Saturday, September 05, 2009

Question from Jacque - Men wearing wedding rings

I understand that it was common for married women to wear wedding rings, but I have never heard that married men wore wedding rings in Tudor times, but in this picture, for example, (link is below) of William Carey, husband of Mary Boleyn, he appears to be wearing a wedding ring as there are no other rings on his visible fingers. Is it probably a wedding ring? If so, did some men wear them?,William01.jpg


  1. David Cressy is considered an authority on Tudor and Stuart era social customs. See his book, "Birth, Marriage and Death: ritual, religion and the life-cycle in Tudor England".

    As far as I can tell he makes no mention of men wearing wedding rings.

    Many elite men wore rings of all sorts. Rings could also be seals for sealing documents or indicate ownership of land or rank.

    I don't know when the portrait of William Carey was painted. There is another version of the portrait on a couple of web sites without his hand showing which opens several questions. (which is the original, which a copy?)

    As Carey was a career courtier, it could have been a token from the king for some service.


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