Wife Sales, Manchester

This is from the Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser of 31 January 1835:

“Too [sic] most disgusting instances of this barbarous practice have taken place within the space of a week; the first occurred on Thursday the 22nd, when a fellow from the country, named Palmer, led his wife to the gas-pillar, in the New Market Place, with as halter round her neck and sold her, after several biddings, to a man who came from the same neighbourhood named Clarke; after which the parties went to the One Horse Shoe in Bank Street, where the purchase money was paid, and a stamped receipt given. The wife, halter and all, having been formally  delivered, the parties regaled themselves with beefsteaks and ale.

On Monday, a fellow from Haverside, near this town, also offered his wife for sale in a similar manner, and she was purchased for 3s 6d by her brother-in-law, with whom she had formerly co-habited for 4 years. Many hundreds of persons assembled to witness this disgusting exhibition. The respectable gentleman for whom they worked has very properly discharged them  from his employ.”

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