5 Medieval Facts of Marriage

 “To marry for love without land or chattels could assure nothing but a life of penury.”


1.   In medieval times, more than half the population of any given area was generally under 20 years old. Life expectancy back then was only about 42 years, and so girls were married at the ripe old age of 12 to boys as young as 15.

Women were rarely allowed to choose who they wanted to marry, but men were free to choose their wives.

There was one exception to this rule: if the girl was from a poor family who could not afford a dowry, she was free to marry whomever she wanted because her family had nothing to bargain with in the typical monetary marriage arrangement.

2.  Medieval marriages had nothing to do with love. It was all about who had how much to give. Continue reading