Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Love and Marriage - Sepia Saturday

I'd like to introduce you to Benjamin Gerrish Gray (Aged 85) and his wife Anne Eliza (nee Wiggins) posing outside their house at 4 Inverness Gardens, Kensington, London on the occasion of their Golden Wedding in 1912:


Benjamin was born in 1827 at St Johns, New Bruswick; according to one source he married Anne Eliza Wiggins in 1853. So how can 1912 be the year of their Golden Wedding? Apparently they left New Brunswick for England soon after they were married. Benjamin became a partner in the London fim of BCT Gray and Son in 1856 when he would have been 29 years old. The couple had a big family - eight children in all.

Before the Marriage Act of 1753 came into force there were many irregular or clandestine marriages performed in England especially those that took place in the London Fleet Street Prison and its environs during the 17th  and early 18th century.

Fleet Street Marriage from Robert Chambers Book of Days (1st Edition)

Of course there was a time when lovers eloped by chaise to Gretna Green as depicted in this set of postcards by Raphael Tuck:

 "Oilette" - By Morburre (CC A 2.0 generic license)

All's well that ends well at Gretna's Blacksmith's Shop:

By Niki Odolphie (CC A 2.0 generic license)

So if you're free and willing, you know you have to go to either the first village in Scotland if you are travelling north or the last village in Scotland if you journey south.

Of course you could check others opportunities at Sepia Saturday 73

20 comments:

Kristin said...

I see you do have an Eliza, and a Wiggins at that. In the 1860 census my Eliza was living in the household of Nancy Wiggins in Dallas County, Alabama.

Misha said...

Hehehe that's so interesting. I've read about Gretna Green, but never knew what it looked like. :-)

Julie said...

What an interesting post. I love old photos, and I love history, so this is right up my alley. Interesting to think of weddings taking place in the prison!

I wanted to let you know too that I have given you the Stylish Blogger Award on my blog, I really enjoy your site. :)

http://julieflanders.blogspot.com/2011/05/stylish-blogger-award.html

Christine H. said...

You didn't mention if these fine people were related to you.
Anyway, I am always trying to find an excuse to go to Scotland. Perhaps it should be to get married.

Bob Scotney said...

Christine H, no relation to me just a couple I found by doing a search for Victorian Weddings.

N4M3L3SS said...

coolpics

Karen S. said...

Oh yes and Victorian (anything) is so interesting to me.....the bride appears happy, with her bearded groom....I so enjoyed your informative supply of interesting subjects, the Gretna Green especially, I'd never heard of her before...now more to check out! Thanks great Sepia post Bob!

Rosalind Adam said...

What a fabulous photograph and that link is amazing. There's nothing more nostalgic than sepia. I was wondering if they were your great great somethings but I can see from above comments that they weren't. I must say, Anne Eliza looks quite fearsome!

Little Nell said...

Well done, a beard and a couple - and what a beard; not like the neatly-trimmed one I found. He seems to bear a passing resemblance to Billy Connolly :)

whowerethey said...

I too have a Scottish gentleman on my post for the weekend. I love the concept of Gretna Green, although out here, it's called Vegas, heh.

L. D. Burgus said...

What a great looking couple. They didn't smile for the camera I noticed.

Postcardy said...

I feel like the old couple should be standing closer together.

That's the first time I heard of Gretna Green.

Mike Brubaker said...

Great theme photo. I know the neighborhood well, having lived by another London garden for a few years. I never tired of exploring Kensington's many side streets. Just now I went to Google Street View and Inverness Gardens remains much the same, but for a modern twist, if you look in the doorway of No.2 there is a woman holding a small child. If only Google had a time machine.

joanne fox said...

I love old photos. Love looking at the faces and wondering what people were like. Interesting post, thanks. (I came here via another blog - but now I've lost track whose it was!)

MuseSwings said...

Wonderful picture! They are standing apart, but perhaps it's just because they each used the bannister on the opposite side of the stairs and that's where they ended up for the photo. Greatna Green as a nice ring to it - nice place to exchange rings too, I guess.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

what a great array! The post cards are really works of art. The Golden couple are not standing close together for that pose! I guess after 50 years what does it matter!

Howard said...

Great pictures Bob. The old couple are very sweet, proper Victorians.

LadyCat said...

This is an interesting photo & history. The couple is dressed so well...very stoic couple.

TICKLEBEAR said...

those postcards are a real find.
great post!!
:)~
HUGZ

Alfandi said...

i love the antique photograph..and the postcards are gorgeous..