First English Ecclesiastical Law Treatise on Marriage Swinburne, Henry. A Treatise of Spousals, or Matrimonial Contracts: Wherein all the Questions Relating to that Subject are Ingeniously Debated and Resolved. Originally published: London: Printed by S. Roycroft for Robert Clavell, 1686. [xvi], 240 pp. Reprinted 2003 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN-13: 9781584772880; ISBN-10: 1584772883. Hardcover. New. $34.95 * Reprint of the first edition. Published posthumously, this was the first English ecclesiastical law treatise devoted to marriage, the relationship between spousal contracts and marriage contracts, the dissolution of those contracts and divorce. He offers a definition of the term "spousals": "Spousals are a mutual Promise of future Marriage, being duly made between those Persons, to whom it is lawful. In which definition I observe three things especially: One, That this Promise must be mutual; Another, That it must be done rite, duly: The Last, By them to whom it is lawful." (p.5) Swinburne [1560?-1623] was commissary of the exchequer and judge of the consistatory court at York.
Book number 35520