The Marriage Registers of Peak Forest Chapel, co. Derby
edited by George W. Marshall, LL.D (1901)

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 1996

These records are also available elsewhere as part of the searchable Wishful Thinking Parish Records Database

The Chapel at Peak Forest occupies a rather special place in Derbyshire's history, being a place where marriages could take place without being subjected to the usual conditions imposed by the Established Church.

The vicar held a seal of office for approving Wills and issuing Marriage Licences, the latter being bound by no conditions other than his own. As a result of this legal “loophole”, couples came from all over the country to be married, meanwhile providing the Incumbent with what was presumably a “nice little earner”... On average since the beginning of the register of ‘Foreign Marriages’ in 1728, two couples a week were entered, the practice ending in 1804, the register closing with the following comment from the incumbent (my favourite quote!):-

‘Here endeth the List of persons who came from different Parishes in England and were married at Peak-forest. This was a great privilege for the Minister, but being productive probably of bad Consequencies was put a stop to by an Act of Parliament.’ [Hugh Wolstenholm, July 1804]

Pages 61-72 provide a Surname Index - referenced by page number in the original, but this has not been transcribed.

Pages 58-59 of the booklet The Calendar of Wills proved in the Peculiar Court of Peak Forest for the period 1667-1831. These are available separately.

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, April 1996.
Any references to, or quotations from, this material should also give credit to the original author.

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