After running into hero’s wall of stupidity in this historical romance novel, I’m annoyed enough to create and post this:
There was no other reason than that!
Not because it was the only Scottish place for English people marry. Not because it was the only Scottish place where English people could obtain a licence (which actually wasn’t a legal requirement in Scotland at that time, by the way).
And trust me, Author of This Particular Historical Romance Novel I’m Reading, certainly not because it was so remote that an eloping couple’s families wouldn’t find them. Gretna Green was already a national tourist attraction during the 1840s.
If your couple wants to make it tough for their families to find them, then it’s better for your couple to marry anywhere but Gretna Green in Scotland on the 22nd day of their stay. Let it be from Edinburgh to Knoydart. Feck, they can just declare themselves as a married couple to any two passing Scots – male or female – anywhere in Scotland.
Gretna Green was popular because it was the first Scottish village people saw on the main road from England into Scotland. That was the only bleeding reason!
I can’t believe this is the third time I came across a weird misconception about Gretna Green within a month.