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XCIX. None to marry within the degrees prohibited. No person shall marry within the degrees prohibited by the laws of God, and expressed in a table set forth by authority in the year of our Lord God 1563. And all marriages so made and contracted shall be adjudged incestuous and unlawful, and consequently shall be dissolved as void from the beginning, and the parties so married shall by course of law be separated. And the aforesaid table shall be in every church publicly set up and fixed at the charge of the parish.
C. None to marry under Twenty-one years, without their
Parents' consent. No children under the age of one and twenty years complete shall contract themselves, or marry, without the consent of their parents, or of their guardians and governors, if their parents be deceased.
CI. By whom Licenses to marry without Banns shall be
granted, and to what sort of persons. No faculty or license shall be henceforth granted for solemnization of matrimony betwixt any parties, without thrice open publication of the banns, according to the Book of Common Prayer, by any person exercising any ecclesiastical jurisdiction, or claiming any privileges in the right of their churches; but the same shall be granted only by such as have episcopal authority, or the commissary for faculties, vicars general of the archbishops, and bishops, sede plena ; or sede vacante, the guardian of the spiritualities, or ordinaries exercising of right episcopal jurisdiction in their several jurisdictions respectively, and unto such persons only as be of good state and quality, and that upon good caution and security taken.
CII. Security to be taken at the granting of such Licenses,
and under what condition. The security mentioned shall contain these conditions: First, That, at the time of the granting every such license, there is not any impediment of precontract, consanguinity, affinity, or other lawful cause to hinder the said marriage. Secondly, That there is not any controversy or suit depending in any court before any ecclesiastical judge, touching any contract or marriage of either of the said parties with any other. Thirdly, That they have obtain
ed thereunto the express consent of their parents (if they be living), or otherwise of their guardians or governors. Lastly, That they shall celebrate the said matrimony publicly in the parish-church or chapel where one of them dwelleth, and in no other place, and that between the hours of eight and twelve in the forenoon.
CIII. Oaths to be taken for the Conditions. For the avoiding of all fraud and collusion in the obtaining of such licenses and dispensations, we further constitute and appoint, That before any license for the celebration of matrimony without publication of banns he had or granted, it shall appear to the judge, by the oaths of two sufficient witnesses, one of them to be known either to the judge himself, or to some other person of good reputation then present, and known likewise to the said judge, that the express consent of the parents, or parent, if one be dead, or guardians or guardian of the parties, is thereunto had and obtained. And furthermore, That one of the parties personally swear, that he believeth there is no let or impediment of precontract, kindred, or alliance, or of any other lawful cause whatsoever, nor any suit commenced in any ecclesiastical court, to bar or hinder the proceeding of the said matrimony, according to the tenure of the foresaid license.
CIV. An Exception for those that are in Widowhood.
If both the parties which are to marry being in widowhood do seek a faculty for the forbearing of banns, then the clauses before mentioned, requiring the parents' consents, may be omitted ; but the parishes where they dwell, both shall be expressed in the li. cense, as also the parish named where the marriage shall be celebrated. And if any commissary for faculties, vicars general, or other the said ordinaries, shall offend in the premises, or any part thereof, he shall, for every time so offending, be suspended from the execution of his office for the space of six months; and every such license or dispensation shall be held void to all effects and purposes, as if there had never been any such granted ; and the parties marrying by virtue thereof shall be subject to the punishments which are appointed for clandestine marriages.
CV. No Sentence for Divorce to be given upon the sole
Confession of the Parties. Forasmuch as matrimonial causes have been always reckoned and reputed among the weightiest, and therefore require the
greater caution, when they come to be handled and debated in judgment, especially in causes wherein matrimony, having been in the church duly solemnized, is required, upon any suggestion or pretext whatsoever, to be dissolved or annulled: we do straitly charge and enjoin, That in all proceedings to divorce, and nullities of matrimony, good circumspection and advice be used, and that the truth may (as far as possible) be sisted out by the deposition of witnesses, and other lawful proofs and evictions; and that credit be not given to the sole confession of the parties them. selves, howsoever taken upon oath, either within or without the court.
CVI. No Sentence for Divorce to be given but in open
Court, No sentence shall be given either for separation a thoro et mensa or for annulling of pretended matrimony, but in open court, and in the seat of justice; and that with the knowledge and consent either of the archbishop within his province, or of the bishop within his diocese, or of the dean of the arches, the judge of the audience of Canterbury, or of the vicars general, or other principal officials, or, sede vacante, of the guardians of the spirituali. ties, or other ordinaries to whom of right it appertaineth, in their several jurisdictions and courts, and concerning them only that are then dwelling under their jurisdictions.
