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De Neerslag Van Het Echtreglement in De Trouwregisters Van Margraten En Vaals

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image of Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis / Dutch Review of Church History
For more content, see Church History and Religious Culture.

On the 18th of March 1656 the States General issued the Marriage Regulation Act for all the territories which were placed under the immediate authority of the Right Honourable Lords in the Hague. To these also belonged the Lands of Overmaas even though the sovereignty over these territories was not quite clear. Other relevant questions would be settled in the Partage Treaty of 1661(3). Nevertheless the Marriage Regulation Act was enforced in all the places where the States General had a say from 1656 onwards. But in Vaals the Act could only be promulgated in 1663. The aim of the Marriage Regulation Act was to control marriage and marital life of all its citizens in every detail of life. This was especially true of the contract itself. Roman Catholic priests were rigorously forbidden to interfere. Official recognition, also of Roman Catholic marriages, was made conditional on the marriage contracted before the Ministers of the Reformed Church and the councils of the parishes concerned. But it was also made possible to contract a marriage before a civil authority called the court of aldermen. Going by the written documents of the time less use than was expected was made of this possibility. Of these civic contracts in the Lands of Overmaas separate registers have been kept of Margraten and Vaals only. In this article an investigation is made on the part both authorities have played in the marriage contract of the Roman Catholic citizens in both places. It covers the period of 1656-1795. In the latter year the French Republicans made an end to the Government of the States General in the Lands of Overmaas.


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