RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
LevelFile
Alt Ref NoMS 1119
Extenti, 177 ff.
TitleTHOMAS SECKER: PAPERS ON THE FACULTY OFFICE
Date1753-1766
Description Papers of Thomas Secker (1693-1768), Archbishop of Canterbury 1758-68, relating to the Faculty Office, especially to the issuing of special marriage licences.

The papers have endorsements in Secker's hand, and appear to have been arranged and numbered by him. At ff. 175-7 is a list of contents, completed by Andrew Coltee Ducarel, Lambeth Librarian, in 1767.

ff. 1-4 [item 1]. 'The case of the Master of the Faculties'. Replies to legal queries, by Alexander Hume Campbell, 18 Dec. 1753, and Sir Dudley Ryder (1691-1756), Attorney General, 23 Dec. 1754. Another copy is in Secker 4, ff. 234-7.
ff. 5-6 [item 2]. Form for marriage bonds given to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Printed, with manuscript annotations. Endorsed by Secker: 'Form of bond for special licences'.
ff. 7-8 [item 3]. 'Rules to be observed at the offices when applications are made for special [marriage] licences'. Endorsed by Secker: 'Archbishop Herring's rules'.
f. 9 [item 4]. Letter from Thomas Herring, Archbishop of Canterbury, to Francis Topham, Master of the Faculties, concerning rules for fiats for special marriage licences. 23 Nov. 1755. A copy, in Secker's hand.
ff. 10-13 [items 5-6]. Rules for special marriage licences granted by the Faculty Office. Two copies, endorsed by Secker: 'Archbishop Hutton's rules 1757' and 'Archbishop Hutton's rules June 8 1757'
ff. 14-15 [item 7]. Letter to Secker from Francis Topham, Master of the Faculties, concerning special marriage licences. 17 April 1758.
ff. 16-17 [item 8]. A note in Secker's hand, endorsed by him: 'Dr. Topham about the Vicar Generals power of granting special and common marriage licences throughout the province, May 12 1758'.
ff. 18-19 [item 9]. Extracts from statutes relating to the granting of marriage licences. Endorsed by Secker: 'Extracts from Acts relating to special licences, and copy of the granting part of the patent of the Commissary of the Faculties'.
ff. 20-23 [item 10]. Copy of a letter from Francis Topham, Master of the Faculties, to Andrew Coltee Ducarel, concerning the power of the Vicar General to grant marriage licences. 31 May 1758.
ff. 24-27 [items 11-12]. Two letters from Francis Topham, Master of the Faculties, to Secker concerning special marriage licences and the claim of the Vicar General to grant them. 3 June 1758 and n.d. (endorsed by Secker 'about May 1758').
f. 28 [item 13]. Note on the intended marriage of Lady Williams, widow of Sir David Williams, and Richard Aston, of the Middle Temple, at Camberwell. 22 May 1758.
ff. 29-30 [item 14]. Copy (from the register of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury) of a commission to Nicholas Wotton, Commissary of the Faculties, 16 Oct. 1538. Also notes in the hand of Andrew Coltee Ducarel, dated 19 June 1758, on the granting of common and special marriage licences by the Vicar General and the Faculty Office 1543-1755.
ff. 31-33 [items 15-16]. Letter to Secker from Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke (1690–1764), Lord Chancellor, 22 June 1758, and a copy of a letter from Secker to Lord Hardwicke 26 Jan. 1759, concerning the case of the marriage of Mr. Warren and Miss Revell [George Warren, a Cheshire squire, eloped with the heiress Jane Revell to Edinburgh, where they married in May 1758].
ff. 34-35 [items 17-18]. Two letters to Secker from Francis Topham, Master of the Faculties. 26 June and 29 July 1758.
ff. 36-38 [items 19a and 19b]. Two letters to Secker from Robert Bogg 25 July 1758 and Augustus Henry FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton (1735–1811) 21 July 1758, concerning a special licence for the marriage of the Duke's brother [Charles FitzRoy, afterwards 1st Baron Southampton (1737-1797); he married Anne Warren 27 July 1758].
ff. 39-41 [items 20-21]. Two letters to Secker from Lewis Way concerning a special licence for the marriage of Charles Dalrymple and Miss Edwin at Denham, Bucks. 18 and 21 Sept. 1758.
