What is an "allegation" in English marriage records?

+10 votes
I found a record on ancestry which appears to be a straightforward marriage record but is classed under "Marriage Bonds and Allegations 1597-1921" and has an Event Type of "Allegation".

What does Allegation mean in this context?

The only slightly unusual feature is that the bridge and groom were from parishes some distance apart (St. Giles, Cripplegate, London and Takeley, Essex) and there seem to be two records indicating perhaps two services? Is an allegation a recording of a marriage in a different parish involving a parishioner? I don't believe there was anything controversial or suspect about the marriage.
in Genealogy Help by Matthew Fletcher G2G6 Pilot (138k points)
edited by Matthew Fletcher

Ancestry has matching records for each spouse but I suspect this is simply an artefact of their data-mining and there was only one document. Walter (24) was from Essex and Elizabeth (22) was from London. I have reason to think they were both relatively affluent.

Name: Walter Wyberd
Age: 24
Birth Year: 1587
Event Date: 27 Jan 1611
Parish: Takeley
County: Essex
Spouse's Name: Elizabeth Swifte
Spouse's Age: 22
Spouse's Parish: St Giles
Spouse's County: London
Event Type: Allegation
Name: Elizabeth Swifte
Age: 22
Birth Year: 1589
Event Date: 27 Jan 1611
Parish: St Giles
County: London
Spouse's Name: Walter Wyberd
Spouse's Age: 24
Spouse's Parish: Takeley
Spouse's County: Essex
Event Type: Allegation

Interestingly FamilySearch has the marriage recorded a day later in St Giles:

"England Marriages, 1538–1973 ," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NJ5C-FZD : accessed 12 April 2016), Walter Wyberd and Elizabeth Swyft, 28 Jan 1611; citing Saint Giles Cripplegate,London,London,England, reference ; FHL microfilm 380,199, 380,200, 380,201, 380,202, 380,203, 380,204

2 Answers

+9 votes
Hi Matthew...found this on a Wiki research page.  Interesting!




There have always been some people who want to marry in a hurry or in private. The church allowed them to avoid the delay and publicity of calling banns on three successive Sundays by providing, for a fee, a marriage license. The information given in order to obtain the license may include detail not available elsewhere. The centrally filed record may lead directly to the place of marriage and may survive when the marriage record itself has been lost.

Couples in a hurry or requiring privacy might include those where:

1. The bride was pregnant or the groom was on leave from the Army or Navy.

2. The parties differed greatly in age, such as a widow marrying a much younger man or an old man marrying a young woman.

3. The parties differed in social standing, such as a master marrying a servant.

4. The parties differed in religion or did not attend the parish church because they were Nonconformists or Roman Catholics.

5. The parties were of full age but still faced family opposition to their marriage.

6. The parties had already married, perhaps in Scotland or overseas, and wished to clarify their status in English law.
by Fred Adamson G2G6 Pilot (172k points)
Thanks that's fascinating and very informative.
+5 votes
by Living Woodhouse G2G6 Pilot (294k points)
Thanks for that Ron.

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