From the late 18th up to the mid-19th century in England, there existed a strange custom of wife-selling. At the time, newspapers often carried stories of wives being sold to other men. In fact, between 1780 and 1850, about 300 wives were recorded as sold.
Divorce in England was not established until 1857, and before that, it was extremely costly and daunting to dissolve a marriage. The dissolution of marriage required a private Act of Parliament costing £3,000 (or £15,000 today) and the blessing of the church.
To avoid all this inconvenience, the average Englishmen turned to wife-selling.
The only alternative at the time was to separate from their wives through a public sale. In poor communities, wives were considered personal property that could be bought and sold.
Men would bring their wives to the marketplace or cattle auctions and register the women as goods for sale. A rope would be placed around the woman’s neck, waist, or wrist as she stood on an auction block. The practice was illegal, but the authorities turned a blind eye to it since it was the average man’s only choice.
Once a deal is done, the men would go to a local tavern and celebrate the successful trade.
Almost all wives sold went for sale or auction of their own volition and held a veto over to whom they went next. In many cases, the sale or auction would be announced in the local paper, and a buyer would already be arranged in advance. The process of selling or auctioning was more of a formality or symbol of separation. There were also cases when the women actually initiated the sale or auction because it was their only way out of an unhappy marriage.
One of the first recorded cases of wife-selling happened in 1733 in Birmingham. A man named Samuel Whitehouse sold his wife, Mary Whitehouse, to Thomas Griffiths for £1. The strange custom reached its peak in the 1820s and 1830s. At the time, the men came under extreme social pressure and so the practice waned. The most recent case of wife-selling was in 1913 when a woman claimed her husband sold her to one of his colleagues for £1.
What do you think of this ancient custom of wife-selling? Share your thoughts below!
Tragic Truth of Balangiga Massacre: How US Soldiers Butchered Filipinos Over 10 Years Old
The Balangiga Massacre, which happened 116 years ago, remains an “unhealed wound” in the intertwined history of the US and the Philippines.
In his second State of the Nation Address, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte happened to mention one of the bloodiest events in his country's history. He referred to the Balangiga massacre, which happened 116 years ago in the town located in the province of Eastern Samar. The said province is located in the Visayas region.
Duterte is known to be wary of American influence. As everyone knows, the US and the Philippines has maintained a very tempestuous relationship. For the most part, the two countries are tagged as allies. Then again, this doesn't mean that there are no contentious issues between them. That said, the Balangiga massacre remains an "unhealed wound" in the US and the Philippines intertwined history.
The Philippines had President Emilio Aguinaldo, but US presence made things complicated.
How The Forbidden City Survived 200 Earthquakes
Proof of the genius of traditional Chinese architecture.
The Forbidden City, which is the Chinese imperial palace that started way back from the Ming Dynasty, is one of the most important ancient structures in the world. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. For almost 500 years, The Forbidden City was home to Chinese emperors and their households and was the political center of the country.
Renovations are in progress in preserving the Forbidden City, but considering how OLD the site is, it’s indeed beyond remarkable how the structures within survived the natural elements, most especially earthquakes.
In its 600 years of existence, The Forbidden City has survived 200 devastating earthquakes, including what is considered the deadliest of the 20th century.
New Study Suggests That Ecocide Did Not Cause The Demise Of Easter Island People
It was also found out that the Rapa Nui were fond of eating fish.
Conspiracy theory, secret ancient mystery and alien life, among others, stir the interest of many people. There is just something about these topics that make life a little bit more interesting. Weird, right?
One of the biggest questions that humanity has yet to answer: what exactly happened to the entire civilization on the Easter Island? The island is best known for the Moai, the massive ominous statues of people’s faces.