1868; Weymouth, The errant bridegroom.

One Sunday early in September  a bride sat nervously waiting at St Mary’s church for her husband to be to appear.

Now this wasn’t a young couple by any stretch of the imagination!

The bride to be was Elizabeth Meaden, she was 37 years of age, a Weymouth lass, her father, Richard was a Shoe and boot maker in the town.The missing groom was William Cady, he was a few years younger than Elizabeth, I suppose you could say she was a cougar of her time!

William was a waterman, like his father David, he was still living at home with Mum and Dad in the 1861 census…David, Susan and son William lived at no 3 South Parade, the little road that runs from the harbourside towards the Alexander gardens.


William was obviously very nervous about his up and coming nuptials!…so much so that he decided to go for a drink beforehand to calm his nerves a bit. Trouble  was, he didn’t leave it at a bit!….in fact, by the time he staggered down the church isle he was rather worse for wear.

Seeing the state of play, the curate who was going to perform the ceremony that afternoon, the Reverend Arthur Davidson thought he better rattle through the ceremony quickly, and get it over and done with before the groom passed out, or worse, disgraced himself in the church.

There wasn’t going to be any hurrying this along though….what followed could have given any Morecombe and Wise sketch a run for its money.

What follows is the ‘script’….

 He got on very well with the service as far as the momentous “I will,” but there his comprehension seems to have failed. He was desired to repeat after the clergyman, who recited; “I William, &c., take thee &c,” “All right sir, “ said the aspiring Benedict “Repeat after me,” was reiterated. “All right, sir,” “I William,” was again attempted. “Right sir, that’s me.” This went on for some time, when the clerk handed him the book. He managed to spell “of” but gave it up as  a  bad job, observing that “he was no scholar” The minister was at last obliged to desist, saying he could not go on with such a mockery any longer. The bridegroom cheerfully assented with “You’re right sir, it is a regular mucker.”

Still not married…the husband and wife yet to be left the church, Elizabeth by now wondering if maybe this had been a good idea after all.

But things must have been smoothed over because they were back to try again a couple of days later. This time William had been warned to stay away from any ‘refresments!’


On the 7th September 1868, William Cady and Elizabeth Meaden were finally wed at St Mary’s.

Life couldn’t have been too bad for the couple, the 1881 census sees them living in Rolls Court off Govenors Lane, Williams still working as a waterman, and Elizabeth is working as a tailoress.

The couple spent their entire life living in the same house until the day they died.

Elizabeth was buried on the 20th March 1893, William followed soon after, he went to his grave on the 8th June that same year.


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6 Comments Add yours

  1. When my grandmother was dying my grandfather stopped taking his medicine because he couldn’t imagine life without her. They died the same week.


  2. cannasue says:

    That is so sad, but also romantic in a morbid way. It,s also things that you start to think about as you get older!


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