Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Women Before the CourtLaw and Patriarchy in the Anglo-American World, 1600-1800$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Lindsay R. Moore

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526136336

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526136343

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: 31 July 2021

Inheritance and family feuds: the legal power of elite women

Inheritance and family feuds: the legal power of elite women

Chapter:
(p.105) 5 Inheritance and family feuds: the legal power of elite women
Source:
Women Before the Court
Author(s):

Lindsay R. Moore

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7765/9781526136343.00012

This chapter examines women from the English and colonial elite. It draws from women’s letters and correspondence to lawyers and family members to examine the depth of women’s legal knowledge, and how women participated in litigation even while they were under coverture. Different demographic patterns and inheritance laws across England and the colonies affected how elite women managed and protected their property, and defined the legal conflicts between women and their male relatives. In England the relative shortage of land and the likelihood of parents to live into old age often resulted in family feuds: widows who sought to gain their dower rights came into conflict with heirs eager to receive their full inheritance. In the colonies the fact that land was more abundant released some of the pressure between generations. However, the longer life-spans of people in New England, compared with those of people in the Chesapeake, had a significant impact on elite women’s control of property.

Keywords:   elite, women, coverture, widows, New England, England, Chesapeake, inheritance, dower rights, property

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.