08/2004 17:45:09 GMT Daylight Time, camcq@shaw.ca ... Hi Irregular marriages preceded civil marriages performed by the Registrar which
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 10, 2004
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            In a message dated 10/08/2004 17:45:09 GMT Daylight Time, camcq@...
            writes:

            > Would this then be close to today's civil marriage?
            > Do you know if the two who witnessed the vows had to have any
            > particular qualifications to perform this marriage?
            > Any thoughts on why the couple chose not to have a 'regular marriage'
            > other than the thought that there was likely going to be a premature
            > birth soon?
            >
            > I don't remember now whether or not I mentioned this in the original
            > posting but this marriage took place in 1924.
            >

            Hi

            Irregular marriages preceded civil marriages performed by the Registrar which
            were not introduced until 1940. They were frowned upon by the Kirk Session
            and the parties to the marriage were very likely to be rebuked by the Kirk
            Session. Not only that, they and their witnesses were liable to be fined and as a
            result you may find reference to such marriages in the Kirk Session Minutes and
            the records of the J.P. and Burgh Court records.

            To answer your question as regards the 'qualification' of the witnesses to
            perform an irregular marriage I can only say there was no need for that as the
            couple only required to state before two witnesses that they were to be
            regarded as Husband and Wife. Thereafter, to have the marriage registered post 1855,
            it was necessary to obtain the Sheriff's Warrant.
            Prior to 1855 the Established Church was responsible for keeping Parish
            records and while it was intended that all events be recorded therein it was not
            compulsory and many were not entered in the Old Parochial Registers for various
            reasons such as cost or different religious denomination. In this case the
            Kirk Session Minute can come into play if it records the censuring of the couple
            for the irregular marriage

            As to the reason for choosing to have an irregular marriage there could be
            many reasons but I do not think that the imminent birth of an illegitimate child
            had much to do with it. I have come across quite a number of births just
            prior to or immediately after a marriage performed by a clergyman and the thought
            'test and try before you buy' has often crossed my mind. On the other hand the
            Kirk Session Minutes can often be found to contain page upon page of what is
            described as 'Discipline' meted out to young women who produce a child outwith
            marriage and in other cases where the couple have married but the child
            appears well within nine months of the marriage being performed. The 'crime' being
            described as 'pre-nuptial fornication' in many cases.

            I hope this answers your query

            Ian A C Scott




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