View Full Version : Marriage ages
15-01-2009, 3:04 AM
can anyone tell me what at what age it would have been acceptable to get married, I have read somewhere that boys could get married at twelve and girls at fourteen, is this correct ??
The time I am looking at is from 1700 - 1800 or thereabouts
thanks in advance
15-01-2009, 7:13 AM
From 29 September 1653, the legal age for marriage was fixed at 16 for a man and 14 for a woman but the law was changed in 1660 and the ages of marriage reverted to 14 for the groom and 12 for the bride.
The Marriage Act of 1753, made it illegal for those in England under the age of 21 to get married without the consent of their parents or guardians. However, the consent requirement was repealed and replaced in July 1822, therefore, from 1823 the age at which a couple could undergo a valid marriage, without parental consent, reverted to 14 for boys and 12 for girls.
When the 1929 Age of Marriage Act was passed, all marriages were made void from 10 May 1929, if either partner was under the age of 16.
15-01-2009, 8:23 AM
Another issue was the age at which people normally got married. For most people the average age in the 17th century was mid to late 20s. About 25 or 26 for women and 26 or 27 for men. After 7 to 10 years of being a farm servant or apprentice, people were typically in their mid twenties before they were in a position to get married. It was different for gentry, though. They tended to get married younger, about 20 for women and early twenties for men.
The age of marriage dropped dramatically in the 19th century.
16-01-2009, 1:08 AM
Hi thanks for the replies,
I did not realise that the law had changed so many times, it has certainly given me further guidance when searching for ancestors,
thanks very much for the replies
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