ff. 42-57 [items 22-31]. Correspondence between Secker and Francis Topham, Master of the Faculties, concerning the issue of special marriage licences and the preparation of a new set of rules. 9 Oct-5 Dec. 1758.
ff. 58-62 [items 32-36]. Correspondence relating to the application of Robert Maxwell for a special marriage licence. 24 June 1759 and n.d. [Robert Maxwell, afterwards 1st Earl of Farnham, married Henrietta Cantillon, Countess Dowager of Stafford, in 1759].
ff. 63-64 [item 37]. Letter to Secker from Henry Collins concerning a licence for the marriage of a daughter of Lady Frances Williams. Doctors Commons, 30 July 1759.
ff. 65-66 [item 38]. Letter to Secker from Mr. Butcher concerning a special licence for the marriage of Robert King, Prebendary of Tipperkevin, Dublin, and assistant librarian at the 'publick library' of Dublin, to Miss Salmon, eldest daughter of Thomas Salmon, Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin. 27 Aug. 1759.
ff. 67-69 [items 39-40]. Letter to Secker from Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness, concerning the clandestine marriage in Scotland of his niece Louisa Kerr, a daughter of William Henry Kerr, Earl of Ancram (afterwards 4th Marquess of Midlothian), to Lord George Henry Lennox (1737-1805), brother of the Duke of Richmond, and requesting a special licence for a regular celebration of the marriage. 29 Jan. 1760. With a copy of Secker's reply of the same date and a note that he granted the licence. Cf. f. 91.
ff. 70-81 [items 41-48]. Correspondence between Secker and Thomas May, incumbent of Church Brampton, Northants., and other papers relating to an irregularity in the marriage of Hugh Hollis and Elizabeth Morris at St. Martin-in-the-Fields on 29 Oct. 1759. Cf. ff. 83-9.
f. 82 [item 49]. Allegation for the marriage of John Peglar, of Bagshot, Surrey, and Elizabeth Amos of 'Roud' [Rowde], Wiltshire. Vicar General's office, 5 Dec. 1759. Cf. ff. 83-9.
ff. 83-89 [items 50-52]. Draft of a paper sent by Secker to the Vicar General arising out of two cases (see ff. 70-82) where false oaths were given in marriage allegations, 26 Jan.1760. With observations on the cases by the Vicar General and a copy of the form of the affidavit made by persons applying for marriage licences, Feb. 1760.
f. 91 [item 53]. Declaration signed by Lord George Henry Lennox and William Henry Kerr, Earl of Ancram (afterwards 4th Marquess of Midlothian) concerning the case recorded above at ff. 67-9. 11 Feb. 1760.
ff. 92-101. [items 54-58]. Letter to Secker from Albermarle Bertie (d. 1765), a blind man, brother of the Duke of Ancaster, seeking a special licence to marry Mary Coleback, of Swinstead. 17 March 1760. With related correspondence between Secker and Francis Topham, Master of the Faculties, and a copy of a letter from Topham to Peregrine Bertie, 3rd Duke of Ancaster. March 1760.
ff. 102-106 [items 59-61]. Correspondence between Secker and Richard Grenville-Temple, 2nd Earl Temple (1711-1779) concerning a licence for the marriage of Mr. Saunders and Miss Pitt, a niece of William Pitt, afterwards 1st Earl of Chatham. 1-14 April 1760.
ff. 107-109 [item 62]. Two letters to Secker from John Hume, Bishop of Oxford, seeking a special licence for the marriage of a daughter of Sir William Rowley to Captain Martin, a navy officer. 14-15 April 1760.
ff. 110-114 [items 63-66]. Correspondence between Secker and Lord Irwin [Henry Ingram, 7th Viscount of Irvine in the peerage of Scotland, also known as Viscount Irwin] concerning the latter's request for a special licence for the marriage of his niece to Major Ramsden. 4-5 March 1761.
ff. 115-116 [item 67]. Letter to Secker from John Molesworth junior. 22 May 1761.
ff. 117-118 [item 68]. Letter to Secker from John Harris, seeking a special licence for the marriage of Mr. Palk [Robert Palk (1717-1798), afterwards 1st Bt], to Anne Vansittart [sister of Henry Vansittart, Governor of Bengal]. 21 Jan. 1761. Endorsed by Secker: '...Granted. I found afterwards that I was deceived'.
