Advertisements Matrimonial

Fountainpen
Susanna here, sharing one of the myriad little random odd bits I stumble across while looking for something else altogether, and end up filing away because they're just too delightful not to keep.

These two advertisements appeared in the London Morning Post and Daily Advertiser of Friday, December 30, 1791, and like the paper's editor, I rather suspect they were tongue-in-cheek, but then again, one never knows.


461ff5740aa860e8870a3e746993efb4The first reads:

"TO THE LADIES.

A Gentleman, who has lost a considerable fortune by drinking, wenching, and gambling, by which means he has been disinherited by an uncle on whom his last reliance was placed; whose constitution is not destroyed, though his morals are thoroughly corrupted; would be glad to meet with a foolish young girl or liquorish old dowager with an independent fortune to recruit his shattered finances. He can swear, drink, and game to perfection—is a perfect adept in the attendance of the tea-table—has been flattered with the praise of beauty—is five feet 10 inches in height—entitled to wear a red coat and cockade; and would promise to make any woman happy—for a month—and miserable all her life after. Letters with real names, and places of abode, containing an accurate account of the lady's fortune and the rental of her estate, shall be immediately attended to on directing a line to, &c. &c."

Daily Post and Morning Advertiser Fri 30 Dec 1791 1

And the second, beneath it, reads:

35a8051d2011ab9c26b695c5d28e63a5"TO BACHELORS;

—Not to widowers, they are too knowing.—A lady, who has by the faithlessness of a favoured lover, been reduced to distress, but not yet to open infamy, would be happy to join her fate to that of any credulous easy young man, who has more money than wit, and will make no needless enquiries. The lady has at present no child—but she hints that heirs to estates are sometimes valuable to those to whom town pleasures may have made the shackles of matrimony unpleasant on more accounts than one—if any gentleman should be inclined to answer this, either on matrimonial terms, or on those of becoming the lady's protector, he will find her personal accomplishments by no means deficient; and the settlement she requires will not be immoderate. A line directed to Lucy, at, &c., will be attended to."

Daily Post and Morning Advertiser Fri 30 Dec 1791 2

Whether either Advertisement Matrimonial received any replies, I don't yet know. But it is entertaining to let my imagination play with the idea of the men and women who might have been reading that newspaper on another Friday, all those years ago, and maybe taken those words seriously.

I wonder…   

100 thoughts on “Advertisements Matrimonial”

  1. Maybe it’s a parody. The newspaper had some unsold ad space and let someone on the staff wing it, wondering if anybody would notice 🙂

    Reply
  2. Maybe it’s a parody. The newspaper had some unsold ad space and let someone on the staff wing it, wondering if anybody would notice 🙂

    Reply
  3. Maybe it’s a parody. The newspaper had some unsold ad space and let someone on the staff wing it, wondering if anybody would notice 🙂

    Reply
  4. Maybe it’s a parody. The newspaper had some unsold ad space and let someone on the staff wing it, wondering if anybody would notice 🙂

    Reply
  5. Maybe it’s a parody. The newspaper had some unsold ad space and let someone on the staff wing it, wondering if anybody would notice 🙂

    Reply
  6. This looks like fun.
    Okay, on the first one, a group of young women and maybe at least one older one decide to take him at his word and “reform” him. One of them “marries” him, but keeps him so drunk that he signs papers without being able to see well enough to read them. He hands total control over his finances to his “wife.” She proceeds to treat him as a wife, settling him in the country with no way to get out, no money, no transportation, etc.
    On the second one, the “hero” has one of those fathers who is always ngging him to produce an heir. So he marries the pregnant lady. Tragedy or farce?
    So who’s going to write these?

