§ MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)
asked Mr. Attorney General, Whether he is aware that a marriage between George Mummery, widower, and Jane Johnston, widow, was duly solemnized, on the 11th May 1885, before W. T. Ward, Registrar of St. Olave, Southwark, and was duly registered; whether, after, and with the knowledge of such marriage, the Rev. W. J. Batchelor, Rector of St. John, Horsleydown, incited the said George Mummery and Jane Johnston to be re-married before him, by licence, in the parish church, on the 1st July 1885; whether such second marriage was also registered, in contravention of the 19th and 20th Vic. c. 119, s. 12; whether he is aware that the parties to the marriage were respectively beadle and pew-opener in the said parish; whether, under the incitement, and with the knowledge of the said Rev. W. J. Batchelor, the marriage before the Registrar was disregarded, and treated as if it had not happened, and the parties were still described in the declaration for the licence, and in the parish church register, as widower and widow, as though the marriage before the Registrar had not taken place; and, whether he will direct the Public Prosecutor to take any action in the matter?
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Sir CHARLES RUSSELL) (Hackney, S.)
, in reply, said, he had communicated with the rev. gentleman, who had written and also called upon him. It was true, the rector said, that alter the marriage before the Registrar he advised Mummery to obtain a licence, with a view to his marriage being celebrated according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church; and the marriage was subsequently solemnized and registered, as stated in the Question. He was not then aware of the provisions of the Act of Parliament, or 14 should not have so acted. He had no intention of contravening the law, but simply to superadd the sanction of the Church to the secular ceremony. Mummery was the beadle and his wife had been pew-opener, but was not now so employed. Mummery stated that his reason for going before the Registrar rather than to the church was his desire to avoid any public or general notice; and seeing that he was about to marry his fourth wife, and that his intended wife was about to marry her third husband, perhaps their modesty was not unnatural. He did not think that on the whole it was desirable to take any further notice of the matter.