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The Shockingly Recent Time British Husbands Sold Their Wives at Market


While getting divorced in modern times in
most nations isn’t exactly a walk in the park, options at least do exist in much of the world,
even in cases where one spouse would rather stay together. But this is a relatively modern phenomenon. Classically, getting divorced was almost impossible. So much so that at one point about the only
way a woman could manage to get a legal divorce from her husband was to prove in court he
couldn’t finish the deed in bed by, if necessary, even attempting to have sex with him with
court representatives standing by to observe. (For more on this fascinating and rather hilarious
method of divorce, check out our video That Time Women Could Divorce Their Husbands By
Having Intercourse in Court.) Perhaps not coincidentally around the same
time these impotence trials were going on throughout parts of Europe, a rather different
means of divorcing one’s spouse popped up in Britain- putting a halter around your wife,
leading her like an animal to a local market, loudly extolling her virtues as you would
a farm animal, including occasionally listing her weight, and then opening up bidding for
anyone who wanted to buy her. On top of this, it wasn’t uncommon for children
to be thrown in as a package deal… While you might think surely something like
this must have only occurred in the extremely distant past, this is actually a practice
that continued into the early 20th century. So how did this all start and why was it seen
as an perfectly legal way for a couple to divorce? Well, it turns out that nobody is exactly
sure how the practice of auctioning a wife got started. There is a mention of it going back all the
way to at least 1302 where an individual deeded his wife to another man, but the next known
instances didn’t start popping up until the late 17th century, with one of the earliest
occurring in 1692 when one John Whitehouse sold his wife to a “Mr. Bracegirdle”. However, noteworthy here was that four years
later, when a man by the name of George Fuller sold his wife to Thomas Heath Maultster, Thomas
was nonetheless later fined and ordered to perform a penance for living with his purchased
wife. This was despite that all parties involved
were in agreement over the sale, seemingly indicating this practice was not yet widely
accepted at this point as it would come to be. On that note, the rise in popularity of this
method of divorce came about after the passage of the Marriage Act of 1753 which, among other
things, required a clergyman to perform a marriage to make it legally binding. Before that, while that certainly was a common
option, in Britain two people could also just agree that they were married and then they
were, without registering that fact officially. Thus, without an official registration anywhere,
it was also easier to more or less undo the act and hitch up with someone else without
officials being any the wiser if neither the husband nor wife complained about the separation
to authorities. As a fun brief aside, the fact that members
of the clergy and other officials at this point were often unaware of things like the
current marital status of two people is more or less how the whole “If anyone can show
just cause why this couple cannot lawfully be joined together in matrimony, let them
speak now or forever hold their peace,” thing started. Not at this point a meaningless part of the
marriage ceremony, at the time the minister was really asking if anyone knew, for instance,
if one or both of the couple he was marrying might already be married or there might be
any other legal reason why he shouldn’t marry the couple. For more on all this, see our video: What
Happens When Someone DOES Object During a Wedding and Where Did This Practice Come From? In any event, after the passage of the Marriage
Act of 1753 and up to about the mid-19th century, selling your wife at auction seems to have
become more and more popular among commoners particularly, who otherwise had no practical
means of legally separating. The funny thing about all this is, however,
that it wasn’t actually a legal way to get a divorce. But as the commoners seemed to have widely
believed it was, clergy and government officials for a time mostly turned a blind eye to the
whole thing, with some exceptions. Illustrating both sides of this, in 1818 an
Ashbourne, Derby magistrate sent the police out to break up a wife auction. This was documented by one Rene Martin Pillett
who witnessed the event and subsequently wrote about it in his book, Views of England. In it, he states:
