Marriage in Late Nineteenth-Century Melbourne

  • Ann Larson


The Marriage Question, hotly debated during the late Victoria era, concerned whether the younger generation was marrying at the “proper time”, neither irresponsibly too early nor selfishly too late. Data for the colony of Victoria show modest rises in male and female age at marriage from 1861 to 1901. This article uses Melbourne marriage certificates from 1866 to 1896 to compare urban and rural marriage trends and study the individual determinants of the timing of first marriage; on the whole, urban brides and grooms mere likely to be younger than rural ones. Economic conditions, as measured by occupation, played a more important role in men’s timing of marriage than in women’s. The fact that prenuptial pregnancy led couples to marry several years before their peers suggests that family commitments and other personal, unmeasured, factors affected marriage age.


Marriage Market Marriage Rate Downward Mobility Marriage Pattern Clothing Industry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann Larson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Demography, Research School of Social SciencesThe Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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