Divorce as we know it today was not permitted in the sixteenth century, but if adultery without subsequent reconciliation could be proved a divorce a mensa et thoro (separation from bed and board) could be granted. Although often described as divorce, it did not give the parties the right to remarry, only the right to live apart.
Adultery as grounds for separation
Sometimes a sentence of divorce a mensa et thoro would specify that adultery had been proved and that there was no reconciliation.
EDC 5/1/2 – Elizabeth Levar contra Adam Levar
EDC 5/1580/1 – Elizabeth Cowley alias Johnson, wife of Richard Cowley alias Johnson, contra Richard Cowley alias Johnson
EDC 5/1580/2 – Thomas Darcie, gentleman, contra Cecily Darcie
EDC 5/1580/3 – Thomas Darcie, gentleman, contra Cecily Darcie