[LMB] re: Women's status in old British law OT:

J Selin harimad2001 at yahoo.com
Mon May 8 20:31:50 BST 2006

>> I (Harimad) mention a couple examples of women's status
>> under coverture, including inheritance difficulties and being
>> lumped together with children and idiots.
> Little Egret disagrees
(full text below for brevity)

Time check here: to what period are you referring?  I'm talking
midish Victorian as an endpoint ... say 1880 or so.

- Harimad

>> Whatever the earlier implementation by the 19th century even
>> the best legal minds in Britain couldn't find ways to leave
>> wealth and property to their daughters in a way that their
>> SILs couldn't leave said daughters destitute.  Which is what
>> led to the legal change in status.

> Not in fact the case.  When Miss Coutts (banking heiress)
> married she has complete confidence in her settlements and
> her trustees and she was correct. The Married Woman's Property
> Acts had the object of making this legally unnecessary.

>> In Britain at the time women, children and idiots were
>> generally subject to the same set of laws. 

> often said but untrue, eg a married woman could sue for
> damages after a railway accident, the child or lunatic would
> have to have someone do it for them.

>> Under coverture, it was legally impossible for a man to rape
>> his wife.  Note the word "legally."  

> This seems to be untrue too, since the judges in both England
> and Scotland managed make bit by bit changes (1948 to 1992)
> without parliament saying a word about the matter. The criminal
> and civil law concepts of what 'coverture' meant didn't have to
> be the same.

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