Lord Lyndhurst's Act

Portrait of Lord LyndhurstLord Lyndhurst's Act passed on 31 Aug 1835. Image: Joseph Brown, engraver; after a painting by F. Roffe, Portrait of John Copley, 1st Baron Lyndhurst (1859). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

This Act validated all marriages voidable under the canon law’s prohibited degrees of relation (for instance, uncles forbidden to marry nieces) performed before 31 August 1835, and absolutely invalidated any performed after that date. Parliament's passage of this Act was the beginning of a protracted and heated debate over whether there should be an exception that allowed the marriage of a man to his deceased wife's sister. The controversy ended more than 70 years later with the passage of the Deceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Act in 1907.


Anne Wallace, “On the Deceased Wife’s Sister Controversy, 1835-1907″

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31 Aug 1835

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