6 Comments

  1. Marriage is as old as human existence. Presumably some caveman said to some cavewoman “Ugh Ugh” (trans: “We are one”), and that was that.

    I’ve been racking my brains trying to think of a reason why the state should have any say, require to be advised, or have any other control over something that is a contract between two (or more!) people. I can’t think of one.

    Like

    Reply

    1. The wikipedi link talks about the problem of “clandestine marriage”, but doesn’t explain why that was an issue to start with! It just assumes secret marriages are self-evidentally a serious problem for the nation.

      Like

      Reply

  2. The British State has been involved since 1753. Religion got its claws into marriage in England & Wales in 13th and 14th C.

    Before that it was a private matter and the sooner it returns to being one again the better. That way people can organise their own contracts based on whatever combination of numbers and genders they wish and if they want a religious service then they can find a padre who will service their needs.

    Like

    Reply

  3. Something can be a national institution without being a government institution.

    Just as the Venerable Bede could write his history of the English people before there was any such Kingdom as England.

    As for private ceremonies (Clarissa’s point) – as long as no one is FORCED to “recongnise” such ceremonies (i.e. no “anti discrimination” doctrine) I have no problem with them.

    Like

    Reply

  4. I half-remember the initial question was over jurisdiction between various courts, with the church courts having jurisdiction on certain things like marriage and inheritance etc. Leaping ahead of the point I will make below, one thing the church did have was a developed body of cannon law, which is useful if you’re in the court-running business.

    Although it could be treated as a purely private matter, as soon as a dispute arises between contracting parties, there will have to be a means to settle the issue in an equitable way, which is where the legal framework under which society lives comes in. Some years ago, Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger split up and the courts ended up ruling that their ‘marriage’ was not a marriage, i.e., that the marriage ceremony they undertook on a beach somewhere had no legal basis. Similarly, once in a while the news will run a story about the widespread belief in ‘common law marriage’, and how the courts always chuck it out.

    Like

    Reply

  5. Of course, the correct answer to the question “How old is marriage” goes something like “You’d think it was an eternity if you’d met my first wife”. It’s the way I tell ’em.

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s