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Written by JulieW
(1/25/2004 1:12 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Entails.., penned by DeborahAnn
This is one of the arguments put forward by Sir John Habakkuk with regard to marriage settelments in the 18th century; that they helped to foster the growth of large aritocratic estates.However historical legal and ecomomic arguments rage on this point.Probably too complex to go into here. ;-)
The development of the strict settelement in the 18th century by creative legal minds cetainly is interesting.The strict settlement created at the begginging of a relationship- usually marraige ,combined entails and what we know as marraige setelemts.They were often part of the same document.
Provisions for the widow of the marraige(her jointure- that is , what property she would receive on her husband's death) and for the children of the marriage( their portions- or lump sums of money) were detailed in these settelemts.Fabulously intesting. Really.
The terms of the marriage settlemnt would specify exactly what "female" property would be tranferred to the husband upon marraige.One cannot make many gernrealisations,as these setelemnt differed violently,but in general a husband did control his wife's property once they were married,unless specifically reserved to her in writing.
The legal establihsment and Parliament took time to begin to reserve rights to women to control proprety,and a discussion of it is proably outiside the remit of this board ;-)
As to the scene in P+P2, rather than illustrating the restrictive nature of the entail( for indeed life tennant could not mortgage their property if the terms of the entail forbade it),I think it illustrats the Bennets Devil-may-care attitude towards money.Mr Bennet kept Mrs Bennet from total profilgacy,but he never saved as he should and now he is unable to provide the much wanted son,and has no savings from which he could provide for his daughters and his wife upon his death.Shame on him.
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