Hooe

Double weddings can be fraught with problems as two Hooe sisters discovered when they were married to the wrong bridegrooms. The ceremony was conducted in the 1830s by an old vicar who knew the girls but not their young men, and the bridal pairs were wrongly sorted when the service began. Each couple repeated after the vicar in turn the vows, but the men changed names.

Only after the service, when all that remained was the signing of the registers, was the mistake pointed out and the couples asked for a little time to be left alone in the vestry to talk things over. The vicar fretted, having quickly come to the Conclusion that the marriages could not be dissolved. He need not have worried; the newlyweds emerged and announced that after due consideration they were quite satisfied with their new partners as they had all known each other for so long. So the brides departed contented, the wives of men whom they had no thought of marrying when they entered the church.

Nathaniel Torriano had been a physician before taking holy orders and becoming vicar here in the mid-18th century. His interest in natural phenomena led to his preaching a sermon after the great Lisbon earthquake in 1756 (felt on the coast four miles from Hooe) which was subsequently printed and widely circulated. A second sermon on the same subject did not have quite the same effect and failed to hold the interest of his people to the extent that Mr Torriano burst out in the middle of it: ‘Do not prostitute this house of prayer by turning it into a dormitory!’