ff. 119-121 [items 69-70]. Letter to Mr. Symondson, secretary to Secker, from Henry Stevens, concerning a request from Anthony Browne, 6th Viscount Montagu, for a special licence for the marriage of Mr Caryl and Miss Harcourt. Doctors Commons, 1 Oct. 1761, With a copy of Secker's reply, 5 Oct. 1761.
ff. 122-127 [items 71-74]. Correspondence between Secker and the Comte de Viry and his son Joseph-Marie-Francois-Justin, Baron de la Perriere and Comte de Viry (1737-1813), seeking a special licence for the marriage of the latter, a Roman Catholic, to a Protestant. With a supporting letter to Secker from John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute. 2-8 Nov. 1761. [The Baron de la Perriere married Henrietta Jane Speed, daughter of Samuel Speed of Southampton, 12 Nov. 1761].
ff. 128-130 [items 75-76]. Letter to Secker from Francis Topham, Master of the Faculties, 4 Jan. 1762, enclosing a letter to Topham from Samuel Copland, Minister at Fintray, concerning clandestine marriages in Scotland, 7 Dec. 1761. Cf. f. 132.
f. 131 [item 77]. Letter to Secker from Nathaniel Ryder, afterwards 1st Baron Harrowby (1735-1803) concerning the approbation of the Archbishop of Tuam [John Ryder] for a forthcoming marriage, and thanking Secker for a [wedding] present. [Ryder had married Elizabeth Terrick, daughter of Richard Terrick, Bishop of London, at Lambeth on 22 Jan. 1762]. 28 Jan. 1762.
f. 132 [item 78]. Letter to Secker from Francis Topham, Master of the Faculties, concerning clandestine marriages in Scotland. 13 March 1762. Cf. ff. 128-30.
ff. 133-134 [item 79]. Legal opinion signed by Sir George Hay (1715-1778), Vicar General of the Province of Canterbury and the King's Advocate-General, concerning the power of the Archbishop to grant a commission to take an allegation and bond for a special marriage licence following the Marriage Act. 22 July 1762.
f. 135 [item 80]. Letter to Secker from John Boyle, 5th Earl of Cork and 5th Earl of Orrery (1707-1762), seeking a special licence for the marriage of his ward Dorothy Rishton to Samuel Jesser. 31 July 1762.
ff. 136-137 [items 81-82]. Affidavit by William Wright, of Chadkirk, Cheshire, that Margaret Roe, widow of his late partner John Roe, is bearing his child, and seeking a special licence to marry her. With a testimonial from James Wilde, Minister at Chadkirk. 4-9 Sept 1762. Endorsed by Secker: '... I granted a special licence'.
f. 138 [item 83]. Letter to Secker from John Thomas, Bishop of Winchester, written at the instance of his son-in-law William Buller, afterwards Bishop of Exeter, seeking a special licence for the marriage of the latter's nephew James Buller to Mrs. Husey Gould, a widow. 23 Oct. 1762.
ff. 139-140 [item 84]. Affidavit and petition to the Archbishop from Thomas Perring of the parish of St. Nicholas Acons, London, and Matthias Palling, seeking a special licence for the marriage of Thomas Perring to Palling's daughter Elizabeth, a minor, who is carrying Perring's child. 15-16 Nov. 1762.
ff. 141-142 [item 85]. Letter to Secker from Thomas Anson, assuring the Archbishop that George Venables-Vernon, 1st Baron Vernon, consents to the marriage of his daughter to Mr. Adams. 15 Dec. 1762. [Mary Venables-Vernon, daughter of Lord Vernon, married George Anson (1731-1789) on 5 Jan. 1763].
ff. 143-145 [items 86-87b]. Letter to Secker from Barbara Herbert, Countess of Powis, seeking a special licence for the marriage of John Butler, of Kilkash, a descendant of the Duke of Ormond, and Bridget Stacey. With a statement concerning the case and a copy of Secker's reply to the Countess of Powis declining to provide a special licence. March-April 1763.
ff. 146-149 [items 88-89]. Letters to Secker from Edward Ashe and his daughter Elizabeth Ashe, concerning her intended marriage to Robert Faulkner, a captain in the navy. 19 March 1764.
