1 JAC. 1. C. 11 OR “THE ACT OF 1604”

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An Acte to restrayne all persons from Marriage until their former

Wyves and former Husbandes be deade.

Forasmuch as divers evil disposed persons beinge maried, runne

out of one Countie into another, or into places where they are not

knowen, and there become to be maried, havinge another husband

or wife livinge, to the greate dishonour of God and utter

undoinge of divers honest mens children and others; Be it therefore

enacted by the King’s Majestie, with the consent of the Lordes

Spirituall and Temporall, and of the Comons in the present Parliament

assembled, That if any person or persons within his Majesties

Domynions of England and Wales, beinge maried, or which

hereafter shall marie, doe at any tyme after the ende of the Session

of this present Parliament, marrye any person or person, the former

husband or wife beinge alive, that then everie such offence shalbe

Felonie, and the person and persons so offendinge shall suffer death

as cases of Felonie; And the partie and parties so offendinge shall

receive such and the like preceedinge triall and execution in such

Countie where suche person or persons shalbe apprehended, as if

the offence had bene comitted in such Countie where such person

or persons shall be taken or apprehended.

Provided alwaies, That this Acte nor any thinge therein

conteyned, shall extende to any person or persons whose Husband

or Wife shalbe continuallie remayninge beyond the Seas by the

space of seven yeeres together, or whose Husband or Wife shall

absent hym or her selfe the one from the other by the space of

seaven yeares together, in any parts within his Majesties Dominions,

the one of them not knowing the other to be livinge within that


Provided also and be it enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid,

That this Acte nor any thinge herein contayned shall extend to

any person or persons that are or shalbe at the tyme of such mariage

divorced by any sentence had or hereafter to be had in the

Eccliasticall Courte, or to any person or persons where the former

Mariage hathe bene or hereafter shall be by sentence in the

Eccliastical Courte declared to be voide and of no effect; nor to any

person or persons for or by any reason of anye former Mariage had

or be made, or hereafter to be had or made within age of consent.

Provided also, That no Attainder for this Offence made Felonie

by this Acte, shall make or worke any corruption of Blood, Losse of

Dower, or disinhersion of Heire or Heires.