When my ancestors said they were of full age they invariably weren't, so I don't
think there's any
mystery there, particularly since the decision to marry by licence suggests that they
their families to know what they were planning.
Given his impoverished state it's possible that the bride's father had attempted
money in return for giving his consent, making the cost of a licence seem cheap by
Anyway, that's my guess.....
On 20 March 1862 THOMAS WHITE SMITH married FANNY DEARLOVE at St.
Mary's Islington both stating that they where off age(ie 21 or
over). The fathers occupations where given as in the case of Thomas
father that of Minister and that of Fanny's father JOHN DEARLOVE as
superintendent of Docks living at 43 Upper Victoria Road .
Earlier there was an application for a licence in which it was
stated that they both of age
Now the mystery seems that FANNY was NOT of full age having been
born in 1844 making her 18 in 1862 and rather mysteriously the
marriage certificate was witnessed by a non family member.
Can any one suggest a reason for this minor deception. I noticed
that the licence was signed by only THOMAS WHITE SMITH and not bye
FANNY so he might not have known his wife age?
Both Fathers where alive but I suspect that JOHN DEARLOVE might
have fallen on hard times between the 1851 Census where he is
listed as living with his Large Family and 1861 when he seems to
living in a lodging house with just one of his sons. In both his
occupation is stated as Printer. By the time of the 1871 census he
is an Inmate at Islington Work House.
THOMAS WHITE SMITH's father was a non conformist minister so it
seems a little odd that the couple chose to get married in the
local CofE parish church, one can surmise that Fanny was an
Anglican or that there was an element of family disapproval of the
The marriage was happy and successful lasting until Thomas W Smith
death in February 1907. Their first child arriving in 1865
confusing baptised Thomas White Smith after his father.
Any suggestions or speculation would be very welcome
SoG member 1979 to present
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