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Banns of marriage are an ancient legal tradition. They were the announcement in church of a couple’s intention to marry, and provided an opportunity for anybody to put forward a reason why the marriage could not lawfully take place. Banns had to be read in the parish or parishes in which the couple lived and in the parish they were to marry, on three Sundays in the three months before the wedding took place.

There are 42,245 banns from around 100 Anglican parishes in the Shropshire Collection. They tend to list the full names of the bride and groom, their places of residence, the date of banns, and the date of their marriage. In some later records, there are also details of couple’s previous marital status, and the dates of the three Sundays on which the banns were published.

These records are published online for the first time in association with Shropshire Archives.