WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Priest-Linked

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Priest-Linked

Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam… The Impressive Clergyman, The Princess Bride

Taking the plunge. Getting hitched. Jumping the broom. Walking the aisle. Going to the chapel. Buying the cow.

There are probably too many euphemisms for simply “getting married.” And all of the above are anachronistic if they show up in a Regency romance. So what exactly did the Regency wedding entail?

I’m glad you asked.

Signing the Register by Edmund Blair Leighton, 1920, Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery.

Priest-Linked

Married.

Marriage in Regency England was governed by the rules of the Hardwicke Act for the Prevention of Clandestine Marriages, which was written in 1753 and went into full effect on 25 March 1754 (no more Fleet or secret marriages). Couples were now required to have the banns called for three consecutive Sundays in their home parish; if the lady and gentleman were of different residences, banns must be called in both. The priest would read out some version of the following:

“I publish the banns of marriage between (Name of party) of the Parish of ______ and (Name of other party) of this Parish. If any of you know cause or just impediment why these persons should not be joined together in Holy Matrimony, ye are to declare it. This is for the (first, second, third) time of asking.”

After the reading of the final banns, the couple had to marry between the hours of eight and noon by an ordained priest and in the presence of two witnesses.

The Wedding from The English Dance of Death by Thomas Rowlandson, published by Rudolph Ackermann 1814-1816, The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

What were the exceptions to the banns?

If the couple needed to marry sooner rather than later, a Common License (also known as Ordinary, Standard, or Bishop’s License) could be obtained from the local bishop. The bishop charged a small fee, but also required a bond of £100 to stand forfeit if the couple provided false information for the license. The couple had to marry in the parish where the license was obtained.

A Special License could be obtained from the Archbishop of Canterbury; researcher Nancy Mayer records that by 1811 they cost the gentleman £5. The Special License had to be obtained by the gentleman wishing to marry, and every line was filled in while in the presence of the Archbishop (so no fill-in-the-blank Licenses to use whenever, wherever, or with whomever). The couple still had to marry by the benefit of clergy between the hours of eight and noon, but the ceremony did not have to take place in a church. It was a sign of wealth to use the Special License and hold the ceremony in the privacy of one’s home. Remember dear Mrs. Bennett’s declaration to Elizabeth:

“My dearest child,” she cried, “I can think of nothing else! Ten thousand a year, and very likely more! ‘Tis as good as a Lord! And a special licence. You must and shall be married by a special licence.” Pride & Prejudice, Chapter 59

To provide evidence that a marriage had occurred, the couple and their witnesses signed the parish register at the end of the ceremony. This was done in the vestry of the church, whether the marriage had been performed there or at a separate location by Special License. This practice of recording signatures is likely where the colloquialism “marriage lines” originated. These registry lines were then copied onto a separate sheet of paper and handed to the best man, who then passed it on to the new bride (and never the groom). It was considered her property.

Both parties had to have reached the age of majority – one and twenty – to marry without permission of their parent or guardian. Any minor who married without permission was never considered married – it was as if the ceremony had never occurred – no matter the passage of years or number of children (who were all considered illegitimate) since the vows were spoken.

Country Wedding by John Lewis Krimmel, 1820, Public Domain.

Some interesting tidbits about the Hardwicke Act

The Hardwicke Act was law only in England and Wales. Scotland, Ireland, and English colonies. In Scotland, a couple could simply state they were married and live together publicly; anyone over the age of fourteen could do so. No wonder many an English lad and lassie crossed the border to marry, be it by blacksmith, innkeeper, or actual clergyman. Catholic rites were the order of the day in Ireland, although an Anglican had to be married in the Church of England as well.

Quakers and Jews were exempt from the Hardwicke Act, but poor Roman Catholics in England and Wales were stuck. They could obtain a Special License, but the law still required them to be married first in the Church of England before taking Catholic rites. While this was a section of the law many Catholics ignored, the insult to this injury kept their marriage from being valid “until and unless they married according to the law by a clergyman of the Church of England.”

Next week I’ll talk about what it took to dissolve a marriage. Here’s a hint: way more than you’d think, based on popular Regency romances.

