MARK ANTHONY DE LA PORTE
A Catholic priest, sentenced to life imprisonment for performing a Catholic marriage, 4th March 1719
Mark Anthony de la Porte of St Anne's, Westminster, was indicted on March 4, 1719 for a misdemeanour in that he being a popish priest did exercise part of his function here in the parish of St Anns, Westminster by marrying James de Fleury to Barbara de la Gard according to the rites of the Church of Rome contrary to the statute of W. III. for preventing the growth of Popery.
James de Fleury deposed, that the prisoner told them he was a priest of the Church of Rome and that he married him to Barbara de la Gard on 10th June; that he gave him a certificate signed with his own hand and witnessed by several others.
Roney de la Fontaine and Jane de la Fontaine deposed that they were present at the marriage, saw the priest performing his office, and sign the certificate, and that they witnessed it themselves.
Mary Evans deposed that she was present, but did not understand French nor Latin, that she saw the form of a marriage ceremony of the ring, joining of hands, &c. and witnessed the certificate.
The certificate being proved, was read in court, wherein the prisoner asserts himself to be a Roman priest according to the rites of the Church of Rome, and mentions what Romish bishop he received orders from.
The jury found him guilty; and he was sentenced to perpetual imprisonment in such place or places within the kingdom as his Majesty, by the advice of his privy council should appoint.