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A transcript of the 1837 Act to explain & amend two Acts for the registering of Births, Deaths, and Marriages in England

ANNO PRIMO

VICTORIÆ REGINÆ.

An Act to explain and amend Two Acts passed in the last Session of Parliament, for Marriages and for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages, in England. [30th June 1837.]

WHEREAS by an Act made in the last Session of Parliament, intituled An Act for Marriages in England, and by another Act, intituled An Act for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages in England, sundry Provisions were made for the Duties of Superintendent Registrars and also of Registrars and Deputy Registrars of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, which several Provisions require to be further explained and amended: And whereas the recited Acts require Amendment in other respects: Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That where in the said Act for Marriages in England Provision is made for giving Notice of Marriage to any Registrar, and where in the last-recited Act, or any Schedule thereunto annexed, Mention is made of any such Notice, or of the Registrar's Certificate of any such Notice, the same shall be construed respectively to mean the Notice to be given to the Superintendent Registrar, and the Certificate thereof to be issued by the Superintendent Registrar, according to the Provisions for that Purpose contained in the last-recited Act.

II. And whereas by the said Act for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages it is provided, that, in the Case of any Child to which any Name shall be given in Baptism after its Birth shall have been registered under the Provisions of the said Act, a Certificate shall be delivered in manner provided. By the said Act, signed by the Minister who shall have performed the Rite of Baptism, and that the Registrar shall certify upon the said Certificate the additional Entry In the Register Book thereupon required by the said Act to be made, and shall forthwith send the said Certificate through the Post Office to the the Registrar General ; be it enacted, That the Certificate that such additional Entry has been made shall be made and sent as aforesaid by the Registrar or Superintendent Registrar, as the Case may be, to whom the Minister's Certificate shall have been delivered according to the Provisions of the said Act.

III. And be it enacted, That every Superintendent Registrar who shall knowingly and wilfully issue any Licence for Marriage after the Expiration of Three Calendar Months after the Notice shall have been entered by the Superintendent Registrar, as provided by the said Act for Marriages, or who shall knowingly and wilfully solemnize or permit to be solemnized in his Office any Marriage in the last-recited Act declared to be null and void, shall be guilty of a Felony.

IV. And whereas in that Part of the said Act for registering 'Births, Deaths, and Marriages in England, which provides for the Recovery of Penalties the Word "Offender" has been once inserted by Mistake instead of the Word "Offence " ; be it enacted, That in all Cases in which any Justices are by the last-recited Act authorized to imprison any Offender against the last recited Act, the Place of Imprisonment shall be the Common Gaol or House of Correction for the County, City, or Place where the Offence shall be committed.

V. And be it enacted, That for the Purpose of enabling any Person to recover Costs and Damages in any Action, as provided by the said Act for Marriages, from any Person who shall have entered a Caveat on frivolous Grounds with the Superintendent Registrar, a Copy of the Declaration of the Registrar General purporting to be sealed with the Seal of the General Register Office shall be Evidence that the Registrar General has declared such Caveat to have been entered on frivolous Grounds, and that they ought not to obstruct the Grant of the Licence or Issue of the Certificate, as the Case may be ; and such Declaration shall have the Effect of the Declaration required in such Case by the said Act for. Marriages.

VI. And whereas it hath been doubted, under the Provisions of the said Act for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages in England, when the Registration of the Births and Deaths of Persons born and dying at Sea ought to begin ; be it enacted, That the Marine Register Books shall begin with the Birth and Death respectively which shall happen of Persons born or Dying at Sea after the last .Day of June One thousand eight hundred and thirty seven, and of which a Certificate shall be first sent to the Registrar General according to the Provisions of the last-recited Act, and shall not contain any Registry of the Birth or Death of any Person born on dying at Sea before the First Day of July One thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven.

