Thomas Yeo Bartlett and Anne Mary Colyer – married twice?

The parish register for the church of St John the Baptist, Bristol records the marriage on 19 November 1842 of Thomas Yeo Bartlett and Anne Mary Colyer.

The details of the marriage appear straightforward. Thomas was a bachelor and is recorded as a grocer; his residence is shown as ‘Broad Mead’ and his father as James Bartlett, a livery stable keeper. Anne was a widow [note 1] from the nearby parish of Clifton – her father is recored as Richard Dowler, a coach builder. Both parties are recorded as ‘of full age’ (over 21).

All this looks reasonably straightforward, but the parish register for the church of St Martin, Birmingham appears to record the same couple marrying in 1844: ‘Thomas Yeo Bartlett and Ann Mary Colyer by licence’.

The GRO index shows that both marriages were registered, the first at Bristol in 1842 (q4 XI 141) and the second at Birmingham in 1844 (q4 XVI 450).

Can anyone shed light on these apparently conflicting records? Was the 1842 marriage bigamous and therefore invalid? Please use the Contact Us tab if you can comment.

1. Anne (recorded as Mary Ann Dowler) had previously married William Colyer at the parish church of St George, Bloomsbury on 2 December 1838, as advised by Richard Scantlebury.