Chapter

Introduction

Deborah Wilson

in Women, Marriage and Property in Wealthy Landed Families in Ireland, 1750-1850

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780719077982
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781703328 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719077982.003.0001
Introduction

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This chapter explores the legal, familial and social factors that influenced women in Ireland in their experience of property in the period 1750–1850. The evidence is drawn from the personal and legal documents of twenty landed families, an approach which facilitated legitimate comparisons and made possible the use of a wider range of sources than a study that focused exclusively on landed records. The equivalent purchasing power of £10,000 in 1850 was £720,000 in 1998. These families were therefore among the wealthiest in Ireland, which restricted the field of research to those who were more likely to have shared financial backgrounds. The date range 1750–1850 was selected as, by the beginning of this period, methods of settling estates and of arranging pin money and jointure for women were in place in the wealthy landed class; after 1850, the impact of the Great Famine on landed estates changed the economic context within which landed families existed.

Keywords: women in Ireland; Great Famine; wealthiest in Ireland; wealthy landed class; Ireland

Chapter.  7789 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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