grounds for divorce

nursemyra has uncovered some strange old Welsh customs whilst researching leprosy in the middle ages. not only was it a nasty disease, it was also one of the three legitimate reasons a wife could cite to divorce her husband and reclaim her dowry. the other reasons were foul breath and failure to have sexual relations.

If a woman found her husband with another woman, she was entitled to a payment of six score pence the first time and a pound the second time; on the third occasion she was entitled to divorce him. If the husband had a concubine, the wife was allowed to strike her without having to pay any compensation, even if it resulted in the concubine’s death. A woman could only be beaten by her husband for three things: for giving away something which she was not entitled to give away, for being found with another man or for wishing a blemish on her husband’s beard

three unusual grounds for divorce were not the only interesting things I discovered about Wales. the pioneer of cremation was a welshman of charming eccentricities. Dr William Price was a 19th century vegetarian nudist who wore a fox pelt on his head and treated his patients with herbal potions and druid chanting. as an octagenarian, he married a woman many decades his junior and fathered a baby named Jesus. there is no record of him ever having suffered from leprosy or halitosis………


Published in: on May 10, 2008 at 10:07 am  Comments (25)  

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25 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The idea of some naked dude with a moldy fur on his head burning bodies gives me the heeby-jeebies…

  2. The idea of some naked dude with a moldy fur on his head burning bodies gives me the heeby-jeebies…

  3. My ancestors were Welsh traced back to late 1700’s …. just think they may have practiced these strange rituals!!!!

    (great beards btw lol):-)

  4. I wondered why I have always been attracted to the Welsh – now it seems obvious. Got to have a leek now …. bye

  5. Those druids knew a thing or two – a blemish on a beard is a tragic thing!

    Daddy P may need a leek, but I’ll have an Eisteddfod!

  6. Hello, Ace Plumbing? I got a leak in my basement!

    Well, go ahead, it’s your basement…


  7. I can’t even imagine what a beard blemish looks like!

  8. Fi would mo falia am a ‘n anafus barf ai ‘m penis was yn adfeilio off!


  9. having leprosy and failure to have sexual relations? Wouldn’t these kind of be related? Or two of three?

    Reminds me of an old (tasteless) joke I heard as a teen:

    Q: What did the leper say to the prostitute?
    A: Keep the tip.

  10. Failure to have sexual relations sound like a good reason to me, but the compensation for finding your husband “sharing” himself with another woman seems a bit low though I suppose that would depend on the quality of the goods and the man’s skill set. Personally, sharing is not something I do.

  11. Tasteless jokes are the best jokes, Rob.
    The joke you shared is a dandy.

  12. As a general rule, when the first appendage falls off you’re clear to ditch. For better or worse…

  13. This is all most excelently silly. Is any of it true? Who cares?

    oops, didn’t realise I’d forgotten to add the links to any of the leprosy articles. yes, it’s all true,M1

  14. PS I think I mispelt excellently. I will now have to kill myself as I cannnot deal with the shame of failure. Alernatively I may just beat the wife.

  15. PS I think I just mispelt alternatively. I have killed both my sons.

  16. You’ve also misspelled misspelt, but don’t beat your wife, please.

  17. leper jokes? my favorites…

    Q: Why did the leper fail the driving test?

    A: He left his foot on the brake!

    thank you verymuch – i’ll be here all week. don’t forget to tip your waitresses…

  18. What’s the difference between a leper and a tree?

    The tree has limbs.

  19. oh Uncle K.. shame on you !

  20. Heard they had to stop the leper hockey game…

    There was a face off on center ice…

  21. ooh daisyfae that’s quite a roll you’re on. any more?

  22. Your history lesson on Welsh divorce had me laughing…and the leper jokes here had me laughing some more. Keep it up!

  23. @ xoggoth: I’m positively pissing myself reading your comments. You did mean them to be funny, right?

    @ tobymarx: Your response to xoggoth was the “ba-bum-bump” on that set of comments.

    I remember reading one time that nursemyra doesn’t like commenters who are funnier than she, so we better put a lid on this… 🙂

    it’s ok rob, I’m over that little hissy fit now. feel free to be as funny as you like

  24. Bruce Boxleitner is General Von ExplosionBeard!

  25. What does one call a leper in a hot tub?


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