Marriage was something of a problem in early Quebec. For most of the city's colonial history, men greatly outnumbered women. In the 1660s and 1670s, in the hope of encouraging marriage so that there would be more stable households in the colony, the crown sent 800 or so young women to Quebec. They were called fllles du roi(daughters of the king), because they were sponsored by King Louis XIV. His agents selected them, and he granted them dowries, or gifts of cash and household goods, with which to start their marriages.