Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2001-11 > 1006810326

From: "Todd A. Farmerie" <>
Subject: Re: Clemence de Verdun: Dispensations and Hostages
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 14:32:06 -0700
References: <>, <03a501c17645$9c8d2000$04794fcb@cbevan>, <>

"Paul C. Reed" wrote:
> Whether a ward or widow, the king could not at this time force
> a woman to marry. The king could choose a husband for a ward, but
> consent was still necessary for a valid marriage (it makes one wonder
> if those instances where a girl is taken captive, ravished and married,
> if it was not more of an excuse to go off and have a marriage that
> would not have been permitted).

In a recent analysis of medieval legal rape, it was concluded
that most accusations were made by husbands against men who (for
either amorous or noble intent) helped their wife to run away
from them, or by fathers (or guardians) against their daughter's
(or ward's) chosen (but unworthy) suitor. They concluded, for
example, that the famous case of Sir Thomas Mallory was probably
just a vendetta by a local political rival, acting at the behest
of an unworthy husband whose wife Mallory had assisted to

To bring in a genealogical relevance, this bears on the
longstanding debate of which of three contemporary Thomas
Mallorys was the author. The otherwise prefered candidate had
been dismissed because no one who wrote a work about knightly
nobility could be guilty of rape, but on closer examination, the
"rape" charge may describe a noble act.


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