Marriage licences at the Society of Genealogists

Marriages were carried out either by the reading of Banns or by issue of a Licence.  There were many reasons for using a Licence – need for a quick marriage (pregnancy, leaving for military duty), need for consent of parents, non-conformists not wishing to visit the CoE church for three weeks while the banns were read, wanting to get married around Easter (no banns were read during Lent) or  to demonstrate their status in society.  If the parish register entry or certificate states the marriage was by licence, it is worth finding the details of the marriage licence as it will often contain additional information over and above the marriage entry.

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