“In regard to the sale at Ashburn, I will remark that the magistrate, being informed
that it would take place, wished to prevent it. Constables were dispatched to drive off the
seller, purchaser, and the woman for sale, when they should make their appearance in
the market place to perform the ceremony, but the populace covered the constables with
mud, and dispersed them with stones. I was acquainted with the magistrate, and
I desired to obtain some information in regard to the opposition he had endeavored to make
to the performance of the ceremony, and the right which he assumed at that conjuncture. I could obtain no other than this: “Although
the real object of my sending the constables, was to prevent the scandalous sale, the apparent
motive was that of keeping the peace, which people coming to the market in a sort of tumult,
would have a tendency to disturb. As to the act of selling itself, I do not
think I have a right to prevent it, or even to oppose any obstacle to it, because it rests
upon a custom preserved by the people, of which perhaps it would be dangerous to deprive
them by any law for that purpose.”” Pillett goes on, “I shall not undertake to
determine. I shall only observe that this infamous custom
has been kept up without interruption, that it is continually practised; that if any county
magistrates, being informed of a proposed sale, have tried to interrupt it, by sending
constables, or other officers to the place of sale, the populace have always dispersed
them, and maintained what they consider their right, in the same manner as I have seen it
done at Ashburn.” That said, the press, in general, seemed to
have almost universally condemned the practice from the way they talked about it. For example, as noted in a July of 1797 edition
of The Times: “On Friday a butcher exposed his wife to Sale in Smithfield Market, near
the Ram Inn, with a halter about her neck, and one about her waist, which tied her to
a railing, when a hog-driver was the happy purchaser, who gave the husband three guineas
and a crown for his departed rib. Pity it is, there is no stop put to such depraved
conduct in the lower order of people.” Nevertheless, particularly in an age when
marriage was often more about practical matters than actually putting together two people
for the purposes of being happy with one another, there were a lot of unhappy couples around
and if both people agreed they’d be better off splitting, a means was needed to do so. The British commoners, having almost no other
feasible way to do this, simply got inventive about it. This might all have you wondering what rationale
was used to justify this exact method of divorcing and why people just didn’t split and forget
about what authorities thought. As to the latter question, people did do that
in droves, but there was legal risk to it to all involved. You see, at this point a wife was in a lot
of ways more or less considered property of her husband. As noted by judge Sir William Blackstonein
in 1753, “the very being… of the woman, is suspended during the marriage, or at least
is consolidated and incorporated into that of her husband…” In turn, the husband was also expected to
do his part to take care of his wife no matter what and was responsible for any debts she
incurred, etc. Just as importantly, while a man having a
mistress wasn’t really that uncommon, should a wife find her own action on the side, perhaps
with someone she actually liked, this was by societal standards of the day completely
unacceptable. This didn’t stop women from doing this, of
course, even occasionally leaving their husbands completely and living with a new man. But this also opened up a problem for the
new man in that he had, in effect, just stolen another man’s property. Thus, the dual problem existed that the husband
still was legally obligated to be responsible for any debts his wife incurred and to maintain
her. He could also be prosecuted for neglecting
his duty there, whether his wife had shacked up with another man or not. As for the new suitor, he could at any point
also be subjected to criminal proceedings, including potentially having to pay a large
fine to the husband for, in essence, stealing his property, as well as potential jail time
and the like. Thus, the commoners of England decided leading
a wife as if she was cattle to the market and auctioning her off was a legal way to
get around these problems. After all, if the wife was more or less property,
why couldn’t a husband sell her and his obligations to her in the same way he sold a pig at market? While you might think no woman would ever
