Subjects: Bigamy

Divorce as we know it today was not permitted in the sixteenth century, but if it was established that one of the parties had already contracted a legal marriage and the first spouse was still living his or her second marriage was invalid, or bigamous, so the second marriage might be annulled. This was sometimes referred to as a divorce. Such marriages might be uncovered during a clerical visitation and sometimes one of the parties was pressurised into applying to the consistory court for a dissolution.

Bigamy as grounds for separation/annulment or ‘divorce’

EDC 5/9/3 – William Renshaye contra Clement Bent alias Renshaye
EDC 5/1/3 – Margery Thornycrofte contra John Cokkes alias Stokes