VII. And be it enacted, That the Registrar General may receive and send by the General Post from and to a1l Ports and Places in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland all Letters and Packets relating exclusively to the Execution of the said Acts for Marriages, and for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages, or of this Act, free from the Duty of Postage, subject to the Provisions and Conditions of the said Act. for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages, with respect to Letters and Packets so received or sent by him from and to Places in England.

VIII. And. Be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for the Registrar General, if he shall think fit, to direct that the Place of Birth or Death of any Person whose Birth or Death shall be registered under, the said Act for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages, shall be added to the Entry in such Manner as the Registrar General shall direct; and such Addition, when so made, shall be taken to all Intents to be Part of the Entry in the Register.

IX. And be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for the Registrar General, with the Consent of the Poor law Commissioners, to direct that any Place lying wholly within but not being Part of any Union, Parish, or Place for which a Board of Guardians shall have been established under the Provisions of an Act passed. in the Fourth and Fifth Years of His late Majesty King William the Fourth, intituled An Act for the Amendment and better Administration of the Laws relating to the Poor in England and Wales, shall be Part of any One or more Registrars Districts within such Union, Parish, or Place, and within the Superintendence of the Superintendent Registrar thereof, or if not lying wholly within any One such Union, Parish, or Place as last aforesaid, then to be for those Purposes annexed to such Union, Parish, or Place as last aforesaid, as the Registrar General, with the Consent of the Poor Law Commissioners, shall direct.

X. And be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for the Registrar General, if he shall see fit, with the Approval of One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, to unite any Two or more Unions, Parishes, or Places for which a Board of Guardians shall have been established under the Act last aforesaid, or any Two or more Superintendent Registrars Districts into One Superintendent Registrar's District; and in every such Case of Union the Registrar General shall declare, by which Board of Guardians, the Superintendent Registrar shall. thenceforward be appointed ; and the Superintendent Registrar of the Union, Parish, or Place for which such Board is established shall from the Time of such Union be the sole Superintendent Registrar of such united. District ; and every Provision of the said Acts for Marriages, and for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages, relating to Superintendent Registrars, and to the .Districts under their Superintendence, and to Boards of Guardians within such districts, shall apply to every such Superintendent Registrar, and to every such District, and to the Board of Guardians so selected and declared ; and all Register Boxes, Keys, Books, Documents, and Papers in the Possession of any Superintendent Registrar who shall cease to be such under the Provisions of this Act shall be delivered to the Superintendent Registrar of the united District, and may be recovered in the Manner provided by the last recited Acts, and shall be removed from the Office of the Person ceasing to be Superintendent Registrar to the Office of the Superintendent Registrar of the united District ; and the Office of every Superintendent Registrar ceasing to be such under the Provisions of this Act shall from the Time of such Union as last aforesaid cease to be a Register Office within the Meaning of the said lastrecited Acts, and it shall be lawful for the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, or any Three of them, to cause to be repaid out of the Consolidated Fund such Sum as the Board of Guardians shall have legally paid or for which they may have lawfully become liable as such Guardians, for the sole Purpose of providing a Register Office ; and in every Case in which such Union as last aforesaid shall be intended to take place the Registrar General shall give public Notice thereof, and of the Time when the same shall take effect, by Advertisement in the London Gazette, and in some Newspaper circulating within the County ; and every such Union shall take effect from the Day named in such Advertisement in the London Gazette.

XI. And be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for the Registrar General, if he shall see fit, with the Approval of One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, to divide any Union, Parish, or Place, or any Superintendent Registrar's District, into Two or more Superintendent Registrars Districts, and Notice of every such Division shall be published in the London Gazette ; and in every such Case the Guardians shall appoint a sufficient Number of Persons, with such Qualifications as the Registrar General may by any general Rule declare to be necessary, to be Superintendent Registrars of the new Districts, and shall also appoint the District for which the Clerk to the Guardians or other Person who may have been theretofore appointed as Superintendent Registrar of the whole Union, Parish, or Place, shall continue to be Superintendent Registrar ; and every Provision of the said recited Acts for Marriages, and for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages, relating to Superintendent Registrars, and the Districts under their Superintendence, shall apply to every Superintendent Registrar so appointed, and to the District for which he shall be so appointed.

