'With his girdle'

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Historian A C Saunders, in his 1931 book Jersey in the 17th Century, records a curious incident involving the old custom of promising to pay money "with his girdle"

"On 15 May 1630 we have a curious instance of old Jersey customs. Hugh Le Marquess had made a contract to wed Catherine Masson, but evidently something went wrong, for Catherine no longer found favour in his sight, and he arranged to pay the sum of one hundred and forty pounds for expenses, etc, and as a proof that he owed the money, he promised to pay the sum 'with his girdle', it being the custom in the Island 'on a man making cession of his estate, to come into the Market and tie his girdle to a post'. Evidently Le Marquess thought that he had got out of the marriage so well that he wondered whether he could not get over the 'girdle' difficulty by refusing to pay, and so Catherine's father went to the Privy Council for assistance."

Unfortunately Saunders does not record whether Mr Masson was successful.

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