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Most clandestine marriages that have happened, have proceeded from the breach of these canons: For, were they punctually observed, and all marriages solemnised only in the parish church, or chapel, where one of the parties dwells,' and no where else, no clan.

6 destine design, this way, could be carried so closely, but that the friends must know of it: At least, a stop must be put thereto, when it comes to the minister. For, when a minister celebrates a marriage that is clandestine, he doth it either out of ignorance, or ill design. As to the ignorance of the minister, in this particular (and many clandestine marriages proceed only from their being imposed on this way) the method, prescribed by the canon, must be a very effectual way; because, when all are married in their own parishes, the mi. nisters cannot be supposed to be ignorant, whether they have consent of friends, or no, (unless, perchance, in some of the larger parishes in London, where other care may be taken, by requiring the friends of both parties to be actually present) and, therefore, though a license should be fraudulently obtained, yet, if directed to him, it can be of no effect ; because all licenses go with a proviso of nullity, in case of fraud; and, therefore, to him that knows the fraud (as it is scarce possible but every minister must in his own parish) it can be no license at all, but he will be as much liable to the penalty of the law, if he marries with a license in this case, as if he had no license at all. And as to a minister's being party to the ill design of a clandestine marriage, you shall scarce ever find this to happen, when people are married by their own minister. For, the penalty being suspension per triennium, none that have benefices which are worth any thing, and are sensible of the fraud (as all mi. nisters must be in the parishes where they live) will expose themselves to be deprived of them so long, for the sake of a marriage fee. But, most an end, they are not ministers of parishes, but indigent curates, or unpreferred chaplains, that wilfully engage themselves in this matter; who, having nothing to lose, on this account, are out of the reach of the penalty; and, therefore, if there are but one or two such in a county, usually the whole trade of clandestine marriages goes to them; and, therefore, the best way to prevent such marriages, will be, to confine all, according to the canon, to be married at home in their own parishes, by the minister of the place that hath an in. terest there, wherein to suffer, if he doth amiss. Because, if this be done, the minister can neither be imposed on by a fraudulent li. cense, where the persons are so well known unto him (as those of his own parish must be), nor will he dare to marry without one. It may, I confess, be possible, that a minister, to gratify some gen. tleman of his parish, who, he thinks, is able to protect him from tbe penalty, or else make him amends for what he suffers by it, may be prevailed with to celebrate a clandestine marriage for his sake, and thereby put an obligation upon him, and all his family and friends, on account of the advantage usually gotten to the man by such stolen matches. But, in the parish where the woman lives, it will be quite otherwise. For, it being, for the most part, the man that steals the woman, and not the woman the man, there, instead of obliging, he

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goes the disgraceful punishment due to that crime, the blot may be sufficient to make his ministry ineffectual all his life after.'

3. It is making clergymen parties to knavery and fraud, and putting the blame of the unjust practices of chancellors, commissa. ries, and registers, upon those, who, for the reputation of the church, as well as of themselves, are most concerned to prevent them. And thereby a great deal of clamour is drawn upon us, which we can never prevent, as long as any of the clergy are thus permitted in so mean and base a manner to be subservient to the knavery and unjus. tifiable practices of these men. For they, regarding nothing else but their gain in the choice of those, whom they appoint to be their surrogates, chuse only such as are properest for their purpose this way, who, being of the poorer and meaner sort, make their advantage of the employment, by marrying themselves all those that come to them for licenses, and, thereby advancing their own gain as well as that of their masters, become the more diligent agents for them. And I am told of some that keep markets weekly for this purpose, there expos. ing their blank licenses to sale, as tradesmen do their wares, which

