Were your ancestors married by licence in Leicestershire between 1604 and 1891? Discover names, dates, and places of importance to your family history research in this collection of marriage licences.
Each result will provide both a transcript and image of the original record. Images have been provided by the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester, & Rutland. Transcripts will vary in the amount of detail contained, but most records will include the following fields:
Spouse’s first name(s)
Spouse’s last name
Spouse’s birth year
Later records will often include additional details such as marital status and age. The images of the original records may also be able to provide additional insight, occasionally including the groom’s profession.
Civil registration was passed in 1837, which means that for vital records, such as those for marriages, parish registers are imperative for gathering essential details for family history research like dates, names, and places. Parish registers date as far back as 1538.
Most couples were married by banns: the publications on three successive Sundays of a couple's intention to marry. However, some marriages were authorised by licence, which could be obtained for a fee if a couple wished to waive the customary reading of the banns. There are several reasons why a couple might want to do so, such as the need to expedite the wedding date.
Along with a marriage licence fee, the couples were required to submit a bond and allegation, or sworn statement, asserting that there were no lawful impediments to the marriage. In addition, the allegation would provide information relating to the residence, occupation, marital status, and age of the applicant. The pledged bond, usually between £40 and £200, would be forfeited if it were discovered that the bride and groom were descended from the same ancestor.
Leicestershire is a county located in the English East Midlands. The county is landlocked and bordered by Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, and Rutland counties.
Start your search broadly by searching on a single name. You can then narrow your search results by year, place, or spouse’s name. Remember that the year in these records is the year the marriage licence was issued, which may not necessarily be the year the marriage took place.
If you’ve found your ancestor’s marriage licence and would like to discover if the marriage took place as intended, try searching in Leicestershire marriages in Useful links and resources.
If you can’t find your ancestor in this collection, try searching in Leicestershire banns, located in Useful links and resources. It may be that your ancestor was married by banns instead of by licence.