The Age of Consent to Marry in the Regency Period

I found this very useful, so I’m swiping it as a guest blog.

Every Woman Dreams...

18th and 19th Century: Gretna Green - The Place for Elopements 18thcand19thc.blogspot. com18th and 19th Century: Gretna Green – The Place for Elopements
18thcand19thc.blogspot.
com

During the Regency, despite what some authors may include within the story line, the age of consent for females was twenty-one, not twenty-five as some would lead the reader to believe. Although I do not know from where the idea of the female having a guardian until age 25, what I assume is happening is the author (and many times the reader) is confusing the idea of a female’s guardianship with the age of majority. The confusion likely comes from fathers or another person setting up a trust for a female. The trust would provide the woman a “fortune” at age 25 or when she married (if she married with the approval of the man named as guardian of her money.)  

If the woman did not have her guardian’s approval (and was less that age 21) and chose to marry, she just…

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