The marriage licence allegation proves inconclusive

18 Sep

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about ordering a copy of the marriage licence allegation for James GEARING and Ann HOWLETT, who may be my 5x great-grandparents. I was hoping this might prove that the marriage in St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London on the 30th September 1797 is the correct one.

The marriage licence allegation arrived last weekend, but unfortunately it doesn’t really prove anything either way. The allegation shows that both James and Ann were over 21 years old and James had been living in the parish of St. Martin in the Fields for at least four weeks, and would be marrying in the same parish.

The only thing that might throw a spanner in the works is that Ann would only have been 20 years old, but James may not have known his intendeds true age, or may have just lied to save time and trouble (and probably money).

The only saving grace might be the signature of James GEARING that is on the bottom of the allegation, it might not even be his actual signature. At some stage I might be able to tie that signature up with a known copy of the signature of my James GEERING (although I don’t think I actually have one at the moment).

The marriage licence allegation is a pre-printed page with the details written in by hand. The actual allegation reads:

Appeared perfonally James Gearing and made Oath, that he is of the Parish of Saint Martin in the Fields in the County of Middlesex a Bachelor of the age of Twenty one years and upwards and intendeth to marry with Ann Howlett of the same Parish a Spinster of the age of twenty one years and upwards and the he knoweth of no lawful Impediment, by Reafon of any Pre-contract, Confanguinity, Affinity, or any other lawful Means whatfoever, to hinder the faid intended Marriage, and prayed a Licence to folemnize the fame in the Parifh Church of Saint Martin in the Fields and further made Oath, that the ufual Place of Abode of him the appeaser hath been in the faid Parifh of Saint Martin in the Fields for the Space of four Weeks laft paft.

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2 Responses to “The marriage licence allegation proves inconclusive”

  1. Alex September 18, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    That’s a shame – it does seem likely that this is the right marriage, even though you can’t prove it. Interesting to hear about an actual live licence allegation document though!

    • John Gasson September 23, 2010 at 8:03 am #

      It was a long shot, but you never know unless you try these things. Never mind, I will keep looking, but maybe they never married which seems to be pretty common amongst my GEERINGs, either that or they were good at hiding the evidence!

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