This unusual courtship ritual had a standard format.
Step one: invite your date home to meet your parents.
Step two: watch in horror as your mother ties you up from feet to waist in a heavy sack.
Step three: get into your parents’ bed fully clothed next to your date under the watchful eyes of your parents, who place a thick wooden board between you and tuck you in for the night.
If this happened, of course, the family knew who the child’s father was, and a marriage was often secured immediately to save the daughter’s reputation.
In Tudor England’s lower economic classes in particular, premarital sex was less of a social issue; simple contracts signed by the betrothed fathers, along with the town’s general acceptance of the union, was usually enough to officiate marriage.
In carrying out his mission the "Schteecklimann" mounted a horse even though the prospective bride lived near at hand.