XII. And be it enacted, That the Superintendent Registrar's Office shall be taken, for the Purposes of the said Act for Marriages, and for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages, and of this Act, to be within the District of which it is the Register Office, although not locally situated therein.

XIII. And be it enacted That in case any such Board of Guardians of any Union, Parish, or Place as aforesaid shall not have divided such Union, Parish, or Place into Registrars Districts, with the Approval of the Registrar General, before the First Day of July now next ensuing in case the said Board was established before the First Day of March now last past; or within Three Calendar Months next after their Establishment in case the said Board shall have been established on or after the said First Day of March, the Poor Law Commissioners for England and Wales shall divide such Union, Parish, or Place into Registrars Districts, and shall appoint a Registrar to each of such Districts, qualified according to the Provisions of the said Act for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages and every Registrar so appointed shall hold his Office during the Pleasure of the Registrar General.

XIV. And be it enacted, That in every Case in which the Clerk to any such Board of Guardians shall not think fit or shall be disqualified to accept the Office of Superintendent Registrar, and the Guardians shall refuse or neglect during Fourteen Days after being required so to do by the Registrar General to appoint a Superintendent Registrar properly qualified, and in every Case of Vacancy of the Office of Registrar or Superintendent Registrar in any such Union, Parish, or Place in which the Guardians shall refuse or neglect during Fourteen Days after such Vacancy to appoint a Registrar or Superintendent Registrar properly qualified, the Appointment shall lapse to the Registrar General.

XV. And be it enacted, That the Registrar General shall have Power, subject to the Approval of the Commissioners of the Treasury, to appoint by Writing under his Hand a fit Person to act as his Assistant in the Case of the Illness of the Registrar General ; and every such Assistant, while so acting, shall have all the Powers and Duties and be subject to all the Provisions and Penalties declared by the said Acts for Marriages, and for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages, in England, and by this Act, or any of them ; except that such Assistant shall not have Power to make or declare any general Rule, or to rescind or alter any Order, Regulation, or Approval signified and made by the Registrar General in Writing under his Hand, or to dismiss any Person from any Office holden during the Pleasure of the Registrar General.

XVI. And be it enacted, That every Superintendent Registrar shall have the Power, subject to the Approval of the Registrar General, to appoint by Writing under his Hand a fit Person to act as his Deputy in case of the Illness or Absence of such Superintendent Registrar and every such Deputy Superintendent Registrar, whilst so acting, shall have all the Powers and Duties and be subject to all the Provisions and Penalties delared by the said Acts for Marriages, and for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages in England, and by this Act, concerning Superintendent Registrars; and in case of the Death of the Superintendent Registrar shall act as Superintendent Registrar until another be appointed; and every Superintendent Registrar shall be civilly responsible for the Acts and Omissions of his deputy.

XVII. And be it enacted, That whenever there are Two or more Clerks for the Guardians of any Union, Parish, or Place established under the Provisions of the said Act for amending the Laws relating to the Poor, One only of whom shall possess such Qualifications as the Registrar General by any general Rule hath declared or shall declare to be necessary, or One only of whom shall, think fit to accept the Office of Superintendent Registrar of such Union, Parish, or Place, such One shall be the Superintendent Registrar of such Union, Parish, or Place ; and if Two or more of such Clerks shall possess such Qualifications as aforesaid, and be willing to accept such Office, then such Guardians shall elect and choose One of such Clerks (possessing such Qualifications as aforesaid) to be the Superintendent Registrar of such .Union, Parish, or Place ;and that no other Person shall be or be elected or appointed to be Superintendent Registrar of any such Union, Parish, or Place, unless all the Clerks to the Board of Guardians (possessing such Qualifications as aforesaid) shall not think fit to accept such Office.

