Story: Law

Protecting married women's property

From 1860 innovative measures were passed to improve the position of married women, who until that time had no control of their own property. In this 1890 order from the Napier magistrate's court, Phillippa Terrill gained the right to keep her own money and possessions from her husband and his creditors, under the Married Women's Property Protection Act 1880. Her husband had left her and stopped supporting her, and she wanted to ensure that he could not claim anything she earned or acquired in future.

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Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: AAOW W3244 267

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How to cite this page:

Geoffrey Palmer, 'Law - Legal innovation', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 February 2024)

Story by Geoffrey Palmer, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 Oct 2016