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Saturday, 23 July 2011

Divorce 19th Century Style

A remarkable superstition still prevails among the lowest of our Vulgar, that a man may lawfully sell his wife to another, provided he delivers her over with a halter about her neck.

Brand - Observations of Popular Antiquities 1813

They came into the market between ten and eleven o'clock in the morning, the woman being led by a halter which was fastened round her neck and the middle of her body. In a few minutes after their arrival she was sold to a man of the name of Thomas Snape, a nailer of Burntwood. The purchase money was 2s 6d, and all the parties seemed satisfied with the bargain. The husband was glad to get rid of his frail rib, who, it seems, had been living with Snape for three years.

The Wolverhampton Chronicle 1837