Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

"Matrimonial Ceremonies Displayed": Popular Ethnography and Enlightened Imperialism

"Matrimonial Ceremonies Displayed": Popular Ethnography and Enlightened Imperialism Page 98 Lisa O’Connell University of Queensland Spearheaded by Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1753, English marriage reform of the mid eighteenth century changed both the concept and practice of marriage. Indeed, it enabled marriage to become a pivot for new relations between government and the lives of citizens. This transformation was achieved not through sweeping legislative reform, nor by a usurpation of the church’s traditional role in the formalization of weddings, but by a redefinition of the English marriage rite. The Marriage Act determined rules for the time, place, and registration of legal weddings, decreeing that the only valid form of English marriage was one “performed by an ordained priest according to the Anglican Liturgy in . . . the Established Church after thrice called banns or the purchase of a license from the bishop.” In doing so it terminated an older, ecclesiastical marriage code for which marriage had been, in essence, an exchange of vows performed before two witnesses. This shift from marriage loosely defined as a speech act to marriage defined and regulated through strict ceremonial requirements and bureaucratic procedures hardened the boundaries between legitimate and illegitimate marriages and narrowed the forms and social meanings http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Eighteenth-Century Life Duke University Press

"Matrimonial Ceremonies Displayed": Popular Ethnography and Enlightened Imperialism

Eighteenth-Century Life , Volume 26 (3) – Oct 1, 2002

Loading next page...
 
/lp/duke-university-press/matrimonial-ceremonies-displayed-popular-ethnography-and-enlightened-umJDDjU382
Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2002 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0098-2601
eISSN
1086-3192
DOI
10.1215/00982601-26-3-98
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Page 98 Lisa O’Connell University of Queensland Spearheaded by Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1753, English marriage reform of the mid eighteenth century changed both the concept and practice of marriage. Indeed, it enabled marriage to become a pivot for new relations between government and the lives of citizens. This transformation was achieved not through sweeping legislative reform, nor by a usurpation of the church’s traditional role in the formalization of weddings, but by a redefinition of the English marriage rite. The Marriage Act determined rules for the time, place, and registration of legal weddings, decreeing that the only valid form of English marriage was one “performed by an ordained priest according to the Anglican Liturgy in . . . the Established Church after thrice called banns or the purchase of a license from the bishop.” In doing so it terminated an older, ecclesiastical marriage code for which marriage had been, in essence, an exchange of vows performed before two witnesses. This shift from marriage loosely defined as a speech act to marriage defined and regulated through strict ceremonial requirements and bureaucratic procedures hardened the boundaries between legitimate and illegitimate marriages and narrowed the forms and social meanings

Journal

Eighteenth-Century LifeDuke University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2002

There are no references for this article.