What is Prima Nocta?
Dude Changed status to publish February 9, 2022
Prima Nocta is the Ancient Roman custom where new English kings were given the right to sleep with any woman in their kingdom, for one night.
In olden times, a family’s power was measured partly by its ability to produce heirs. King Edward IV was allegedly so committed to enlarging his brood that he declared that all wives of free men now went through him before they could be married again legitimately – which frustrated a lot of ambitious Warwicks and Lancasters who wanted nothing more than legal access to newly rich widows. In fact, after much wrangling and red tape, it took four years before Scotsman James IV finally forced through parliament the Bill Against Bigamy (1543).