agree to this, in most of the several hundred documented cases, the wife seemingly went
along happily with the whole thing. You see, according to the tradition, while
the wife technically had no choice about being auctioned off in this way, she did have the
right to refuse to be sold should the winning bidder not be to her liking, at which point
the auction seems to have continued until a suitable buyer was found. For example, in one case in Manchester in
1824, it was reported that, “after several biddings she [the wife] was knocked down for
5s; but not liking the purchaser, she was put up again for 3s and a quart of ale.” Further, there are a few known instances of
the wife buying herself, such as in 1822 in Plymouth where a woman paid £3 for herself,
though in this instance apparently she had a man she’d been having an affair with that
was supposed to purchase her, but he didn’t show up… Ouch… On that note, it turns out in most of the
documented instances, the buyer was also usually chosen long before the actual auction took
place, generally the woman’s lover or otherwise the man she wanted to be with more than her
former husband. And, as she had the right to refuse to be
sold, there was little point in anyone else bidding. In fact, accounts exist of the after party
sometimes seeing the husband who sold the wife taking the new couple out for drinks
to celebrate. Owing to many involved in such divorces being
poor and the suitor often being chosen before hand, the price was usually quite low, generally
under 5 shillings, even in some reported cases a mere penny- just a symbolic sum to make
the whole thing seem more official. For example, as reported in February 18, 1814,
“A postillion, named Samuel Wallis, led his wife to the market place, having tied
a halter around her neck, and fastened her to the posts which are used for that purpose
for cattle. She was then offered by him at public auction. Another postillion, according to a previous
agreement between them, presented himself, and bought the wife thus exposed for sale,
for a gallon of beer and a shilling, in presence of a large number of spectators. The seller had been married six months to
this woman, who is only nineteen years old.” Not always cheap, however, sometimes honor
had to be served when the more affluent were involved. For example, in July of 1815 a whopping 50
guineas and a horse (one of the highest prices we could personally find any wife went for),
was paid for a wife in Smithfield. In her case, she was not brought to market
via a halter either, like the less affluent, instead arriving by coach. It was then reported that after the transaction
was complete, “the lady, with her new lord and master, mounted a handsome curricle which
was in waiting for them, and drove off, seemingly nothing loath to go.” Perhaps the most famous case of someone among
the wealthy purchasing an eventual wife from another involved Henry Brydges, the Duke of
Chandos. It is not clear how much he paid nor when
exactly the transaction took place, but while traveling to London sometime in the 1730s,
the Duke stopped at an Inn called the Pelican in Newbury. It was later reported in an August of 1870
edition of Notes and Queries, “After dinner there was a stir and a bustle
in the Inn Yard. The explanation came that “A man is going
to sell his wife and they are leading her up the yard with a halter round her neck”. “We will go and see the sale,” said the Duke. On entering the yard, however, he was so smitten
with the woman’s beauty and the patient way she waited to be set free from her ill conditioned
husband, the Inn’s ostler, that he bought her himself.” He did not, however, initially take her as
his wife, as his own wife was still alive at the time. However, he did have the woman, former chambermaid
Anne Wells, educated and took her as his mistress. When both his own wife and Anne’s former husband
died within a few years of each other not long after, he married Anne himself in 1744. Their marriage was apparently a happy one
until her own death in 1759. An 1832 edition of the The Gentleman’s Magazine
concludes the story: “On her death-bed, she had her whole household
assembled, told them her history, and drew from it a touching moral of reliance on Providence;
as from the most wretched situation, she had been suddenly raised to one of the greatest
prosperity…” Not always a completely happy ordeal, however,
there are known cases where the sale followed a husband finding out his wife was cheating
on him, and then the man she was having an affair with simply offering to buy her to
avoid the whole thing becoming extremely unpleasant for all involved or needing to involve the
