Cougar in Debt

Old newspapers sometimes comment on ancient customs, such as that if a woman married in a shift or undergarment, this freed her of any debt, hence her new husband would not be held responsible. I have seen this mocked a few times, but here seems to be a case where the minister acknowledged the tradition:

From Prescott’s Journal Feb 12 1774, the following passage: “On Tues se’nnight was married at the Parochial Chapel of Saddleworth Abraham Brooks, a widower of about 30 years of age, to Mary Bradley a Widow of near 70, but as the bride was a little in Debt, the Bridegroom obliged her to be married i her shift, and the weather being very severe threw her into such a severe fit of shaking as induced the compassionate minister to cover her with his coat whilst the marriage was solemnised”

It seems the marriage was not of the gold digging variety which usually excused the huge gap in their ages.


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