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By Conor McCarthy

Medieval marriage has been largely mentioned, and this publication supplies a quick and obtainable evaluate of an incredible topic. It covers the whole medieval interval, and engages with quite a lot of basic resources, either criminal and literary. It attracts specific realization to neighborhood English laws and perform, and provides a few new readings of medieval English literary texts, together with Beowulf, the works of Chaucer, Langland's Piers Plowman, the booklet of Margery Kempe and the Paston Letters. concentrating on a couple of key topics vital around the interval, person chapters speak about the subjects of consent, estate, alliance, love, intercourse, family members, divorce and widowhood.

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138, 141–42. The sentence in parentheses appears as a cancelled sentence in one ms. qxd 6/11/04 4:38 PM Page 32 MARRIAGE IN MEDIEVAL ENGLAND with the rites of marriage. Nor should a promise be given to anyone from now on if not in the presence of a priest and three or four persons of good faith who have been called together for this purpose (But if it has happened differently, a promise is not deemed to have been made to any woman, even if copulation has occurred). Nevertheless, since people entering into unions in this way trouble the church of God not a little and inflict dangers on souls, we have decided that such people should be handed over to us, and we will hand them on to the Holy See, as disturbers of the ecclesiastical peace and despisers of ecclesiastical orders.

11–13; cf. St Augustine, Confessions, trans. R. S. PineCoffin (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1961), p. 131. Peter Lombard, II, 422–23. Powicke and Cheney, I, 87. qxd 6/11/04 4:38 PM Page 35 THE PRINCIPLE OF CONSENT (relationship through marriage or sexual intercourse), created an impediment to marriage, the latter being an innovation of the Church, along with the spiritual relationships which impeded marriage. 62 Several other impediments are discussed in 1 Salisbury 86 – vows, holy orders, and disparity of cult (meaning that Christians cannot marry non-Christians): (Ne sortilegia vel maleficia fiant in nuptiis) In nuptiis semper prohibeatur sub pena excommunicationis sortilegia fieri et maleficia, et sub tali pena teneantur omnes qui celant impedimenta matrimonii: votum, ordinem, consanguinitatem, affinitatem, disparem cultum, compaternitatem.

31 q. 2 c. 4, printed in Friedberg, I, 1114; English translation here from Sheehan, ‘Choice of Marriage Partner,’ p. 96. On the use that Gratian makes of his evidence on this question, see John T. Noonan, ‘Power to Choose,’ Viator 4 (1973) 419–34; Sheehan, ‘Choice of Marriage Partner,’ pp. 92–97. qxd 6/11/04 4:38 PM Page 23 THE PRINCIPLE OF CONSENT of a sexual requirement, and championed a purely consensual definition. He writes in the Sentences: Efficiens autem causa matrimonii est consensus, non quilibet, sed per verba expressus; nec de futuro, sed de praesenti.

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