courts. It has been suggested this may be why elements
of the spectacle were rather humiliating to the women. Perhaps early on when the tradition was being
set some husbands who had wives that had been cheating on them or otherwise just making
their lives miserable took the opportunity to get a last jab at her before parting ways. Not always just humiliating via being treated
as an animal in front of the whole town, sometimes verbal insults were added. For example, consider the case of Joseph Tomson. It was reported his little sales pitch for
her was as follows: “Gentlemen, I have to offer to your notice
my wife, Mary Anne Thomson, otherwise Williams, whom I mean to sell to the highest and fairest
bidder. Gentlemen it is her wish as well as mine to
part for ever. She has been to me only a born serpent. I took her for my comfort, and the good of
my home; but she became my tormentor, a domestic curse, a night invasion, and a fairly devil. Gentlemen, I speak truth from my heart when
I say may God deliver us from troublesome wives and frolicsome women! Avoid them as you would a mad dog, a roaring
lion, a loaded pistol, cholera morbus, Mount Etna or any other pestilential thing in nature. Now I have shewn you the dark side of my wife,
and told you her faults and failings, I will introduce the bright and sunny side of her,
and explain her qualifications and goodness. She can read novels and milk cows; she can
laugh and weep with the same ease that you could take a glass of ale when thirsty. Indeed gentlemen she reminds me of what the
poet says of women in general: “Heaven gave to women the peculiar grace, To laugh, to
weep, to cheat the human race.” She can make butter and scold the maid; she
can sing Moore’s melodies, and plait her frills and caps; she cannot make rum, gin, or whisky,
but she is a good judge of the quality from long experience in tasting them. I therefore offer her with all her perfections
and imperfections, for the sum of fifty shillings.” Not exactly an effective sales pitch, nobody
bid for about an hour, which perhaps was further humiliating motivation for such a pitch. Whatever the case, he then dropped the price
and eventually got 20 shillings and a dog from one Henry Mears. Apparently Mears and his new wife parted in,
to quote, “perfect good temper” as did Thomson. All this said, while many known accounts seem
to be of people where both the husband and wife were in agreement about the separation
and use of the auction as the method of divorce, this wasn’t always the case on both sides. For instance, we have the 1830 case in Wenlock
Market where it was reported that the woman’s husband “turned shy, and tried to get out
of the business, but Mattie mad’ un stick to it. ‘Er flipt her apern in ‘er gude man’s face,
and said, ‘Let be yer rogue. I wull be sold. I wants a change’.” She was subsequently sold for 2 shillings
and 2d. In another case, one drunk individual in 1766
in Southwark decided to sell his wife, only to regret the decision later and when his
wife wouldn’t come back to him, he killed himself… In a bit more of a happy ending type story,
in 1790 a man from Ninfield was at an inn when he decided to sell his wife for a half
a pint of gin. However, he would later regret the loss, so
paid some undisclosed price to reacquire her, an arrangement she would have had to agree
to for it to be completed. On the other side, there do seem to be some
cases where the woman was seemingly auctioned against her will. However, for whatever it’s worth, again, in
these cases by tradition she did always have the option to refuse a sale, though of course
not exactly a great option in some cases if it meant going back to a husband who was eager
to be rid of her. Nonetheless, this may in part explain why
there are so few known accounts of women not seeming to be happy about the whole thing. While it might be going to an uncertain future
if a man hadn’t already been prearranged, at least it was going to someone who actually
wanted her, and willing to outbid other bachelor’s around town (in these cases being a legitimate
auction). Going back to the legality of it all, at least
in the minds of the general public, it would seem people considered it important that the
whole thing needed to be extremely public, sometimes even announcing it in a local paper
and/or having a town crier employed to walk through town announcing the auction and later
sale. This made sure everyone around knew that the
husband in question was no longer responsible for his wife, nor her debts or other obligations,
and announced that the husband had also agreed to dissolve any former rights he had to his
