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Wilson, Lawrence (fl. 1777) [Forged permission for marriage from John Hancock]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01450.034.01 Author/Creator: Wilson, Lawrence (fl. 1777) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Document Date: 23 April 1777 Pagination: 1 p. ; 10 x 20 cm.

Summary of Content: Addressed to any clergyman of the city or liberties of Philadelphia. States "Lawrence Wilson has applied to me for license to be joined to Jane Bevan in matrimony. I therefore authorize you to do the same according to the usual form." Wilson, a Continental soldier wanting to marry, forged this document and John Hancock's signature.

Background Information: It was customary for a soldier to get permission for marriage and this soldier had "imagination." He faked Hancock's name to a document for this. Most unusual.

People: Wilson, Lawrence, fl. 1777
Hancock, John, 1737-1793
Bevan, Jane, fl. 1777

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Forgery and FraudRevolutionary WarMilitary HistoryMarriageContinental Army

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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