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Marriage Things


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So, I've noticed a general trend on people wanting or trying to marry the daughters of dukes, and I just wanted to point something out. Rank was a part of marriage, but it was not the main part. A daughter of a duke was not always the best catch; frequently they were actually NOT. Why? Dukes generally gave little but association to anyone who married their daughters, especially if they had multiple daughters to marry. Property and coin was how they maintained their power and it was very dangerous to part with it and diminish the power of the duchy. This is especially true since all of ours (in this time period) were young - they were pretty much all granted or regranted during James I. Even Norfolk's is a regranting after multiple treasons throughout history; it's not even the highest non-royal duchy in our time period. 


Many of the highest peers went after heiresses of one form or another or families who only had one daughter (Percy heiress, etc). Sole daughters with no brothers of old landed gentry, knights, and baronets were HUGELY popular amongst the nobility because of this; it wasn't considered "marrying down" for a man, it was a smart move to increase the potential power of your title. Second to coin/property dowries, they examined the other thing that gave the wife value: the odds of her having a boy. If a potential wife has multiple brothers or comes from a big family with healthy children, it was a sure sign she could give you heirs and a huge positive. After this, if a woman had a married sister who did not have a boy after years, that was a huge negative. It signaled that she potentially couldn't as well. Men weren't blamed for infertility by society in our era, and alliances were of no use if they couldn't last more than one generation or led to your family losing their title. 


For some reason, for a lot of things, people focus solely on rank. It isn't a be-all-end-all and loads of PCs make it into a much bigger thing than it really was. There are plenty of characters who are far more powerful or well-connected than their superiors by rank alone. For example, Dorset, Denbigh, and Captain Herbert are huge catches on the marriage market bc they have wealthy double-earldoms or are the heir to one. Lord Herbert, Worcester's son, is also a huge catch, because they hold pretty much the most royal of non-royal bloodlines. John Ashburnham is barely of age, has no title, and has a ridiculous amount of money and influence with the King. I could go on. 


Just food for thought.

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