People also very often left home when young to become servants in the household of others; this happened throughout the social hierarchy.
As a boy, (Sir/ Saint) Thomas More became a servant in the household of Thomas Morton (Archbishop of Canterbury).
About 60% of population aged 15-24 were servants in other families; arguably this made for economic efficiency.
Domestic servants saved money, so they could set up their own households.
Marriage took place in mid/ late-20s (contrast U.S. in 1950s/ 60s: average age at (first) marriage was 23 for men, 21 for women.
In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet is in her early teens; in England only wealthy could afford to get married at that age.
Legal age for marriage: 14for males; 12 for females.
Valid marriage could take place as:
A church wedding; approved by clergy (they got fees);
A promise by both partners made in words in present tense, in front of witnesses;
A promise by both partners made in words of the future tense, followed by intercourse.
Often, couples who had made a promise to each other in the future tense and then had intercourse, later had a church wedding as well.
Many (10-30%) brides pregnant by the time of church weddings; most perhaps considered themselves already married; one was Anne Hathaway 1582.
Illegitimacy rate low; peaked (at around 5-10%) 1600, probably through bad economic conditions.
Children: Ralph Josselin spent a quarter to a third of his income on his children.
Those lips that Love's own hand did make
Breathed forth the sound that said “I hate”
… “I hate” she altered with an end
That followed it as gentle day
Doth follow night, who like a fiend
From heaven to hell is flown away.
“I hate” from hate away she threw,
And saved my life, saying “not you.”
Marriage, children, and families
Diaries: clergy: Josselin; Adam Martindale; Henry Newcome; apprentice shopkeeper, 1660s: Roger Lowe.
Cambridge Population Group: family limitation/ contraception from 1640s; population in late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries grew more prosperous but did not increase in size, breaking the Malthusian mould; increased buying power fueled the Industrial Revolution.
A Revolution in Family Life? 01
Idea that family changed drastically (perhaps connected with growth of capitalism); Lawrence Stone:
Open lineage family 1450-1630: marriages arranged as property transactions to benefit whole wide kinship group; little affection between spouses or within family.
Restricted patriarchal nuclear family 1550-1700: Tudor monarchs attack noble power, based on wide kinship group.
A Revolution in Family Life? 02
Protestantism and puritanism stress power of father within family; little affection within families; fathers arrange marriages for children, but take children’s preferences into account.
Closed domesticated nuclear family 1640-1800. Decline of patriarchal power; growth of affection between spouses, and towards children; parent retain only a veto over children’s marriages; appearance of romantic love.