Criminal connections: bigamy in nineteenth century Scotland


Bigamy prosecutions in Scotland were rare before the nineteenth century, for all that historical Scottish marriage arrangements have been described as ‘notorious and rather loosely woven’ due to the continued legal validity of clandestine marriage. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, however, up to 150 bigamy cases a year came before the courts. This presentation uses new research to examine the causes of this rise, what can this tell us about the decisions of our Scottish, English and Irish ancestors who chose an illegal remarriage in Scotland, and how a bigamous ancestor can hinder or help family history research.

Sponsored by:

Society of Genealogists

Crime Marriage Scotland