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any that will pay for them, without any other reserve, but that of the marriage to themselves, by putting in only those churches for the solemnising of it, where they themselves are mipis. ters. But at best, though all surrogates do not thus carry their blank licenses to market, yet all keep shops of them, at home, and seldom or never refuse any customer that comes, on how unjusti. fiable an account soever. And therefore, when a wedding comes to them, and a marriage fee is to be gotten, without any further enquiry, the blank license is brought forth, the names of the persons to be married are inserted into it, and then the surrogate thinks himself

he goes to the church with them, and there marries them by vertue of a license from himself, without regarding how they come together, so. he hath a fee to his masters for the license, and another to himself for the marrying of them. And, if it happens that any such are afterwards questioned for these marriages, the li. cense is produced for their justification, which being under the seal of the office, and in the name of the chancellor or commissary that grants it, the matter is usually shuffled off, and no justice at all done to any that complain of the injuries, that they suffer in this kind. For the truth is, was the thing brought to an examination, the law would excuse the minister, who produceth the license (unless his be. ing party to the fraud were proved upon him, which he usually takes care to provide against in the manner of transacting it) and lay the whole blame upon the chancellor or commissary, in whose name it is granted, who usually know ways enough to baffle all prosecution, that shall be made against them on this account, and therefore, no 'examples being made of those that offend in this kind, they are the more bold still to go on in the same illegal practices, and the church infinitely suffers in its reputation thereby; and in truth, no excuse çan be made in this particular, while our governors, who have offi. cers under them for the putting the laws of the church in execution,

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permit them thus in so scandalous a manner to corrupt them all for their own advantage.

Of which scandalous corruption, being abundantly sensible, by what I found of it, where concerned, about two years since, I set myself to reform it, and drew up a monitory to be sent to all the clergy of my jurisdiction, wherein I inhibited them to marry any either by license, or otherwise, unless one of the parties lived in their parish, according as it is enjoined in the canon above mentioned. But hereon the commissary and register came to me with open mouths, complaining, that this would totally spoil their places. To which I answe

wered, that my business was not to take care of their places, but that the canons be kept; and if they would make gain, by what was inconsistent herewith, they were not to be tolerated in it. Whereon the commissary told me, that, although the canon was as I said, yet he could assure me, that the practice was quite the contrary, through the whole kingdom; and that since the archbishops, and all their suffragans thought fit to tolerate it, he thought it would not become me to contradict it.' And on inquiry, finding it really to be so, as he told me, I was forced to let the matter fall, because I thought it would appear a ridiculous singularity in me, to attempt a reformation in that which the archbishops and bishops of our church thought fit, in all parts of the nation besides, to allow. And besides, I had an account given me, that the late bishop of Norwich miscar. ried in the same attempt. For, on his first coming to his diocese, finding great clamour about clandestine marriages, he made his chan- . cellor and commissaries call in all their surrogations, and suppress all blank licenses, and ordered, that no minister should marry any, but whereof one of the parties dwell in his parish : and by this means, for a while, things were kept in good order, but they had not been long so, but the master of the faculties, and the vicar-general to the archbishop, took the advantage to send their licenses into the diocese; which the bishop perceiving, and having no authority to con. troul them herein, he thought it better, since he saw there was no re. medy, to suffer the corruption to be still continued by his own offi. cers, over whom he had some awe, than by those interlopers, with whom he had nothing to do; and therefore relaxed all his former orders, and left his officers to proceed in the same course as they did before; and the mischiefs, which have since followed hereon, are too many to relate. But two very signal ones, in my neighbourhood, I cannot pass over; the one of a man that hath married his father's wife, and the other of one that married a woman, whose husband was alive in the next parish, by vertue of those licenses. And this course can never be remedied, unless the two archbishops will be pleased to undertake it, and send their orders to all their suffragans, that the canons be punctually observed in these following particulars.

1. That all surrogates, with blank licenses, be suppressed, and no license for marriage at all granted, but by the person himself, that hath authority in this particular, or the deputy only who keeps his seals, and presides in his court in his absence.

goes the disgraceful punishment due to that crime, the blot may be sufficient to make his ministry ineffectual all his life after.'

