Came across this snippet while researching the Old Hen and Chickens in Bridge Street. Too funny not to share!
This story went right across the country and to Ireland!
From the Newcastle Journal, 5th August 1843. (The incident occurred on the 3rd August.)
Marriage by declaration in front of two witnesses was legal in Scotland but in 1753 a law banned such irregular marriages in England. This led to couples crossing the Border to marry at places like Gretna Green, Coldstream, and Lamberton Toll. The marriages were carried out by “priests” who also provided witnesses. Lord Brougham’s Act (an Act for Amending the Law of Marriage in Scotland 1856) finally put paid to the practice.
For more on irregular marriages visit my friend Susie’s blog Border Ancestry.