Sunday, May 1, 2011


Ancient Welsh law describes the social context of the daughter. It states:

"A daughter, after she is baptised, until she is seven years old, is not entitled to take an oath. From when she is born until she is twelve years old it is right for her to be at her father's platter."

This places the daughter under the care of her father from birth until age twelve. Since females mature earlier than males, they take on a defined role stated as follows:

"From twelve years old on, her breasts and pubic hair develop and she menstruates, and she is then of age to be given to a husband, and from then on, even if she does not take a husband she is entitled to control what is hers, and it is not right for her to be at her father's platter unless he himself wishes it."

"At twelve years old it is right for a woman to menstruate, as we have said above. And from twelve to fourteen years old it is right that she should not become pregnant, and from fourteen until she is forty it is right for her to conceive..."

Normal growth and development for the female became the outline for a females position within the family. At twelve she could be "given to a husband" and, at fourteen she was given the right "to conceive". What a deal.

Abstrated from: "Hywel Dda The Law, Law Texts From Medieval Wales", translated and edited by Dafydd Jenkins, Gomer Press, 1990. pp. 131-132.

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