In the first of 2012’s Eneclann expert guest posts, Fiona Fitzsimons explains Irish Marriage Licence Bonds.
By the 17th century marriage was fairly well defined, but there were still many ways of entering into it. For persons of property it involved a series of distinct steps.
In Ireland by the 18th Century Protestants of any substance were usually married by a marriage license bond issued by the consistorial court of the diocese. This is true of all religious denominations with the possible exception of Quakers, for rural and urban dwellers right up to the second half of the 19th Century. It is true however that in the 17th and 18th centuries when the Penal Laws were in place, many Quakers, particularly those with property, also married by license within the Established Church, to secure succession / inheritance rights for any children of the marriage.
The marriage licence bond was issued ahead of the marriage by the Established Church as an alternative to the public proclamation of banns in church. A marriage licence was a popular alternative to banns, as it guaranteed the bride and groom a greater measure of privacy. Unfortunately, almost all original marriage licenses for the Irish dioceses were destroyed in 1922, however, index books for most of the Irish dioceses survive and can be consulted in the National Archives.
Marriage Licence bonds for some of the Irish dioceses can be found on the findmypast.ie website:
Stone, Laurence (1979) The Family, Sex and Marriage, London pp. 30-31.
Having come across the term Consistorial (or Consistory) Licence many times during research into my family’s genealogy, I had been wondering for some time precisely what this meant. Your article was, therefore, very interesting and has explained the background well.
I wonder if you could provide a similar explanation for the term Prerogative Licence and advise whether being married “with the Archdeacons licence” is the same as one of the other two terms.
That is really attention-grabbing, You’re a very professional blogger. I’ve joined your feed and stay up for seeking extra of your great post. Additionally, I’ve shared your website in my social networks