[BANISHMF.NT.1 In some parts of England, before the Reformation, an inferior species of ban ning was practised by the parishfriests. " In the Marches of Wales," says dal, in his work against the Romish Church, entitled The Obedyence of a Christen Man, 1534, " it is the manner, if any man have an ox or a cow stolen, he cometh to the curate and desireth him to curse the stealer; and he commands the parish to give him, every man, God's curse, and his ; God's curse and mine have he,' sayeth every man in the parish." Stow relates that, in 1299, the dean of St. Paul's accursed at Paul's Cross all those who had searched in the church of St. Martin in the Fields for a hoard of gold. (London, p. 333.) Tyndal argues against the practice, as he does against the excommunicatory power in general. Yet something like it seems to be still re tained in the ekmmination Service of the English Church.
In France the popular language has not been influenced by this application of the word ban to the same extent with the English. With them the idea of publi cation prevails over that of denouncement, and they call the public cry by which men are called to a sale of merchandise, especially when it is done by a beat of drum, a ban. In time of war a procla mation through the ranks of an army is the ban. In Artois and some parts of Picardy the public bell is called the barn claque, or the cloche a ban, as being rung to summon people to their assemblies. When those who held of the king were stuumoned to attend him ill his wars, they were the ban, and tenants of the secondar7 rank the ; and out of this feudal use of the term arose the expres sions four a ban, and moulin a ban, for a lord's bakehouse, or a lord's mill, at which the tenants of a manor (as is the ease in some parts of England) were hound to bake their bread or to grind their corn. The baalieue of a city is a district around it, usually, but not always, a league on all sides, through which the proclamation of the principal judge of the place has authority. A person submitting to exile is said to keep his ban, and he who returns home without a recall breaks his ban.
The French use the word as the Eng lish do, when they speak of the ban, or, as we speak and write it, the banns of marriage. This is the public proclama tion which the law requires of the inten tion of the parties named to enter into the marriage covenant. The law of the ancient French and of the English church is in this respect the same. The procla
mation must be made on three successive Sundays in the church, during the time of the celebration of public worship, when it is presumed that the whole parish is The intent of this provision is twofold: 1. To prevent clandestine marriages, and marriages between parties not free from the marriage contract, parties within the prohibited degrees of kindred, minors, or excommunicates ; and, 2. to save the con tracting parties from precipitancy, who by this provision are compelled to suffer some weeks to pass between the consent privately given and received between themselves and the marriage. Both these objects are of importance, and ought to be secured by law. The ban, or banns, may, however, be dispensed with. In that case a licence is obtained from some person who is authorized by the bishop of the diocese to grant it, by which licence the parties are allowed to marry in the church or chapel of the parish or parochial cha pelry in which either of them resides, in which marriages are wont to be cele brated, without the publication of banns. The law, however, takes care to ensure the objects for which the publication of banns was devised, by requiring oaths to be taken by the party applying for the licence, and certificates of consent of parents or guardians in the case of minors. Special licences not only dispense with the publication of banns, but allow the parties to marry at any convenient time or place. These are granted only by the Archbishop of Canterbury, in virtue of a statute made in the twenty-fifth year of King Henry VIII., entitled an act con cerning Peter-pence and dispensations.
It is not known when this practice began, but it is undoubtedly very ancient. Some have supposed that it is alluded to in a passage of Tertullian. Among the innovations introduced in France during the time of the first Revolution, one was to substitute for this oral publication a written announcement of the intention, affixed to the door of the town-hall, or in some public place, during a certain time. But when it is considered how liable these bills are to be torn down or defaced, and the questions which may arise in conse quence, it would seem that it is not a mode which there is much reason to prefer to that which has so long been established in Christian nations.