Story: Divorce and separation

Formal separation, 1862

In the 19th century separation was far more easily achieved than divorce. The number of married couples living apart was not recorded – it was in part this lack of record that made it possible to do. Some couples simply stopped living together, while others, particularly those with more to lose, had complex legal arrangements. This is the first page of the deed of separation signed by Adeline and Thomas Renwick in 1862.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Renwick Family Collection
Reference: MSO-Papers-7750

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Megan Cook, 'Divorce and separation - 19th-century divorce and desertion', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 15 April 2024)

Story by Megan Cook, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 8 Nov 2018