During the time, the mortality rate among infants and children were high, so even though the women gave birth often, families were not always large in number. When married, an Elizabethan woman becomes the property of her husband, and he has A dowry is a transfer of parental property, gifts,property or money at the marriage of a daughter (). By today’s standards, the treatment of women during the Elizabethan era was barbaric; they had to face strict regulations, were not allowed any political rights, and were expected to fulfill the role of an obedient housewife or they would be ostracized by society. Marriage in Renaissance England was based on political power and social climbing. In the early modern period, customs of courtship and marriage were undergoing significant shifts. From the start of her reign in 1558, Elizabeth I was pressurised into marriage so that there would be an heir to the throne. If love was involved at all, it came after the couple had been married. Even though Elizabeth was Queen, members of the Privy Council still felt that it was their right and duty to persuade Elizabeth that marriage was for the best of the nation. Classroom is the educational resource for people of all ages. With permission from parents, girls could marry from age 12, and boys can marry at 14. For an Elizabethan marriage, women were often expected to bring their “marriage portion,” or dowry. Whether royal or commoner, one's parents almost always played a role in selecting one's spouse. Marriage is such an important theme in this play that Katarina was forced to substitute for a man who was excited about the zeal of her personality, and not someone that she immediately felt comfortable with. The law gave a husband full rights over his wife. With a well-secured marriage, a family could rise in society, move in court circles and enjoy other privileges. This was a firmly entrenched tradition that would last well into the 19th century. Commoners also entered into arranged marriages. The pictures could be misleading, as with Hans Holbein who chose to disregard the plain looks of Anne (King Henry VIII's forth wife) and display only her kind personality. © 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Disobedience was seen as a crime against their religion. Marriages were often arranged, and the parties involved often had very little say in the matter. People married as young as the age of 13. Their purpose of arranged weddings was mostly religious along with the belief that the only job of a woman is to run a house hold and provide children for her husband (5). Bruce Young introduces the topic of Elizabethan marriage with the finding that "Most historians conclude that love and friendship were essential elements of English marriages throughout the entire early modern period [Renaissance]" (44). In this new environment, the practice of arranged marriages gradually faded. Women didn't have a choice as to who they would marry and, most of the time, women didn't even know the man before they wed. This special custom of the Elizabethan era usually applies to the nobility, but marriage or religious life is the only real choice in the Elizabethan era (absolutely an unheard of profession.) Until the Marriage Act of 1653 set the set the marriage age at 16 for men and 14 for women (with parents needing to give consent for those under 21), the age of consent was a vague “years of discretion,” which could be as young as 12 for girls and 14 for boys. Sign in|Recent Site Activity|Report Abuse|Print Page|Powered By Google Sites. Elizabethan women were raised to believe that they were inferior to men and that men knew better than them. In the early modern period, customs of courtship and marriage were undergoing significant shifts. The picture is a symbolism of the traits and looks of the girl he wishes to marry. At this time, girls were expected to marry at the age of 12, While boys were married around the age of 14. Also referred to as a marriage portion women were expected to bring their share of things to the marriage. She effectively became his property. This dowry was any good or property that the woman would bring. It was also referred to as her marriage portion. To underscore the economics of marriage, the bride's family provided the groom with a dowry. They did this because the law states that once married, the husband has full rights over his wife and became his property. For them, the goal of a union was economic. Nobles were equally cautious in their marital arrangements. Back then and even today a woman's wedding was one of the most important days of her young life. High officials in Madrid, Paris and Rome sought to kill Elizabeth, a Protestant, and replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots , a Catholic. [11] In the Elizabethan era, it was not uncommon for parents in high society to arrange marriages among their children to ensure that they maintained the economic status and bloodlines that they greatly valued. However, it was not until the 19th century that romantic love became an acceptable reason to exchange vows. The Elizabethan period began in 1558, when Elizabeth the First became queen and one of the most popular monarchs in English history. On the other hand, a forced marriage could be could be annulled, provided it was not consummated. Elizabethan literature, body of works written during the reign of Elizabeth I of England (1558–1603), probably the most splendid age in the history of English literature, during which such writers as Sir Philip Sydney, Edmund Spenser, Richard Hooker, Christopher Marlowe, and William Shakespeare flourished. stage was Crying the Banns, announcing the couple's intention to marry. Most brides & grooms were in their … Elizabethan Women and Marriage Elizabethan women were expected to bring a dowry to the marriage. Elizabethan Period Summary. If so, the marriage was valid. Sometimes, with a well-secured marriage, a family van go up in society. Women were regarded as second class citizens and they were expected to tie the knot despite of their social standings.Single women were regarded as witches. Arranged marriages were to strengthen a family when you preserve its claim to wealth and land. The actual age of consent was 21. His work has been syndicated by several major news websites, including FOX, CBS, and Accuweather. In turn, his family provided the couple with a jointure, property or money to be used if the husband died. Elizabethan Women and Marriage Elizabethan women were expected to bring a dowry to the marriage. The purpose of a royal marriage was not love and affection but the cementing of an alliance with another country. The expectations consisted of bearing children and keeping up the household. "Elizabethan women were expected to bring a dowry to the marriage. Yet, it was not always the basis for marriage. It is true that most Elizabethan women expected to marry and to raise a family, but there is no evidence that I know of that they disliked this prospect. Weddings were solemn, Women had little choice over who her husband would be, Weddings were arranged by