Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Living In SinCohabiting As Husband and Wife in Nineteenth-century England$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ginger S. Frost

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780719077364

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719077364.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 25 October 2021

Cohabitation, illegitimacy, and the law in England, 1750–1914

Cohabitation, illegitimacy, and the law in England, 1750–1914

Chapter:
(p.9) 1 Cohabitation, illegitimacy, and the law in England, 1750–1914
Source:
Living In Sin
Author(s):

Ginger S. Frost

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719077364.003.0002

This chapter clarifies the law of marriage in England that changed several times over the course of the nineteenth century, but was based primarily on the Hardwicke Marriage Act of 1753. The Hardwicke Act, combined with the New Poor Law, made marriage both more difficult and more necessary for women. It is noted that the marriage laws were not well known or enforced among the common people, and this caused difficulties for women and children and headaches for local magistrates. Judges recognised that the parents intended their illegitimate children to inherit, but did not feel that they could overturn the law. The oddities of the law of illegitimacy meant that illegitimate siblings sometimes fought each other over the inheritance. The state made marriage more difficult in 1753, and left cohabiting women and their children with limited options.

Keywords:   cohabitation, England, Hardwicke Marriage Act, New Poor Law, illegitimate children, illegitimacy

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.