A Look at the History of Marriage Age for Girls in the Victorian Era

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A period of time that has much to tell us, the Victorian era was one in which marriage was a fundamental part of life. Young women as young as sixteen could be seen taking their vows, with weddings being grand affairs held in either churches or luxurious homes. Alongside this, couples would partake in customary practices such as exchanging rings and signing the marriage register, and guests would bring gifts for the couple and celebrate with a sumptuous feast after. Marriage had an undeniable influence on society during this era, providing married couples with privileges not available to those who remained single. It also shaped everyday life when it came to roles within families and financial obligations. Take a journey back through time and uncover the intricate history of matrimony during the Victorian age!



Amid the Victorian era (1837-1901), marriage was a convoluted and multifaceted occurrence. Generally, girls were united between 16 and 21; notwithstanding, there were some exemptions. In rustic areas, it wasn’t strange for girls as young as 14 or 15 to wed, yet in urban regions, they could wait until their twenties. Marriage during this period was generally organized by guardians or watchmen, with the lady of the hour and husband ordinarily having no influence in the issue.

– History of Girl Marriage Age in the Victorian Era

The Victorian Era was a time of great perplexity when it came to the age at which girls were married off. Generally, young women were wed as soon as they reached puberty, usually around 13 or 14 years old. This was largely due to the fact that young ladies were seen as a financial liability by their families, and marrying them off at a young age provided some degree of economic stability. Additionally, marriage was often seen as a way for these women to escape poverty and protect themselves from sexual exploitation.

Despite these reasons for early marriage, certain regulations and social conventions still existed in order to prevent girls from entering into unions too hastily or without proper consideration for their future prospects. For example, legal consent for marriage required that both parties be 21 years old or older; if one partner was younger than this age, parental consent had to be obtained before any union could take place. Moreover, if either party was under 16 years old, they needed permission from a court judge before being allowed to wed. Furthermore, it was considered improper for a woman to marry someone who had not yet achieved financial success or established himself socially; this meant that many young women chose to wait until they were older before taking such a step and thus increased their chances of finding suitable matches later in life.

Overall, while early marriages were common during the Victorian Era due to burstiness and economic pressures, there were still certain restrictions and conventions in place that helped protect young women from making decisions too hastily or without adequate consideration for their future prospects.

– Social Views of Girl Marriage in the Victorian Era

The Victorian Era (1837-1901) marked a period of immense transformation in England, particularly with respect to the social perspective of female matrimony. In the early 19th century, it was not unusual for girls to marry at an incredibly tender age, sometimes as young as 12 or 13 years old. This custom was tolerated by society, and even encouraged in certain cases. Nonetheless, as the century advanced, opinions on girl marriage began to alter. By the late 19th century, society had become increasingly disapproving of child marriage and started to consider it an archaic practice that should be discouraged.

A major factor behind this shift in attitude was the rise of the feminist movement which strived to enhance women’s rights and freedoms. The movement argued that young girls should be allowed to pursue their education before they wed and that they should have more control over their own lives. This concept gradually gained approval among members of society who started to view child marriage as something that limited a girl’s opportunities and hindered her from reaching her full potential.

In addition to this social change, there were also legal modifications made during the Victorian Era which aided in further discouraging girl marriage. In 1878, a law was passed which raised the minimum age for marriage from 12 to 16 for both boys and girls. This law represented a significant step forward in safeguarding children from being forced into marriages that they did not desire and gave them more control over their own destinies.

To sum up, the history of girl marriage during the Victorian Era demonstrates a gradual but important alteration in social views towards this practice. As feminism became increasingly popular and laws were passed to protect children from being compelled into unwanted marriages, society grew evermore critical of child marriage and viewed it as something that ought to be discouraged instead of encouraged.

– Legal Requirements for Girl Marriage in the Victorian Era

Amidst the Victorian Era, which spanned from 1837 to 1901, a variety of laws were in place for a girl to get married. In order to tie the knot, girls had to be at least 12 years old. If under this age, her parents or guardians could apply for special authorization from the Archbishop of Canterbury. Additionally, both parties had to possess parental approval if they were under 21 years old; otherwise, the marriage would not be legally binding.

Furthermore, a marriage license was necessary and had to be signed by two witnesses before the ceremony took place. This license was then presented to the officiant who would conduct the service. Finally, marriages only occurred during certain hours of the day; usually between 8am and noon.

These legal requirements reflect how marriage was perceived differently in comparison to today’s society during the Victorian Era. It is essential to remember that these rules were implemented with intent and should not be taken lightly when contemplating marriage in any era.

– Economic Factors Influencing Girl Marriage Age in the Victorian Era

In the Victorian Era, the age at which girls were married off was often before they even reached adulthood. This can be attributed to a multitude of economic factors, including families viewing women as financial assets and arranging marriages to secure advantageous social and economic positions for their daughters and sons-in-law. The Industrial Revolution also had an effect on girl marriage age as it increased wages, allowing women to earn money independently from their families and pursue careers outside of marriage. Finally, religious beliefs could influence when girls got married in order to adhere to certain moral codes. All these elements combined resulted in the practice of marrying off young girls during this time period.

– Religious Beliefs Regarding Girl Marriage in the Victorian Era

The Victorian era (1837-1901) was a time of significant transformation, and amongst these changes was the opinion on girl marriage. During this period, it was commonplace for girls to be married off at a young age, often before they had even reached 16 years old. This view was shared by various religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism.

Christianity held the belief that marriage is an essential part of life; in the Bible it reads “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18), implying that matrimony is indispensable. Moreover, Christian teachings on marriage focused heavily on fidelity and loyalty between husband and wife; girls were expected to remain faithful to their husbands even after death.

Judaism also advocated early marriages for girls as soon as they reached puberty – usually around 12 or 13 years old – in order to continue the faith through generations. Similarly, Islamic law allowed men to marry girls who had reached or were close to reaching puberty in order to protect them from premarital sex and other immoral activities.

Hinduism also encouraged early marriages for girls as a way of protecting them from premarital sex or other immoral activities such as alcohol consumption or gambling; they believed that wedding brought stability into someone’s life and helped ensure their spiritual growth by providing them with companionship and security within their family unit.

To sum up, during the Victorian era most religions supported early weddings for girls so as to protect them from sinful behaviour or grant them security within their family unit.


The Victorian era was a time of great disparity in regards to the age of marriage for women, depending on their social standing and geographic location. Upper-class females were expected to wed at an earlier age than those from lower classes, with some even being betrothed as young as fifteen or sixteen. Conversely, those of a lower rank usually had to wait until they reached their late teens or early twenties before tying the knot.


Some questions with answers

Q1: What age did girls get married in the Victorian era?
A1: Girls typically got married between the ages of 16 and 21 during the Victorian era.

Q2: How did this compare to boys?

A2: Boys typically got married at a slightly older age than girls, usually between 18 and 23.

Q3: What were the implications of getting married at such a young age?
A3: Getting married at such a young age often meant that women had limited autonomy or independence and were expected to take on traditional roles as wives and mothers.

Q4: Was marriage common among all classes in the Victorian era?

A4: Marriage was common among all classes, but social class could affect when marriages occurred. Generally, upper-class families waited until later ages for their daughters to marry while lower-class families tended to marry off their daughters earlier.

Q5: How has marriage changed since then?
A5: Marriage has become more socially accepted for people of any age, class, gender, or sexual orientation since the Victorian era. People are also more likely to wait longer before getting married now compared to during the Victorian era.

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