wife, ensuring, again at least in the minds of the general public, that the new suitor
could not be criminal prosecuted for taking the wife of another man. For further legal protection, at least in
their minds, some would even go so far as to have a contract drawn up, such as this
one from Oct. 24, 1766: “It is this day agreed on between John Parsons,
of the parish of Midsummer Norton, in the county of Somerset, clothworker, and John
Tooker, of the same place, gentleman, that the said John Parsons, for and in consideration
of the sum of six pounds and six shillings in hand paid to the said John Parsons, doth
sell, assign, and set over unto the said John Tooker, Ann Parsons, wife of the said John
Parsons; with all right, property, claim, services, and demands whatsoever, that he,
the said John Parsons, shall have in or to the said Ann Parsons, for and during the term
of the natural life of her, the said Ann Parsons. In witness whereof I, the said John Parsons,
have set my hand the day and year first above written. JOHN PARSONS. ‘Witness: WILLIAM CHIVERS.’” While none of this was legally binding in
the slightest, for whatever it’s worth, there is at least one case where a representative
of the state, a Poor Law Commissioner, actually forced a sale of a wife. In this case, they forced one Henry Cook to
sell his wife and child to avoid the Effingham workhouse having to also take in his family. The woman was ultimately sold for a shilling. The parish did, at the least, pay for a wedding
dinner after the fact… So only 99.9% heartless in kicking a man while
he was down. For much more on the nightmare that was workhouses,
do go check out one of our absolute favorite BrainFood Show podcast episode we’ve ever
done- The Sledgehammer for the Poor Man’s Child. In any event, there were also known court
cases where the courts upheld such a divorce, though seemingly always jury trials. For example, in 1784 a husband tried to claim
his former wife as his own again, only to have a jury side with the new couple, despite
that there was literally no law on the books that supported this position. On the flipside there were many more cases
where the courts went the other way, such as the case of an 1835 woman who was auctioned
off by her husband and sold for fifteen pounds, with the amount of the transaction indicating
this person was likely reasonably well off. However, upon the death of her former husband,
she went ahead and claimed a portion of his estate as his wife. The courts agreed, despite the objections
of his family who pointed out the previous auction and that she had taken up a new husband. Now, as you can imagine, literally leading
your wife by a halter around her neck, waist, or arm to market and putting her up on an
auction block, even if seemingly generally a mutually desired thing, from the outside
looking in seemed incredibly uncivilized and brutish. As such, foreign entities, particularly in
France, frequently mocked their hated neighbors in England for this practice. From this, and the general distaste for the
whole thing among the more affluent even in Britain, the practice of auctioning wives
off began to be something the authorities did start to crack down on starting around
the mid-19th century. As noted by a Justice of the Peace in 1869,
“publicly selling or buying a wife is clearly an indictable offence … And many prosecutions
against husbands for selling, and others for buying, have recently been sustained, and
imprisonment for six months inflicted…” In another example, in 1844 a man who had
auctioned off his former wife was being tried for getting married again as he was, in the
eyes of the state, still considered to be married to his original wife. The seemingly extremely sympathetic judge,
Sir William Henry Maule, admonished him for this fact, while also very clearly outlining
why many of the less affluent were forced to use this method for divorce, even in cases
where the wife had left and taken up with another man:
“I will tell you what you ought to have done; … You ought to have instructed your
attorney to bring an action against the seducer of your wife for criminal conversation. That would have cost you about a hundred pounds. When you had obtained judgment for (though
not necessarily actually recovered) substantial damages against him, you should have instructed
your proctor to sue in the Ecclesiastical courts for a divorce a mensa et thoro. That would have cost you two hundred or three
hundred pounds more. When you had obtained a divorce a mensa et
thoro, you should have appeared by counsel before the House of Lords in order to obtain
