The ancient and strange English custom of wife-selling

Between the late eighteenth and the mid-nineteenth century in England, there was a strange and fascinating custom called wife-selling. Married women in England were commonly bought and sold at village fairs. During this time, not a year passed when there was no court case concerning the sale of a wife. Between 1780 and 1850 the cases of sale of 300 wives were certainly recorded, free women treated as an purchasable good, in addition to the cases of many women who were not registered. Although it may seem brutal and disrespectful…

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