By Caroline Sheridan Norton
Caroline Norton (1808-1877) was once a Victorian writer and campaigner for social reform, in particular reform of women's felony rights. during this lucidly written account Norton describes how upon marriage in 1855 girls turned legally 'non-existent': they can no longer carry situations to court docket; they can no longer input right into a agreement; they can now not instigate a divorce and their possessions, profits and any bequests made to them instantly turned their husband's estate. Norton explains how this loss of criminal autonomy affected ladies in the event that they grew to become estranged from their husbands, utilizing her personal reports for representation and recommending adjustments which might enhance women's felony place. released in 1855 whilst Parliament was once debating the topic of divorce reform, this quantity indicates the felony place of ladies at the present. It offers the critiques of latest legislators in aid and competition at the problems with women's felony 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
But if she be blameless: and if, contumacious and resentful, she harshly refuses to " condone"; if, with blind self-will and arrogance, she has the indecent hardihood to resist, and complain. If she wail and worry for JUSTICE, and talk of the mother who loved—the father who sheltered —the brother who will protect her,—and insist on being "separated" from you and vour mistress,—then, my poor friend, I fear we must do something; but we will do as little as possible: we will give her (what, in point of fact, you have already given her), " the Woman's Divorce";— leave to remain ALONE.
Never to know the protection of this nominal husband—nor the joys of family—nor the every-day companionship of a real home. Never to feel or show preference for any friend not of her own sex; though tempted, perhaps, by a feeling nobler than passion; gratitude for generous pity, that has lightened the 58 dreary days. To be slandered, tormented, insulted; to find the world, and the world's law, as the Lord Chancellor truly observes, utterly indifferent to her wrongs or her husband's sin; and through all this to lead a chaste, unspotted, patient, cheerful life ; without anger, without bitterness; and with meek respect for those English edicts which, with a perverse parody on Scripture, pronounce that " i t is not good for " MAN to be alone/'—but extremely good for woman.
When Henry VIII. needed divorces, convenient Cranmer and the convocation granted three in succession,—and when the venerable Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, objected to the King's views, he paid for it with his poor remnant of life. His letters are extant, a neglected prisoner in the tower; writing vain ap- 54 peals, in the dreary month of December, to the secretary of that bloated and triumphant monarch ; pleading, not for life or liberty, but that his clothing was so rent that it did not keep him warm, ai*d his diet so slender that he was well nigh starved, being often given food he was too feeble and aged to eat.