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What was marriage like in Medieval Scotland?

May 14th 2019
Dear Dabneyites,
 
In the medieval Highlands there were two types of marriage. The ancient secular union was organized by the families of the couple, and the marriage was confirmed in the bedroom. The church was not involved at all. In 1140, one writer said for a marriage to be considered binding it needed only “the act of physical union” and “marital love.” 

From the thirteenth century a new form of marriage developed, one based on church law. The age of consent became twelve for a girl and fourteen for a boy at that time but most people married much later anyway. It tended to only be royal weddings that involved children.

In church weddings vows were exchanged in the churchyard first of all. The husband would then place a ring on his wife's finger as in the picture below.
 

Sometimes the couple would exchange rings. Only when this was done would the couple enter the church for Mass and the Blessing as in the image below.
 

Once that was over, a feast was held to celebrate the union.

Around the thirteenth century, the practise of Reading the Banns began. The local priest would place a notice on the church door that a couple intended to marry. The notice would mention that anyone who knew why they couldn't marry had three weeks to make the reason known.

How does that compare to the marriages in some of your favorite historical romances?
 

With love until next time,

Blanche Dabney
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ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Key to the Door - Cover reveal!

The second in The Clan MacGregor series comes out May 24th. Here's the cover reveal. What do you think?



Add to your 'to read' list here.

The Clan MacGregor series continues

The Clan MacGregor series continues with Book 2 - The Key in the Door, coming out next Friday.

A detective with a secret…

When private eye Jessica Abrahams is sent a mysterious key, it’s the start of a journey that ends with her traveling back through time to thirteenth-century Scotland. She arrives in a land on the brink of ruin, the starving people held in the grip of a cruel despot. She has one questions she needs answering, why does everyone keep calling her Morag?

A Highlander imprisoned by his past…

Eddard MacGregor is stronger than any other man in the Highlands. But is he strong enough to resist falling for the mysterious woman who ’s appeared from nowhere holding the key to his freedom?

A world in turmoil…

All Eddard needs to do is get the clan to believe Jessica is their missing princess. Achieve that and all his problems are solved. But when Jessica’s true identity is revealed, Eddard’s plan is thrown into disarray, and he must choose what’s more important. His freedom or the life of the woman he’s come to love?

 
Previous Newsletters

 
April 19th 2019 - Easter Sale
March 26th 2019 - What is medieval marginalia?
March 11th 2019 - Why was a castle taken down stone by stone?
Feb 22nd 2019 - What links King Arthur and Jamie Fraser?
Feb 8th 2019 - How did an Earl steal an abbey?
Jan 25th 2019 - Happy Burns Night
Jan 15th 2019 - What happens in a Highland New Year?
Dec 20th 2018 - Ten things I love about Christmas
Nov 28th 2018 - Knights in armor could hardly move, right?
Nov 14th 2018 - Seen Outlaw King yet?
Books by Blanche Dabney

The Medieval Highlander Trilogy
Highlander's Voyage
Highlander's Revenge
Highlander's Battle


Highlander's Time Trilogy
Held by the Highlander
Promised to the Highlander
Outlaw Highlander


Clan MacGregor Series
The Key in the Loch
The Key in the Door - coming May 24th 2019
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