For now, let’s enjoy a clip of The Impressive Clergyman in action.

 

Advertisements
WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ New Year’s

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ New Year’s

New Year’s observances in England during the Regency era were very much a family and close friends affair. The whole yuletide season itself was a time for reuniting with family and gathering in tight-knit social settings. There were several regional practices, such as Hogmanay in Scotland and Northern England, and the making and drinking of Lamb’s-wool in Ireland, but most holiday celebrations were intimate and dictated only by familial rather than societal customs. One thing was universally desired during this era, and continues to this day: good fortune and blessings in the New Year, and superstitions were everywhere.

A merry Christmas and a happy New Year,
Your pockets full of money and your cellar full of beer.

Weather could be a source of New Year’s predictions.

If the morning be red and dusky
It denotes a year of robberies and strife.
If the grass grows in Janivear
It grows the worse for ‘t all the year.
If New Year’s Eve night wind blow South,
It betokeneth warmth and growth;
If West, much milk, and fish in the sea;
If North, much cold and storm there will be;
If East, the trees will bear much fruit;
If Northeast, flee it man and brute.

Maids often stayed up past midnight to catch the first pitcher of New Year’s water, obtaining the “Cream of the Year,” which was rumored to be special and lucky. Indoor plumbing did away with this, but the practice of staying up to usher out the old and welcome the New Year remains.

If the first person to enter the house was female, bad luck was sure to follow. A tall, handsome male would obviously be the best omen, more so if he had a high instep so that “water would run under,” meaning bad luck would pass by the household. Most women were flat-footed from being continually on their feet; hopefully this anatomical detail explained the reason for the difference in luck between the sexes. This old wives’ tale was known as “First Footing.”

english-literature_00056

One cannot mention the Regency era and New Year’s without speaking of Auld Lang Syne. Written by Scottish poet Robert “Rabbie” Burns in 1788, the title literally translates as “old long since” and idiomatically as “long long ago.” Burns took inspiration from Scottish traditional folk songs and fairy tales that used the phrase auld lang syne to mean “once upon a time” and collated previous works with his original lyrics into a single song, publishing it in 1796. This “for auld lang syne” would be taken colloquially as “for the sake of old times.”

Burns submitted his work to The Scots Musical Museum publication, accompanied by this note:

The following song, an old song, of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript until I took it down from an old man.

The song has ever-since been the closing anthem of Hogmanay celebrations, with those in attendance forming a circle and joining hands as they sing. Before the final verse, everyone crosses their arms to clasp the opposite hand of their neighbor. At the song’s conclusion, the group rushes to the center of the circle, hands still joined, then turns under their own arms to reform the circle, hands still joined, but facing outward, to welcome the New Year.

My grandfather used to sing it each New Year, in the original Scots.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup!
and surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin’ auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
and gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak’ a right gude-willie waught,
for auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

 

When I married, I discovered my new family practiced two unique holiday customs: they race to see who can say “Christmas Eve Gift” to each other on Christmas Eve, and they call each other at 12:01am on New Year’s Day. Are there any special New Year’s traditions in your family?

 

New Year’s customs and observations taken from Yule-Tide in Many Lands by Mary P. Pringle and Clara A. Urann (a Project Gutenberg ebook).

First Footing information was discovered at Maria Grace’s Random Bits of Fascination.

Interesting tidbits about the tradition of singing Auld Lang Syne can be found at A Regency Primer on Christmastide and New Year’s by Kristin Koster and The Scots Musical Museum in Six Volumes.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Hogmanay awaits at Rampant Scotland.

Keep Calm and Read This! Mageela Troche ~ Claiming the Highlander

I want to warmly welcome author Mageela Troche to the blog today.  She graciously agreed to stop by and reveal the inspiration for her latest novel, Claiming the Highlander.