a private Act of Parliament for a divorce a vinculo matrimonii which would have rendered
you free and legally competent to marry the person whom you have taken on yourself to
marry with no such sanction. The Bill might possibly have been opposed
in all its stages in both Houses of Parliament, and together you would have had to spend about
a thousand or twelve hundred pounds. You will probably tell me that you have never
had a thousand farthings of your own in the world; but, prisoner, that makes no difference. Sitting here as an English Judge, it is my
duty to tell you that this is not a country in which there is one law for the rich and
one for the poor. You will be imprisoned for one day. Since you have been in custody since the commencement
of the Assizes you are free to leave.” In the end, thanks to the masses having to
resort to such extreme measures as simply abandoning a spouse and never legally separating,
auctioning the wife off as if she was an animal, and the aforementioned impotence trials, divorce
law was eventually revamped in Britain with the passage of the Matrimonial Causes Act
1857, finally allowing at least some affordable means of divorce for commoners, particularly
in cases of abandonment or adultery. This, combined with the courts cracking down
on wife auctions, saw the practice more or less completely die off by the end of the
19th century, though there were a few more known cases that continued in Britain all
the way up to 1926 where one Horace Clayton bought a woman he then called his wife for
£10 from her previous husband. Bonus Facts:
In case anyone’s wondering, while there are only a handful of known cases of it happening,
there were a few husbands sold as well, though as part of the point of the whole thing was
for the husband to publicly declare he was no longer obligated to his wife and for the
woman in question to agree to be wed to another man, with rights to her transferring to him,
the auction of a husband didn’t really make a lot of sense from a practical standpoint. Nevertheless, it did happen. For example, consider this case reported a
March 18, 1814 edition of the Statesmen: “On Saturday evening an affair of rather
an extraordinary nature was brought before his Lordship the Mayor of Drogheda. One Margaret Collins presented a complaint
against her husband, who had left her to live with another woman. In his defense, the husband declared that
his wife was of a very violent disposition, which her conduct before the magistrate fully
proved; that in her anger she had offered to sell him for two pence to her in whose
keeping he then was; that she had sold and delivered him for three halfpence; that on
payment of the sum, he had been led off by the purchaser; that several times, his wife,
the seller, in her fits of anger had cruelly bitten him; that he still bore terrible marks
of it (which he showed) although it was several months since he belonged to her. The woman who purchased, having been sent
for to give her evidence, corroborated every fact, confirmed the bargain, and declared
that she every day grew more and more satisfied with the acquisition; that she did not believe
there was any law which could command him to separate from her, because the right of
a wife to sell a husband with whom she was dissatisfied, to another woman who was willing
to take up with him ought to be equal to the husband’s right, whose power of selling was
acknowledged, especially when there was a mutual agreement, as in the present instance. This plea, full of good sense and justice,
so exasperated the plaintiff, that, without paying any regard to his lordship, she flew
at the faces of her antagonists, and would have mangled them with her teeth and nails,
if they had not been separated…” It’s also worth noting that at least some
English settlers to America carried on the tradition there, such as this account reported
in the Boston Evening-Post on March 15, 1736: “The beginning of last Week a pretty odd
and uncommon Adventure happened in this Town, between 2 Men about a certain woman, each
one claiming her as his Wife, but so it was, that one of them had actually disposed of
his Right in her to the other for Fifteen Shillings this Currency, who had only paid
ten of it in part, and refus’d to pay the other Five, inclining rather to quit the Woman
and lose his Earnest; but two Gentlemen happening to be present, who were Friends to Peace,
charitably gave him half a Crown a piece, to enable him to fulfill his Agreement, which
the Creditor readily took, and gave the Woman a modest Salute, wishing her well, and his
Brother Sterling much Joy of his Bargain.”

