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Dating and marriage in elizabethan times

Couples who paid for a license and testified that there were no obstacles to their union still had to wait one month before they could be married. Consequentially, a culture of clandestine marriage emerged.The ‘Fleet marriage’ was so named because the Fleet prison in London offered the venue; as a prison it claimed to be independent of church marriage strictures, and rapid – or secret – marriages could be carried out.

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William Shakespeare’s marriage serves as a fascinating example of an expedited wedding.As Europe modernized, however, the Puritans and others began to champion the novel idea of marriages based on mutual inclination and love.Time and again Shakespeare’s plays dramatise the conflict between the old order in which fathers chose husbands for their daughters and the new order in which daughters wished to choose their own mates based on affection.It is foolish to marry someone because of love even if love may occur sometimes in marriage.The matrimony is arranged by families of the bride and the groom in order for the two sides to benefit from one another. Families of landowners were expected to marry just to augment their land possession.Thus, the lower the status a family holds in the society then the larger power a person may have in choosing lifetime mates.Because of this practice, the marriage will too often fail.In the early modern period, customs of courtship and marriage were undergoing significant shifts.Throughout the medieval period, money, class or alliance governed and regulated marriage.It commenced with the Crying the Banns in where the intention of the couples to marry was made into public.It will be announced into three consecutive Sundays or Holy days thus when there were any objection, at least such party was given the time to speak out. Gifts were rarely offered but it was their tradition to celebrate the occasion with a blast thus the event is carefully planned beforehand.


  1. Elizabethan Era and Shakespeare Marriage. Transcript of Elizabethan Era and Shakespeare Marriage. "What Were Arranged Marriages in Elizabethan Times.

  2. Elizabethan Wedding Customs;. the priest would announce their marriage for exactly 3 Holy. All the opposite of what they wore in Elizabethan times.

  3. Marriages that were held in the Elizabethan Era were not based on love but more like a contract, in fact a contract or a marriage bond was required.

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