My 5th great grandparents John Smyth and Sarah Osment married on 13 Jul 1764 at Stoke Damerel, Devon, England, and a cropped image from the record of that marriage appears below.

On the top line, referring to John, who was described as a "Captain's Clarke", where "of th Parish" had been printed, the words "th Parish" are crossed out and followed by "his majestys Ship Firm".

On the second line, referring to Sarah it says "a minor with consent of Parents".

The line following is blank on this its right hand end.

The word after "Parents" and below "Firm" appears to be "wise" but I cannot understand the context in which it is being used. Whether it is intended to follow "Ship Firm" rather than "Parents" I am not certain.

Can anyone explain the likely meaning of this word "wise" that seems out of place?

Incidentally, according to Wikipedia, the HMS Firm was a 60-gun fourth rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 15 January 1759 at Blackwall Yard, London.

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1 Answer 1


I think (having looked at the full page on FindMyPast) that it probably actually says "were" so that it reads:

John Smith Captains Clarke of his Majestys Ship Firm and Sarah Osment of St Andrews Plymouth a minor with consent of parents were married in this church by licence this thirteenth Day of July in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty Four

In fact looking more closely you can see the reason the minister has written in the word "were" is that he was written over the original printed word "were" with the sentence about parental permission.


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