(A). A marriage in which the wife does not take the
husband's rank, because legally, or according to court bye-laws, the
marriage is not recognised. This sort of marriage is effected when a
man of high rank marries a woman of inferior position. The children in
this case do not inherit the title or entails of the father. The word
is based on the Gothic morgjan, “to curtail” or “limit;” and the
marriage settlement was called morgengabe or morgengnade, whence the Low Latin matrimonium ad legem morganaticam, in which
the dowry is to be considered all the portion the wife will receive, as
the estates cannot pass to her or to her children.
A morganatic marriage
is called “left-handed,” because a man pledges his troth with his
left hand instead of his right. The “hand-fasted” marriages of
Scotland and Ireland were morganatic, and the “hand-fasted” bride
could be put away for a fresh union.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on Morganatic Marriage from Infoplease:
- Morganatic Marriage - Morganatic Marriage (A). A marriage in which the wife does not take the husband's rank, because ...
- left-handed: meaning and definitions - left-handed: Definition and Pronunciation
- Carol II - Carol II Carol II, 1893–1953, king of Romania, son of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie. While ...
- Edward VIII - Edward VIII Edward VIII, 1894–1972, king of Great Britain and Ireland (1936), known in later ...
- Left-handed Marriage - Left-handed Marriage A morganatic marriage (q.v.). In these marriages the husband gives his left ...