Wife offering in England ended up being a means of closing a marriage that is unsatisfactory ‘mutual’ and ‘not so mutual’ contract began when you look at the belated seventeenth century, whenever divorce or separation ended up being a practical impossibility for several nevertheless the really wealthiest. The comparable price of finding a breakup in those times could be ?20,000.00 at todays prices.

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

Wife offering persisted in England in certain type through to the very early century that is 20th in accordance with the jurist and historian James Bryce, composing in 1901, spouse product product sales remained sometimes occurring during their time. In just one of the very last reported cases of a spouse purchase in England, a lady offering proof in a Leeds (town in West Yorkshire) authorities court in 1913 advertised that she was in fact offered to a single of her spouse’s workmates for ?1.

The widespread belief that a person could lawfully divorce their spouse by putting a halter around her throat and leading her become offered available on the market on a reasonable time. This was a relatively civilized philippines women for sale arrangement between the husband, wife and her lover, all three meeting amicably afterwards for a drink in some cases. Various other instances the spouse could be ‘sold’ to a complete stranger when it comes to greatest bid.

The training of ‘wife selling’ had not been strictly appropriate but became popular one of the bad as an answer to a bad wedding. During the early times the appropriate authorities turned a blind attention. The training became more unpopular with its second phases and had been increasingly stamped down on the courts and may involve upto six months in jail.

Some situations of Wife Attempting To Sell

Chipping Norton

The training continued in rural areas as belated since the 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. The wife selling practice was no longer considered respectable by the townspeople by this time. For three evenings operating the buyer along with his brand new ‘bride’ were afflicted by ‘rough music’, a normal rural punishment for intimate misdemeanors in which the victims will be assailed by way of a cacophony of discordant sound and ribald verses. In the 3rd evening a straw effigy for the man was burnt outside his household. He eventually gave in and paid the initial spouse to just take their spouse right straight back.


In 1760 Gloucestershire magistrates heard the full instance of a female that has married within the 1740s. She along with her spouse would not simply take long to part by way of a spouse purchase in Gloucester. Her brand brand new spouse had been a coal miner, Nicholas study, whom took her to Bath, where these were hitched “by one parson Crey, a lawless minister here. “

Because of the 1790s, the training had become therefore extensive it was the niche of editorial comment. “As instances of the purchase of spouses have of belated usually occured among the list of reduced classes of individuals who give consideration to such sales lawful, we think it straight to notify that, by dedication for the courts of legislation, in a reign that is former these people were announced unlawful and void, and considered (into the light of which faith must see them) merely a pretense to sanction the crime of adultery. ” The conclusion of this Napoleonic Wars has also been a time that is particularly busy.


The initial recorded example of an change of income for releasing a spouse through the responsibilities of their marriage originates from Bilston (near Wolverhampton, Birmingham), when you look at the 1690s, when “John son of Nathan Whitehouse of Tipton, offered their spouse to Mr Bracegirdle. “

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

By the very early century that is eighteenth references to wife product sales were finding their means to the press. The Annual Register carried the after account in August 1733.

“Three men and three females, visited the Bell Inn in Edgbaston-street, Birmingham, making the entry that is following the cost book that is held there: –

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


In 1820 a ‘decent-looking guy’ led their erring spouse into the cattle market of Canterbury as soon as the autioneer declined to auction her very first he hired a cattle pen to keep her in until she ended up being ultimately auctioned for five shillings (25 pence in todays cash).