§ MR. T. BLAKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he has seen a letter in The Christian World, of March 3, by the Reverend J. J. Squire, Primitive Methodist Minister, of Leominster, stating that immediately after a marriage duly performed by him. in the presence of the Registrar, in the Primitive Methodist Chapel at that place, on the 16th of February, the Reverend A. Garthwaite, the curate of Kimbolton, near Leominstor, persuaded the parties to go through the marriage service in Kimbolton Church, on the ground that it was not right to marry in a chapel, and afterwards entered the marriage in the parish register; and, whether, if Mr. Garthwaite has been guilty of an illegal act, legal proceedings will be taken against him?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
Yes, Sir; I have seen the letter in question, and I have received a communication from the vicar of Kimbolton, from which it appears, not that the curate persuaded the parties to be married in church on the ground that it was not right to marry in a chapel, but that the vicar was informed that the parties were to be married at the Registrar's Office, and themselves desired to have the marriage ceremony afterwards performed in the church, in which the man had for 16 years been a member of the church choir. The vicar assures me distinctly that neither he nor his curate knew at the time the marriage service was performed, that any religious ceremony had taken place between the parties. This was explained two days afterwards to the minister of the Primitive Methodist Chapel, and I am told that he then expressed himself perfectly satisfied. The vicar also informs me that he was not acquainted with the provisions of the Marriage Act of 1856 when the marriage 6 was entered in the parish register. I am not aware that there were no banns or licence.