Ordinance to oblige parties to marry after the proclamation of banns

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Whereas the director general and council of New Netherland not only are informed, by have even seen and remarked, that some persons, after the proclamation and publication, for the third time, of their banns or intentions of marriage, do not proceed further with the solemnization of their marriage as they ought, but postpone it from time to time, not only weeks, but some months, which is directly contrary to, and in contravention of the good order and custom of our fatherland, wherein being willing to provide, in order to prevent the mischiefs and irregularities which will flow therefrom.

Therefore, the aforesaid director general and council do hereby ordain that all published persons, after three proclamations have been made and no lawful impediment occurs, shall cause their marriages to be solemnized within one month at furthest, after the last proclamation, or within that time, appear and show cause where they ought, for refusing; and that on pain of forfeiting ten guilders for the first week after the expiration of the aforesaid month, and for the succeeding weeks 20 guilders for each week, until they have made known the reasons for refusing.

Furthermore, no man and woman shall be at liberty to keep house as married persons, before and until they are lawfully married, on pain of forfeiting one hundred guilders, more or less, as shall be appropriate to their situation and all such persons may be fined anew for it every month by the officer, according to the order and custom of our fatherland.

Thus done at the session held at Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland, the 15th of January 1658.[1]


Also in LO, 328-29.


Translation: Gehring, C., trans./ed., New Netherland Documents Series: Vol. 16, part 1, Laws and Writs of Appeal, 1647-1663 (Syracuse: 1991).A complete copy of this publication is available on theĀ New Netherland Institute website.