Wife offering in England had been an easy method of closing an unsatisfactory wedding by ‘mutual’ and ‘not so mutual’ contract started within the belated seventeenth century, whenever breakup was a practical impossibility for several however the really wealthiest. At todays rates very same price of finding a divorce proceedings then though will be ?20,000.00.

After parading their spouse at a general public market by having a halter around her throat, arm, or waistline, the spouse would publicly auction her towards the bidder that is highest, usually making use of the solutions of an auctioneer.

Wife offering persisted in England in certain kind until the very early twentieth century; based on the jurist and historian James Bryce, composing in 1901, spouse product product sales remained sporadically occurring during their time. In another of the final reported cases of a spouse purchase in England, a female providing proof in a Leeds (town in West Yorkshire) authorities court in 1913 advertised that she was in fact offered to at least one of her spouse’s workmates for ?1.

The widespread belief that a guy could legitimately divorce their spouse by placing a halter around her throat and leading her become offered available on the market on a day that is fair. In some instances it was a comparatively civilized arrangement between your husband, spouse and her enthusiast, all three conference amicably a short while later for a glass or two. In other situations the spouse could be ‘sold’ to an overall total complete complete stranger when it comes to bid that is highest.

The training of ‘wife selling’ had not been strictly legal but shot to popularity among the list of bad as an answer to a marriage that is bad. During the early times the appropriate authorities switched a blind attention. The training became more unpopular in its second phases and had been increasingly stamped down on the courts and may include upto half a year in jail.

Some instances of Wife Attempting To Sell

Chipping Norton

The training continued in rural areas as belated due to the fact century that is mid-nineteenth. A man sold his wife for ?25.00, a generous amount as the minimum price expected was 25 pence in 1855, at Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds. By this time around the spouse selling practice ended up being no further considered respectable because of the townspeople. A traditional rural punishment for sexual misdemeanors where the victims would be assailed by a cacophony of discordant noise and ribald verses for three nights running the purchaser and his new ‘bride’ were subjected to ‘rough music. A straw effigy of the man was burnt outside his house on the third night. He eventually gave in and paid the husband that is original simply take their spouse straight right back.


In 1760 Gloucestershire magistrates heard the situation of a female that has hitched into the 1740s. She along with her spouse would not simply take long to part in the shape of a spouse purchase in Gloucester. Her brand new spouse had been a coal miner, Nicholas browse, who took her to Bath, where they certainly were hitched “by one parson Crey, a lawless minister here. “

By the 1790s, the training had become therefore extensive it was the niche of editorial comment. “As cases of the sale of spouses have actually of late usually occured among the list of reduced classes of individuals who think about such sales lawful, we think it directly to notify that, by dedication for the courts of legislation, in a previous reign, they certainly were announced unlawful and void, and considered (into the light of which religion must see them) a mere pretense to sanction the criminal activity of adultery. ” The finish for the Napoleonic Wars was additionally a time that is particularly busy.


The initial instance that is recorded of exchange of money for releasing a spouse through the responsibilities of their marriage arises from Bilston (near Wolverhampton, Birmingham), http://www.mail-order-bride.net/scandinavian-brides/ when you look at the 1690s, when “John son of Nathan Whitehouse of Tipton, sold their spouse to Mr Bracegirdle. “

Shortly afterward a guy had been presented into the Thame church court for cohabitation with another’s spouse. The lb. Throughout the proceedingss it arrived on the scene that he had “bought another’s wife” off her spouse at 21/4 pence”

Because of the very very very early century that is eighteenth sources to spouse product product sales had been finding their means in to the press. The Annual Register carried the account that is following August 1733.

“Three males and three females, decided to go to the Bell Inn in Edgbaston-street, Birmingham, making the following entry in the cost guide that is kept there: –

Samuel Whitehouse, for the parish of Willenhall, when you look at the county of Stafford, offered their spouse, Mary Whitehouse, when you look at the market that is open to Thomas Griffiths, of Birmingham. Value, one guinea. To simply simply just take her along with her faults.


In 1820 a ‘decent-looking guy’ led his erring spouse into the cattle market of Canterbury when the autioneer refused to auction her very very very first he hired a pen that is cattle keep her in until she was fundamentally auctioned for five shillings (25 pence in todays cash).

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