Hyde v Hyde and Woodmansee

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Hyde v Hyde and Woodmansee was a court case heard in 1866, which established the definition of marriage in English law.

The case arose in the context of a couple who had been married in the Mormon church in the US state of Utah: such marriages at that time were potentially polygamous. The judge, Lord Penzance, ruled that such a marriage could not be recognised in English law.

"Marriage as understood in Christendom is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others."[1]


  1. http://www.uniset.ca/other/ths/LR1PD130.html