both families who would benefit, Many couples would meet for the first time on their wedding day. This would consist of property, money and various goods. While marriage was a highly coveted state, especi… Everything to know about the laws and customs of marriage in the Elizabethan Era. Majority of the clothing made from flax, cotton and wool. A dowry was an amount of money, goods, and property that the bride would bring to the marriage. Marriage in Elizabethan Times. In the Elizabethan Era, women were not as independent as today. The most popular universities were Cambridge and Oxford university. William Shakespeare required a Marriage Bond when he married Anne Hathaway. The woman would wear her best gown and a kirtle. Variety of colours. It would appear that the things that concern us today also concerned the people in the Elizabethan period. Elizabethan Era marriage normally takes place through the help of a miniature picture given by the man. (Power of Words) The treatment of women in marriages was unfair and cruel. Elizabethan wives were also required to run the household and give their husbands children. For example, she was one of a handful of English monarchs who never married. Divorce is actually more difficult to obtain in the protestant regime than in the Catholic, even with cause. Single women were regarded as witches. Love and Romance in the Elizabethan Era. After marriage Elizabethan women were expected to run the households and provide children. Women were married off by their parents or guardians at a relatively young age. Women were subservient to men. Marriage pacts were made between families in order to secure wealth, property and/or status with little consideration of love. See disclaimer. Love was a very important part of people’s lives in the form of minor poems, the occasional ballad, such as s Drayton’s “Battle of Agincourt” and his “Ode to the Virginian Voyage,” this soon had the introduction to his first poems inspired by the New World. Married women were basically considered to be the property of their husbands and were expected to bring a dowry or marriage portion to the marriage. When Elizabeth assumed the throne in 1558, only two English monarchs had ever chosen their own spouses. Also Elizabethan woman were expected to bring a dowry, which is money, goods and property that the bride would bring to the ceremony. Brown reports, “Nearly all countries have a minimum age requirement for marriage. It might be surprising to say that Elizabethan brides were not expected to wear white dresses. Newby holds a master's degree in history and is an ardent pluviophile. A longtime author of lifestyle articles, Gregg Newby has written extensively on personal finance, health and wellness, fitness, education, and more. It was also referred to as her marriage portion. Customs. Elizabethan Marriage and Weddings - The Dowry or Marriage Portion Elizabethan women were expected to bring a dowry to the marriage. The Victorian era saw a rise in upward mobility and prosperity that fundamentally realigned English society. The purpose of arranged marriages in the Elizabethan Era was not to marry for love and have affection for one another. Courtship Marriages and Divorces during Elizabethan Era. However, the protocols were often lax, since there was less at stake. Based on the Word Net lexical database for the English Language. Married wives are the property of their husbands. Speaking of Elizabethan marriage, women were also expected to provide a dowry, which could be any amount of money, goods, or property that was to be their contribution to the marriage. We … Even as a monarch, she would have been expected to submit to an arranged marriage, a practice that dated back to the Anglo-Saxons. [2] The Elizabethan Age (1558 - 1603) refers to the period of Elizabeth 1's reign and is characterized by vigorous intellectual thinking, an age of adventure and discovery, a time in which new ideas and new experiences were sought after. A girl may marry as young as 12 years of age with parental consent, marriage at this age was not unusual. most women do today. More Info. Women played a very different role in relationships than today's females. In actuality, the tradition of wearing white dresses at weddings didn't start during this period (it was later on in the coming centuries). Mary, Queen of Scots, Elizabeth's first cousin, was first betrothed at age 5. For the wealthy, a mini-picture would be presented to the man to give him an idea of what his bride might look like. Unmarried women were allowed to wear their hair loose, Bridegroom wore: a doublet, breeches, hose, box pleated neck ruff and a cod piece, A Cloak and boots may also be worn. According to Elizabethan marriage laws, since Romeo and Juliet's marriage was conducted in secret, it was not legal. The style and beauty lay in the hands of classes (Leed). After marriage Elizabethan women were expected to run the households and provide children. Throughout the medieval during, money, class or alliance governed and regulated marriage. His father also had to agree since he was not yet at the legal age of consent. Regardless of how old we are, we never stop learning. It was important for young males to go to school and university. In the Medieval times, marriage was quite different than today. A dowry was an amount of money, goods, and property that the bride would bring to the marriage. The idea of romantic love was by no means foreign to Elizabethans. If parents disapproved of a union, a young couple might simply elope. A woman rarely had any say in the matter of her marriage as marriages were supposed to be profitable and sensible matches. Whether royal or commoner, one's parents almost always played a role in selecting one's spouse. The idea of entering into a union for monetary reasons became distasteful. The Elizabethan period is also remembered for the richness of its poetry and drama, especially the plays and poems of William Shakespeare. The traditional waiting period is called a month's mind. rs of age with parental consent, marriage at this age was not unusual. Most women probably looked forward to marriage, just as (dare I say it?) They were dependent on their male relatives to support them. One of them was her father, Henry VIII, who endured a succession of failed marriages. A dowry was an amount of money, goods, and property that the bride would bring to the marriage." Since you can't apply to the Pope anymore, you have to get an Act of Parliament! Elizabethan Era marriages normally took place through the help of a miniature picture given by the man. Marriage came about as a result of diplomacy, in which affairs of state were the primary consideration. Boys at age 14 went to university. In fact, forced marriages were very rare. To marry again after a month is not considered hasty. Though most often uneducated … The traditional waiting period is called a month's mind. As Europe modernized, however, the Puritans and others began to champion the novel idea of marriages based on mutual inclination and love. 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