This book tells one part of the long history of the institution of marriage. Questions concerning the formation and annulment of marriage came under the exclusive jurisdiction of the church courts during the Middle Ages. Drawing on unpublished records of these courts, Professor Helmholz describes the practical side of matrimonial jurisdiction and relates it to his outline of the formal law of marriage. He investigates the nature of the cases heard, the procedure used, the people involved and changes over the period covered, all of which add to what is known about marriage and legal practice in medieval England. The concluding assessment of canonical jurisdiction over marriage suggests that the application of the law was more successful than is usually thought.