ff. 150-152 [items 90-91]. Copy of a letter from George Harris, Commissary of Surrey, to John Thomas, Bishop of Winchester, concerning competition between the Bishop of Winchester and the Vicar General of the Province of Canterbury in issuing marriage licences, 1 Jan. 1765. With a copy of Secker's response, written to the Bishop of Winchester, 8 Jan. 1765.
ff. 153-154 [items 92-93]. Two letters to Secker from Robert Henley, 1st Earl of Northington (c.1708-1772), Lord Chancellor, seeking a special licence for the marriage of Mr. Allenson and Miss Aislabie. 4-5 Feb. 1765. [Charles Allanson (?1720-1775), afterwards M.P., married Elizabeth Aislabie 14 Feb. 1765].
f. 155 [item 94]. Letter to Secker from M. Howard [endorsed by Secker as from Lady Mary Howard], seeking a special licence for the marriage of her niece Miss Howard to Captain John Dalrymple. 13 Oct. 1765. Endorsed by Secker: 'Saw Capt. Dalrymple Oct. 14 and excused myself...'.
ff. 156-158 [items 95-97]. Two letters to Secker from Washington Shirley, 5th Earl Ferrers, seeking a special licence for the marriage of Robert Mitford, widower, of Mitford Castle, Northumberland, and Catherine Lethieullier of London, 7 and 20 March 1766. With Secker's reply stating that the parties were ineligible for a special licence, 27 March 1766.
ff. 159-167 [items 98-103]. Correspondence between Secker and Francis Topham, Master of the Faculties, in which Topham makes a vehement defence of the powers of the Master of the Faculties in issuing special marriage licences. 23 March-10 April 1766.
ff. 168-170 [item 104]. 'Some observations on the several instruments which pass the seal of the Faculty Office'. Endorsed by Secker with the date April 1766.
f. 171 [item 105]. Letter to Secker from Willoughby Bertie, 4th Earl of Abingdon, concerning a special licence for the marriage of his sister Lady Eleanor Bertie to Philip Wenman, 7th Viscount Wenman. 4 July 1766.
ff. 172-174 [item 106]. Letter to Secker from William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne, requesting a licence for the marriage of William Hill and Elizabeth Popham at Shanklin chapel on the Isle of Wight. Endorsed by Secker: 'Rec'd Monday Dec. 15 1766'.
ff. 175-177. List of the contents of this volume, ending: 'Finished April 30 1767. Andrew Coltee Ducarel, Lambeth Librarian'.
LanguageEnglish
FindingAidsNew description by Richard Palmer, 2013
PhysicalDescriptionQuarter leather binding, 343 x 250 mm., 20th cent.
Paper leaves of various sizes.
CustodialHistoryRecorded in Andrew Coltee Ducarel's catalogue of the Lambeth manuscripts begun 1763 (LR/F/42).
CopiesNegative Microfilm: Lambeth Palace Library Box 748
RelatedMaterialFor further Secker papers on the Faculty Office, see Secker Papers, vol 4, ff. 234-266.
See also the Faculty Office records.
PublnNoteUsed in Robert G. Ingram, 'Religion, Reform and Modernity in the Eighteenth Century: Thomas Secker and the Church of England', Studies in Modern British Religious History, 17 (The Boydell Press, 2007) [Lambeth Palace Library H5198.SI6]

Show related Persons records.

Related name records
CodeNameDates
DS/UK/4517Archbishop of Canterbury; Faculty Office; 1533-1533-
25Secker; Thomas (1693-1768); Archbishop of Canterbury1693-1768
27Herring; Thomas (1693-1757); Archbishop of Canterbury1693-1757
DS/UK/3882Yorke; Philip (1690-1764); 1st Earl of Hardwicke; Lord Chancellor1690-1764
GB/109/21938Fitzroy; Augustus Henry (1735-1811); 3rd Duke of Grafton; statesman1735-1811
GB/109/21953Topham; Francis (fl. 1750-1770); Master of the Faculties; Judge of the Prerogative Court of Yorkfl. 1750-1770
GB/109/15817Thomas; John (1696-1781); Bishop of Winchester1696-1781
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