    Reply
  7. This looks like fun.
    Okay, on the first one, a group of young women and maybe at least one older one decide to take him at his word and “reform” him. One of them “marries” him, but keeps him so drunk that he signs papers without being able to see well enough to read them. He hands total control over his finances to his “wife.” She proceeds to treat him as a wife, settling him in the country with no way to get out, no money, no transportation, etc.
    On the second one, the “hero” has one of those fathers who is always ngging him to produce an heir. So he marries the pregnant lady. Tragedy or farce?
    So who’s going to write these?

    Reply
  8. This looks like fun.
    Okay, on the first one, a group of young women and maybe at least one older one decide to take him at his word and “reform” him. One of them “marries” him, but keeps him so drunk that he signs papers without being able to see well enough to read them. He hands total control over his finances to his “wife.” She proceeds to treat him as a wife, settling him in the country with no way to get out, no money, no transportation, etc.
    On the second one, the “hero” has one of those fathers who is always ngging him to produce an heir. So he marries the pregnant lady. Tragedy or farce?
    So who’s going to write these?

    Reply
  9. This looks like fun.
    Okay, on the first one, a group of young women and maybe at least one older one decide to take him at his word and “reform” him. One of them “marries” him, but keeps him so drunk that he signs papers without being able to see well enough to read them. He hands total control over his finances to his “wife.” She proceeds to treat him as a wife, settling him in the country with no way to get out, no money, no transportation, etc.
    On the second one, the “hero” has one of those fathers who is always ngging him to produce an heir. So he marries the pregnant lady. Tragedy or farce?
    So who’s going to write these?

    Reply
  10. This looks like fun.
    Okay, on the first one, a group of young women and maybe at least one older one decide to take him at his word and “reform” him. One of them “marries” him, but keeps him so drunk that he signs papers without being able to see well enough to read them. He hands total control over his finances to his “wife.” She proceeds to treat him as a wife, settling him in the country with no way to get out, no money, no transportation, etc.
    On the second one, the “hero” has one of those fathers who is always ngging him to produce an heir. So he marries the pregnant lady. Tragedy or farce?
    So who’s going to write these?

    Reply
  11. Maybe the H and h each intercept the replies to characters who are just as described in their adverts. The H (perhaps the highly titled, highly solvent cousin of the male) wishes to head off any naive, wealthy female respondents, while the rich, commoner h (c’mon, it’s a Regency!) best friend of the distressed female advertiser wants to save her from being exploited. Naturally they both impersonate the advertisers, hate each other on sight, and fall madly in love. Double points if a plausible case is made for the original advertisers being redeemed by love, for each other or secondary characters tbd. Complications ensue, of course. This could be a great story, even Shakespearian in scope!

    Reply
  12. Maybe the H and h each intercept the replies to characters who are just as described in their adverts. The H (perhaps the highly titled, highly solvent cousin of the male) wishes to head off any naive, wealthy female respondents, while the rich, commoner h (c’mon, it’s a Regency!) best friend of the distressed female advertiser wants to save her from being exploited. Naturally they both impersonate the advertisers, hate each other on sight, and fall madly in love. Double points if a plausible case is made for the original advertisers being redeemed by love, for each other or secondary characters tbd. Complications ensue, of course. This could be a great story, even Shakespearian in scope!

    Reply
  13. Maybe the H and h each intercept the replies to characters who are just as described in their adverts. The H (perhaps the highly titled, highly solvent cousin of the male) wishes to head off any naive, wealthy female respondents, while the rich, commoner h (c’mon, it’s a Regency!) best friend of the distressed female advertiser wants to save her from being exploited. Naturally they both impersonate the advertisers, hate each other on sight, and fall madly in love. Double points if a plausible case is made for the original advertisers being redeemed by love, for each other or secondary characters tbd. Complications ensue, of course. This could be a great story, even Shakespearian in scope!

