Shipwrecking A Widely-Held Belief

A scene from Star Trek's episode,
A scene from Star Trek’s episode, “The Balance of Terror,” where Captain Kirk says, “Since the days of the first wooden vessels, all shipmasters have had one happy privilege: that of uniting two people in the bonds of matrimony.”

Contrary to popular belief, ship captains do not have the authority to solemnize marriage. The belief persists so widely, however, that both the US Navy and British Mercantile Marine Office have adopted regulations that specifically prohibit captains from performing weddings. (see, for example, 32 CFR 700.716).

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Ministers Marry Lots of People… But Typically By Officiating, Not By Participating

Wolfe with wife #18 and #19 (first marriage was 2 years; the second, less than a year), Sharon Goodwin
Wolfe with wife #18 and #19 (first marriage was 2 years; the second, less than a year), Sharon Goodwin

Rev. Glynn “Scotty” Wolfe (1908 – 1997) holds the record for the largest number of monogamous marriages. Between 1926 and his death in 1997, Wolfe was married twenty-nine times to 26 different women. The longest marriage lasted eleven years. The shortest was nineteen days. Four of the marriages ended by the death of the wife. His final marriage ended with his death. The remaining twenty-four marriages terminated by divorce.

Wolfe was a Baptist minister in Blythe, California. His final marriage, said to be a publicity stunt (as opposed to the others, where he really took his vows seriously?) was to Linda Essex, who holds the record for most marriages by a woman (23 times to 15 different men). Her shortest marriage lasted three days.

It should be noted that although Wolfe had 29 wives, 19 children, 40 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren, when he died, no one would claim his body. source

 

Brotherly Love

Cleopatra VII (69 BC - 30 BC) and Ptolemy XIII (62/61 BC - 47 BC)
Cleopatra VII (69 BC – 30 BC) and Ptolemy XIII (62/61 BC – 47 BC)

Cleopatra married her brother, Ptolemy XIII. She was 18 years old and he was 10 years old at the time. They married in keeping with the Egyptian tradition and served as co-regents.

Not only were they far from affectionate toward each other, they actually fought a civil war against each other, attempting to claim sole right to the throne.

She later married another brother, Ptolemy XIV.

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Love is Born

Joan Collins and Percy Gibson wedding photo
Joan Collins and Percy Gibson wedding photo

After Joan Collins married her fifth husband, Percy Gibson, a man 32 years younger than her, John Parrott said, “She can’t be with us tonight. She’s busy attending the birth of her next husband.”

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Which Is Harder to Swallow?

Winston Churchill and Lady Nancy Astor
Winston Churchill and Lady Nancy Astor

Lady Astor to Winston Churchill: “Winston, if you were my husband I would flavor your coffee with poison”

Churchill: “Madam, if I were your husband, I should drink it.”

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Medals for Marriage

Prince Philip, Sporting  a Few of the Medals He Has Earned
Prince Philip, Sporting a Few of the Medals He Has Earned

United Kingdom’s Prince Philip has a reputation for lacking tact in many of his public comments. Occasionally these comments can be turned on him immediately. An example of this is the time he was admiring the ample number of World War II medals on the chest of a Brazilian admiral. The prince remarked that he didn’t think Brazil was in the war long enough for him to earn the medals. The admiral responded, “At least I didn’t get them for marrying my wife.”

It should be noted that this story has been told and retold many times, but I have been unable to confirm its authenticity. It is quite possible that it is nothing more than a legend, but it is so good that it bears retelling.