In the Regency, common law marriages, which the Hardwicke Act outlawed in
The most famous of the marriage border towns was
Lamberton, Berwickshire was the most popular of the eastern destinations, since it’s the first Scottish town reached via the
The toll-keepers at Paxton and Mordington, other border towns near Lamberton, and also close to the
Another town is Coldstream, Scottish Borders. The couple would cross the river
Who performed these marriages? Anyone who wanted to. Two people need only declare themselves married before two witnesses to be married. Thriving businesses provided a marriage ceremony of sorts, with witnesses and a clergyman, if desired, officiating. These ceremonies would also provide a certificate as proof of the marriage, for when the couple returned home.
Various laws in the early 1800’s changed and restricted these marriages, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_Act), but many of these towns continued their clandestine wedding business almost up to the twentieth century. Nowadays, the most famous, like
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