Did you know?

While doing research I came across some information on Samuel de Champlain that I didn’t know before.  When he was 36 years old he finally married.  His wife, Helene Boulle, was the daughter of the court regent under Louis the XIII, she was only 12 years old at the time.

It wasn’t unusual for girls to marry at 12, but the rules of the church were that the marriage could not be consummated until the girl was 14 unless special permission was given.  It seems that de Champlain petitioned the church and asked for permission to consummate his marriage after the wedding. Permission was granted.

I can’t get over how creepy that seems.  Today a 36 year old man with a 12 year old girl is called a pedophile.  After the wedding Helene did go to Quebec for a short time, but the couple never had any children.  I wonder if he somehow damaged her sleeping with her at such a young age.  No wonder poor Helene ended up returning to France and living out the rest of her days in a convent.

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