PROCLAMATION

[January 22, 1819] Copied from the British Newspaper Library at Colindale, Shelfmark MC 558;
The Royal Gazette, Vol. XIV, No. 1281, Thursday, January 23, 1819
By Inge Veecock

Demerary & Essequibo ___
       By His Excellency Major General JOHN MURRAY, Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief, In and Over the United Colony of Demerary and Essequibo, &c. &c. &c.
      WHEREAS, I have received from the Right Honourable Earl BATHURST, a Communication of the Determination of His Royal Highness, the Prince Regent, respecting the illegality and consequent invalidity of certain Marriages, heretofore contracted in this Colony, contrary to the Laws in force herein, under the assurance of a Proclamation, issued by the late Major General H. L. CARMICHAEL, during the period that he, as Commander of the Troops, administered the Government of this United Colony:
      AND WHEREAS, His Royal Highness has been graciously pleased to take into consideration the serious inconvenience likely to result to many innocent persons, from the irregular manner in which their marriages have been celebrated; and hath signified to me his commands, that the marriages which have heretofore been so contracted and celebrated, should be duly confirmed in this most public and authentic manner:
      I DO, therefore, in obedience to the commands of His Royal Highness, issue this, my Proclamation, declaring, as I do hereby declare, is to be the most gracious will and pleasure of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, acting in the name and behalf of our Sovereign Lord the King, that all marriages, which may have been contracted and celebrated within this Colony, in the manner prescribed in a Proclamation of the late Major General H.L. CARMICHAEL, bearing date the 2nd day of June, 1812 [Note, the text is on a fold and it is not clear if the year is 1812 or 1813] and they hereby are confirmed and established as legal and valid, to all intents and purposes whatsoever, and to have the same force, effect, and validity, as though they had been originally contracted and celebrated conformably to the laws or ordinances then existing, and in force within this Colony; any defect of legal form in the original contract and celebration thereof notwithstanding:
     And I DO hereby require all Courts of Law, Judges, Justices, Magistrates, and all other His Majesty’s Liege Subjects, to recognize and acknowledge the force and validity of the said Marriages, of which the following is a list as certified by the Reverend W. G. STRAGHAN, Minister:    [NOTE: The original list was numbered; To make finding a couple easier, the list was sorted by Husband's Surname.]

HUSBAND
WIFE
LAST FIRST LAST FIRST
Backer
Philip
Agard
Jane
Battalier
Andrew
Cornelissen
Mary
Bentham
Joseph     *
Smith
Margaret
Blackman
Henry
Oxley
Ann
Blackman
Peter      *
Williams
Louisa
Bollers
Henry     *
Gibbs
Sarah
Bulcock
Samuel
Post
Marsiella Colette
Carrol
Francis
Lucas
Frances
Clement
Peter
Emery
Cora
Colin
Abel
Bennett
Elizabeth
Cordew
Samuel
Wake
Sarah
Crozier
William Augustus   *
Shillingford
Ann
Cugler
Christian Frederick
Bollers
Mary
Daley
James
Staunton
Kitty
De Ryk
Johannis Cornelis
Thompton
Janette Elizabeth
Desbras
Frisco
Paadevoort
Maria
Fox
Lewis
Berrow
Elizabeth
Hall
John Anthony
Arthur
Elizabeth
Heyliger
Peter
Cartenche
Mary
Lambley
Thomas     *
Corbin
Charlotte
Lawrence
Thomas
Merrick
Frances
Miller
Anthony
Haselmeir
Johanna
Mings
James
Susannah
Archer
Mollet
Mauritz Johan Jacobus
Stumper
Ann
Neischer
John Anthony
Howard
Princess
Ouckama
Paul Augustus
Dawner
Mary Elizabeth
Oxley
William
James
Christina
Perry
George Firebrace
Taylor
Anne
Peterson
Peter
Carvelje
Phillips
Philip
France
Christina
Pieters
Peter Chapelhof   *
Langeobi
Maria
Roach
William M.
Nurse
Mary Jane
Runnels
John
McDaniel
Elizabeth
Samms
William Kennard   *
Desullie
Smith
Michael
Garbin
Johanna Rebecca
Stephens
James Thomas
Cuvilje
Ann Walker
Thompton
Petr Henry
Stoll
Sophia Elizabeth
Tobie
Christian Marcus
Watherham
Wilhelmina
Vialand
John
Hennecey
Elizabeth
Wade
John
Wagear
Maria Margarita
Whittacker
John
Cuvilje
Anne
Williams
Eran Hughes
Knight
Elizabeth
Williamson
John       *
Hunter
Harriet

* Scroll down to see notes for these marriages.

And in further obedience to the commands of his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, I do hereby repeal and annul the said Proclamation of the late Major-General H.L. CARMICHAEL, bearing date the 2nd day of June, 1819, and the same is hereby repealed and annulled; and I declare it to be the will and pleasure of his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, that no marriages hereafter contracted within this Colony, can be legally valid, nor shall be recognized or acknowleged as such, unless contracted and celebrated in the manner prescribed by the Laws and Ordinances actually in force within this said United Colony.

Given under my Hand and Seal of Office, this 22nd day of January, One thousand eight hundred and nineteen, and in the Fifty-ninth Year of His Majesty’s Reign.

His Excellency’s Command
R. CHAPMAAN, Gov. Sec.
God Save the King !

                                                  WEBMASTER'S COMMENT:

     Note that Mr. Chapman's Proclamation did not state what caused the above marriges to be invalid, other than referring to the Proclamation of Gen. Carmichael dated 1812 [or possibly 1813].   Although one wouldn't expect to find the Carmichael Proclamation online, I did do a brief search but no mention of this Proclamation was to be found. It would be interesting to know how Carmichael had deviated from English and the Colony's marriage laws, causing this new Proclamation of 1819.

     Maj. Gen. Hugh Lyle Carmichael (pictured at left) was the Lieutenant Governor of the Colony from February 1812 to his death in 1813 [He died in office] and is buried at Eve Leary Cemetery.   Just how did the proclamation issued by Gen. Carmichael deviate from English law? Why did this proclamation affect only a handful of marriages?  This is quite a mystery!

    As far as can be found, English law and the colony of British Guiana at that time required a couple to either obtain a special marriage license authorized by the Governor or post marriage banns.   According to the marriage laws printed in the British Guiana Directory and Almanack (1882, 1898, 1904), ...."Marriage by Banns have to be solemnized with open doors between the hours of eight in the forenoon and four in the afternoon, in presence of two or more credible witnesses besides the minister."    There were no special hours noted for those choosing to marry by License.  

* NOTES FOR MARKED MARRIAGES

The following marriages and/or persons were found listed on British Guiana Colonists website.

BENTHAM, Joseph (Married SMITH, Margaret)

BLACKMAN, Peter (Married WILLIAMS, Louisa)

BOLLERS, Henry (Married GIBBS, Sarah)

CROZIER, William Augustus (Married SHILLINGFORD, Sarah Ann)

LAMBLY, T. O. (Could this be Thomas Lambley ??)

PIETERS, Peter Capelhof

SAMMS, William Kennard

WILLIAMSON, John