Outlander: The validity of Black Jack Randall and Mary Hawkins’ marriage

Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ /

In Outlander Season 2, we learned Frank wasn’t a direct descendant of Black Jack Randall after all. However, Mary and BJR did marry, but it wasn’t valid.

In Outlander Season 2, we found out that Black Jack Randall wasn’t a direct ancestor of Frank Randall, despite Frank’s beliefs. Mary Hawkins’ baby was that of Alex Randall, with her and Jack only marrying to ensure Mary was provided for after Alex’s death. But that didn’t make Mary and Black Jack Randall’s wedding valid.

If you remember back to “The Wedding,” Jamie made it clear that he and Claire had to consummate the relationship. There could be no question of the validity of the marriage, especially with Black Jack Randall out for blood. Wouldn’t that be the case for Black Jack and Mary?

Well, certainly. Even today, technically, a marriage isn’t valid until it’s consummated. If you think back to the time of Henry VIII, he fought for a divorce from Catherine of Aragon based on his belief that she consummated her marriage to his brother, Arthur. He managed to get an annulment from Anne of Cleeves easily because they hadn’t consummated their marriage.

There is no way that Jack and Mary would have consummated their marriage. Mary wouldn’t have wanted to. While that wouldn’t have been enough to stop anything, Jack wasn’t interested in Mary. He didn’t want to marry her and only did because of his brother’s dying request.

Black Jack Randall also headed out to battle shortly after. It wasn’t much longer after the marriage that the Battle of Culloden took place, and so, Jack would die on the battlefield.

Would anyone have questioned the validity of the marriage, though? Certainly not! Mary was pregnant. For all anyone knew, she was pregnant with Black Jack’s child. Nobody would have to know that it was Alex’s child and conceived out of wedlock. Once Mary was back home, there’s no way that her family would have wanted to question anything. After all, it would have meant she wouldn’t be left with a widow’s pension from the Army and her honor would have been questioned.

It was just easier to assume that Mary and Jack had consummated their marriage. Why even consider anything else?

Next. Ranking the Outlander Season 2 episodes from worst to best. dark

What questions do you often ponder about Outlander? What do you think about Mary and Black Jack Randall’s wedding? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Outlander Season 5 premieres on Feb. 16 on STARZ. Watch Outlander with a FREE 7-day trial of Amazon Channels!
Outlander Season 5 premieres on Feb. 16 on STARZ. Watch Outlander with a FREE 7-day trial of Amazon Channels! /