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Age Of Marriage In Medieval Times Or Paedophilia?

In the Medieval Times, with parental permission it was legal for boys to marry at 14 and girls at 12.

A betrothal often took place when the prospective bride and groom were as young as 7 years old and in the case of higher nobility many were betrothed as babies. But a marriage was only legal once the marriage had been consummated.

(According to the book Marriage in Medieval Times By Rachelle Carter)

http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/noble-women-in-the-middle-ages.htm

Until perhaps the 1200s it was common to marry earlier than now. For example, age 12 (and even younger) was quite common for girls. Nowadays, it would be assumed that they should be at high school or college at that age.

For girls in particular the age of marriage was much closer than now to the onset of fertility. In the 1600s the minimum legal age for marriage in England was 12. Parliament raised the minimum age for marriage (and the age of consent) to 16 in 1885

The above is just 200 years ago. Now compare it to the reality of 1200 years earlier! (with reference to 1885)

The age of consent in one of the American States was just 7 years, just 120 years ago! But the Western people did not know that and just criticized Islam and Muslims for the marriage of the Mohammed and Aisha more than 1400 years ago.

Traditionally, the age at which individuals could come together in a sexual union was something either for the family to decide or a matter of tribal custom. Probably in most cases this coincided with the onset of MENARCHE in girls and the appearance of pubic hair in boys, that is, between 12 and 14, but the boundaries remained fluid.

[b]In the Semitic tradition,[/b] betrothal could take place earlier than PUBERTY, perhaps as early as 7-9 years, but the marriage was not supposed to be consummated until the girl menstruated and was of age. This is analogous to what is obtainable in most part of Africa

[b]In medieval Europe[/b], Gratian, the influential founder of Canon law in the twelfth century, accepted the traditional age of puberty for marriage (between 12 and 14) but he also said consent was "meaningful" if the children were older than seven. Some authorities said consent could take place earlier. It was this policy which was carried over into English common law. Similarly Gratian's ideas about age became part of European civil law.

Though Shakespeare set his Romeo and Juliet in Verona, the fact that Juliet was 13 probably reflects the reality in England. Her mother, who was 26 calls her almost an old maid.

The American colonies followed the English. For example in Virginia in 1689, Mary Hathaway was only 9 when she was married to William Williams.

Judges honored marriages based on mutual consent at age younger than 7, and there are recorded marriages of 2 and 3 year olds. The 17th-century lawyer Henry Swinburne distinguished between the marriages of those under seven and those between seven and puberty. He wrote that those under seven who had said their vows had to ratify it afterwards by giving kisses and embraces, by lying together, by exchanging gifts or tokens, or by calling each other husband or wife. A contemporary, Philip Stubbes, wrote that in sixteenth-century East Anglia, infants still in swaddling clothes were married. The most influential legal text of the seventeenth century in England, that of Sir Edward Coke, made it clear that the marriage of girls under 12 was normal, and the age at which a girl who was a wife was eligible for a dower from her husband's estate was 9 even though her husband be only 4 years old.

In England for example in the parish of Middlesex County, Virginia, there is a record of 14-year-old Sarah Halfhide marrying 21-year-old Richard Perrot. Of the 98 girls on the 10-year register, three probably married at age 8, one at 12, one at 13, and two at 14.

http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/noble-women-in-the-middle-ages.htm

http://www.faqs.org/childhood/A-Ar/Age-of-Consent.html

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Your reasoning here is a type of naive historical comparatism referred to as "chronological snobbery".

These are the problems with your arguments:

1. You single your focus upon the accrued atrocities of a 1000 year period and compare them to a naively positive view of more recent history; simply presupposing that sociocultural/ideological trends are actually improving over time.

This contrasts with the actual comparative historical evidence. Note, Toynbee's "A Study of History" among other analyses.

There is simply no historical precedent for the scale of brutality, oppression and persecution inflicted upon humans by other humans in the past century; whether it is through war, political oppression, genocide, secular pseudoideology or systemic financial greed; a fact that holds true even after adjusting for the exponential increase in global population

For example, the wars and religious persecution of the Middle Ages, such as the barbarism of the Crusades and the Inquisition, do not come close to paralleling the condensed horrors of the World Wars, Stalin's Purges, Mao's oppression of his own people, the Cambodian Killing Fields and the like.