CVII. In all sentences for Divorce, Bond to be taken for
not marrying during each other's Life. In all sentences pronounced only for divorce and separation a thoro el mensa, there shall be a caution and restraint inserted in the act of the said sentence, That the parties so separated shall live chastely and continently; neither shall they, during each other's life, contract matrimony with any other person. And, for the better observation of this last clause, the said sentence of divorce shall not be pronounced, until the party or parties requiring the same have given good and sufficient caution and security into the court, that they will not any way break or transgress the said restraint or prohibition,
CVIII. The Penalty for Judges offending in the premises.
And if any judge, giving sentence of divorce or separation, shall not fully keep and observe the premises, he shall be, by the archbishop of the province, or by the bishop of the diocese, suspended from the exercise of his office for the space of a whole year; and the sentence of separation, so given contrary to the form aforesaid, shall be held void to all intents and purposes of the law, as if it had not at all been given or pronounced.
ECCLESIASTICAL COURTS BELONGING TO THE JURISDICTION OF BISHOPS AND ARCHDEACONS, AND THE PROCEEDINGS IN THEM.
CIX. Notorious Crimes and Scandals to be certified into
Ecclesiastical Courts by Presentment. If any offend their brethren, either by adultery, whoredom, incest, or drunkenness, or by swearing, ribaldry, usury, and any other uncleanness and wickedness of life, the church-wardens, or quest-men, and side-men, in their next presentments to their ordinaries, shall faithfully present all and every of the said offenders, to the intent that they, and every of them, may be punished by the severity of the laws, according to their deserts ; and such notorious offenders shall not be admitted to the holy communion, till they be reformed.
CX. Schismatics to be presented. If the church-wardens, or quest-men, or assistants, do or shall know any man within their parish, or elsewhere, that is a hinderer of the word of God to be read or sincerely preached, or of the execution of these our Constitutions, or a fautor of any usurped or foreign power, by the laws of this realm justly rejected and taken away, or a defender of Popish and erroneous doctrine, they shall detect and present the same to the bishop of the diocese, or ordinary of the place, to be censured and punished according to such ecclesiastical laws as are prescribed in that behalf.
CXI. Disturbers of Divine Service to be presented. In all visitations of bishops and archdeacons, the churchwardens, or quest-men, and side men, shall truly and personally present the names of all those which behave themselves rudely and disorderly in the church, or which by untimely ringing of bells, by walking, talking, or other noise, shall hinder the minister or preacher.
CXII. Non-Communicants at Easter to be presented.
The minister, church-wardens, quest-men, and assistants of every parish-church and chapel, shall yearly, within forty days after Easter, exhibit to the bishop or his chancellor the names and surnames of all the parishioners, as well men as women, which, being of the age of sixteen years, received not the communion at Easter before.
CXIII. Ministers may present. Because it often cometh to pass, that the church-wardens, sidemen, quest-men, and such other persons of the laity as are to take care for the suppressing of sin and wickedness in their several parishes, as much as in them lieth, by admonition, reprehension, and denunciation to their ordinaries, do forbear to discharge their duties therein, either through fear of their superiors, or through negligence, more than were fit, the licentiousness of these times considered, we ordain, That hereafter every parson and vicar, or, in the lawful absence of any parson or vicar, then their curates and substitutes, may join in every presentment with the said church-wardens, side-men, and the rest abovementioned, at the times hereafter limited, if they, the said church-wardens and the rest, will present such enormities as are apparent in the parish; or if they will not, then every such parson and vicar, or, in their absence, as aforesaid, their curates, may themselves present to their ordinaries at such times, and when else they think it meet, all such crimes as they have in charge, or otherwise, as by them (being the persons that should have the chief care for the suppressing of sin and impiety in their parishes), shall be thought to require due reformation. Provided always, That if any man confess his secret and hidden sins to the minister, for the unburdening of his conscience, and to receive spiritual consolation and ease of mind from him, we do not any way bind the said minister by this our Constitution, but do straitly charge and admonish him that he do not at any time reveal and make known to any person whatsoever, any crime or offence so committed to his trust and secrecy (except they be such crimes as, by the laws of this realm, his own life may be called into question for concealing the same), under pain of irregularity.
CXIV. Ministers shall present recusants. Every parson, vicar, or curate, shall carefully inform themselves, every year hereafter, how many popish recusants, men,