HL Deb 24 February 1823 vol 8 cc235-6
The Archbishop of Canterbury

moved, that the committee on the law regarding marriages should have permission to report from time to time. This having been agreed to, his grace presented a report from the committee, recommending, that until an ultimate decision could be come to, a short bill should be passed, repealing all the clauses of the Marriage act of last session, relating to the solemnization of marriages. The report having been agreed to, his grace presented a bill for the purpose mentioned in the report, stating that it was thought advisable to introduce this measure, with the view of allaying a very unpleasant excitement in the public mind upon this subject, and of preventing that immorality wind might arise from impediments being thrown in the way of marriage. The committee would, with the least possible delay, come to a determination upon the whole subject; but its consideration would unavoidably take up some time.

Lord Ellenborough

was anxious that there should be no misunderstanding with regard to the object of the bill presented by the right reverend prelate. The effect of it would be, that the old law regarding marriages would be restored, with the exceptions that the marriages could not be annulled, and that the surrogates, whose power of granting licences was taken away by the act of last session, would still not have the power of granting such licences. In all other respects the old law, with regard to the solemnization of marriages, would be restored.

The bill was read a first time.