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The situation was similar on the other side of the Atlantic; Bullough reports the case in 1689 of a nine-year-old bride in Virginia.

At the start of the nineteenth century in England, it was legal to have sex with a 10 year-old girl.” [2]“Until the late 20th century U. age of consent laws specifically names males as perpetrators and females as victims.

Would it be7,10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, or 21?

Over the last 300 years, all the ages listed above were thought to be that magic age at which one could make such a decision, and all the ages listed above have, at various times, been inscribed into law as the age of consent to sex.” [13]“To that end, from ancient times to the present, many societies have acted to try to safeguard children from rape and other forms of sexual degradation, though they might define sexual degradation differently from era to era and from place to place.

In most cultures, the marriage would have been consummated at the onset of puberty. Professor of history Margaret Wade Labarge “It needs to be remembered that many Medieval widows were not old, Important heiresses were often married between the ages of 5 and 10 and might find themselves widowed while still in their teens.” [1]“In Medieval and early modern European societies, the age of marriage remained low, with documented cases of brides as young as seven years, although marriages were typically not consummated until the girl reached puberty (Bullough 2004).

Shakespeare’s Juliet was just 13, and there is no hint in the play that this was considered to be exceptional.

The American colonies followed the English tradition, and the law was more of a guide.

For example Mary Hathaway of Virginia, was only 9 when she was married to William Williams.

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Sir Edward Coke in 17th century England ‘made it clear that the marriage of girls under 12 was normal, and the age at which a girl who was a wife was eligible for a dower from her husband’s estate was 9.I will provide academic sources which show that girls were allowed to be married at the age of 10 years old and sometimes times, as young as 7 years old, legally.It was norm just over 100 years ago to see girls being married off at very young ages.The theft of a girl’s chastity was seen as a property crime against her father and future husband. Most states codified a statutory age of consent during the nineteenth century, and the usual age was ten years.” [4]“In 1962, the American Law Institute recommended that the legal age of consent to sex- that is, the age below which sex is defined as statutory rape- be dropped in every state to age 10 (Katchadourian and Lund 1972: 439).If two people were married and had sex, no matter what their age, no crime was committed because a woman was her husband’s property. In fact, until the mid 1960s, the legal age of consent in Delaware was 7 (Kling, 1965: 216).

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