Standing on ceremony: Kate MacDonald on a long-lost certificate
‘In 2010 a Museum volunteer opened the scrapbook by chance…’
On 29 September 1699, two Quakers married in Bath: Thomas Rose and Mary Fry. Their marriage certificate was signed by thirty-five Friends and family who had attended the marriage, an old Quaker practice maintained to this day. Like many other historic documents ‘the certificate remain[ed] the property of the married couple and [was] handed down in families as an heirloom until finally lost, destroyed, or more happily, deposited with a historical or genealogical society’. That’s what happened with the Rose-Fry certificate. After 300 years of obscurity it was found at the back of a Victorian scrapbook of miscellaneous papers, at the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes.
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