Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Question from Marie - Noblewomen marrying outside England

In Elizabethan England, could a noble woman marry outside of the country? I mean, would it have common for English woman to marry someone that lived in France? I am asking this because it seems that Europe is very close together, it seems like traveling to another county to find a husband or bride wouldn’t have been out of the question.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I don't know if they'd have felt that Europe was so close together. I don't know about the Elizabethan period in particular, but two of Catherine of Aragon's ladies (Maria Willoughby and Inez Blount) stayed with her and married into the English aristocracy.

Jane Dormer also married the Duke of Feria, I think he came over to England when King Philip II came to marry Mary I. Apart from this, I don't think people did marry foreigners. Any land, contacts and lineage they had to offer a marriage partner would be much less useful to someone from another country.

Xenophobia was also very widespread. For the amount of knowledge ordinary English people had about the French, type 'Monkey hanger' into Wikipedia, and that incident was centuries later.