* Robert Brent M.D. (1819-1872)

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Gowermick
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Robert Brent M.D. (1819-1872)

Post by Gowermick »

On 15th April 1845, Robert Brent, Gentleman, son of Isaac Brent Gentleman, married Louisa Fox, daughter of John Fox, Gentleman. The marriage took place at St Mary, Lambeth. One of the witnesses Was Esther Head, Louisa's older sister, who was married to Hugh Somerfield Head

On 8th May 1846, Robert Brent, Physician, son of Isaac Brent Gentleman, married Annie Louisa Fox, daughter of John Fox, Gentleman. The marriage took place in St Mary, Swansea. One of the witnesses was again Esther Head. The only link to Swansea was because Esther's husband Hugh died there in 1829, although Esther had moved to Belgravia by 1841.

1851 census show couple as Robert & Louisa, but from 1861 she was shown as Annie or Annie Louisa!

This seems to be same couple, why did they marry twice, both by Licence?
Are Louisa and Annie Louisa the same person?
The couple were both shown as single and of full age in both marriages.
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David2416
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Re: Robert Brent M.D. (1819-1872)

Post by David2416 »

Are the two marriages the same denomination? Can you evidence of two daughters with similar names.
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Re: Robert Brent M.D. (1819-1872)

Post by LornaCraig »

The couple were both shown as single and of full age in both marriages.
But was that true? Have you verified that they really were both single and of full age? You apparently have a birth date for Robert but what about the bride? Perhaps she was under 21 at the time of the first marriage and didn't have parental permission for the marriage. Or perhaps Robert had another wife! If there was some technicality which made the first marriage invalid they might have wanted to have a second ceremony after the 'obstacle' was removed. But they couldn't marry again in the same place because people there would know they had been 'married' before and the deception in the first marriage would be revealed.
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Re: Robert Brent M.D. (1819-1872)

Post by RS3100 »

You say that both were shown as single and of full age in both marriages, but have you established that, or that the marriage was otherwise legally valid? I wouldn't necessarily take the information in the registers as completely truthful.

I have a GGF who married the same woman twice at different churches, three years apart. They are shown as bachelor and widow in both registers, but in fact his wife's previous husband was still alive and residing in a workhouse at the time of the first marriage. By the time of the second marriage, her first husband was properly deceased, and the timing seems to have been prompted by the likely realisation that she was then pregnant by her new husband.

I have another GGF who married six times, five of those as a widower, whereas on two of those occasions his previous wife was still alive, but had run off and married someone else.

A great uncle who married a neighbour's daughter and co-worker in London. Five children later she departed with the two youngest to Newcastle upon Tyne, where she married again, declaring herself as a widow. Her new husband died a few years later, whereupon she almost immediately married his brother, which I understand to have been unlawful at the time.

Meanwhile my great uncle had two children with another woman who he later married, also incorrectly declaring himself a widower. Between the births of the two children fathered with his second wife to be, he appears from a DNA match and the circumstances that I have uncovered, to have fathered another child with his second wife's younger sister. She registered the father of that child as her former husband, who had died 18 months previously - a very long pregnancy it would seem!

Edit: Lorna beat me to it, but the point I am making is that whilst we can be certain what information was written on a document by viewing it, we can't be certain that it was always truthful, and the two marriages may hint at a reason that is not immediately obvious but prompts further investigation.
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Re: Robert Brent M.D. (1819-1872)

Post by Gowermick »

David2416 wrote: 14 Jan 2023 11:26 Are the two marriages the same denomination? Can you evidence of two daughters with similar names.
Both in parish church, so assume C of E.
No evidence of two different daughters, but had that been the case, Robert would not be single on 2nd marriage. (unless he told porkies)

I can only assume they did it as Louisa hadn't used her full name, missing off the Annie, and wanted to correct the omission - seems a bit of a stretch though :D

If I could only find the licences, that may explain why
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Re: Robert Brent M.D. (1819-1872)

Post by Gowermick »

In answer to Lorna & RS3100,
According to the censuses, they both would have been over 21 on both marriages, and I have found no evidence of a previous marriage for either party.
Louisa is with her father in 1841 (aged 26), and although that does not show marital status, she is shown with surname Fox, whilst her widowed sister Esther is shown as a Head

I know what we in see in Registers isn't always true, but we have to go with what we're given :D

I'l just have to see if I can find the licences, which may throw some light on it.
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David2416
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Re: Robert Brent M.D. (1819-1872)

Post by David2416 »