XVIII, And be it enacted, That every Registrar of Births and Death and every Registrar of Marriages appointed under the Provisions of the said Acts or either of them shall be freed and exempted from being returned and from serving on any Jury or Inquest, and from every Parochial and Corporate Office whatever.

XIX. And be it enacted, That for better enabling fit Register Offices to be provided it shall be lawful for any such Board of Guardians to borrow Money for that Purpose, and; to charge the Amount of the Sum borrowed on the future Poor Rates of the Parish, Union, or Place of which they are the Guardians, in the Manner provided by the said Act for amending the Laws relating to the Poor with respect to Monies borrowed for building Workhouses for the Relief of the Poor; save only that the early Instalments by which any Money borrowed as aforesaid shall be repaid shall not be less than One Twentieth of the Sum borrowed, with Interest on the same, and need not be more in any One Year.

XX. And be it enacted, That in any Case in which any such Board of Guardians shall neglect or refuse to provide and uphold a Register Office according to the Provisions of the said Act for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages, it shall be lawful for the Commissioners of the Treasury, or any Three of them, on the Application of the Registrar General, to give Directions for providing and upholding the same, and to expend a Sum not exceeding Three hundred Pounds in providing the same, and also all Sums needful for the Repair and Maintenance thereof from Time to Time, in case the Guardians shall continue to refuse or neglect to repair and uphold the same; and it shall be lawful for the said Commissioners, or any Three of them, to make an Order from Time to Time on such Guardians for the Repayment, out of the Monies coming to their Hands as such Guardians, of all Sums so to be from Time to Time expended, and such Order shall be binding upon the said Guardians, and the Guardians shall also be bound to pay out of the Monies coming to their Hands as such Guardians all Costs and Expences incurred by or under the Direction of the said Commissioners in making and enforcing such Order.

XXI. And be it enacted, That until a Register Office shall be provided in any Superintendent Registrarís District the Superintendent Registrar shall appropriate some fit Room or Rooms to be approved by the Registrar General, as the Superintendent Registrar's Office of that District.

XXII. And be it enacted, That the Registrar General shall be authorized to fix from Time to Time the Number of Registrars of Marriage to be appointed by any Superintendent Registrar ; and no Superintendent Registrar shall have Power to appoint more than the Number so fixed, for him to appoint.

XXIII. And be it enacted, That the Registrar General, under the Direction of One of Her Majestyís Principal Secretaries of State, shall take Order that the solemn Declaration and Form of Words provided to be used in the Case of Marriages under the said Act for Marriages be truly and exactly translated into the Welsh Tongue, and shall cause the same so translated to be furnished to every Registrar of Marriages throughout Wales, and in all Places where the Welsh Tongue is commonly used ; and it shall be lawful to use the Declaration and Form of Words so translated, and published by Authority, in all Places where the Welsh Tongue is commonly used or preferred in such Manner and Form and to the same Intents as by the said Act is prescribed in the English Tongue.

XXIV. And whereas by the said Act for Marriages in England Provision, is made for the Transmission of Notices of Marriage to the Clerk to the Guardians of the Poor Law Union, or of the Parish or Place comprising the District of a Superintendent Registrar, and for the reading of the same at certain Meetings of such Guardians : And whereas it may happen in certain Superintendent Registrar's Districts that there may be no such Guardians ; be it therefore enacted, That in every such Case, but only until the Election of such Board of Guardians and of a Clerk to their Board, every Notice of Marriage given according to the Provisions of the said Act for Marriages, or a true and exact Copy thereof, under the Hand of the Superintendent Registrar, shall be suspended in some conspicuous Place in the Office of the Superintendent Registrar during Seven successive Days, if the Marriage is to be Ďsolemnized by Licence, or Twenty-one successive Days if the Marriage is to be solemnized without Licence, before any Marriage shall be solemnized in pursuance of such Notice ; and the Particulars of every such Notice shall be sent by the Superintendent Registrar to every Registrar of Marriages within his District, and shall be open to the Inspection of every one who shall apply at reasonable Times to such Registrar to inspect the same.

