Just for a change….

10 December 2015

One thing I would hate to be called is predictable, so I thought I’d post a later blog to change things up a bit today…. keep you all waiting and wondering! We have many family histories ready for delivery prior to Christmas and, whilst putting together the reports, it’s interesting to note how many couples marry around Christmas, or indeed, on Christmas Day itself. In 1913, the Western Times reported a Christmas Marriage Rush in London:


The Nottingham Evening Post reported a record on Christmas Day in 1928 at the register office of the Edmonton Board of Guardians48 ceremonies between 9am and 2:30pm! I wonder if this record still stands!


Marriages and relationships are often challenged at Christmas and, in 1920, the Edinburgh Evening News published a small article entitled How She Spent Christmas about a decree of divorce granted in November 1920:


Christmas should be a happy time but in Chawleigh in 1901, on the morning of Boxing Day, “Leigh farmhouse … the residence of Mr and Mrs Isaac Phillips … [was] burnt to the ground.” According to the article in the Western Times, on Friday 27 December 1901, “Mrs Phillips, hearing rather unusual noises between four and five a.m., aroused her husband, and hastily donned a few article of wearing apparel, opened the bedroom door, when the room was at once filled with smoke, and they narrowly escaped being suffocated.” The fire allegedly started in the ash-house at the back of the house and the heat ignited the thatch, taking out the whole house.4

So, take care this Christmas…. in your relationships and when heating your property!

Image sources:

  1. “Christmas Marriage Rush”Western TimesTuesday 30 December 1913 [Image © Local World Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.]
  2. “Christmas Marriage Rush”Nottingham Evening PostMonday 24 December 1928 [Image © Local World Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.]
  3. “How She Spent Christmas”, Edinburgh Evening NewsSaturday 6 November 1920 [Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.]
  4. “Christmas Fire. Chawleigh Farm-House Burn Out”Western Times Friday 27 December 1901 [Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.]
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