The signatures of Robert Brent and Esther Head are similar in each marriage. Those for the bride are less convincing. When did he qualify as a MD. According to the LMA catalogue P85/MRY1/535 is a Register of Banns with some statistics which mentions licences at the back.
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Re: Robert Brent M.D. (1819-1872)

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Screenshot 2023-01-14 145500.jpg
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Re: Robert Brent M.D. (1819-1872)

Post by AdrianBruce »

My feeling is that this is not unknown - I've seen several people posting similar cases and my own 3G-GF (Thomas Pleass) married his second wife (Ann Meredith) twice - some 6 months apart (1 Jan 1828 at St. John's, Bedminster, and 15 July 1828, St. Philip & St. Jacob, Bristol). I can see nothing odd about either - at the first wedding, they declare as widower (correctly) and spinster, at the second, neither status is mentioned. The witnesses aren't helpful - the first has one "professional" witness and two Merediths; the second has two "professional" witnesses.

I suspect that the reasoning in each case varies and, short of an explicit explanation somewhere, will probably never be known. If there's several years between, that suggests "something happened" - but if it's only several months as for Thomas Pleass???? It's not like there's going to be a whole different bunch of relatives who can turn up for Thomas and Ann (which might be the case for the Brents, given the distance) because for my two, Bedminster and SS P & J are pretty close.

I think it's way too difficult to know what was in people's minds. I know my G-Aunt and G-Uncle thought that they might have to get married again because they feared that their first marriage was invalid - Fred had always thought his full name was "Frederic" (no K) and so the marriage was recorded thus. When they found his name was spelt "Frederick", they feared the worst and thought they'd have to get married again, "properly". In fact, when I found the marriage on the microfilm, a small annotation in the parish register explaining the correct spelling and signed by the vicar, sufficed. There's direct evidence there plus the family story - but in other cases?
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Re: Robert Brent M.D. (1819-1872)

Post by TimTreeby »

As Robert was in the Army, depending on when he joined is possible that for his first marriage he had no got permission from the Army to marry, so even though the marriage was legal, he would of married again but this time with permission from the Army.
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Re: Robert Brent M.D. (1819-1872)

Post by Martin Tolley »

Tim is correct re army marriages. Army persons who married without formal permission were "married" but their wives did not qualify for the benefits of being "taken on the strength" for rations and accomodation and the like. So second/duplicate marriages were common. I have one in my tree.
There is an article by Tom Wood in Family Tree Magazine, October 2005, p 15 which gives a full run down of this.
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Re: Robert Brent M.D. (1819-1872)

Post by Gowermick »

TimTreeby wrote: 15 Jan 2023 10:56 As Robert was in the Army, depending on when he joined is possible that for his first marriage he had no got permission from the Army to marry, so even though the marriage was legal, he would of married again but this time with permission from the Army.
Thanks Tim,
I haven’t found a military connection as yet, but that is a logical explanation, although he states he was a Physician on 2nd marriage, no mention of Army.
I’ll research him further and see what I can find out.
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Re: Robert Brent M.D. (1819-1872)

Post by Gowermick »

Had a result from the whowhenwhere website, where someone kindly posted a newspaper article about Louisa’s 2nd marriage in 1892. Fills in a few blanks about Robert Brent, who is described as late Colonel of the 1st VB Devon artillery.

I then did a google search for Robert, and actually found a photo of him in full uniform dated 1867 - I’d call that a result :D

Thanks everyone for your contributions.
http://www.woodburyhistorysociety.co.uk ... _7_web.pdf
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Re: Robert Brent M.D. (1819-1872)

Post by TimTreeby »

Assuming I had found the right Robert Brent who died 1872 in Woodbury, Devon, then check out the Newspaper reports regarding his death & Funeral.

He is given as Lieut-Col Commandant 1st Ad. B.D.A.V. And was given a full Military Funeral. Including Firing Party (with arms reversed) his body carried to the church on a Gun carriage.
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Re: Robert Brent M.D. (1819-1872)

Post by AdrianBruce »

I'd be a touch dubious about the need for army permission to marry angle - it depends on what sort of a soldier (if any) he was at the time of the first marriage. If he was a physician in the Regular Army, then it would sound like a distinctly possible thing. But if we're going off the later references to him being a "Colonel of the 1st VB Devon artillery" then I think that's the part-time Volunteers, not the Regular Army - that's where I'd be dubious about there being an establishment with a permitted number of wives for the Volunteers. What would be the point of one? Unless the soldiers are mobilised in wartime, everyone lives at home...
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