Author Topic: Age for signing an indenture  (Read 280 times)

Offline stanmapstone

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Re: Age for signing an indenture
« Reply #9 on: Wednesday 02 January 19 17:13 GMT (UK) »
Girls could marry at 12 and boys at 14 until the Hardwicke Marriage Act in 1753, so any ideas how these fit with 'age of majority' prior to that?

Edward

The legal age for marriage was 12 for girls and 14 for boys until the 1929 Age of Marriage Act which made all marriages carried out from 10 May 1929, void if either partner was under the age of 16.

Stan
Mapstone, Mapston.
Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

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Offline Edward Scott

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Re: Age for signing an indenture
« Reply #10 on: Wednesday 02 January 19 17:20 GMT (UK) »
So they could marry at 12 & 14 (with parental permission) and have children but were not considered old enough to sign legal documents

Make little sense

Edward
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Offline cati

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Re: Age for signing an indenture
« Reply #11 on: Wednesday 02 January 19 17:30 GMT (UK) »
So they could marry at 12 & 14 (with parental permission) and have children but were not considered old enough to sign legal documents

Same principle applies today.
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Offline Edward Scott

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Re: Age for signing an indenture
« Reply #12 on: Wednesday 02 January 19 17:39 GMT (UK) »
Yes, I understand / appreciate that now, but marriage is 16+ with parental consent or 18+ without.

Having babies a different matter
.
However still utterly bonkers that people can marry & breed but not sign a legal document as they are 'not adults'

Edward
Scott - Lincolnshire
Jobson - Lincolnshire, Suffolk
Needham - Lincolnshire
Wayet - Lincolnshire

Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: Age for signing an indenture
« Reply #13 on: Wednesday 02 January 19 17:43 GMT (UK) »
So they could marry at 12 & 14 (with parental permission) and have children but were not considered old enough to sign legal documents

Make little sense

Edward

They could marry considerably younger than 12 & 14 but the age of sexual consent was 16 which is why children who married often stayed with their parents until reaching the age of consent.

The reason they could enter into contracts earlier than the age of majority was because their father or guardian would sign on their behalf, the same as today. So in legal eyes the contract was between adults rather than a minors or a minor & an adult.
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Offline stanmapstone

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Re: Age for signing an indenture
« Reply #14 on: Wednesday 02 January 19 18:59 GMT (UK) »
The position was that a valid marriage required the couple agreeing to the matrimonial contract. To understand the nature of their union they had to have reached an age of rational consent. From time immemorial it was accepted that a child of seven could make a rational decision and so the age for matrimonial consent was fixed at seven years. However, it was not until puberty, 12 for girls and 14 for boys, that fruitful union was possible.
However in many cases it seems that the lower age of seven was disregarded even by the Church, which only went so far as to say that babes in arms should not be given in marriage unless there was an urgent need such as the desire for peace, not only internationally, but even between disputing landowners. A Canon emanating from the 1175 Council of Westminster stated those 'who espouse infants to each other in the cradle do nothing, unless they both consent when they arrive at the years of discretion.... where there is no mutual consent there is no marriage.' 

The whole subject of marriage laws is a complicated one.

Stan
Mapstone, Mapston.
Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline stanmapstone

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Re: Age for signing an indenture
« Reply #15 on: Wednesday 02 January 19 19:04 GMT (UK) »
The age of consent to sexual intercourse  was first set at 12 in 1275 and then raised to 13 in the 1875 Offences against the Person Act. The Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885, raised the age to 16.

Stan
Mapstone, Mapston.
Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk