16th Century Marriage Europe
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- In the late 16th century, the legal age for marriage in Stratford was only 14 years for men and 12 years for women. Usually, men would be married between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. Alternatively, women were married at an average of 24 years old, while the preferred ages were either 17 or 21.
- In the 16th-century marriages were usually arranged, except for the poorest people. Divorce was unknown. (Though marriages were occasionally annulled. That is, it was declared they had never been valid). Legally girls could marry when they were 12 years old. However, normally it was only girls from rich families who married young.
- So unlike most ideas about marriage in the 16 th century, women were not married off at the age of 12, they did not sit around waiting for a man to marry them, and they were much more relaxed about pre-marital pregnancies. Of course in general marriage was still an oppressive arrangement for women, but it was certainly better than a lot of people think.
- Marriage in Modern Europe and America The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century rejected the prevailing concept of marriage along with many other Catholic doctrines. Martin Luther declared marriage to be "a worldly thing . . . that belongs to the realm of government", and a similar opinion was expressed by Calvin.
- It was not until the wake of the 16th century that the Council of Trent required that betrothals be blessed and performed by a priest. Although marriages in the middle ages allowed for separation, there was no provision for official divorce. However, marriages between close relatives could be annulled.
- In parts of Europe, royalty continued to regularly marry into the families of their greatest vassals as late as the 16th century. More recently, they have tended to marry internationally. More recently, they have tended to marry internationally.
- Divorce in medieval England. In the middle ages, Church courts dealt with all religious matters including marriage, divorce and the punishment of adultery. Even after the Reformation, Church jurisdiction over marriage disputes continued until 1857. 1 Within the E135 series, which I have been cataloguing as part of my PhD placement, is a ...
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