The time when English men could sell their wives

April 5, 2017

wife selling in publice photo

Divorce was not an option for poor unsatisfied English couples in 17th and 18th century. At that time only wealthy men could afford divorce and ordinary men like peasants took their wives to local market premises for public auction where wives stood on an auction block with halter around neck and highest bidder bought her. It was much better option than continuing an unhappy married life.

It may sound like a barbaric activity but in many cases husbands sold their wives to wife’s lover for nominal fee and that fee was used to buy foods and drinks for people present there.

In fact wife selling continued in England up until the early 20th century.

Print Friendly
  • comments powered by Disqus
  • You may also like: