Chapter

Marriage and Family

John Hudson

in The Oxford History of the Laws of England

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780198260301
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191740640 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198260301.003.0009

Series: The Oxford History of the Laws of England

Marriage and Family

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Kinship was a crucial bond in Anglo-Saxon society. Kin had rights and claims and also duties. Some were matters of explicit decree, with penalties likely to be imposed by judgment in court, for example in relation to suretyship; others were matters of more general convention, although still of importance regarding law, for example the provision of support in disputes. Kinship was bilateral, taking in both paternal and maternal lines, although for many purposes prioritising the paternal. The extent of kinship probably varied with circumstance, and perhaps with level of society. This chapter discusses marriage, illegitimacy, husband and wife, minors, and spiritual kinship.

Keywords: kinship; English law; marriage; illegitimacy; husband; wife; minors; Anglo-Saxon period

Chapter.  8828 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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