Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Concubine (Lat. concumbo) signifies literally a bed-fellow, and specifically, a woman whose connection with a man, though of a somewhat permanent nature, is less binding than the tie of marriage. The Roman law admitted other kinds and degrees of marriage than the full and formal confarreatio; and though the Christian Church set its face against irregular sexual connections, it was long before the practice of concubinage was generally put down. Students of Church history will remeenber the tenacity with which in some countries the priesthood clung to the practice, which lingered also among the laity in England as the custom of hand-fasting. Concubinage has fallen into disrepute in England, but is looked upon leniently in many Continental countries.