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Comments
  • Thanks to Vincero for making long, super in depth videos like this possible. To support this show and for 15% off a fantastic Vincero watch, please use the code "brainfood" @ https://vincerowatches.com/brainfood

    For the other stuff we mentioned in this one, BrainFood Show podcast- The Sledgehammer for the Poor Man's Child: https://www.brainfood.fm/podcast/episode/b0e87733/the-sledgehammer-for-the-poor-mans-child
    What Happens When Someone Does Object to a Wedding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6dDQaoukC0
    That Time Women Could Divorce Their Husbands By Having Intercourse in Court: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nq3DzonaAYY

  • I am sure there is more than one man out there who wishes that he could have sold a former wife instead of having to give up half or more of his assets………..LOL I remember man years ago (around 1965) an instance in a small town where a husband lost everything from his business to his wife in a high stakes card game. When he arrived at his former home and told his wife what he had done, she immediately began packing. When he asked what she was doing she told him, "If you were dumb enough to lose me in a card game I'm going off to the winners home." She was with the winner until the day he died.

  • “How this practice got started and why it wasn’t nearly as bad as it sounds :-)”

    So recap:
    -Women = property
    -Wasn’t actually legal / frowned upon
    -the wife didn’t have much choice
    -Most marriages were miserable (Might have something to do with child marriage / lack of rights?)
    -were usually sold for cheap
    -there was little to no repercussions for selling a human being

    Seems like it’s just as bad as it sounds ????

  • How common was this?Thomas Hardy writes about this in the Mayor of Casterbridge, in which it is seen as such a terrible thing that it destroys the protagonist when it becomes common knowledge.

  • We all like to make money Simeon…
    But 1:25mins of my life was wasted listening to you babble on about a watch you probably don't even wear….
    Endorsing stuff like that is selling out… Gay…. Totes gay..

  • @3:30 notice the cow standing behind the dude selling his wife? Lined up exactly so that it looks like the dude has horns? That's not a coincidence. "To put horns on" a dude is to cuckold him. This picture is saying that this guys children are not actually his own, which is probably why the divorce. Her lover would be expected to buy him, and his kids.

  • Funny? In England 1906 a woman could divorce her husband for three reasons: Unable to perform (a medical exam was all that was needed. Not sex in the court room!), abandonment or cruelty.

    You fail to mention that a divorce back even in the early 20th century was considered a scandalous thing. A divorce would ruin a women's reputation. Just as bad as prison time or having an uncle in the family who was hung for murder.

    Better research.

  • When my Mother lived in London, England 1963:

    12 pennies to the shilling
    20 shillings to the Pound ( £ )
    21 shillings to the Guinea.

    In 1963 my Mother lived in London
    She made £40 per month or £10 per week.

    In 1965 the actress who played Vicki
    In Doctor Who was being payed £40 a week or £160 per month.

    In 1760 just a few years before the American Revolution a 17 year old African male fresh off the boat would go for 100 guineas.

  • So people could get at least a little bit of money, instead of being subjected to a life of poverty due to fiscal divorce rape? Sounds absolutely grand.

  • Actually, after it’s explained, it doesn’t sound that much more convoluted and corrupt then our current systems of matrimony and divorce.

  • Better than my culture in some ways. Back in the day a rich powerful man or a man from government can just take your wife. And if you oppose it he can kill you n take your wife

  • There is no reason to wear a watch anymore. There is no reason to watch an endless advertisement disguised as an interesting video.

  • A brilliantly inventive solution to get around laws which did not take into account the lives of the poorer members of society. It accomplished a form of divorce by mutual consent while preserving the dignity of wronged husbands.

  • Excellent video! Really interesting smidge of the history of marriage squeezed in.

    I think that marriage and divorce or mutual consent could be a good thing, as a means to both join and part in a peaceful and non-litigious way.

  • She could refuse if it was “against her will”? What importance does the will or want of property hold? Can your dog decide when you go to work or come home? If you abandon them at a shelter or on the street, does their opinion in the matter often change the outcome? If you’re chained, leashed, and sold in the town square, it’s not likely the person in that situation is thanking her lucky stars like “yeah, I could do with a change… this old ball n chain is rather stale.” You’re either going to be sold to stranger or face whatever happens by refusing or dragging out the process. I mean, if the women truly had any say in this practice at all, you wouldn’t need a chain. And in present day it may seem almost cute or comical to sell your wife for a bottle of gin, but when you really think about that level of dehumanization… does it ring true that there existed even a modicum of equality or fairness in the matter? Is it concerning we might actually believe there was?

  • Time us females push for reparation!! But really women have been and still are the most enslaved group in history and even now in some places….

