Historisk Tidskrift. Utgiven av Svenska historiska föreningen
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Historisk tidskrift 129:3 • 2009

Innehåll (Contents) 2009:3

Uppsatser (Articles)

Vill du äkta denna kvinna? Universitetsstuderandes föräktenskapliga sexualrelationer och giftermål i 1600-talets Uppsala och Åbo

Mari Välimäki

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Would you like to marry this woman? University students’ premarital sexual relations and marriage in 17th-century Uppsala and Åbo

In this article the practices of Uppsala University and Åbo Academy council were studied in the context of the crimes of premarital sex and breaches of promise. Special attention was given to marriage. According to Swedish historian Malin Lennartsson, the State’s ambition to centralize power and the changes in the judi- cial customs during the 17th century, led to the growing power of secular courts, as well as families and men in the hearing of breach of promise cases. At the same time the Church, individuals and women lost power. In Uppsala the development conformed to Lennartsson’s findings. However, in Åbo the Church, individuals and women maintained their position throughout the century. It is likely that the difference was due to variations in the economies of the two cities. In Uppsala, the majority of inhabitants were involved in farming and landowning was com- mon, whereas in Åbo the main source of income was trade. Later, in 19th-century Finland, the landowning nobility and peasants wished to retain the guardianship of women, and thus their marriages, whereas burghers were in favor of reform. It appears that this situation existed already in the 17th century.


sex, marriage, universities, university colleges, cathedral chapter, family