Exhibtion Index  Credits   Bryn Mawr College Library    

Catherine WeldThe Whole of the Proceedings in the Arches-Court of Canterbury, in a Cause between the Hon. Mrs. Catherine Weld, Daughter to the Lord Aston and Edward Weld, Esquire, her Husband: Containing, I. Her Libel Exhibited Against Him for Impotency. London: Printed for E. Rayner, 1732.
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Some of the witnesses in a trial may be given more credence than others.  Three years after they were wed, Catherine Weld brought a suit against her husband Edward to dissolve their marriage because he was not able to consummate it.  A series of witnesses testified that Edward had told them he was impotent, and three experienced midwives testified that Catherine was a virgin.  The judge, however, based his decision to sustain the marriage on the testimony of two doctors who said they had cured Edward and were sure he could have sex.  The word "libel" in the title of this book is a technical term for a complaint made in court and does not carry the current connotation of an untrue statement.


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