bigamy

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bigamy

n. the condition of having two wives or two husbands at the same time. A marriage in which one of the parties is already legally married is bigamous, void, and ground for annulment. The one who knowingly enters into a bigamous marriage is guilty of the crime of bigamy, but it is seldom prosecuted unless it is part of a fraudulent scheme to get another's property or some other felony. Occasionally people commit bigamy accidentally, usually in the belief that a prior marriage had been dissolved. The most famous case in the United States was that of Andrew Jackson and his wife Rachel Robards. Ms. Robards' husband had applied for a divorce, but it had not been granted (it required legislative approval) at the time of her second marriage. She completed the divorce and then the Jacksons remarried. Jackson was embarrassed for life over his carelessness (he was a lawyer and a judge), which had hurt his wife's reputation. Having several wives at the same time is called "polygamy" and being married to several husbands is "polyandry."

bigamy

noun unlawful marriage, illegal marriage, mulliple illegal marriages, multiple spouses, marrying multiple partners, marrying multiple wives, marrying multiple hussands

bigamy

the crime of entering what would be - if it were not for a valid and subsisting marriage - a second marriage. A reasonable belief in the death of a spouse even without a court order may exculpate, for then the MENS REA would be lacking.

BIGAMY, crim. law, domestic relations. The willful contracting of a second marriage when the contracting party knows that the first is still subsisting; or it is the state of a man who has two wives, or of a woman who has two husbands living at the same time. When the man has more than two wives, or the woman more than two husbands living at the same time, then the party is said to have committed polygamy, but the name of bigamy is more frequently given to this offence in legal proceedings. 1 Russ. on Cr. 187.
     2. In England this crime is punishable by the stat. 1 Jac. 1, c. 11, which makes the offence felony but it exempts from punishment the party whose husband or wife shall continue to remain absent for seven years before the second marriage, without being heard from, and persons who shall have been legally divorced. The statutory provisions in the U. S. against bigamy or polygamy, are in general similar to, and copied from the statute of 1 Jac. 1, c. 11, excepting as to the punishment. The several exceptions to this statute are also nearly the same in the American statutes, but the punishment of the offence is different in many of the states. 2 Kent, Com. 69; vide Bac. Ab. h. t.; Com. Dig. Justices, Sec. 5; Merlin, Repert. mot Bigamie; Code, lib. 9, tit. 9, 1. 18; and lib. 5, tit. 5, 1. 2.
     3. According to the canonists, bigamy is three-fold, viz.: (vera, interpretative, et similitudinaria,) real, interpretative and similitudinary. The first consisted in marrying two wives successively, (virgins they may be,) or in once marrying a widow; the second consisted, not in a repeated marriage, but in marrying (v. g. meretricem vel ab alio corruptam) a harlot; the third arose from two marriages indeed, but the one metaphorical or spiritual, the other carnal. This last was confined to persons initiated in sacred orders, or under the vow Of continence. Deferriere's Tract, Juris Canon. tit. xxi. See also Bac. Abr. h. t.; 6 Decret, 1. 12. Also Marriage.

References in periodicals archive ?
As Tariq Ali, the 45-year-old co-founder of Project BME (Black Minority Ethnics), a charity based in Darwen, Lancashire, admits: 'There are thousands of bigamous and polygamous marriages in the UK's Pakistani community - the same community into which I was born.
But if the marriage was not bigamous, then why the smoke screen created by John changing his name to Dales Robinson and Charlotte's use of her maiden name.
Their bigamous remarriages, however, showed fundamental respect for the institution of marriage.
He tipped off police about their bigamous wedding after she walked out on him three months later for his friend Ross Beech and he found out about her earlier marriages.
A bigamous husband may no longer claim before the judge that a second marriage was necessary because his first wife failed to bear him a son, but he may try to circumvent the law by claiming that his second marriage--occasionally the first marriage--was not a true Hindu wedding as defined in the Hindu Marriage Act.
Action then shifts to a run-down police station, where the bigamous victim's wives air their long list of grievances against their dead husband.
The plot of Stella has the male protagonist, Ferdinand, caught in what the Monthly Review (xxvi (1798), 579 82) described as an 'amicable partnership' with two women, one of whom is Stella, a young heiress; both women by the play's end live with Ferdinand in what the English reviewers interpreted as a bigamous relationship.
As a coffee table book this volume has much to commend it: striking photos of Mary Stollard Purnell, "King Ben's" second and probably bigamous wife; group shots of the Israelites at work and at play; broadsides, clippings from newspapers about the "City of Mary" and the various business ventures that developed around her and her colony (including a fascinating hospital venture, the King David Hospital and Clinic in 1938); views of the summer cottages and visitors.
Herring gives us a vivid picture of Djuna's childhood in the unconventional and sexually eccentric Barnes menage, allowing us to see something beyond mere lunacy in the bigamous extended family she so obsessively revisited with hyperliterate bitterness.
After being ordained a minister, serving a prison term because of a naive misunderstanding, and unwittingly entering into a bigamous marriage with the family's sluttish servant girl, Ernest providentially inherits enough money from a favorite aunt to change his life and become a writer.
Her bigamous involvement with Jody comports well with the |Jody the Grindertale' of black folklore, and Tea Cake Woods loves, fights, steals, arid gambles much like the black folk hero Stackolse .