April Tea Party Winners

Six Year Blog Anniversary WINNERS: Carla Gade - Pattern for Romance audiobooks go to Andrea Stephens and Megs Minutes and winner of Love's Compas is Terressa Thornton, PEGG THOMAS's signed copy of The Pony Express Romance Collection is Debra Smith, Janet Grunst's debut book goes to Kathleen Maher, Carrie Fancett Pagels' winner's choice goes to: Connie Saunders, Denise Weimer's print winner of, Angela Couch's winner's choice goes to Susan Johnson, Debra E. Marvin reader's choice of any of her novellas or a paperback of Saguaro Sunset novella -- Teri DiVincenzo and Lynne Feurstein, Jennifer Hudson Taylor's "For Love or Country" go to: Lucy Reynolds, Bree Herron and Mary Ellen Goodwin, Shannon McNear's winners are Becky Dempsey for Pioneer Christmas and Michelle Hayes for Most Eligible Bachelor, Roseanna White's winner for Love Finds You in Annapolis is Becky Smith.

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Puritan Marriage in New England

The Puritans of New England opposed anything the Anglican Church revered, save Christ alone. It's no surprise, therefore, that they viewed marriage differently as well. 

In England, marriages were generally arranged by the parents, but in the colonies, young people were encouraged to choose their own courtships, carried out under the watchful eyes of their parents. The Puritan marriage contract was to be agreed to by both the young people and their parents. Parents could not, however, arbitrarily withhold such consent. If they did, the young people could apply to a magistrate to agree in the parents' place.

The practice of a "bundling board" for courting couples was commonly used. The suitor would spend the night with the young lady in her bed, a wooden board between them, to allow them time and privacy to talk and get to know each other, with her parents close by. It wasn't fool-proof and occasionally a hasty followed . . . to prevent an illegitimate birth.

In 17th Century Massachusetts, the average age of the groom was 26, the bride 23. It's unclear why they were older in Massachusetts than in the other colonies. At whatever age, marriage was the desired path for most people. Records show that 94% of women and 98% of men married.

In another break from England, the Puritans didn't see marriage as a religious institution, but a civic contract. Marriages were not "performed" by church clergy, they were "agreed" upon in front of a magistrate. As such, they were also open to divorce. The Puritans allowed divorce under certain conditions, like abandonment, adultery, failure to provide, and physical abuse. 

A typical wedding took place in the bride's home with her family and a few friends. The ceremony was very short, a single question asked of both bride and groom, to which they both answered yes. No rings were exchanged, no holy vows, this was a contract between two agreeable parties. After the ceremony, the family provided a modest meal for the guests and they sang a psalm. No dancing - of course!

Puritans in the 17th Century viewed marriage as a close and compassionate relationship designed to meet the physical and financial needs of both partners, a mutually beneficial union of harmony.




PeggThomas.com

Embattled Hearts will release in April 2017 as part of The Pony Express Romance Collection from Barbour - Colonial story coming in January 2018





6 comments:

  1. Interesting post Pegg.
    Blessings, Tina

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  2. Interesting. The bundle board reminds me of The Patriot movie!

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    1. I'd forgotten about that! Thanks for the reminder. I need to watch that movie again.

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  3. Hi, Pegg, I found this part to be a surprise: "Parents could not, however, arbitrarily withhold such consent. If they did, the young people could apply to a magistrate to agree in the parents' place." Very interesting post ~ loving research and history. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

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    1. They could withhold consent, but they had to have a valid reason that would satisfy the magistrate should their children take it that far.

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