A while back I did some You Tube binge sessions regarding English history and was very interested to learn how legal marriage came about.
Basically it was a fundraiser for taxes imposed by government on churches.
Sticklers at the time for ritual and etiquette, people should try and be like Queen Victoria and the upper classes...
Do things the 'real' and correct way and so gain respectability and acceptance.
Of course that was going to cost you. The cost was way too high for lots of people in those times so they had to get creative.
Among the interesting snippets is the one where men fresh out of prison proclaimed themselves priests or ministers and set themselves up in pubs to do the deed for the moral good of the general public at reduced prices.
I don't suppose the government could really mind... they were, after all, getting some kind of coin out of it.
# Marriage License
# English History