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.
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
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.
'And merchet of women?' queried his cousin mischievously.
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.
He laboured under many disabilities, such as the merchet or fine for marrying his daughter, and fines for selling horse or ox.
'"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 ----'