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Marriage in 19th century - Rebecca Probert

Marriage in 19th century - Rebecca Probert
Wed, 29. September 2021, 19:30 h
LFHS Events


Rebecca Probert is Professor of Law at the University of Exeter. Her research focuses on the law and history of marriage, bigamy, divorce and cohabitation and she is the author of numerous articles and books, including Marriage Law and Practice in the Long Eighteenth Century: A Reassessment (2009) and The Legal Regulation of Cohabitation: From Fornicators to Family, 1600-2010(2012), both published by Cambridge University Press. She has also written on all aspects of modern family law and published a number of guides for family historians, including Marriage Law for Genealogists (2012) and Divorced, Bigamist, Bereaved?(2015). She has appeared numerous times on TV and radio, including Harlots, Heroines and Housewives, A House Through Timeand Who Do You Think You Are?

The Marriage Act 1836 laid the foundations of the modern law of marriage. It introduced the possibility of marrying in a registered place of worship or register office, brought Jewish and Quaker weddings within a new legal framework, and introduced a system of civil registration for all marriages, including those celebrated according to Anglican rites. Nonetheless, it cannot be assumed that all couples were able to marry as they chose even the 1836 Act. How any given couple could marry depended on local factors, and how they navigated the options available to them can tell us a lot about what they valued. In this talk Professor Rebecca Probert will review the take-up of the options introduced by the 1836 Act, explain the constraints that might determine couples' choices, and identify the clues that lie within the marriage certificate itself.

Note meeting will be held using Zoom. If you would like to register your interest, please email with your membership number if you have one, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. joining details will then be sent.