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Bigamy Act 1603: Wikis


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UK Government Coat of Arms
Parliament of England
Long title: An Act to restrain all Persons from Marriage until their former Wives and former Husbands be dead.
Statute book chapter: 1 Jac.1 c.11
Repeal date: 1 July 1828
Other legislation
Repealing legislation: Offences against the Person Act 1828, section 1
Status: Repealed

The Bigamy Act 1603 (1 Jac.1 c.11) was an Act of the Parliament of the Kingdom of England. It created the offence of bigamy as a capital felony. Bigamy had not previously been a temporal offence (that is to say, within the jurisdiction of the common law courts as opposed to the ecclesiastical courts).[1]

Further provision was made by the Act 35 Geo.3 c.67.

Section 1

... if any persons or persons within his Majesties Dominions of England and Wales, being married, or which hereafter shall marry, do at any time after the end of the session of this present Parliament, marry any person or persons, the former husband or wife being alive ... then every such offence shall be felony ...

Provided always, that neither this Act, nor anything therein contained, shall extend to any person or persons whose husband or wife shall be continually remaining beyond the seas by the space of seven years together, or whose husband or wife shall absent him or herself the one from the other by the space of seven years together, in any parts within his Majesties Dominions, the one of them not knowing the other to be living within that time.


  1. ^ R v. Taylor [1950] 2 All ER 170, CCA


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