Sell Your Wife & Save Money !
Divorce is expensive, it generally costs a man a lot of money to part with a wife.
As always, history has a lot to offer, including a way to get divorced on the cheap.
Put your wife up for public auction
Q: What happened in Barton-Upon-Humber in 1847
A: The last time a woman was sold at Public Auction
This snippet of information was all I had from an article in The Times - I couldn’t leave that one
Having looked into it it turns out to be a Poor Man’s method of divorce.
Lawyers were ever expensive so in order to get divorced there has been an unofficial method dating back to the 1400s.
This is how it was done in Barton-Upon-Humber . . .
George Wray, from Barrow I believe, made a public announcement that he would be offering his wife for sale by public auction at the Barton Market.
By way of tradition the wife was led to market by a halter tied round her waist.
Mrs Wray was then sold to William Harwood for the princely sum of 1s 3½d !
This is nothing like as barbaric as it sounds - it was agreed to by the 3 parties concerned.
The idea was based around the laws that strictly govern Market Places in Britain.
Because it became a legal sale and was witnessed by Market Officials it could then be attested to have taken place - albeit of no legal standing in national terms, more about local acceptability.
The incident landed the 2 men up before the beak and so came about the end of this tradition.
It would be interesting to know if such things were confined more to rural areas or whether it was something also seen in cities or large towns.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this unusual historical aside from Lincolnshire
All the best