A all free local dating sex site - Dating and marriage in elizabethan times

The reason for late marriage among labourers and the middle class was simple enough: it took a long time for a couple to acquire enough belongings to set up housekeeping, even in a room of their parents' home.

Young love, however romantic, had to be kept in check if the two lovers were to survive in a world where subsistence earnings would not purchase a roof over their heads and put food on the table.

Women were required to be subservient to their husbands and to men in general.

dating and marriage in elizabethan times-77

For example, it was considered foolish to marry for love, and strangely enough, those who were of lower classes were more likely to have a choice in who they married.

Elizabethan women had very little choice in husbands.

Marriage statistics indicate that the mean marriage age for the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras was higher than many people realize.

Data taken from birthdates of women and marriage certificates reveals mean marriage ages to have been as follows: The marriage age of men was probably the same or a bit older than that of women.

(In 1619, it was about 23 for women, 26 for men.) The age of consent was 12 for a girl, 14 for a boy, but for most children puberty came two or three years later than it does today.

Oddly enough, there seems to be a period in the late sixteenth century when the mean marriage age of women in and around the area of Stratford-on- Avon dropped as low as 21 years: the mean marriage age from 1580 to 1589 was about 20.6 years, and it was in this decade that Shakespeare, at the age of eighteen, married Anne Hathaway.

In Shakespeare’s England, the process for getting married could be complex.

A couple wishing to marry had first to obtain the blessing of the church, either by obtaining a licence to marry, or by having the ‘banns’ read – that is, announcing the couple’s names and their intent to marry – on three successive Sundays from a church pulpits in the home parishes of both parties.

opens with Egeus demanding that his daughter Hermia either marry Demetrius, the husband he has selected for her, or be put to death; while Hermia remains steadfastly committed to Lysander, the prospective husband that Given the newfound prominence of mutual attraction, lovers began to manifest concerns about the proper ways to ‘woo’ a mate.

Juliet worries that Romeo, having overheard her protestations of love for him, will think she’s ‘too quickly won’ and offers to play hard to get if need be: ‘I’ll frown and be perverse and say thee nay, / So thou wilt woo.’ Indeed, since men were generally the wooers, the issue of female agency in the process was complicated, as Helena complains in Juan Luis Vives insists that, when it comes to choosing a husband, maidens should keep quiet: ‘it becometh not a maide to talke, where hir father and mother be in communicacion about hir mariage’, 1557.

Elizabethan law gave men full control over their wives.

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