Until the early 20th century in Europe, there was a tradition to sale wives

Wife for sale in Europe

Wife for sale in Europe

During medieval times, women were completely subordinate to their husbands. After marriage, husband and wife shared a common legal status. At this time in history, married women could not have a personal property, and were in fact the property of their husbands. It is unclear when the custom of sale by public auction of his wife arose, but written evidence indicates that it lasted a period of time at the end of XVII century. In most cases, the sale announced in advance, maybe it was like the current advertising in the local newspaper.


This usually took the form of an auction, usually at the local market. A woman throws a loop of rope around the neck or waist, tied his hands. Wife gave for the largest designated price. It was a way for men to break the unsatisfactory marriage. These auctions are held regularly in the XVIII and XIX century even.

In most cases, public divorce was not an option of simple people. In 1690 a law was passed that required the couple has provided a statement to the receipt of a formal certificate of divorce. It was expensive and time consuming process. The process of selling his wife had no basis in English law and often lead to prosecution, especially since the mid XIX century. However, the attitude of the authorities was passive. It should be noted that only some wives XIX century objected to the sale, and the women XVIII century, almost no resistance, took it for granted.

In some cases, the wife very happy with their own sale, and even provided the necessary amount of money to be freed from the bonds of marriage. Sell ​​wife survived in some form before the XX century. In 1913, she claimed in the Police Court of Leeds, she was sold to one of the companions of her husband. This is one of the last cases of sale of wives in England, which is known. Today, in some countries it is possible to visit the website and get a divorce online.
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