Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

The Misunderstood Contract Per Verba De Praesenti

Probert, R., MARRIAGE LAW AND PRACTICE IN THE LONG PRACTICE IN THE LONG EIGHTEENTH CENTURY: A REASSESSMENT, Chapter Two, CUP, 2009

Warwick School of Law Research

65 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2009  

Rebecca Probert

University of Warwick - School of Law

Abstract

For almost two hundred years it has been accepted that an exchange of vows in words of the present tense – per verba de praesenti – constituted a marriage that was valid for all purposes in England and Wales before the Clandestine Marriages Act of 1753. This chapter shows that this was not the case, and that the mistaken belief in the validity of a contract per verba de praesenti can be traced to a nineteenth-century misunderstanding, following the decision of the Supreme Court of New York court in Fenton v Reed. This argument is substantiated and proven by examining contemporary cases, legal commentaries, Parliamentary debates and fiction.

Keywords: common law marriage, ecclesiastical law, clandestine marriages

Suggested Citation

Probert, Rebecca, The Misunderstood Contract Per Verba De Praesenti. Probert, R., MARRIAGE LAW AND PRACTICE IN THE LONG PRACTICE IN THE LONG EIGHTEENTH CENTURY: A REASSESSMENT, Chapter Two, CUP, 2009 ; Warwick School of Law Research. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1504026

Rebecca Probert (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - School of Law ( email )

Gibbet Hill Road
Coventry CV4 7AL, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
02476 524484 (Phone)
02476 524105 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/staff/academic/probert

Paper statistics

Downloads
557
Rank
40,076
Abstract Views
3,601