XXV. And whereas by the said Act for registering Births, Deaths, and marriages it is provided that the Cost of all Marriage Register Books and Forms for Certified Copies thereof, furnished to the Rector, Vicar, or Curate of every Church and Chapel in England wherein Marriages may lawfully be solemnized, shall be paid by the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Parish or Chapelry out of the Monies in their Hands as such Churchwardens or Overseers, and that the Cost of Register Books of Births and of Register Books of Deaths, and of Forms for, certified Copies thereof shall be paid by the Guardians or by the Churchwardens and Overseers (as the Case may be) out of the Monies coming to their hands as such Guardians or Churchwardens and Overseers ; be it enacted, for removing Doubt as to the Fund chargeable therewith, That the Cost of all such Books and Forms shall be borne by the Union, Parish, or Place in and for which the Superintendent Register is appointed who superintends the Registrar for whose Use such Books were provided, or to whom such Rector, Vicar, or Curate is by the said Act directed to deliver One Copy of such Register ; and such Cost shall be paid to the said Superintendent Registrar by the Guardians or by the Churchwardens and Overseers as the Case shall be, out of the Monies coming into their Hands as such Guardians or such Churchwardens and Overseers for the Relief of the Poor.

XXVI. And be it enacted, That the certified Copies of the Entries of Births, Deaths, and Marriages required by the said Acts for Marriages, and for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages, or by an Act passed in this Session of Parliament, intituled AN Act to suspend for a limited Time the Operation of Two Acts passed in the last Session of Parliament, for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages in England, and for Marriages in England, to be made and delivered to the Superintendent Registrar, and also the Certificates to be made and delivered to the Superintendent Registrar that there has been no Birth, Death, or Marriage registered since the Delivery of the last Certificate, shall in every Case be made up and refer respectively to the last Days of March, June, September, and December then next preceding, and not the Time of the making or Delivery of such certified Copy or Certificate when made on any subsequent Day.

XXVII. And whereas it is required by the said Act for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages, that every Rector, Vicar, and Curate shall register in Duplicate the Particulars of every Marriage solemnized by him, One of which registers he is also required to deliver when filled to the Superintendent Registrar of the District in which such Church or Chapel may be situated, and also Four Times in every Year to deliver to the said Superintendent Registrar a true Copy, certified by him under his Hand, of all the Entries of Marriages in the Register Book kept by him since the last Certificate ; be it enacted, That the said Superintendent Registrar shall pay or cause to be paid to the said Rector, Vicar, or Curate the Sum of Sixpence for every Entry contained in such certified Copy, which Sum shall be reimbursed to the said Superintendent Registrar by the Guardians or Overseers of the Union, Parish or Place for which he shall be appointed Superintendent Registrar as aforesaid, in like Manner as by the said Act is provided for the Payment of the Registrar on Production of his Accounts to the Superintendent Registrar.

XXVIIL And be it enacted, That every Person who under Provisions of the said Acts for Marriages and for registering Births Deaths, and Marriages, or either of them ; as amended by this Act is required to make and deliver to any Superintendent Registrar certified Copy of the Entries of any Births, Deaths, or Marriages registered by him, or the Certificate required by the same Acts as amended by this Act that there have been no Entries since the last Certificate, and who after being duly required to deliver such certified Copy or such Certificate as aforesaid shall refuse or during One Calendar Month neglect so to do, shall be liable for every such Offence to forfeit a Sum not exceeding Ten Pounds, to be recovered as other Penalties for Offences against the said Acts are made recoverable : Provided always, that in such Case a Moiety of the Penalty shall not go to the Informer, but the whole shall go to Registrar General, or other such Person as the Commissioners of the Treasury shall appoint, for the Use of Her Majesty.

