Dating christian ireland
The thirds assigned to land and capital are distributed regardless of the conduct of the spouses; but in the case of a divorce in which one partner is innocent and the other guilty, the labour third falls to the innocent party.In this sense, labour may mean either the direct labour of the spouse or the provision of hired labour by meeting the expenses of wages and maintenance of servants out of his/her own resources. These principles are, of course, applied to the division of the principal form of mobile wealth usually possessed by the couple—cattle and other livestock.
Since she provided neither land nor stock, she must take a much diminished share of the assets acquired whilst the marriage lasted: she takes half of her own handiwork and one-sixth of the dairy produce in store.What is in question here is the necessities of life and the means of their continued production, and to this degree the interests of this kind of wife are protected.If, however, she is a lawful cétmuinter and a woman of equal standing and birth, she may impugn all her husband’s foolish contracts and have them dissolved on her behalf by her sureties (for which see below).And they are applied with certain modifications to other assets.In the division of consumables—dairy products, cured meats, corn and textiles—an additional principle is applied by the lawyers: added value.The threefold categorisation, which refers to main marriages only, is not quite satisfactory because it runs together institutions which were really separate, but it does bring out that about AD 700, when the principal tract on marriage was written.
Lánamnas comthinchuir, which the tract places first and treats in greatest detail, was regarded as the most important or perhaps the normal type of principal marriage amongst commoners of property (and aristocrats) and had been for some considerable time. It was a dignified state for the wife in question: if it was a marriage ‘with land and stock and household equipment and if the wife was of the same class and status as her husband, she was known as a bé cuitchernsa, literally ‘a woman of joint dominion, a woman of equal lordship’—a term which seems to be rendered domina in the canon law tracts.
In other respects, they are very limited, for we have no marriage charters and no records of marital cases before the Anglo-Norman period.
Records of church legislation about marriage dry up in the eighth century and do not begin again until the twelfth (when the great reform, or rather revolution, in church and society was undertaken).
Anything essential to the common economy of the spouses may not be sold without consultation and common agreement and, more generally, each partner may dissolve the disadvantageous contracts entered into by the other.
The partners have greater freedom in the disposition of their personal private property: they may, independently of each other, sell or lend it up to the amount of their honour-price—and here the wife is less free than the husband for the honour-price of the wife is usually half that of her husband.
Neither of the spouses could make a valid contract at law without the consent of the other.