    Reply
  14. Maybe the H and h each intercept the replies to characters who are just as described in their adverts. The H (perhaps the highly titled, highly solvent cousin of the male) wishes to head off any naive, wealthy female respondents, while the rich, commoner h (c’mon, it’s a Regency!) best friend of the distressed female advertiser wants to save her from being exploited. Naturally they both impersonate the advertisers, hate each other on sight, and fall madly in love. Double points if a plausible case is made for the original advertisers being redeemed by love, for each other or secondary characters tbd. Complications ensue, of course. This could be a great story, even Shakespearian in scope!

    Reply
  15. Maybe the H and h each intercept the replies to characters who are just as described in their adverts. The H (perhaps the highly titled, highly solvent cousin of the male) wishes to head off any naive, wealthy female respondents, while the rich, commoner h (c’mon, it’s a Regency!) best friend of the distressed female advertiser wants to save her from being exploited. Naturally they both impersonate the advertisers, hate each other on sight, and fall madly in love. Double points if a plausible case is made for the original advertisers being redeemed by love, for each other or secondary characters tbd. Complications ensue, of course. This could be a great story, even Shakespearian in scope!

    Reply
  16. I would love to believe they are real. Because it would be wonderful if anyone from the Regency Period would have felt strong enough to be so very truthful. Because you know, everyone who is anyone would know who had placed these ads.
    Maybe that is it…..the story would be a long and gossipy search because no one knows who these people are. And the untruths would lead people into new and unheard of situations.
    OR
    The ads were actually placed by a group of young men of the ton who thought it would be so very funny to do so. Then when they are caught out – their lives are never the same. A series?

    Reply
  17. I would love to believe they are real. Because it would be wonderful if anyone from the Regency Period would have felt strong enough to be so very truthful. Because you know, everyone who is anyone would know who had placed these ads.
    Maybe that is it…..the story would be a long and gossipy search because no one knows who these people are. And the untruths would lead people into new and unheard of situations.
    OR
    The ads were actually placed by a group of young men of the ton who thought it would be so very funny to do so. Then when they are caught out – their lives are never the same. A series?

    Reply
  18. I would love to believe they are real. Because it would be wonderful if anyone from the Regency Period would have felt strong enough to be so very truthful. Because you know, everyone who is anyone would know who had placed these ads.
    Maybe that is it…..the story would be a long and gossipy search because no one knows who these people are. And the untruths would lead people into new and unheard of situations.
    OR
    The ads were actually placed by a group of young men of the ton who thought it would be so very funny to do so. Then when they are caught out – their lives are never the same. A series?

    Reply
  19. I would love to believe they are real. Because it would be wonderful if anyone from the Regency Period would have felt strong enough to be so very truthful. Because you know, everyone who is anyone would know who had placed these ads.
    Maybe that is it…..the story would be a long and gossipy search because no one knows who these people are. And the untruths would lead people into new and unheard of situations.
    OR
    The ads were actually placed by a group of young men of the ton who thought it would be so very funny to do so. Then when they are caught out – their lives are never the same. A series?

    Reply
  20. I would love to believe they are real. Because it would be wonderful if anyone from the Regency Period would have felt strong enough to be so very truthful. Because you know, everyone who is anyone would know who had placed these ads.
    Maybe that is it…..the story would be a long and gossipy search because no one knows who these people are. And the untruths would lead people into new and unheard of situations.
    OR
    The ads were actually placed by a group of young men of the ton who thought it would be so very funny to do so. Then when they are caught out – their lives are never the same. A series?

    Reply
  21. The newspaper posts are hilarious! And so are all the responses above.
    Alas, I cannot plot or build characters. I will just wither away until all of you decided to take this up and produce the novels.
    And for those of you who may not know — this is the sort of thing that John Campbell offered to his authors in order to fill Astounding/Analog with good stories.

    Reply
  22. The newspaper posts are hilarious! And so are all the responses above.
    Alas, I cannot plot or build characters. I will just wither away until all of you decided to take this up and produce the novels.
    And for those of you who may not know — this is the sort of thing that John Campbell offered to his authors in order to fill Astounding/Analog with good stories.

