HL Deb 21 March 1831 vol 3 cc595-6
The Earl of Eldon

rose for the purpose of moving the first reading of a Bill on the subject of the Law of Divorce in Scotland, It had long been a question whether children, born of English parents not married, could be legitimized by the parents going to Scotland and being married there. That question, however, was now set at rest. Repeated judicial decisions of that House had settled, that children so circumstanced could not be rendered legitimate. Another question, one which had been repeatedly recommended to the consideration of their Lordships on arguments at their bar, and one which it was most desirable to set at rest, was this — if parties, having been married, and lived together in this country, took it into their heads to go to Scotland to be divorced, what period of domicile in Scotland should be necessary, in order to give the Scotch Courts the power to divorce the parties, a vinculo matrimonii? It was right that he should tell their Lordships, that the twelve Judges of England had decided, that a marriage solemnized in England could be dissolved only by an Act of Parliament. He would give no opinion upon the subject, but certainly the opinion of the twelve Judges had no slight weight with him, and he was sure their Lordships would agree, that when the Scotch Courts and the twelve Judges were at issue, they ought to interfere.

The Bill read a first time.