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John Aske: Adultery - grounds for Annulment?
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Wibs
2020-03-18 13:16:27 UTC
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In 1594 John Aske brought a case before the ecclesiastical court of York for the annulment of his marriage to Christiana (Fairfax) on the grounds of her adultery.

https://www.dhi.ac.uk/causepapers/causepaper.jsp?id=126954

The Cause Papers do not say what the outcome was.

John and Christiana had a child, Robert Aske, born in 1600, so apparently they were still married at this point, but shortly after this date Christiana refers to herself in Chancery cases as Christiana Aske (late the wife of John Aske), and John appears to have remarried to a Margaret William, daughter of the Rev. Leonard John Williams (marriage not found).

John Aske died in 1606 and in his will he leaves to his wife (sic), Margaret Williams £6000, and £500 to his daughter by her, another Margaret, and all his lands to his son Robert Aske, then aged 6.

From this date onwards Christiana does not refer to herself in legal documents as 'late the wife of John Aske', but as the 'widow of John Aske'.

Margaret died in 1608, and in her will she describes herself as 'Margaret Aske als Gullimo widdow late wife and executrix of John Aske Esquire and daughter of John Guillym of London Esquire' and leaves all she has to her daughter Margaret, and does not mention her stepson, Robert Aske, who went on to be a member of the Middle Temple.

Could marriages be annulled due to adultery after the Reformation? [Why bring a case before the ecclesiastical courts if it could not?]. And if they could, what would be the legal position concerning the legitimacy of a son born in wedlock, but before the adultery took place that led to the annulment?

Wibs
Vance Mead
2020-03-18 15:55:45 UTC
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I'm not an expert here, but here goes.

I had thought that a marriage could be annulled if one of the conditions had not been fulfilled: consent, consummation, full age, sound mind. If the conditions were met, then the marriage was valid. The couple could be separated from bed and board due to cruelty, adultery, etc, but they would remain married and could not remarry. Neither of these seem to apply here.

As I remember, there were differences in European and English Canon Law concerning children. The prevailing European Canon Law view was that if the marriage was made in good faith and children were born when the marriage was considered valid, then the children were legitimate even if the marriage was annulled. In England, thanks to Henry VIII, the marriage, after annulment, had never been valid and the children (Mary and Elizabeth in his case) were bastards.

There may be other things that I'm not aware of.
Ian Goddard
2020-03-18 16:05:05 UTC
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Post by Vance Mead
I'm not an expert here, but here goes.
I had thought that a marriage could be annulled if one of the conditions had not been fulfilled: consent, consummation, full age, sound mind. If the conditions were met, then the marriage was valid.
Another ground would have been related with proscribed limits.

AIUI the relationship could be mediated by the godparent/godchild
relationship. Wasn't this why sponsors were recorded in the early days
of PRs?

Ian
Denis Beauregard
2020-03-18 17:06:47 UTC
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On Wed, 18 Mar 2020 08:55:45 -0700 (PDT), Vance Mead
Post by Vance Mead
I'm not an expert here, but here goes.
I had thought that a marriage could be annulled if one of the conditions had not been fulfilled: consent, consummation, full age, sound mind. If the conditions were met, then the marriage was valid. The couple could be separated from bed and board due to cruelty, adultery, etc, but they would remain married and could not remarry.
Neither of these seem to apply here.

In a court, it was probably enough if one spouse said she was not
consenting (for example, if paid enough or if treated).


Denis
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Denis Beauregard - généalogiste émérite (FQSG)
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Wibs
2020-04-01 20:12:24 UTC
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Post by Wibs
In 1594 John Aske brought a case before the ecclesiastical court of York for the annulment of his marriage to Christiana (Fairfax) on the grounds of her adultery.
https://www.dhi.ac.uk/causepapers/causepaper.jsp?id=126954
The Cause Papers do not say what the outcome was.
John and Christiana had a child, Robert Aske, born in 1600, so apparently they were still married at this point, but shortly after this date Christiana refers to herself in Chancery cases as Christiana Aske (late the wife of John Aske), and John appears to have remarried to a Margaret William, daughter of the Rev. Leonard John Williams (marriage not found).
John Aske died in 1606 and in his will he leaves to his wife (sic), Margaret Williams £6000, and £500 to his daughter by her, another Margaret, and all his lands to his son Robert Aske, then aged 6.
From this date onwards Christiana does not refer to herself in legal documents as 'late the wife of John Aske', but as the 'widow of John Aske'.
Margaret died in 1608, and in her will she describes herself as 'Margaret Aske als Gullimo widdow late wife and executrix of John Aske Esquire and daughter of John Guillym of London Esquire' and leaves all she has to her daughter Margaret, and does not mention her stepson, Robert Aske, who went on to be a member of the Middle Temple.
Could marriages be annulled due to adultery after the Reformation? [Why bring a case before the ecclesiastical courts if it could not?]. And if they could, what would be the legal position concerning the legitimacy of a son born in wedlock, but before the adultery took place that led to the annulment?
Wibs
I now find that following the probate of the will of John Aske, his (former?) wife, Christian Aske, brought a suit against Margaret Aske (als Williams, the current wife?)in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, and a final decree was entered. Unfortunately, although the writing is perfectly legible it is in Latin, and beyond my meagre capabilities. Would anyone care to take a peek and give me the gist?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/nhp837xi7hf1t1l/prob-11-109-134.pdf?dl=0

Wibs

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