List of child brides

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This is a list of child brides, women of historical significance who married under 18 years of age.

Women have traditionally married at younger ages than men[1] although the average age of marriage has increased for both sexes with time. Historically girls were married at a young age more frequently in the past due to both law (increases in the minimum age required for marriage) and trends.[2]


Some of the child marriages recorded include: Theodora Comnena was aged 13 when she was married Baldwin III of Jerusalem (1158)

Agnes of France was 12 when, widowed, she was married to Andronicus Comnenus, Byzantine Emperor (1182

Isabella de Valois was 8 years old when she was married to Richard II of England

  • Beatrice d'Este was betrothed aged 5

Caterina Sforza was betrothed aged 9,

St Elizabeth of Portugal was aged 12 when she was married to King Denis of Portugal and gave birth to three children shortly thereafter

  • Rukmini the wife of Lord Krishna was said to be 8 years of age, at the time of her marriage
  • Seeta the wife of Lord Ram was said to be 6 years of age
  • Aisha (age 9; approximately), betrothed to Muhammad in 623 CE[3][4] although estimates vary from 6 to 13.
  • Margaret Beaufort, (age 7; approximately) was married to John de la Pole (age 7) in 1450 by the arrangement John's father.[5] The marriage was annulled in 1453.[6]
  • Joan of France, Duchess of Berry (age 12), betrothed in a wedding contract at age 8 days old, she was officially married in 1476.[7]
  • Anne de Mowbray, 8th Countess of Norfolk (age 6) was married to Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York (age 4) in 1477. She died at age 10 and he, as one of the Princes in the Tower is believed to have been murdered at age 10.[8]
  • Rukhmabai (age 11) was married in India to her husband (age 19).[9] After a lengthy court battle, the marriage was dissolved by an order from Queen Victoria and the publicity helped influence the passage of the Age of Consent Act, 1891, which increased age of consent for girls in India, married or unmarried, from 10 to 12.[10]
  • Janakiammal Iyengar (age 10) was married to the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan.[11]
  • Ushabati Ghosh (age 11) was married to the Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose when he was twenty.[12] Bose, not keen on marriage so early in life and while still attending college, only did so on his mother's insistence.[13] They had nine children, two of whom died in early childhood.
  • Nujood Ali (age 10), an arranged marriage by her father to a 30-year-old man[14] in 2008.[15] Coverage of her self-presented application for divorce later that year led to the legal age of marriage in Yemen to be raised to 18.[16]


  1. ^ Population Studies Vol. 32, No. 1 page 21: Average Age at First Marriage for Women in Mid-Nineteenth-Century England and Wales: A Cross-Sectional Study by N.F.R. Crafts, published March 1978
  2. ^ Median age at first marriage by sex: 1890 to 2012 Archived 2017-01-19 at the Wayback Machine by the United States Census Bureau
  3. ^ Campo, Juan Eduardo (2009-01-01). Encyclopedia of Islam. Infobase Publishing. pp. 25–. ISBN 9781438126968. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  4. ^ Reid, Donald Malcolm (2002-07-04). Cairo University and the Making of Modern Egypt. Cambridge University Press. pp. 66–. ISBN 9780521894333. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  5. ^ Jones, Michael K. (1993-04-22). The King's Mother: Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521447942. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  6. ^ Ralph A. Griffiths, King and Country: England and Wales in the Fifteenth Century, (Hambledon Press, 1991), 91.
  7. ^ Butler, Alban; Burns, Paul (January 1998). Butler's Lives of the Saints. Continuum. pp. 48–. ISBN 9780860122517. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  8. ^ Tunis, David L. (2005-01-01). Fast Facts on the Kings and Queens of England. Author House. pp. 125–. ISBN 9781467065238. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  9. ^ Lahiri, Shompa (2013-10-18). Indians in Britain: Anglo-Indian Encounters, Race and Identity, 1880-1930. Routledge. pp. 13–. ISBN 9781135264468. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  10. ^ Rappaport, Helen (2003). Queen Victoria: A Biographical Companion. ABC-CLIO. pp. 429–. ISBN 9781851093557. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  11. ^ Ramanujan’s wife: Janakiammal (Janaki). Profile at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc)
  12. ^ Chatterjee, Santimay; Chatterjee, Enakshi (2002). Satyendra Nath Bose (PDF). National Book Trust. ISBN 9788123704920.
  13. ^ Wali, Kameshwar (2009). Satyendra Nath Bose, His Life and Times. World Scientific. pp. xviii–. ISBN 9789814518277.
  14. ^ Farrell, Courtney (2010-01-01). Children's Rights. ABDO. pp. 58–. ISBN 9781616133405. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  15. ^ Borzou Daragahi (June 11, 2008). "Yemeni bride, 10, says I won't - Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  16. ^ Vivienne Walt (Feb 3, 2009). "A 10-Year-Old Divorcee Takes Paris - TIME". Time. Retrieved 23 November 2013.

See also[edit]