19th May 1934

A marriage mix-up means marrying twice

“Wed twice in two weeks,” read the Daily Herald headline. Arthur Baudain and Elsie Hidrio solemnly swore to love, honour and obey at their marriage ceremony on 3 May, but by the 19th it had been declared nul and void. Why? A simple clerical mix-up.

A confusion of churches

Although they were married in St Thomas’s Roman Catholic Church, the registrar recorded that the ceremony had taken place at St Mathew’s. You might imagine that the promises they made would be more important than an error that could be amended, but the court didn’t see it that way. Their promises counted for nothing and, even if they’d consummated the marriage, that would have counted as sex outside of marriage, as they weren’t husband and wife at all. 

The only solution was for them to hold the wedding again, with the same priest and witnesses, at the same church. The only thing that changed was the registrar, with the original one struck off for having made a mistake in his recording of the ceremony.


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