Mrs Jeanette Holt

Research project: Social mobility through marriage in the eighteenth century, specifically ten years either side of the Hardwicke Marriage Act

Abstract

The Hardwicke Marriage Act was brought about by Philip Yorke (1690-1764) who was the first Earl of Hardwicke and Lord Chancellor.  It was intended the prevent clandestine marriages (where the couple marries in secret without the consent of parents.  This was important in an age where a girl could marry at 12 and a boy at 14.  The Act meant couples could not marry without the consent of parents under the age of 21 and all marriages had to take place in a Church of England church with legal clergy.  Jews and Quakers were excepted but not Roman Catholics or non-conformists.

Were people still able to change their circumstances in life through marriage after the Act and how common was it anyway?  Was social mobility static among all classes or was there variation.  These are the questions I plan to answer.

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: Social mobility through marriage in the eighteenth century, specifically ten years either side of the Hardwicke Marriage Act
  • Research supervisor: Dr Rachael Johnson

Biography

My original career path concerned software and business analysis but I retrained as a maths teacher and pursued that career for a few years.  Lately, however, I have focussed on history which may seem a little odd, given my history, but I have been a genealogist and family historian for 30 years now, including teaching classes and individuals.  I completed my Masters here at Kingston University and I have decided to stay to complete my PhD.

I am also married with three children and four step children, mostly grown up and I am a piano teacher and trained soprano and I enjoy writing fiction.

Areas of research interest

  • Eighteenth Century Marriage
  • The Hardwicke Marriage Act 1753
  • Social Mobility in the Eighteenth Century

Qualifications

  • BSc Business Information Technology at Solent University
  • PGCE Maths at Brighton University
  • MA History at Kingston University