Women, Marriage and Law in Scotland: Historical and Legal Perspectives

Scottish Civil Justice Hub Projects

Project Overview

The project’s aim is to establish a greater understanding of the legal status of women in early modern Scotland, as evidenced in the ways in which their marital status and property rights were negotiated before the courts. Understanding women’s agency and rights in the past can help legal practitioners and the courts make better decisions when encountering similar problems today.

This project, funded October 2020 to September 2021, explores the relative access to civil justice of women in early modern Scotland. It uses a historical approach to help highlight the problems women continue to face in accessing justice in Scotland today. The project hopes that the research will contribute to modern debates surrounding women’s rights during the ongoing reform of succession law and cohabitation in Scotland. As part of this project, a monograph will be produced discussing women, property and the law in early modern Scotland.

Research Methods

Preparation of a monograph on women, property and the law.

Project Funding

This project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The funding amount is £92,768.

Project Dates

October 2020 to September 2021.

Project Outputs

Married Women, Property and Paraphernalia in Early Modern Scotland, Gender, Law and Economic Wellbeing in Early Modern and Modern Europe, eds Anna Bellavitis and Beatrice Zucca Micheletto (London: Routledge, 2018)

‘Married Women’s Testaments: Division and Distribution of Movable Property in Seventeenth-Century Glasgow, Gender, Law and Material Culture: Immobile Property and Mobile Goods in Early Modern Europe, ed Annette Cremer (London: Routledge, 2020)

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