3. It is making clergymen parties to knavery and fraud, and putting the blame of the unjust practices of chancellors, commissaries, and registers, upon those, who, for the reputation of the church, as well as of themselves, are most concerned to prevent them. And thereby a great deal of clamour is drawn upon us, which we can never prevent, as long as any of the clergy are thus permitted in so mean and base a manner to be subservient to the knavery and unjus. tifiable practices of these men. For they, regarding nothing else but their gain in the choice of those, whom they appoint to be their sur. rogates, chuse only such as are properest for their purpose this way, who, being of the poorer and meaner sort, make their advantage of the employment, by marrying themselves all those that come to them for licenses, and, thereby advancing their own gain as well as that of their masters, become the more diligent agents for them. And I am told of some that keep markets weekly for this purpose, there expos. ing their blank licenses to sale, as tradesmen do their wares, which they fill up for any that will pay for them, without any other reserve, but that of the marriage to themselves, by putting in only those churches for the solemnising of it, where they themselves are minis. ters. But at best, though all surrogates do not thus carry their blank licenses to market, yet all keep shops of them, at home, and seldom or never refuse any customer that comes, on how unjusti. fiable an account soever. And therefore, when a wedding comes to them, and a marriage fee is to be gotten, without any further enquiry, the blank license is brought forth, the names of the persons to be married are inserted into it, and then the surrogate thinks himself safe, and away he goes to the church with them, and there marries them by vertue of a license from himself, without regarding how they come together, so he hath a fee to his masters for the license, and another to himself for the marrying of them. And, if it happens that any such are afterwards questioned for these marriages, the li. cense is produced for their justification, which being under the seal of the office, and in the name of the chancellor or commissary that grants it, the matter is usually shufiled off, and no justice at all done to any that complain of the injuries, that they suffer in this kind. For the truth is, was the thing brought to an examination, the law would excuse the minister, who produceth the license (unless his being party to the fraud were proved upon him, which he usually takes care to provide against in the manner of transacting it) and lay the whole blame upon the chancellor or commissary, in whose name it is granted, who usually know ways enough to bafile all prosecution, that shall be made against them on this account, and therefore, no examples being made of those that offend in this kind, they are the more bold still to go on in the same illegal practices, and the church infinitely suffers in its reputation thereby; and in truth, no excuse çan be made in this particular, while our governors, who have offi. cers under them for the putting the laws of the church in execution,

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-permit them thus in so scandalous a manner to corrupt them all for their own advantage.

Of which scandalous corruption, being abundantly sensible, by what I found of it, where concerned, about two years since, I set myself to reform it, and drew up a monitory to be sent to all the clergy of my jurisdiction, wherein I inhibited them to marry any either by license, or otherwise, unless one of the parties lived in their parish, according as it is enjoined in the canon above mentioned. But hereon the commissary and register came to me with open mouths, complaining, that this would totally spoil their places. To which I answered, that my business was not to take care of their places, but that the canons be kept; and if they would make gain, by what was inconsistent herewith, they were not to be tolerated in it. Whereon the commissary told me, that, although the canon was as I said, yet he could assure me, that the practice was quite the contrary, through the whole kingdom; and that since the archbishops, and all their suffragans thought fit to tolerate it, he thought it would not become me to contradict it.' And on inquiry, finding it really to be so, as he told me, I was forced to let the matter fall, because I thought it would appear a ridiculous singularity in me, to attempt a reformation in that which the archbishops and bishops of our church thought fit, in all parts of the nation besides, to allow. And besides, I had an account given me, that the late bishop of Norwich miscarried in the same attempt. For, on his first coming to his diocese, finding great clamour about clandestine marriages, he made his chancellor and commissaries call in all their surrogations, and suppress all blank licenses, and ordered, that no minister should marry any, but whereof one of the parties dwell in his parish : and by this means, for a while, things were kept in good order, but they had not been long so, but the master of the faculties, and the vicar-general to the archbishop, took the advantage to send their licenses into the diocese; which the bishop perceiving, and having no authority to controul them herein, he thought it better, since he saw there was no re. medy, to suffer the corruption to be still continued by his own officers, over whom he had some awe, than by those interlopers, with whom he had nothing to do; and therefore relaxed all his former orders, and left his officers to proceed in the same course as they did before; and the mischiefs, which have since followed hereon, are too many to relate. But two very signal ones, in my neighbourhood, I cannot pass over; the one of a man that hath married his father's . wife, and the other of one that married a woman, whose husband was alive in the next parish, by vertue of those licenses. And this course can never be remedied, unless the two archbishops will be pleased to undertake it, and send their orders to all their suffragans, that the canons be punctually observed in these following particulars.

1. That all surrogates, with blank licenses, be suppressed, and no license for marriage at all granted, but by the person himself, that hath authority in this particular, or the deputy only who keeps his seals, and presides in his court in his absence.

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