This series contains bundles of marriage bonds and allegations (also known as affidavits) relating to marriage licences issued by the Commissary for the Archdeaconry of Surrey (1673 - 1675, 1709, 1724 - 1927). They relate to parishes later in both dioceses of Guildford and Southwark up to 1877, thereafter for parishes later in diocese of Guildford only.
Marriage licences from 1604 were issued only by the ecclesiastical authorities which had jurisdiction over the parish where the marriage was to take place. Licences enabled couples to marry without publication or calling of banns in church. In the diocese of Winchester the bishop's jurisdiction over the Archdeaconry of Surrey, including the granting of licences, had been delegated to a commissary. Usually the licences were handed over to the marrying couple. Sometimes they may be found among the parish records where the marriage took place, but most marriage licences have not survived.
Canons 101 to 103 of 1604 required that licences could only be issued 'upon good caution and security taken'. Therefore anyone applying for a licence was required to enter into a bond with sureties which was usually filed with a marriage allegation.
The bond was often entered by the bridegroom as one of the sureties or his bondsmen, and is in two parts:
a) The declaration (in Latin until 1731) by the bondsmen that there is no impediment and that it will meet the requirements of the Church of England, giving the bondsmen's names and occupations and sum in which they were bound
b) condition giving the names of the parties and the place of the intended marriage
The marriage allegation is a sworn statement made by one of the parties that there was no known impediment to the marriage and that it met the requirements of the laws of the Church of England. Where either party was a minor, written consent of the parents or guardians was required. Allegations normally give the names, parish, approximate age, and marital status of both bride and groom and the occupation of the groom.
Bonds ceased after 1823 but the parties' declaration or allegation continued to be required and were filed in the registry.