Legal dating age chart
The phrase "within age" was interpreted by jurist Sir Edward Coke as meaning the age of marriage, which at the time was 12 years of age.A 1576 law making it a felony to "unlawfully and carnally know and abuse any woman child under the age of 10 years" was generally interpreted as creating more severe punishments when girls were under 10 years old while retaining the lesser punishment for acts with 10- and 11-year-old girls.
At the end of 19th century, moral reformers drew the age of consent into campaigns against prostitution. Stead's series of articles entitled, "The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon," published in the Pall Mall Gazette in 1885, was the most sensational and influential of these exposés.Like France, many other countries, increased the age of consent to 13 in the 19th century.Nations, such as Portugal, Spain, Denmark and the Swiss cantons, that adopted or mirrored the Napoleonic code likewise initially set the age of consent at 10-12 years and then raised it to between 13 and 16 years in the second half of the 19th century. laws did not change in the wake of England's shift. Behind the inconsistency of these different laws was the lack of an obvious age to incorporate into law.Laws and regulations based on age were uncommon until the 19th century, and consequently so was possession of proof of age or even knowledge of a precise date of birth.
Near the end of the 18th century, other European nations began to enact age of consent laws.
An age of consent statute first appeared in secular law in 1275 in England as part of the rape law.