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Re: Buying a title

Subject: Re: Buying a title
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 1996 14:04:31 -0400
>>> but sometimes you get to exercise
>>> ancient privileges.
>> Like the right of first night?  ;-)

>That must be a North Americanism - but I think I get the drift. :-)


Actually, that 'right of first night' is a British invention. Well,
Saxon/Gaelic to be precise, I believe.  The early Saxon invaders used it when
subjugating the Brethonic Celts, and later the Anglo/Norman English used it
when subjugating everyone else, particularly the Scots and Irish.  It
essentially allows the fiefholder to exercise the right to sleep with any
bride within his fiefdom on her wedding night, to give him first shot at the
gene pool. I'm sure the benefits are obvious (both carnal and political).
 That right hasn't been used much since the 12th century or so, to my
knowledge, except in isolated cases.  Just to set the record straight, the
Irish and Scots celts had a similar custom, but it wasn't quite so
formalised.  Also, the Daneo-Gaelic landowners used this sort of tactic when
they were consolidating their hold on Dubh Linn and the Yorkshire country.  I
wouldn't want such a fine invention to be attributed mistakenly to the North
Americans. ;)


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