More wives — many more — than the law allows

On this day in 1820: The Star of Raleigh reports that serial husband Anthony Metcalf has been jailed in Roxboro:

“It is hoped some of the friends of the numerous women he has married (to say nothing of his other offences) will come forward and prosecute him….

“As far as the history of his life is known, he was raised in Portsmouth, Virg. — when quite young was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment in the Penitentiary for stealing a Pocket Book — married a woman in Hertford county, another in Wilmington, another in Lincoln, another in Pitt, all in this state, and how many others are not known; but if his own confession (made when confined in our jail) is to be believed, he had married 14 wives in 1818, and we have heard of one since — his age does not exceed 30 or 35.”

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