Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 1997-10 > 0878085780
From: "Edward Andrews" <>
Subject: Re: Scottish Marriages
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 10:32:32 0
> Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 21:02:10 -0500
> From: John Giacoletti <>
> Subject: Scottish Marriages
> To: "INTERNET:" <>
> What does the term Scottish Marriage mean? Were not "hand fastings,"
> those family and/or community sanctioned marriages performed outside of
> any formal religious setting known as Scottish Marriages?
We were speaking about marriage in Scotland. I have never heard of
Scottish Marriage. Handfasting was temporary cohabitation to
ascertain of the couple were fertile. In the event of there being
issue the couple were arraigned before the Kirk Session for contracting
an irregular marriage, rather than fornication. (vide the case of
Robert Burns) If there were those who did not handfast - which only
took place in some areas like the South East, and there was issue the
couple were charged with premarital fornication.
Given that prior to 1689 all persons in Scotland were under the
discipline of the Kirk Session, to suggest that there were nor irreligious
marriages is incorrect.
It is only in the late twentieth Century that cohabitation has
become common. You can trace this through the illegitimacy rates.
> Would not, then, these Scottish Marriages be an exception to the above
> statement, "ALL proposed marriages in Scotland had to have the banns called
> in the local Church ...?"
The confusion which you suffer from is that prior to the Marriage
(Scotland) Act 1939 there was Marriage by declaration, and marriage
supra copulas. When however you remember that historically one of
the purpose of Marriage is to regulate the laws of inheritance, such
a view of marriage is rather in conflict with the underlying ethos
Of course there were those who lived together "like Tinkers in a
ditch" but this was not encouraged.
St Nicholas Buccleuch Parish Church Dalkeith, Midlothian Scotland
Visit our Web site http://www.btinternet.com/~stnicholas.buccleuch/index.htm
(Now in Frames with pictures, please revisit)
|Re: Scottish Marriages by "Edward Andrews" <>|