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The latter was probably a legitimate fear; pregnancies following bundling weren’t unheard of, and one in 10 of every first child born in colonial America was born eight months after marriage.One poem of the time, reprinted by Stiles, serves as a cautionary tale: A bundling couple went to bed With all their clothes from foot to head; That the defense might seem complete Each one was wrapped in a sheet But oh, this bundling’s such a witch The man of her did catch the itch, And so provoked was the wretch That she of his a bastard catch’d.disturbs you, imagine being a young woman in love in 17th-century Wales.You can’t wait to begin your life with your beau, but first, you need to prove to your parents that you’re ready to marry—by being bundled up in a sack and put to bed.When two teens were interested in one another, if both sets of parents approved, the girl’s parents invited the boy to the home, often on Saturday nights, and bundling process began.

Historian Lucy Worsley points out that bundling “was a step along the way towards your spouse being a matter of personal choice rather than someone picked out for you by your parents.” Bundling meant that the virtues of the young couple were maintained, but they could experiment with one another, talk late into the night, and learn what it would be like to spend hours with just one person, waking up next to them in the morning. probably don’t mourn the loss, preferring to find their true loves sans bag and board—but for those of you who wish to get back to the good old days of dating, you could always give this style of authentic courtship a try.According to the in 1811, bundling also was “an expedient practiced in America on a scarcity of beds, where, on such occasions, husbands and parents frequently permitted travelers to bundle with their wives and daughters.” More than likely, the head of the household would share his bed first; some people made or bought beds with an easily inserted bundling board so they could rent out half a bed to travelers with ease.The origins of bundling may have come, as Stiles suggested, from a simple lack of fuel and cash in the cold winter months.In the 19th century, Henry Reed Stiles writes in his history of Connecticut that bundling “sapped the fountain of morality and tarnished the escutcheons of thousands of families,” though in Holland, where a similar practice was called “queesting”, it was hardly ever abused.Contemporary preacher Jonathan Edwards outwardly spoke against bundling as a risky practice teetering on the edge of dangerous promiscuity, writing that this seemingly new sexual awakening of common people would “ruin a person’s reputation and be looked upon as sufficient evidences of a prostitute” had it happened in any other country; he also worried about pregnancies preceding wedlock.

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