v line


Obsolete. The name of a penalty formerly incurred by a ward in chivalry when he or she married contrary to the wishes of his or her guardian in chivalry. The latter, who was the ward's lord, had an interest in controlling the marriage of his female wards, and he could exact a price for his consent. It eventually became customary to sell the marriage of wards of both sexes.

When a male ward refused an equal match provided by his guardian, he was obliged on coming of age, to pay him the value of the marrriage; that is, as much as he had been bona fide offered for it; or if the guardian chose, as much as a jury would assess, taking into consideration all the real and personal property of the ward; and the guardian could claim this value, although he might have made no tender of the marriage.

When a male ward between his age of fourteen and twenty-one, refused to accept an offer of an equal match, and during that period formed an alliance elsewhere, without his guardian's permission, he incurred forfeiture of marriage; that is, he became liable to pay double the value of the marriage.