2. You simply presuppose the truth of the currently 'fashionable' moral ideology (humanism, secularism and feminism) without understanding its defects, or without addressing/understanding moral epistemology/ontology in general. The result is that you seem to have a disproportionately optimistic perspective upon the rampant moral depravity and progressive social incohesion currently afflicting the world. (This does not assume that the moral trend in the Middle Ages was stellar, in any sense).

To single out one example you've raised:

You condemn patriarchal values as "unrivalled misogyny"; apparently unaware of the substantive historical and biological evidence that contrary ideologies such as feminism are actually the aberrant standards; in that they are culturally harmful beliefs that, at their root, are nothing more than non-empirical ontological assumptions.

For example, note:

(a) Gender psychometry, hormonal/brain architecture analyses, life outcome and sociocultural studies support the traditional view of gender roles as the biologically normative standard. This includes apparently 'inexplicable' phenomena such as the "Paradox of Declining Female Happiness".

(b) In comparative history, gender liberal ideas such as feminism are phenomena referred to as 'gender destratification'; and are among the most reliable indicators of a culture about to go into accelerated decline.

To put it more simply: Women are more unhappy, more unhealthy (physically and mentally), less respected, more abused and neglected, following the loss of patriarchal values. There is nothing historically novel or 'radical' about ideas like feminism. Going back millennia, they have invariably been signs of the decline of the culture in which they arise.

According to the CDC data on this (for example, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr53/nvsr53_07.pdf) there is a slightly increased rate of maternal complications with pregnancies among 12 year olds, but the main risk of maternal immaturity is to the health of the child, largely due to the greater probability for the absence antenatal care in young pregnancies.

In other words, though it is not as healthy or optimal to bear children at this age (and something I personally don't agree with), there is still considerable historical/cultural precedent for child-bearing at this age due to the fact that the biologically accommodates for it. This is far from the 'aberration' that you make it out to be. Your argument here is mainly emotional.

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Occultic practices, witch burning, slaying of twins, inquisitions, emperor worship, unrivalled misogyny and a host of other primitive practices ALSO THRIVED IN THOSE TIMES.

SO WHAT IS THE BASIS OF SELECTING ONE SUCH ABHORRENT PRIMITIVE PRACTICE AND IMAGINING THAT SINCE IT WAS DONE THEN, THAT MAKES IT OK? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Fact is humanity has progressed and alot of barbaric practices have been recognised for what they are.

They very fact of the early stage of development of the reproductive organs in a girl of such age, as well as the obvious incapacity to shoulder the gravity of marriage (which is difficult even for adults) should tell you that in WHATEVER AGE such was practiced, it was, is, and ever will be a misconceived and repulsive practice.

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@english1

Interesting!. Can you pls give some evidence (for reference purpose)

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Just looking at the law in Medieval times is rather misleading. It's true that marriage was possible at a young age: that doesn't mean it happened all that often. If you do some research into age at marriage you see a different picture. Only the very rich/royal/noble families married so young. They were arraned marriages, for political, social or financial reasons, and there were advantages in doing them as soon as possible. This was only a tiny minority of people though.

The majority of people didn't marry until they were in their 20s. It simply wasn't possible or sensible until then.

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Since we have taken to referencing medieval times with regard to paedophilia, this only justifies the claims of those who see certain religions as medieval.

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Historically people used to marry very early. . .Girls used to marry at the age of 12-15 across may cultures, but that was THEN. . . .There is no need adhering to the cultures of primitive men who truly believe that the moon was once divided into two and bowed to an illiterate man from Arabia, or that the creator of the universe(assuming that the universe had a creator that is sentient) wants people to kill the enemies of his people. It is wrong to marry a 13 years old girl in this present age period.

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Good analogy from historical facts.

In our present dispensation,the laws of the respective countries prevails. Egypt is an islamic country&their laws prohibits under 18 marriage.

Nigeria a multi Religious country through her laws prohibits under 18 Marriage as well.

I think various countries' law makers have the prerogative on marriageable ages. The countries law superceeds christianity&islamic laws in that country

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