    Reply
  23. The newspaper posts are hilarious! And so are all the responses above.
    Alas, I cannot plot or build characters. I will just wither away until all of you decided to take this up and produce the novels.
    And for those of you who may not know — this is the sort of thing that John Campbell offered to his authors in order to fill Astounding/Analog with good stories.

    Reply
  24. The newspaper posts are hilarious! And so are all the responses above.
    Alas, I cannot plot or build characters. I will just wither away until all of you decided to take this up and produce the novels.
    And for those of you who may not know — this is the sort of thing that John Campbell offered to his authors in order to fill Astounding/Analog with good stories.

    Reply
  25. The newspaper posts are hilarious! And so are all the responses above.
    Alas, I cannot plot or build characters. I will just wither away until all of you decided to take this up and produce the novels.
    And for those of you who may not know — this is the sort of thing that John Campbell offered to his authors in order to fill Astounding/Analog with good stories.

    Reply
  26. My money is either on total farce…..OR….the ‘gentleman’ involved composed this while completely foxed with the ‘help’ of equally foxed friends. (What pals!) And the lady’s ad was either again, farce or the dear’s brat of a brother trying to get rid of her. But wow, great ideas for novels.

    Reply
  27. My money is either on total farce…..OR….the ‘gentleman’ involved composed this while completely foxed with the ‘help’ of equally foxed friends. (What pals!) And the lady’s ad was either again, farce or the dear’s brat of a brother trying to get rid of her. But wow, great ideas for novels.

    Reply
  28. My money is either on total farce…..OR….the ‘gentleman’ involved composed this while completely foxed with the ‘help’ of equally foxed friends. (What pals!) And the lady’s ad was either again, farce or the dear’s brat of a brother trying to get rid of her. But wow, great ideas for novels.

    Reply
  29. My money is either on total farce…..OR….the ‘gentleman’ involved composed this while completely foxed with the ‘help’ of equally foxed friends. (What pals!) And the lady’s ad was either again, farce or the dear’s brat of a brother trying to get rid of her. But wow, great ideas for novels.

    Reply
  30. My money is either on total farce…..OR….the ‘gentleman’ involved composed this while completely foxed with the ‘help’ of equally foxed friends. (What pals!) And the lady’s ad was either again, farce or the dear’s brat of a brother trying to get rid of her. But wow, great ideas for novels.

    Reply
  31. I suspect both advertisements, if not composed by editorial staff, were written by written and twisted persons of the opposite gender, who had suffered at the hands of characters resembling the putative writers. There’s quite a bit of feeling there, it seems to me.
    And there is certainly at least one novel waiting to be written, too.

    Reply
  32. I suspect both advertisements, if not composed by editorial staff, were written by written and twisted persons of the opposite gender, who had suffered at the hands of characters resembling the putative writers. There’s quite a bit of feeling there, it seems to me.
    And there is certainly at least one novel waiting to be written, too.

    Reply
  33. I suspect both advertisements, if not composed by editorial staff, were written by written and twisted persons of the opposite gender, who had suffered at the hands of characters resembling the putative writers. There’s quite a bit of feeling there, it seems to me.
    And there is certainly at least one novel waiting to be written, too.

    Reply
  34. I suspect both advertisements, if not composed by editorial staff, were written by written and twisted persons of the opposite gender, who had suffered at the hands of characters resembling the putative writers. There’s quite a bit of feeling there, it seems to me.
    And there is certainly at least one novel waiting to be written, too.

    Reply
  35. I suspect both advertisements, if not composed by editorial staff, were written by written and twisted persons of the opposite gender, who had suffered at the hands of characters resembling the putative writers. There’s quite a bit of feeling there, it seems to me.
    And there is certainly at least one novel waiting to be written, too.

