A Quick Trip to Gretna Green
Readers will probably figure out that for my new release, The Bastard’s Iberian Bride, I had to organize a Regency wedding!
Part of my planning involved researching a “quickie” Scottish wedding. In the days before airplanes and automobiles, there really was no such thing as fast nuptials, not if one was traveling from London to Scotland by coach. Apparently, even quick travel by boat was problematic because of unfavorable currents and winds.
The many variables are a plus for an author–lots of different scenarios can work! Need them to arrive sooner? Start them out further north or give them lots of money for horses and a very light traveling coach. Need them to slow down? Break an axle, have a horse go lame, or flood the road with a heavy rain.
But Why Scotland?
To resolve abuses of clandestine and bigamous marriages, English marriage laws were changed in 1753 with Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act. You can read more about this in one of my earlier posts, 10 Facts About Marriage and Divorce in Historical England.
Scottish law didn’t change, so border towns like Gretna Green offered no-fuss, no-waiting marriages, rather like Las Vegas weddings, without glitz, gambling, and Elvis.
Google to the Rescue
There are tons of blog posts on the web about eloping to Gretna Green. Here’s a really good one by author Shannon Donnelly: Gretna Green and the Runaway Regency Bride.
As for mapping out such a trip–well, I loved Google’s satellite view on their map pages.
Bink and Paulette stop for an eventful night at the village of Scotch Corner.
I’m giving away 3 signed copies of The Bastard’s Iberian Bride (U.S. residents only due to postage issues) via Goodreads! The Giveaway opens May 2, 2017, and runs through May 10, 2017.
To enter, click on the sidebar widget, or use this link.
Images: Quick Trip to Gretna is from Wikimedia, and Scotch Corner map is from Wikipedia.