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It's the Tudor's Fault

Minister warns of ‘inbred’ Muslims - Times Online
A government minister has warned that inbreeding among immigrants is causing a surge in birth defects - comments likely to spark a new row over the place of Muslims in British society.

Phil Woolas, an environment minister, said the culture of arranged marriages between first cousins was the “elephant in the room”.

British Pakistanis are 13 times more likely to have children with genetic disorders than the general population.

But maybe we shouldn't be blaming the rural Pakistanian heritage for this disaster, maybe we should look closer to home...

Cousins are the only genetic relations who are allowed to marry. It was originally illegal, until King Henry VIII changed the law to allow him to marry his own cousin.

But then he was Welsh, wasn't he?


They're a bit like that in Barnard Castle.

Given that many people count with their fingers and thumbs, isn't it rather disconcerting that there are twelve inches to the foot instead of ten?
And what, precisely, is wrong with having an elephant as a house pet?

Changing the law here would only stop them getting married here. If of course they actually coughed up they were cousins at all.

Remember the old Joan Rivers joke about Liz Taylor. 'She has more Chins than a Chinese telephone directory'

How could we tell unless we had access to a database of relatives? Oh... a database.

Once a couple have brought one severely impaired child into the world, the diagnosis normally identifies the genetic cause, and the parents know whether future offspring will be similarly afflicted. I sympathise with any parent in that position, but it takes a singularly perverse mentality to continue producing more and more suffering babies. And I don't sympathise with that.

Now if I was breeding pet rats, and they all had terrible respiratory problems, fighting to draw breath, I would get busted for cruelty.

Um, no, no he wasn't really. And did Henry VIII marry his cousin?

Are you thinking of Henry VII perchance...?


TE - On the day of Anne Boleyn's execution, Henry VIII obtained a dispensation for him to marry Jane Seymour, although in the third degree of affinity.

Now Jane and Henry were only fifth cousins but he was acting under Roman Catholic canon law - the English Church did not adopt the Levitical laws on marriage until after the Elizabethan Settlement. In Henry's case, the impediment of affinity in the third degree meant that he could not marry any woman who was related in the third degree to either Katherine of Aragon or Anne Boleyn or any of his mistresses. This could easily extend to fourth and fifth cousins, if the "root" or "common stock" (in canon law terms) was itself close enough. A single common great-grandparent between Jane and any of Henry's wives or mistresses would put Jane within the third degree of affinity (though not necessarily the third degree of consanguinity), for example.

The dispensation could refer to Jane Seymour being the second cousin to Anne and Mary Boleyn. They shared a common great-grandmother in Elizabeth Cheyne or Elizabeth Cheyney, who married first Sir Frederick Tilney and became the mother of Elizabeth Tilney, Countess of Surrey (Anne's grandmother), and secondly to John Say or de Sayne, and became the mother of Anne de Saye, Jane Seymour's maternal grandmother. Even if Henry was not married to Anne, he had carnal relations with her and her sister, putting him into a forbidden degree of affinity to Jane.

It is all ridiculously complicated, which is one of many reasons why the English Church dropped Roman canon law in favor of simple Levitical marriage law.

What difference would it make to them if it were illegal?

Bigamy's illegal isn't it? Unless you're a Moslem of course.

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