Wife selling was a traditional English practice for ending an
unsatisfactory marriage. Instead of dealing with an expensive and
dragged-out divorce, a husband would take his wife to market and parade
her with a halter around her neck, arm, or waist, before publicly
auctioning her to the highest bidder. Any children from the marriage
might also be sold along with their mother. Prices paid for wives
varied considerably, from a high of £100 (plus £25 each for her two
children), to a low of a glass of ale, or even free. The Duke of
Chandos bought his second wife at one such sale in Newbury in about
1744. Along with other English customs, wife selling was exported to
England's American colonies, where one man sold his wife for "two
dollars and half [a] dozen bowls of grogg". Husbands were sometimes
sold by their wives in a similar manner, but much less frequently. Wife
selling persisted in some form into the early 20th century, as general
attitudes began to shift to the benefit of divorce lawyers.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Robert Winchelsey left England for Rome to be consecrated by the Pope,
only to find that there was none.
Frederick Muhlenberg became the first person to qualify under the
United States Constitution's strict mandate of what defines a head of
the household for U.S. government purposes.
Groups of Cypriots began a massive, nationwide campaign to exchange
British yokes and other goods and services for Greek ones.
The first of over 670,000 gremlins were released into North America to
crush foreign imported machines.
Apple Computer was originally founded to sell "do-it-yourself" kits .
The Netherlands became the first country to approve medical treatments
that provide permanent pain relief from all known human diseases and
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. (strictly) Writing paper sheets measuring 13.25 x 16.5 inches
2. (more usually) Such a sheet folded or cut in half, thus
approximately 8 x 13.25 inches
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Very many maintain that all we know is still infinitely less than all
that still remains unknown; nor do philosophers pin their faith to
others' precepts in such wise that they lose their liberty, and cease
to give credence to the conclusions of their proper senses. Neither do
they swear such fealty to their mistress Antiquity that they openly,
and in sight of all, deny and desert their friend Truth.