As a romance author, I am asked many questions. One that I often get is “where do you get your inspiration from?” For my latest novel, Claiming the Highlander, I can say it all started with a football game. I was watching the Green Bay Packers play. I couldn’t help but watch number 52, Linebacker Clay Matthews. His long blond hair flapped out from the bottom of his helmet as he tackled his opponents. One thought popped in my head: Viking.

clay matthews #52

Of course, my books are full of medieval highlanders, but Scotland and Norse have an intertwined history. Thus my hero, Caelen MacKenzie, was born. But who would be the woman that captured his heart? That I didn’t know. I had the opening scene: two children wed for political reasons. I knew one thing – a woman makes her man.

kemp muhl lady brenna

Then my heroine came to me—Brenna Grant. She would be opposite of Caelen. Brunette and brown-eyed . . . but there was more. Marriage at this time was about political power, building connections and strengthening family ties. Brenna would be trained for the life she would live once joined to her husband, but this marriage had to help her clan as well. Now she was torn between the life she was raised to live and the one she was leaving behind. She risked the loss of the one truth in her life – her marriage to Caelen – because of men’s machinations.

Claiming the Highlander, the latest novel from author Mageela Troche

Caelen MacKenzie married heiress Lady Brenna Grant in his youth for a large parcel of land and an earldom.  Years later, Scotland trembles from the tables of the Viking Highlander, yet Caelen must face his most challenging battle – returning home to the past he ran from.

Lady Brenna loves her husband.  As her loyalties are tested, the life she was reared to live is in jeopardy.  She knows no other life apart from Countess and wife to Caelen.  Snagged in the power plays of men, she will do anything to save that life, and the man she loves.

From the rugged western highlands to the glittering Scottish court, they must battle the machinations of powerful men scheming against them.

Grab your copy of Claiming the Highlander at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Secret Cravings Publishing

Smashwords

Author Mageela Troche

Author Mageela Troche writes in the cramped corner of her Big Apple apartment.  She is currently working on her fourth novel.  When she’s not writing, she has her nose in books while her lovebird flies about, making a great deal of noise.  But her bird is sooo cute.

Catch up with Mageela on:

Facebook

Twitter

Website

Keep Calm and Read! C.A. Szarek ~ The Parchment Scroll

The Parchment Scroll

Author C.A. Szarek shares her cover for The Parchment Scroll, Book Three in the Highland Secrets Trilogy.  From the back cover:

Her sister is lost…in the past.

Three weeks after her sister goes missing, Juliette McGowan encounters her on a beach in Scotland. Her sister gives her a scroll full of claims about time travel and disappears—literally.

As a sister, Jules is determined to find her. As a cop, she can’t go to the authorities. The piece of parchment declares magic exists; they’d think she’s nuts.

When a mysterious woman vows she can help her get to the seventeenth century, Jules goes along with it out of desperation.

He’s an infamous barbarian…

Hugh MacDonald is intrigued when he finds a disoriented naked lass on the beach. She holds a scroll that was written by his rival’s wife. Clan MacLeod will pay ransom for her safe return, so he takes her captive.

She challenges his authority—and his desires. What started off as a plan to anger the MacLeods ends with Hugh wanting to keep her for himself.

Can Jules break free of the barbarian, find her sister and return to the future or will she give in to her attraction and desire to remain in the past?

The Parchment Scroll P

Need to read the first two?

The Tartan MP3 Player (Highland Secrets Book One)The Tartan MP3 Player ESM

Claire gets sucked into 1672, naked and scared. Duncan rescues her only to realize she’s the key to finding his brother who was kidnapped by the Fae. Can they work together and both get what they want? Will sudden passion for each other change their goals?

All Romance eBooks

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Smashwords

The Fae Ring ESMThe Fae Ring (Highland Secrets Book Two)

Xander slips a ring on Janet’s finger that seals their fate. They’re soul-mates — whether they like it or not. When Janet flees to the Realm of the Fae, will her banished winged warrior and fated husband be able to bring them to safety or will the Fae sense her human blood and capture them both?

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon

Apple

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Smashwords

highland secrets logo

Where to find C.A. Szarek:

Facebook

Website

Blog

Twitter

Goodreads

Email

paper dragon

 

C.A. is celebrating 2500 likes on her page with a MASSIVE giveaway! Click a Rafflecopter giveaway or click HERE to enter!

 

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin