Some centuries ago, the purpose of money in marriage was very important – so much so that people actually based their decision on who to wed with a simple maths equation. This was because it was pretty much essential that whoever you chose to marry had to have a fair bit of money, particularly for those in the upper classes.
YouTuber Ellie Dashwood specialises in history and literature and has over 26k subscribers. In one of her videos, she explains why money in marriage was so important and explores the equation single people would use to choose their other half.
During the Regency era in the 1800s, it is believed a 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.”