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She was a young and pretty woman; the Duke had her educated; and on the husband's death he married her.On her death-bed, she had her whole household assembled, told them her history, and drew from it a touching moral of reliance on Providence; as from the most wretched situation, she had been suddenly raised to one of the greatest prosperity; she entreated their forgiveness if at any time she had given needless offence, and then dismissed them with gifts; dying almost in the very act.Although some 19th-century wives objected, records of 18th-century women resisting their sales are non-existent.With no financial resources, and no skills on which to trade, for many women a sale was the only way out of an unhappy marriage.'e [the husband] turned shy, and tried to get out of the business, but Mattie mad' un stick to it.

Since our launch in 2007, tens of thousands of single farmers and people hoping to meet single farmers have joined the site, safe in the knowledge that Muddy Matches is the home of online dating for farmers. Many farmers have found wives on Muddy Matches already - click here to read some of our numerous farmer dating success stories.At least one early 19th-century magistrate is on record as stating that he did not believe he had the right to prevent wife sales, and there were cases of local Poor Law Commissioners forcing husbands to sell their wives, rather than having to maintain the family in workhouses.Wife selling persisted in England in some form until the early 20th century; according to the jurist and historian James Bryce, writing in 1901, wife sales were still occasionally taking place during his time.Many of you might remember that the words "the farmer wants a wife" originally came from the lyrics of the children's nursery rhyme The Farmer's In His Den, a game in which a group of children form a circle around one child (the 'farmer') and start singing: *The farmer's in his den, The farmer's in his den, Eee, Aye, Addio, The farmer's in his den.The farmer wants a wife, The farmer wants a wife, Eee, Aye, Addio, The farmer wants a wife.

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Wife selling in England was a way of ending an unsatisfactory marriage by mutual agreement that probably began in the late 17th century, when divorce was a practical impossibility for all but the very wealthiest.

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