Of Marriage Contracts

Historical Notes in relation to the Account of the Marriage Contract between Lucy Walter and Charles Stuart.

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[1] During the upheaval of the Civil War and Commonwealth, irregular, secret and non-conformist weddings had been common practise. After the restoration, the Church of England made many attempts to enforce church marriages with the reading of the banns, but during this period rates of defective marriages are 50% higher then in first half of the century.

[2] The City of Exeter had been held by the Kings forces since September ‘43, latterly under the command of Sir John Berkeley. Early in ’46 the Army of Parliament under Sir Thomas Fairfax, cut off the City from support and the final Siege of Exeter took place between the 31 March and 9th April ’46, and as part of the surrender terms the baby Princess Minette fell into Parliaments hands.

[3] After the surrender of Exeter Princess Minette and Lady Dalkeith became captives of Parliament but escaped to France in August ’46 but more of this another time.

[4] It the state papers, Hyde refers these rumours in a letter dated the 7th March 1647.

[5] The travels of Lucy Walter between 1644 and 1648 will be published at a future date.

[6] This is the modern city port of Le Havre, in Normandy.

[7] In May ’48, some of the Parliamentary Fleet at anchor off the downs, mutinied and sailed the short distance to Sluys (modern day Hellevoetsluis near Rotterdam).

[8] Lord Castlehaven’s commanded forces in the services of the King in Ireland, in France and finally in Flanders for the Spanish between 1647 and 1659.

[9] In ’48 the City of Liege have been an independent Bishopric for over a thousand years and was part of the crumbling Holy Roman Empire. The Bishop at this time was the catholic Ferdinand of Bavaria.

[10] In June ’80, there was a letter contradicting the denial of marriage published by Charles II. This was a long piece, covering much the same information as this Paper. It was likely that this was the work of Monmouth’s close friends. Reference to this fascinating document will appear again in these pages.

[11] It is a shame that so many historians, even today’s biographers of Monmouth, have never looked beyond the pointed first-hand accounts of the diarist John Evelyn, or the second-hand accounts found in the ‘Life of James, Duke of York (James II)’, which is a biography in defence of his actions. Then there are the third hand accounts of Carte, Roberts or Macphersan, which are again based on these two sources. Unfortunately, through this narrow view, the truth was drowned and never reached the shore. Like a game of Chinese Whispers, the same false, or fake, information flows through every reference to Lucy Walter, even down to today. As you will see unfold through the pages on this site, the Savage Truth will now come out.