Updated 27 Jun 2007

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 525


Certificate of acknowledgement of a deed by a married woman.

A two page vellum document dated 1879: Hannah Briddon, wife of Thomas Briddon sworn at Wirksworth, Derbyshire regarding property in Duffield, Heage & Belper, Derbyshire. The BRIDDON family can be followed in the census at: 1901, 1891, 1881, 1871, 1861, 1851 and 1841

The Document includes a 'Judicature Fees' Five Shillings blue embossed paper seal with metallic centre.

Other names mentioned in this document are: John Briddon (son), Sarah Briddon (daughter) William James, Joseph Stone (solicitor) & Joseph Francis Kingdon. (solicitor)

This is a Victorian vellum document consisting of two pages. It comes from a batch of documents saved from destruction during the 1960s. These certificates were introduced as part of the Fines and Recoveries Act of 1833. Their purpose was to ensure that, where a married woman was selling or mortgaging property jointly with her husband, she was of full age and completely understood what was taking place. Given that any property belonging to a woman automatically passed to her husband upon marriage, this may not have made much difference but, apparently, common law required her to be a party to any deed and these acknowledgements were intended to prevent the husband from abusing his position in those cases where he inherited property through his marriage. Although votes for women were still some way off, the Married Women's Property Act of 1882 gave them the same rights over their own property as if they had been single or widowed.
These documents provide a fascinating glimpse of Victorian attitudes to women and are an interesting addition to family, social and local history.

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