Fleet Marriage Law and Legal Definition

Fleet marriage is a clandestine ceremonial marriage performed in the 17th or 18th century in the Fleet prison in London by a chaplain who had been imprisoned for debt. This is a clandestine ceremonial marriage performed by unscrupulous itinerant clergymen in the area near the Fleet Prison in London. Parliament attempted to stop the practice. However, this practice came to an end only when marriages performed outside public chapels or churches were declared to be void and punishable as a felony.