Part 59r - 1758 Robertson Lisle OPR Entry

13 September 2009

As previously posted in Part 55r, I introduced the 1758 Old Parochial Record of the proclamation of marriage entry of ggggg-grandparents John Robertson and Ann Lisle. (On some documents the spelling of her maiden name is Lyle.) I discovered this entry from the microfilm FHL[1067850]; Parish registers for Innerwick, 1614-1857, Parish Church of Innerwick (East Lothian), Church of Scotland.

Transcribed --
Decr 1 1758

John Robertson & Ann Lisle both in this parish gave up their names to be proclaimed

Cautioner for the man John Robertson his father & for the woman James Lisle her Brother.
Doing a bit of research I, on Deborah's impetus, I thought that we should understand, to some extent, what some of the old Scottish writing may mean.

The first word I checked on is "Cautioner". It appears that both gggggg-grandfather John Robertson, "for the man", and ggggg-granduncle James Lisle, "for the woman" are addressed as "Cautioner". What was a "Cautioner"?

From The Free Dictionary by Farlex
CAUTIONER, Scotch law, contracts.

One who becomes bound as caution or surety for another, for the performance of any obligation or contract contained in a deed.

Bovier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856). By John Bouvier. Published 1856.

From the Webster's 1828 English Dictionary
CAUTIONER, n. In Scots law, the person who is bound for another, to the performance of an obligation.

And from The Webster's 1913 Dictionary
Cau'tion'er
n.1. One who cautions or advises.
2. (Scots Law) A surety or sponsor.

Of course, I had to check up the meaning of "surety"... and I discovered that a "surety" was "one who has become legally liable for the debt, default, or failure in duty of another"; from Merriam-Webster Online.

Can you imagine how many maids and matrons-of-honor and best men would not sign up today to act as cautioners if they knew that they could be responsible for the expense obligations of a pending wedding?

And what about "gave up their names to be proclaimed"? It appears that to give up ones' names to be proclaimed may have been similar to the reading of Banns. The entry states, in my understanding, that their names are being presented with the intention of they wanting to get married. All-things-being-equal, this may not be the date of the marriage, just the proclamation of the intent of getting married. From information from Family Search, specifically for the parishes of Torrie and Crombie - "After 1723 the record is one of persons who gave up their names to be proclaimed. The date of marriage, however, is frequently not added to the entries after 1800."

Page 143 of "Old Church Life in Scotland: Lectures On Kirk-Session And Presbytery Records." by Andrew Edgar, D.D., and published in London in 1886 provides a good explanation of some of the processes involved.

Did they get married? The 1761 baptism registration of gggg-grandaunt Margaret Robertson found in Part 55r reads "John Robertson Wright in Butterlaw & Ann Lyle his spouse had a daughter..." They did get married. The exact date? I can't answer that. It could have been 1 December 1758 or it could have been some date after that.

Here's a map of Haddingtonshire circa 1845. You can find, at the far west, the parishes of Oldhamstocks and Innerwick.



Enjoy,

Jim



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