In 1691, Joseph de Arostegui of Calahorra, in northern Spain, petitioned for divorce from his wife, Antonia Garrido, based on her alleged impotence. According to Joseph’s testimony, there had been no consummation of their four-year marriage because his wife “does not have her parts like other women”.
Antonia contested her husband’s claim for divorce, her lawyer asserting that Antonia’s genitals were fully functional but had been affected by “evil spells and witchcraft”. As was usual in early modern trials where impotence was alleged, Antonia was ordered to submit to at least two examinations by doctors and midwives.
At the second of these examinations:
“…the [surgeon] Francisco Velez inserted into the said parts of the said Antonia Garrido a stem of cabbage in a shape similar to a virile member… and seeing that it entered with liberty…”
The examiners, content that penetration had been achieved, ruled that Antonia was capable of intercourse, and the church court turned down Joseph’s petition for divorce. The fate of their marriage after this is unknown.