  • Simon I just started working again. And instead of heading down to the local open market to buy me a wife, I will instead support a couple of your channels. As I'm sure I enjoy them more than a wife!! 😁😁😁🌈🐻🏳️‍🌈🌈🐻🏳️‍🌈🐻🐻🏳️‍🌈

  • If you did English literature you’d know this as it’s the central theme of the ‘Mayor of Castorbridge’ by Thomas Hardy.

  • Video starts at 2.24.

    Fuck you, vincero. And square space. And dollar shave. And… And… And…

    And most of all… Fuck you, YouTube /Google.

  • Feminism saved our live thanks to God that she has end the power of the barbaric Man he don't have power anymore in our culture 👌

  • Watch your vids all the time Simon. I watch so much stuff that I often forget to hit like.
    BTW I pooped in your comment section,
    sorry for the mess. 🤣

  • We should bring this back. Marriage would be more appealing if guys had the opportunity to recoup our losses.

  • Being required to perform sexually in front of a courtroom full of observers may itself be a cause of impotence…..

  • I once felt I was born 50 years too soon, and that, as an artist – I'd rather been born in the days of Picasso, & Ansel Adams. The height of time's that were solely Analog! But, in order to feel less encumbered by the backwards nature of our kind, and it's true history – I'd have to tow my history and knowledge! I would have had to been born into money, and live in Paris, NYC, or in isolation – like a true, "Jeremiah Johnson Mountain Man!" I would also need to keep a hold of my education, access to the best materials offered in the times, & somehow keep my modern sensibilities. I really believe though, listening to this accounting – no one really ever would want to go back to where so many rights and freedoms were yet to exist! Tis' only in a novelist's scheme where this would work – but never in any certain reality! We live with the freedoms we fought so hard to acquire, & never could we settle for less! This is why Trump is doomed in his end – a free society will never give up it's 'Freedom's Lease' to a tyrant – and no one ever truly wants to return to the days when we were [Oz] great (again). Fact is – we still have a good ways to go to meet our best expectations… The only truly great things about our past times – were the air, the water, the lack of chemicals in everything we smell, touch, eat, & breath today! The Glass Ceiling has still not been completely broken – even yet, and now, Climate Disruption may make all of our dreams, and all of our freedoms gained – a moot point. Today, the wealthiest of this world's corporate and individual thieves will still continue to line their pockets with the silver of all of our eventual fortunes – until we perish all together…

  • Maybe marriage licenses should be like drivers licenses. You get one, it's good for a few years, then if either party doesn't wish to renew, you go your separate ways! 😄

  • A man gets paid a couple of shillings to get rid of his wife which was pretty good. Now you have to pay a lawyer thousands of dollars and give your X thousands and in some cases hundreds of thousands to get rid of her.

  • Sigh listen. I am the devil. Unfortunately we are just not doing all of this. Listen God is just an invisible child molester. Listen. Dont bother me I am a terrorist. It is not a joke. Now enough with the child molesters i am the caliph of the Pakistani state of generally not raping babies. We are willing to blow ourselves up.

  • I like human rights alright. I never agreed we should get rid of them. I'm not going medieval with you all I dont care about what baghdadi or the government or anyone else thinks. I just wont survive.

  • Excellent historical research, congratulations. I was feeling very smug about it all until you mentioned that wives might also sell husbands whereupon I took good care to execute such tasks, and there were very many, as had been allocated to my person by my good wife.

  • the thumbnail was cut off in the "watch next" window at the end of my last video. I thought this was about legally selling wifi

  • perhaps you should watch the movie/Tom Selleck, as a hired gun in old,Australia,"Quigby" when he meets/saves a woman who's American? husband,sells her after their baby dies during an Apache indian attack…btw-/Medieval ages.. women could get a legal divorce..if their husband was working in the dye making of royal color-prophyria/shell fish smashing.

  • When I read The Mayor of Castebridge, the central transaction of the book — Henshard selling his wife seemed incredible — but now I see it was not so incredible

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