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one half of his personal estate, having regard to the personal property which came to the husband by the marriage, and his ability; but if there be issue living at the time of the divorce, the court, with regard to ordering restoration or granting alimony as aforesaid, may do as they shall judge the circumstances of the case may require, and upon the application of either party, may from time to time make such alteration therein as may be necessary.
Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That all questions of al
imony and divorce shall be heard and tried by the supreme ju- preme judicial court, and that the decree of said court
shall be final: Provided always, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to extend to or in any wise affect any marriage which shall be solemnized among the Jews, within the degrees of affinity or consanguinity allowed of by their religion.
Divorce to be decreed by su
1701 '33 '49'64 '94 '98 1822.
Intention of mar
An act to prevent Clandestine Marriages.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by the riage to be authority thereof it is enacted, That all persons within this published. State who are desirous of being joined together in the es
tate of matrimony, shall make their application to a senator,or justice of the supreme judicial courtor court of common pleas, or warden, or to some ordained minister of the episcopal church, or to any settled and ordained minister or elder of any presbyterian, congregational, independent, baptist or methodist church, society or congregation; or to the ordained minister of any religious denomination in the town or towns wherein such persons respectively dwell, in order that such intention of marriage may be duly published as is herein directed; that is to say, if such application shall be made to a senator or justice of either of the courts aforesaid, or warden, the officer so applied to shall thereupon make a publication in writing, under his hand and seal, declaring such intention of marriage, which shall be
in the form following, to wit: Form of Know all men by these presents, that
have declared unto me tion.
their intention of marriage: I do therefore hereby make public the said intention : if any person knows any just cause or impediment why these two persons should not be joined together in marriage, they may declare the day of
by minister, &c.
same as the law directs. Given under my hand and seal at
this Which publication the said senator, or justice of either to be put of the courts aforesaid, or warden, shall cause to be affix- up in some ed in some public place in the town wherein the parties place. respectively dwell, for the space of fifteen days, to the intent that if any person hath any lawful objection against such person's being joined in marriage, he may have opportunity to make the same: and if any person shall deface
Penalty or pull down any publication posted up in writing as for defaaforesaid, he shall forfeit and pay the sum of two dollars,
cing. to and for the use of the town where the offence shall be committed; and if unable to pay the said fine, shall be imprisoned at the discretion of the justice before whom he may be tried, for a space of time not exceeding fifteen days.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That if such applica- How to be tion be made to any such minister or elder as aforesaid, published he shall thereupon, openly and by speaking, publish the bans of marriage between the parties three several sundays, holidays or other days of public worship, in the meeting in the town where the parties respectively belong
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That when the parties Living in live in different towns, the bans shall be published as aforesaid in both towns where the parties respectively dwell.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That any senator, jus- Who may tice of the supreme judicial court, justice of a court of join percommon pleas, or warden, minister or elder as aforesaid, marriage. actually residing in this State, is fully empowered and authorized to join persons together in marriage; provided Proviso. they may lawfully enter thereinto, and have been lawfully published: and the solemnization of marriage shall be performed in the presence of two credible witnesses at the least, besides the officer or minister who shall join any persons in marriage; and the fee for marrying shall be one dollar.
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That no person by No white this act authorized to join persons in marriage, shall join ried to a in marriage any white person with any negro, indian or negro, de. mulatto, on the penalty of two hundred dollars, to be recovered by action of debt, one moiety thereof to be paid to and for the use of the State, and the other moiety to
Parties to produce certificate
coming from another State.
and for the use of him who shall prosecute for the same; and all such marriages shall be absolutely null and void.
Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That when any per
sons belonging to this State shall apply to be married by of publish- any person other than him who published the intention
of such marriage, they shall produce an authenticated certificate or certificates of both being duly published ac
cording to law. Also, if
Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That if any person or persons shall come from another State, into any town in This State, to be married, he, she or they shall produce a certificate, under the hand of lawful authority, where such person or persons dwell, that he, she or they have been
duly published according to the laws of such State. Objections
Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That if any person shall
have any lawful objection against any persons' being joinriages how
ed in marriage, he or she may, with leave and assent of any senator, justice of the supreme judicial court, justice of the court of common pleas or warden, living in the same town where such publication is made, make such objection in writing under his or her hand, therein assigning the impediment, and affix the same under the publication, if the publication be in writing; but if the bans were published by any minister or elder as aforesaid, then the person making such objection in writing shall, in the presence of two witnesses, deliver such writing to the minister or elder who published the bans; whereupon, and in such cases, the solemnization of marriage shall be defer
red until such time as the truth of the objection can be Person ob- tried : Provided always, That the person who hath any jecting to such objection to make shall, previous to affixing up the recogni- same, or delivering thereof to such minister, enter into
recognizance, with two good sureties, before any senator, justice of the supreme judicial court, justice of the court of common pleas or warden, living in the town where such publication is made, to appear at the next court of general sessions of the peace for the county where such publication is made, and there make good and prove his or her allegations and matters of impediment, set forth in such writing of objection; and in default thereof, to pay the parties to be married all such damages as they shall sustain by means of staying their marriage; which court of sessions are hereby
fully empowered to have cognizance of such matters, and to make order thereupon according to law.
Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That if any senator, Penalty justice of the supreme judicial court, justice of the court for marry. of common pleas, warden, minister or elder as aforesaid, sons
not shall join persons together in marriage without due and published, lawful publication, or when the publication hath been lawfully objected to, and the impediment not removed, the person so offending shall, upon conviction thereof, upon a bill of indictment before the supreme judicial court
, forfeit and pay as a fine, a sum not exceeding one thousand dollars, nor less than fifty dollars, to be imposed at the discretion of the said court, to be holden in the county where the offence shall be committed ; one moiety of which fine shall be paid into the general treasury, and the other moiety to him or them who shall inform of the said offence; and the person so offending shall also be imprisoned for the space of six months.
Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That if any senator, For marjustice of the supreme judicial court, justice of a court of rying percommon pleas, warden, minister or elder as aforesaid, husband shall presume to marry any man or woman whom he or wife. knows to have a wife or husband living, or hath had a wife or husband within his knowledge, and doth not know that such wife or husband is dead, in fact or in law, or that the person offering to be married hath been lawfully divorced, such officer, minister or elder, so offending, and being thereof lawfully convicted before the aforesaid court, shall pay as a fine to and for the use of the State, the sum of five hundred dollars, and be imprisoned for the space of six months.
Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That whosoever shall For being presume to be married without duly proceeding as by this married act is required, shall forfeit and pay the sum of fifty dol- to this act. lars, one moiety thereof for the use of the State, and the other moiety to and for the use of him who shall prosecute for the same.
Sec. 12. And be it further enacted, That any marriages Quakers, which may be had and solemnized amongst the people &e to be called Quakers or Friends, in the manner and form used according or practised in their societies, or among persons professing the Jewish religion, according to their rites and ceremonies, shall be good and valid in law, any thing in this act to the contrary notwithstanding.
1701 '27 '33 '98.
To be recorded.
An act for Registering Marriages, Births and Burials.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by the A certifi- authority thereof it is enacted, That all persons having aumarriage thority to join persons in marriage shall, immediately afto be giv- ter the solemnization thereof, give a certificate in the fol
lowing form, to wit: Form of. I hereby certify that
by me the subscriber. Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the persons married shall, within one month's time after their marriage, have such certificate registered in the town-clerk's office of the town where their
marriage was performed, on the Penalty. penalty of forfeiting for every month's neglect afterwards, the sum of eight cents per
month. Births and Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That all births and deaths to deaths of children shall be registered by the town-clerk
of the town where they shall happen to be born or die, within two months after the birth or death; and that the
parents of such children who shall neglect to have them Penalty. registered as aforesaid, shall forfeit and pay for every
month's neglect afterwards, eight cents per month. . Penalties, Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the town-clerks
be and they are hereby empowered to recover all the fines and forfeitures contained in this act, that have arisen or shall arise, before a court of justices or wardens in the town where the fine shall arise, by an action of debt, one moiety thereof to the use of the town and the other moiety to the use of the said town-clerk who shall sue for the same : Provided always, That such suit be brought within two years after such marriage, birth or death.
1734 '38 '98.
Owners of mills to improve their
An act for regulating Water-Mills. Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by the authority thereof it is enacted, That where any person
have already or shall hereafter set up any waponds, &c. ter-mill or mills upon his or their own lands, or upon any
other lands with the consent of the proprietors thereof, that then the owner or owners of such mill or mills shall have free liberty to continue and improve the pond or ponds in such land for their best advantage, without any