Banns read multiple times at St Brides, Fleet Street early 19th century


I have copies of the Banns read for James Henry Hunter and Charlotte Matilda Thomas as follows:

  • 1819: 30 May, 6 June and 13 June
  • 1820:16 November, 3 December and 10 December
  • 1821: 9 December, 16 December and 23 December

However, the couple actually married at St Bride's on 12 October 1821.

What on earth was going on?

Can someone throw some light on this?


Posted 2020-07-27T11:18:56.900

Reputation: 61

1Not knowing the English customs but isn't having 9 banns starting two years ahead already odd in the first place? Are you sure on the dates? Different persons? – nebulon42 – 2020-07-27T11:58:40.087

All dates are correct - thanks for your interest........................ – Brenda – 2020-08-05T07:42:20.890



It wasn't unusual for Banns to be read but the marriage not to go ahead -- the couple might have got cold feet, or the groom might have been called away on military service, or parents might object to the marriage of a minor. Do you know when the spouses were born?

Additionally, at the time in question, there was no limit on the period that elapsed between banns and marriage. See So the banns being read in 1820 would have legitimised the marriage in 1821.

However, I suppose it's possible (but have no source to back this up) that the vicar was worried about it in hindsight and had the banns reread.

It would be worth working out the sequence of other events for the couple concerned. Were they minors? Might the groom have been called away? Were the baptisms of their children inconveniently close to the marriage date? What else might have been going on? You need more context to sort this out.


Posted 2020-07-27T11:18:56.900

Reputation: 6 063

Many thanks for your thoughts...................... – Brenda – 2020-08-05T07:40:08.870