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History YouTuber looks at the equation the upper class used to marry for money

£200 to £250 a year was the very minimum a couple should be earning
History YouTuber looks at the equation the upper class used

Last Updated on August 5, 2021 by MyGh.Online

A history and literature YouTuber has explored the historical relationship between money and maths and looked at an equation used by upper-class people from the past that helped them decide who to marry.

Money has played an important role in marriage for centuries. In fact, many people based their decisions on who to marry using a simple equation.

But some people from the upper classes wanted their partners to have sufficient cash before being married.

YouTuber Ellie Dashwood, who specialises in history and literature, described the two important aspects that money and marriage served and explores the equation in one of her videos.



£200 to £250 a year was the very minimum a couple should be earning
£200 to £250 a year back then was the very minimum a couple should be earning

She highlights the fact that survival, comfort and social standing were really what people focused on when choosing their partner back in the day.

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Believe it or not, Ellie goes on to say that during the Regency period the upper class actually did still want to marry people they liked, but their social sphere was always limited giving them a ‘wealthy guys only’ option.

During the Regency era, it’s believed that the couple would need to be earning an absolute minimum of £200 to £250 a year between them, which may seem like peanuts now, but was a decent amount back then.

In the book Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, Isabella Thorpe said that £400 is “income hardly enough to find one in the common necessaries of life” – which says it all, really.

Although, there really is a range of opinions on how much money was acceptable when it came to marriage, with Marianne in Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, claiming that “£2,000 a year was a moderate amount”.

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Ellie said this was a question they really had to think about as a couple, because if it equalled no – they were in trouble.

Some purposely married into money, with Charlotte Lucas in Pride and Prejudice telling Jane Bennett she should only think about money first, and love after.

But in another one of Jane Austen’s novels Northanger Abbey, Catherine Morland says “to marry for money, I think the wickedest thing in existence”.

It’s very clear from Jane Austen’s work that money did sometimes play a huge part in love, after all, the clever equation suggests if you can’t maintain your lifestyle, it’s simply not going to work.

Although the idea of love was encouraged more in the 18th and 19th century, class and wealth were still very important to some.

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The idea of money over love may be a thing of the past, but it does beg the question, do we still witness couples marrying for money and financial status and making use of this equation?

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that money is often the root of squabbles between couples.

Counsellor Jacki Whittaker from Stoke-on-Trent said: “Money doesn’t seem to be an issue when choosing a partner anymore, but it can become an issue once the relationship progresses.

“If one partner starts earning more than the other, it can cause an imbalance of power, leaving one feeling more insecure. I do think having a well off partner is more of a thing of the past, though.

“Now independence means people are more free to marry for love and not for money.”


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