Britsh soldiers/sailors + the American War of Independence.
I have been searching for a couple who married by special licence in 1779, (at the Parish & Priory Church of St Mary, High Street, Totnes, Devon, UK).
The special licence meant that the marriage could take place without the need to wait the statutory three weeks while Banns were called, and was particularly useful where either party had not at any time had his or her usual place of residence in the parish for at least 6 months.
In this case the bride definitely had residency within the Parish of Totnes as she had previously been in receipt of Parish Aid.
The fact of the licence also suggests that speed was more important than the cost involved.
Having ruled out the statutory obligations, I have spent many happy years musing on why this couple resorted to a special licence - I am sure there must be many reasons, but an obvious suggestion is that the groom was a soldier or sailor about to embark on a campaign, which given the date, could feasibly have been the American War of Independence.
QUESTION: are there any specific records regarding British personnel involved?
It is a long shot, but I would welcome all suggestions of where I might find records, or other ideas.