unfortunately, i don’t have access to this article — The Formation and Stability of Marriage in Fourteenth-Century England: Evidence of an Ely Register — but goody refers to it in “The Development of the Family and Marriage in Europe.” on pg. 144 he says:
“[J]ust under 50 per cent of marriages were with people from outside the village [of ely] (as one might expect with the extent of the prohibitions)….”
the extent of the church’s prohibition against cousin marriages at this point in time — the second half of the fourteenth century (the author, sheehan, looked at church records from, iirc, the 1370s) — was out to sixth cousins. that definitely makes it difficult to find someone to marry, unless you can afford to pay the dispensation.
it would be nice to have a look at the original article one day to see if sheehan was able to be more specific than just “outside the village.” i’ll try to get my hands on the article at some point. (^_^)
it would also be nice to be able to compare this “just under 50 per cent” of medieval english folks marrying outside their village with the three-quarters of medieval rural northern italians from just about the same time period who were marrying outside of their parish. i wonder how comparable were a medieval english village and a medieval northern italian parish? similar in size or not?
update 03/16: i thought of this late last night — kline cohn, the guy who studied the marriage patterns in medieval northern italy [starting on pg. 174], looked at both more urban (suburban villages surrounding florence) and more rural (way up in the mountains) places, so perhaps one should compare his urban figures with ely (and not the rural figures for italy).
he found that 32.16% of the suburbanites married within their parish versus the regional average of 24.54%. again, i don’t know how well a medieval italian parish compares with a medieval english town (ely) with a figure of just under 50%, so it’s difficult to compare the two directly. sure sounds like the northern italians were out-marrying more … maybe.
the rural figures for exogamous marriages in medieval northern italy are quite extraordinary. only 8.06% of marriages in the mountains were between members of the same village; in upland regions (i.e. between the lowland suburbs and the mountainous regions), just 16.81% of marriages were within the village.
previously: exogamous marriage in northern medieval italy
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