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More from Alice Raw

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)

Sexperts of Medieval England

Impotence was sufficient grounds for annulment, but how to prove that a man experienced erectile disfunction? In 1433, one court asked ‘seven honest women’ to ascertain whether or not the defendant was capable of an erection with that timeless method, a lapdance.

Further Reading:
Bronach Kane, “Impotence and Virginity in the Late Medieval Ecclesiastical Court of York,” Borthwick Paper 114 (2008)

‘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

The Church of St. Mawnan, Cornwall

The parish church of Mawnan in Cornwall has far older Christian foundations than its medieval architecture suggests.