Abstract

It has been argued that the Marriage Act of 1753, which put the law of marriage in England and Wales on a statutory basis, was a harsh measure that caused hardship to women, who were thereby deprived of the protection offered by the previous law. This essay challenges this view, showing that the formalities prescribed by the Act were hardly novel, and had been observed even when they were not essential to the validity of a marriage, while the protection afforded by the previous law was not as generous as has been claimed. It also argues that the courts adopted a purposive approach to the interpretation of the Act that softened its impact.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 247-262
Launched on MUSE
2005-01-27
Open Access
No
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