Women, marriage and property in wealthy landed families in Ireland, 1750–1850

By Deborah Wilson

Women, marriage and property in wealthy landed families in Ireland, 1750–1850


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7798-2
  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £60.00
  • Published Date: February 2009
  • BIC Category: Humanities / British & Irish history, HISTORY / Europe / Ireland, European history, Ireland, History


Until recently, women featured in the historiography of the landed class in Ireland either as bearers of assets to advantageous matches or as potential drains on family estates. Drawing on a range of sources from the papers of landed families, this book provides fresh insights into the place of these women.

Looking at women's experiences of property and power in twenty landed families between 1750 and 1850, and outlining the statutory developments that impacted upon the distribution of family property in Ireland, Wilson considers how women were provided for and examines the legal, social and familial factors that influenced the experience elite women had of property. Individual examples demonstrate the similarities and differences between women in this class, and illustrate how the experience women had of property in this period was more complex than their legal and social status might suggest.

This book will appeal to scholars in the fields of Irish history, gender and women's studies.


This is a worthy first book that will, hopefully, stimulate others to broaden the template of engagement with marriage, the law, family and property in history.

Irish Economic and Social History, volume (xxxviii, 2011)


Deborah Wilson completed her PhD at Queen's University Belfast, where she is now a librarian


List of tables
Glossary of legal terminology
1. Women, marriage and statute law in Ireland
2. Provisions made for women from family estates
3. Women and legal guardianship
4. Single women and property
5. Married women and property
6. Widows and property
Appendix A: Family biographies
Appendix B: Select biographical index of women
Appendix C: Provisions made for women on marriage, 1747-1845
Appendix D: Guardians and executors, 1767-1855
Appendix E: Provision for daughters and younger sons, 1767-1855
Appendix F: Type of property bequeathed to daughters and younger sons, 1771-1836
Appendix G: Lady Erne's accounts, 1776- 99: charity

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