Women and legal guardianship

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:
Women and legal guardianship

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Having established the boundaries within which women's experience of property operated, the remaining chapters of this book consider the property experience of women in relation to the family estate, how women related to the concept of the family interest and in what contexts their interests differed. This chapter considers instances, in this class, when the traditional structure of the family was suspended, such as when the heir to the estate was a minor, or insane. When the heir to a landed estate was a minor, or was declared insane, the management of her or his welfare and landed estate came within the remit of the Court of Chancery. The prevailing structure of the family, in which control over family property was exercised by the husband and father, was therefore suspended and there were increased opportunities for women to undertake an expanded role in the management of family property as guardians of minors, or as committees responsible for the affairs of the insane.

Keywords: legal guardianship; family estate; Court of Chancery; women in property distribution

Chapter.  10327 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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