A Society Cox!

King Charles the First was once described as "The Happiest King in Christendom" - which may have been a trifle hasty on the part of the subscriber to this opinion, but the era of the 17th  century - 1637-1641 - as portrayed by C.V. Wedgwood in his book "The King's Peace"  presents a fascinating insight.

Our particular story is an admirable example of the perils of society, when the vagaries of class were just as prevalent  as they have been over the years since.  It seems to have been just as easy to ascend to the circles of society as it was to descend, depending on ones insistence and needs.

To quote one - "A man might rise or sink by his own good fortune or by his own endeavours" - and so it was when one Sarah Cox, in the summer of 1637; a rich orphan of fourteen, was snatched from a party of schoolgirls walking on Newington Common and carried away screaming by a young gentleman to a waiting coach.

She was transported to a nearby church where she was forcibly married, but good fortune did not dessert her, the next morning her friends managed to effect her escape and have her enterprising husband thrown into gaol.

As an aside to this anecdote, love was reported to occasionally find a way (an old adage?) and if the suitor won the lady's heart his chances were usually good.

 A city heiress, on the eve of her wedding to the dull husband of her guardian's choice, whispered to the handsome younger son of a poor Scots Laird that - "Her affection was more to him if his were so to her, she would instantly go away with him".

Receiving the necessary encouragement, she drove to Greenwich with him that night and married him.

Of course in this modern society it is only necessary to live with each other, marriage seems the back seat which looks to be getting further and further away from us. Binoculars may very well be soon necessary!