In Roman law, first marriages to brides from 12 to 24 required the consent of the bride and her father; by the late antique period, Roman law permitted women over 25 to marry without parental consent. In the 12th century, the Catholic Church drastically changed legal standards for marital consent by allowing daughters over 12 and sons over 14 to marry without their parents' approval, even if their marriage was made clandestinely.
However, marriage in Scotland at such young ages was in practice almost unknown.In England and Wales, the Marriage Act 1753 required a marriage to be covered by a licence (requiring parental consent for those under 21) or the publication of banns (which parents of those under 21 could forbid).In most cases, this coincided with signs of puberty: such as menstruation for a girl and pubic hair for a boy.In Jewish oral tradition, men cannot consent to marriage until they reach the age of majority of 13 years and one day and have undergone puberty.If they show no signs of puberty or do show impotence, they automatically become adults by age 35 and can marry.
The same rules apply to women, except their age of majority is 12 years and a day.
Marriageable age (or marriage age) is the minimum age at which a person is allowed by law to marry, either as a right or subject to parental, judicial or other forms of approval.
Age and other prerequisites to marriage vary between jurisdictions, but marriage age is often set at 18.
Couples therefore had to comply with the lord of the manor and wait until a small farm became available before they could marry and thus produce children; those who could and did delay marriage were presumably rewarded by the landlord and those who did not were presumably denied that reward.
For example, marriage ages in Medieval England varied depending on economic circumstances, with couples delaying marriage until their early twenties when times were bad, but might marry in their late teens after the Black Death, when there was a severe labour shortage; In medieval Eastern Europe, on the other hand, the Slavic traditions of patrilocality of early and universal marriage (usually of a bride aged 12–15 years, with menarche occurring on average at 14) lingered; The first recorded age-of-consent law dates back 800 years.
Until recently, the marriageable age for women was lower in many jurisdictions than for men, but in many places has now been raised to those of men.