By Caroline Sheridan Norton
Caroline Norton (1808-1877) was once a Victorian writer and campaigner for social reform, specially reform of women's criminal rights. during this lucidly written account Norton describes how upon marriage in 1855 ladies grew to become legally 'non-existent': they can no longer deliver instances to courtroom; they can no longer input right into a agreement; they can no longer instigate a divorce and their possessions, profits and any bequests made to them instantly grew to become their husband's estate. Norton explains how this loss of felony autonomy affected ladies in the event that they turned estranged from their husbands, utilizing her personal studies for representation and recommending alterations which might enhance women's criminal place. released in 1855 while Parliament used to be debating the topic of divorce reform, this quantity exhibits the felony place of girls at the present. It presents the reviews of latest legislators in aid and competition at the problems with women's criminal rights and reform of divorce legislation.
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Additional resources for A Letter to the Queen on Lord Chancellor Cranworth’s Marriage and Divorce Bill
Mr. " But 1 say, there is already one marriage code for men and another for women: and as to the gospel view of woman's position, — in vain are women pointed out as "the "last at the cross, and the first at the tomb;" in vain, one of that humbled sex was made the mother of the Saviour of mankind; in vain, all 48 through the gospel pages, their faith, their sorrows, their errors, are held up as obtaining attention and mercy from the divine " Man of u sorrows and acquainted with grief," who wept with the sisters of Lazarus, and comforted the widow of Nain.
The evil bond between them being already broken, each desired to retain this u pledge of love," the person of the little child. It was seized by the mother; regained by the father; made the subject of police struggles on the Continent, and of a threatening scandal in England. What the law would have decided in that wonderful case, of a man coming to claim under the law, a child born out of the law, from the hapless mother 41 who had already suffered irreparable wrong and degradation on account of its birth,—I do not know; but this I do know, that this claimant of his illegitimate child has the same right, under the English law, to the guardianship of his legitimate children, as any other husband would have: a right to interfere with their possession by his wife,—though his legitimate children are girls; and his open claim of his illegitimate child, and his having been the public cause of the divorce of its mother, gives his wife no right whatever to divorce him " a vinculo"; nor is there the remotest possibility, under the English law, of breaking her marriage.
While the laws that women appeal to, are ad^ ministered by men, we need not fear that their appeals will be too carelessly granted. " It were well if he were held harmless 38 only by public opinion: but he is also held harmless by LAW. In the very session during which Lord Cranworth's Bill was discussed, some remarkable cases occurred, both in the upper and lower classes; some of which were public, and some not. I give the latter, therefore, without the names. It is enough for me, that your Majesty knows these cases did occur; and this record of what the English law was, in your Majesty's reign, will remain,—when the names shall signify no more than the N.
A Letter to the Queen on Lord Chancellor Cranworth’s Marriage and Divorce Bill by Caroline Sheridan Norton