XXIX. And be it enacted, That in every Case in which any Rector, Vicar, or Curate, is required by either of the said Acts for Marriages, and for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages, or by this Act, to give or deliver any Notice, Certificate, or certified Copy to any Superintendent Registrar, it shall be sufficient for such Rector, Vicar, or Curate to give or deliver the same to some Registrar under the Superintendence of such Superintendent Registrar and every Registrar on receiving any such Notice, Certificate, or certified Copy shall give or deliver the same to the Superintendent Registrar and each Superintendent Registrar shall direct the Registrars of Births and Deaths under his Superintendence quarterly or oftener if he shall think fit or shall be so ordered to do by the Registrar General to collect the Notices, Certificates, and certified Copies from every Rector, Vicar, and Curate within his District.

XXX. And for removing of all Doubt with regard to the Administration of Oaths, be it enacted, That every Person before Whom by the said Acts or either of them an Oath is directed to be taken is hereby authorized to administer the same.

XXXI. And be it enacted, That the Prosecution for every Offence punishable upon summary Conviction by virtue of the said Acts or this Act shall be commenced within three Months after the Commission of such Offence.

XXXII. And be it enacted, That no Stamp Duty shall be required nor shall any Duty be chargeable on any Licence under the Hand and Seal of any Bishop, or any other Instrument necessary for authorizing the Solemnization of Marriages in any Chapel according to the Provisions of the said Act for Marriages.

XXXIII. And be it enacted, That the Banns of Marriage of any Persons may be published in any Chapel licensed by the Bishop, according to the Provisions of the said Act for Marriages, for the Solemnization of Marriages, in which those Persons might lawfully be married ; and instead of the Notice required by the said Act the Words "Banns may be published and Marriages may be solemnized in this Chapel" shall be placed in some conspicuous Part in the Interior of every such Chapel.

XXXIV. And whereas Doubts may arise whether under the said recited Acts it is lawful for the Bishop to license Chapels for Marriages between Parties One only of whom resides within the District specified in, such Licence ; be it therefore enacted and declared, That all such Licences shall be construed to extend to and authorize Marriages in such Chapels between Parties One or, both of whom is or are resident within the said District : Provided always, that where the Parties to any Marriage intended to, be solemnized after Publication of Banns shall reside within different Ecclesiastical Districts the Banns for such Marriage shall be published as well in the Church or Chapel wherein such Marriage is intended to be solemnized as in the Chapel licensed under the Provisions of the said recited Act for the other District within which One of the Parties is resident, and if there be no such Chapel then in the Church or Chapel in which the Banns of such last-mentioned Party might be legally published if the said recited Act had nor been passed.

XXXV. And whereas certain Provisions are made in the Act intituled An Act for Marriages in England, relating to the Celebration of Marriages in separate Buildings ; be it enacted, That any Building which shall have been licensed and used, during One Year next before Registration for Public Religious Worship as a Roman Catholic Chapel exclusively shall be taken to be a separate Building for the Purpose of being registered for the Celebration of Marriages, notwithstanding the same shall be under the same Roof with any other Building, or shall form a Part only of a Building.

XXXVI. And whereas it is enacted in the said recited Act for Marriages in England, that where by any Law or Canon in force before the passing of the said Act it is provided that any Marriage may be solemnized after Publication of Banns, such Marriage may be solemnized in like Manner on Production of the Registrarís Certificate as therein-after provided ; be it enacted, That the giving of Notice to the Superintendent Registrar, and the Issue of the Superintendent Registrarís Certificate, as in the said Act and by this Act provided, shall be used and stand instead of the Publication of Banns to all Intents and Purposes where no such Publication shall have taken place ; and every Parson, Vicar, Minister, or Curate in England shall solemnize Marriage after such Notice and Certificate as aforesaid in like manner as after due Publication of Banns : Provided always, that the Church wherein any marriage according to the Rites of the Church of England shall be so solemnized shall be within the District of the Superintendent Registrar by whom such Certificate as aforesaid shall have been issued. 

 

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