    Reply
  36. I know! That was my first thought on reading these, a few years ago. That’s why I tucked them away, even though they’re not in my time period, because they ARE in the time period of several of my writing friends 🙂

    Reply
  37. I know! That was my first thought on reading these, a few years ago. That’s why I tucked them away, even though they’re not in my time period, because they ARE in the time period of several of my writing friends 🙂

    Reply
  38. I know! That was my first thought on reading these, a few years ago. That’s why I tucked them away, even though they’re not in my time period, because they ARE in the time period of several of my writing friends 🙂

    Reply
  39. I know! That was my first thought on reading these, a few years ago. That’s why I tucked them away, even though they’re not in my time period, because they ARE in the time period of several of my writing friends 🙂

    Reply
  40. I know! That was my first thought on reading these, a few years ago. That’s why I tucked them away, even though they’re not in my time period, because they ARE in the time period of several of my writing friends 🙂

    Reply
  41. Sue, I’m sure the reality behind the ads, even if they were (as I suspect) a farce, was more entertaining than any story I could come up with about them 🙂 Truth is so often much better than fiction.

    Reply
  42. Sue, I’m sure the reality behind the ads, even if they were (as I suspect) a farce, was more entertaining than any story I could come up with about them 🙂 Truth is so often much better than fiction.

    Reply
  43. Sue, I’m sure the reality behind the ads, even if they were (as I suspect) a farce, was more entertaining than any story I could come up with about them 🙂 Truth is so often much better than fiction.

    Reply
  44. Sue, I’m sure the reality behind the ads, even if they were (as I suspect) a farce, was more entertaining than any story I could come up with about them 🙂 Truth is so often much better than fiction.

    Reply
  45. Sue, I’m sure the reality behind the ads, even if they were (as I suspect) a farce, was more entertaining than any story I could come up with about them 🙂 Truth is so often much better than fiction.

    Reply
  46. I’ve been keeping my eyes open, Faith. The British Newspaper Archive doesn’t have the Morning Post and Advertiser online that far back yet, though they’re getting close (they’re into the early 1800s), and I’m on their site quite regularly doing research, so every now and then I check to see if they’ve added any earlier issues, so I can check up on my matrimonial advertisers 🙂 I came across these ads by chance in a copy of the paper that was up for sale at auction.

    Reply
  47. I’ve been keeping my eyes open, Faith. The British Newspaper Archive doesn’t have the Morning Post and Advertiser online that far back yet, though they’re getting close (they’re into the early 1800s), and I’m on their site quite regularly doing research, so every now and then I check to see if they’ve added any earlier issues, so I can check up on my matrimonial advertisers 🙂 I came across these ads by chance in a copy of the paper that was up for sale at auction.

    Reply
  48. I’ve been keeping my eyes open, Faith. The British Newspaper Archive doesn’t have the Morning Post and Advertiser online that far back yet, though they’re getting close (they’re into the early 1800s), and I’m on their site quite regularly doing research, so every now and then I check to see if they’ve added any earlier issues, so I can check up on my matrimonial advertisers 🙂 I came across these ads by chance in a copy of the paper that was up for sale at auction.

    Reply
  49. I’ve been keeping my eyes open, Faith. The British Newspaper Archive doesn’t have the Morning Post and Advertiser online that far back yet, though they’re getting close (they’re into the early 1800s), and I’m on their site quite regularly doing research, so every now and then I check to see if they’ve added any earlier issues, so I can check up on my matrimonial advertisers 🙂 I came across these ads by chance in a copy of the paper that was up for sale at auction.

    Reply
  50. I’ve been keeping my eyes open, Faith. The British Newspaper Archive doesn’t have the Morning Post and Advertiser online that far back yet, though they’re getting close (they’re into the early 1800s), and I’m on their site quite regularly doing research, so every now and then I check to see if they’ve added any earlier issues, so I can check up on my matrimonial advertisers 🙂 I came across these ads by chance in a copy of the paper that was up for sale at auction.

    Reply

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