A Letter to the Queen on Lord Chancellor Cranworth’s by Caroline Sheridan Norton

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By Caroline Sheridan Norton

Caroline Norton (1808-1877) was once a Victorian writer and campaigner for social reform, specially reform of women's felony rights. during this lucidly written account Norton describes how upon marriage in 1855 girls grew to become legally 'non-existent': they can no longer carry situations to court docket; they can now not input right into a agreement; they can now not instigate a divorce and their possessions, gains and any bequests made to them instantly turned their husband's estate. Norton explains how this loss of felony autonomy affected ladies in the event that they grew to become estranged from their husbands, utilizing her personal studies for representation and recommending alterations which might increase women's felony place. released in 1855 whilst Parliament used to be debating the topic of divorce reform, this quantity exhibits the felony place of girls at the moment. It presents the critiques of latest legislators in aid and competition at the problems with women's criminal rights and reform of divorce legislation.

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Extra resources for A Letter to the Queen on Lord Chancellor Cranworth’s Marriage and Divorce Bill

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Here are these two great lawyers talking as though the divorce of the husband could be made compulsory on the wife, or dependant on her simple resolution. 7s the wife, after all, to be her own judge ? No; the judge is her judge; the Lord Chancellor himself is her judge; the House of Lords is her judge. The possibility of applying for a divorce a vinculo, does not suddenly invest her with an authority like, that of the patriarch Abraham, to send forth her husband, like weeping Hagar, into the desert world.

The wife, who might have compelled the execution of such a contract had she been a menial servant, was left without a remedy, because she was a ivife; and without further explanation than that " the law " would hold her husband harmless, for mocking her and mocking the gentlemen who had added their signatures, by offering this fictitious security. In lower life,—occurring as an illustration of the divorce laws for the rich,—a respectable 43 tradesman was tried for bigamy, and convicted. The second wife deposed, that he had courted her for six years; had no money with her; on the contrary, supplied her with money since his apprehension; had always been very kind; and that they had a child of his, residing with them.

Again I say, it is perfectly marvellous what clever and honourable men will say and do when blinded by strong prejudice! Here are these two great lawyers talking as though the divorce of the husband could be made compulsory on the wife, or dependant on her simple resolution. 7s the wife, after all, to be her own judge ? No; the judge is her judge; the Lord Chancellor himself is her judge; the House of Lords is her judge. The possibility of applying for a divorce a vinculo, does not suddenly invest her with an authority like, that of the patriarch Abraham, to send forth her husband, like weeping Hagar, into the desert world.

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