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More from Alice Raw

A medieval messy break-up song: On catching your man cheating, then going to the club.

In an obscure early printed song book that survives only by chance, a woman sings about seeing her lover out with a ‘mistress bastard’. Her reaction? She calls him a fuckboy and goes dancing.

Agnes Wellis: When you kiss someone one time and they think you’re getting married.

If you were sure you had married someone but they didn’t agree, the London consistory court was the place to be. Here, ecclesiastical judges heard contested marriage cases. Disgruntled non-couple couples brought all kinds of evidence: gifts, exchanges of vows, sexual relationships. But for one woman, denying marriage was as simple as admitting that they had made out a couple of times but she had never intended to marry him.

Further Reading:
Shannon McSheffrey, Marriage, Sex, and Civic Culture in Late Medieval London (Philadelphia, 2006)

‘Then I chucked bread at her head’: Women slut-shaming women in medieval London

In 1497, Joan Rokker called Joan Sebar a whore on her front doorstep then threw bread at her. How, where, and why did medieval women publicly sexually defame other women?

More in United Kingdom

William Blake the engraver’s apprentice

The site of the workshop of the engraver James Basire, to whom visionary artist William Blake was apprenticed, 1772-1779