Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. In Middle Ages England, a fine paid to a lord on a daughter's marriage, in recompense for the loss of a worker.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as marchet.

Etymologies

From Welsh merched, plural form of merch, daughter. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • He was subject to special payments, such as "merchet," a payment made to the lord of the manor when a woman of villain rank was married, and

    An Introduction to the Industrial and Social History of England

  • Another very important distinction between the free tenants and the villeins was the payment of _merchet_ on the marriage of daughters, which signified that the offspring of such marriages would be the lawful property of the lord.

    The Customs of Old England

  • 'And merchet of women?' queried his cousin mischievously.

    Border Ghost Stories

  • Previous payments of heriot, relief, merchet, and fines, acknowledgments of serfdom, the obtaining of their land on burdensome conditions, were all recorded on the rolls and could be produced to prove the custom of the manor to the disadvantage of the tenant.

    An Introduction to the Industrial and Social History of England

  • He laboured under many disabilities, such as the merchet or fine for marrying his daughter, and fines for selling horse or ox.

    A Short History of English Agriculture

  • '"merchet of women" also, but as an antiquary I must tell ye that it's not what you two young men would wish it to be ----'

    Border Ghost Stories

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