“And, cosyn, uppon Fryday is Sent Volentynes Day, and every
byrdde chesyth hym a make [mate] and yf it lyke yowe to come one
Thursday at nyght, and so purvey yowe, that ye may abyde there tyll
Monday, I trusty to God that ye schall so speke to myn husband; and
I schall prey that we schall bryng the mater to a conclusion.”
(The Paston Letters, no. 782)
In England, Valentine's Day was a day
for the formal negotiation of arranged marriages, as well as courtship.
In this correspondence
from 1477 we have a letter from Dame Margery Brews proposing that
John Paston marry
her daughter. In the body of correspondence from which this letter
is drawn there is also one from the daughter, Margery, that indicates
she was indeed
interested in the match.
Plate to Commemorate a Marriage
1516. Tin-glazed earthenware. Italy. British Museum:
21.7 cm. H: 2.4 cm.