46 votes
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Were women the property of men prior to 1919 in the UK?

No. Slavery was abolished in 1833 in England. Prior to 1919 women were not property. Not having equal rights doesn't automatically mean slavery. Neither is a woman taking the family name of her ...
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40 votes
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Did people use to marry much younger during the last millennium?

Not really. Generally speaking, most European women since married in their early to mid twenties, to men in their mid to late twenties. The age gap for the commoners, i.e. the vast majority of the ...
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  • 95.8k
40 votes
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Why is it that the maiden name is traditionally dropped when a woman is getting married?

Is this something that predates back many civilizations ago? Or is this a relatively newfound trend? In general, it is a relatively new trend of the last few centuries, and many old cultures have/had ...
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  • 95.8k
27 votes

Were women the property of men prior to 1919 in the UK?

If you consider the wording carefully: Until women got full legal rights, [where] they could own property themselves, [and] they could work, essentially they were owned by their fathers and then by ...
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  • 73.7k
25 votes
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In medieval Europe, were children born in an annulled marriage automatically illegitimate?

An annulment does not "break" a marriage, as does a divorce. It declares that the marriage never happened in the first place. This meant that the married couple would revert to their previous legal ...
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  • 76.2k
20 votes
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How common was marriage between nobles and peasants in the Middle Ages?

Probably more common than you would think. Lots of nobles were little more than farmers with a coat of arms. Peasants could acquire a lot of wealth. Where the division between the two classes fell ...
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  • 5,401
19 votes
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When did husbands & wives start sharing bedrooms?

Movies portray people as having separate beds to get around strict censorship laws which were derived from old religious traditions. In reality, there have been many such movements for and against ...
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19 votes

Was early marriage of queens not considered pedophilia?

No. The term pedophilia was not coined until 1886; all of the examples you give were before the term existed. Furthermore, and much more importantly, pedophilia has to do with sexual attraction, and ...
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18 votes

When did monogamy become the norm in Ancient Greece?

It was probably always the norm, at least in a way that also tolerated concubines. The Ancient Greeks were of course descended from Proto-Indo-Europeans. As early as 1864, French historian Numa Denis ...
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  • 95.8k
16 votes
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Who were the first people to get divorced in Western* Christendom?

I know of a Galician (NW Iberian Peninsula) charter issued before a notary and a judge in 1457 where a married couple divorce by mutual agreement. You can access a good edition of the original ...
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15 votes
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What was the average age of first marriage in 18th century Russia?

The "average age of brides in Russian history" is quite the timespan to observe. For that it might be said it varied, a lot, but a lot around basically the same age window: very young. ...
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14 votes
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What name is taken if a man marries into a noble house?

So your fantasy is about about a common man obtaining a title by marrying into a noble family? To my best knowledge the chances of this happening are slim. What is more likely is that the woman (or at ...
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13 votes
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When did age gaps in marriage become looked down upon in America?

One side of the problem is covered in the answers and comments already given. The other side - I would argue the biggest side - is that women not only live longer, but that they now usually work and ...
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12 votes
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Name of Kingdom that was formed after marriage refusal?

It was Norway. This is the story of Harald Fairhair in the late 9th century. Harald inherited one of a number of petty kingdoms west of modern Oslo. He proposed marriage to Gyda, the daughter of King ...
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12 votes

Why did emperors of India and China have so many mistresses?

I think you're finding this odd because you are looking at it from the point of view of your own culture, and assuming that is "normal". In fact, different cultures evolved with different standards ...
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11 votes

Who were the first people to get divorced in Western* Christendom?

If you count Spain as part of Western Europe, then divorce was available at least to the Muslim population from the time of the Arab conquest in the 8th century until the Catholic reconquest in the ...
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  • 9,473
10 votes

How common was marriage between nobles and peasants in the Middle Ages?

It's hard to prove a negative (outside of math, of course), but let me try to show why this would be extremely rare (and mostly exist in legends). The institution of marriage exists to protect the ...
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10 votes
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In Francoist Spain, what steps were required for non-Catholics to marry?

what was required for non-Catholics to marry in Francoist Spain? Imagine, for example, that two Protestants want to marry in Spain in 1950 Short answer for 1950: they needed an affidavit expressing ...
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10 votes

Probation time in marriage?

Until 1603, Irish couples could divorce for several reasons (sterility/infertility, impotency, homosexuality, abortion, infanticide, flagrant infidelity, insanity, abandonment...). Marriage was a ...
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9 votes
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When and why did marriage become about love?

The idea of romantic love has a long history, but whether or not actual family formation is affected by that idea is a different question. A historiographical tradition in the 1970s tied the rise of ...
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9 votes

Why is it that the maiden name is traditionally dropped when a woman is getting married?

(I assume this question relates to the traditions of Great Britain and its former colonies such as the Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.) The woman does not "drop" her maiden name....
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9 votes

How did marrying off one's daughter help secure an alliance, in early medieval Europe?

Such marriages were usually part of wider treaties, including a dowry, non-aggression and/or mutual support agreements. The king didn't just get a queen, he got a chunk of land, possible inheritance ...
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  • 7,691
9 votes

Were there cases of bride kidnapping in the medieval period?

There are many instances of bridal abduction in Medieval Europe, especially to wealthy heiresses. In fact, marriage by abduction continued to occur in many areas well into the modern era, for example ...
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  • 95.8k
8 votes

What name is taken if a man marries into a noble house?

First, I am assuming that you are giving your fantasy world a "Western European" flavour. Working from this assumption there are still a myriad details that vary from nation to nation within ...
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8 votes

What name is taken if a man marries into a noble house?

During the preparation of the royal wedding between The Royal Heiress to the Swedish throne and a commoner, people talked about heraldry and the possibility that a new royal house will emerge. But ...
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8 votes
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Were life imprisonment and mental insanity the only reasons a divorce couldn't be granted in early 20th century England?

Prior to the Matrimonial Causes Act 1937 (so pre-1938), access to divorce in England and Wales was quite limited. It is correct to say that a divorce could not be granted on the grounds of ...
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  • 6,811
7 votes

What name is taken if a man marries into a noble house?

In one unusual circumstance, when the Count von Bohlen married Bertha Krupp (of the Krupp arms house), the man (von Bohlen) was asked by the Kaiser to add his wife's surname, Krupp, to his own. They ...
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  • 103k
7 votes
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When did monogamy become the norm in Ancient Greece?

You mention both Greeks and Romans, so I treat each separately below, identifying exactly when they switched to monogamous laws (in the case of the Romans) as you ask: Marriage Under the Greeks ...
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  • 37.2k
7 votes

What was the general attitude of people in states without anti-miscegenation laws toward interracial marriage?

Yes, public opinion matches up with anti-miscegenation laws, except for along the Pacific Coast. First, let's look at a map of anti-miscegenation laws: So the northeast and north midwest had no such ...
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  • 17.8k
6 votes

Was early marriage of queens not considered pedophilia?

Royal marriages in medieval times had nothing to do with personal values. They were about political alliances and property and progeny. And indeed this made strange bedfellows. Minor details like ...
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