Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Sad History of Bridget Hyde

The Sad History of Bridget Hyde

The sad history of Bridget Hyde is ‘a detestable and most ignominious story. That at any rate was the opinion of the famous poet, Andrew Marvel, a contemporary of Bridget’s, who had the details first hand. It certainly illustrates the perils of being an heiress before Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1754 made parental permission necessary for the validity of a union where the any of the parties was under the age of twenty one. Until then English marriage laws were so loose that as Daniel Defoe pointed out in his tract ‘Conjugal Lewdness’, an heiress was constantly ‘watched, laid…