Marriage Banns and Putting Faces to Names

This week’s entry in the 50 Marriage Mondays series took place on a Saturday and the banns were read on Tuesdays.

Bride: Julia Ann Coulson, known as Jue
Groom: Albert Herbert William Proctor, known as Billy
Date: 2 January 1909
Location: All Saints church, Hitcham
Witnesses: Albert Walter Coulson, Lizzie Coulson

The Marriage Act 1753, commonly called Lord Hardwick’s Act stipulated that a marriage would be void if it had not been preceded by the reading of banns or the issue of a licence. Public notice of an intended marriage gave objectors the opportunity to make their case against it.  The act further stated that the banns should be published on three consecutive Sundays.  The banns for this marriage were published on the 6th, 13th and 20th October 1908, three consecutive Tuesdays.  However, this would not invalidate the marriage.  Although the law made publishing of banns mandatory, it only gave directives on the details of the procedure.

The Marriage Act 1823 simplified procedures, only requiring the parties to give their true names and abode to the clergyman, but introduced a time limit of three months after which banns would have to be republished[1].  This marriage, solemnised 2 months and 27 days after the publication of the first bann, was just in time.

I do not have a wedding photograph of Jue and Billy, but do have some later photographs.

Billy & Jue

Top: extracts from photo of wedding guests of Albert Walter Coulson and Mabel Maud Blanche Hilda Knock 29 Oct 1913.
Middle: undated and unlabeled photo in Mabel Coulson’s collection, the couple are clearly Billy and Jue in middle age
Bottom: extract of photo dating from WWII of Billy, Jue and their children, see earlier post (A Wartime Wedding) for the full picture, photo in collection of Raymond Coulson

The witnesses, Albert Walter Coulson and Lizzie Coulson were siblings of Jue.

Relationship of Julia Ann Coulson & Albert Herbert Willie Proctor to the witnesses of thier marriage

Relationship of Julia Ann Coulson & Albert Herbert Willie Proctor to the witnesses of thier marriage.

Photographs in collections of several family members feature people that have been identified as Jue, Billy and the two witnesses.

[1] Probert, Rebecca (2012) Marriage Laws for Genealogists. Takeaway: Kenilworth.  p. 87.

© Sue Adams 2012

2 Comments on “Marriage Banns and Putting Faces to Names”

  1. Lynne Cutts says:

    Hi Sue, I contacted you a while ago regarding our mutual ancestors. My mum has several photos of Coulson and Proctor relations, I don’t know if you are local to Stowmarket area, but some of these photos might be worth identifying and sharing. Would you like to meet up and look through the photos? Lynne Cutts (nee Linda Proctor)


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