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Author: Ginger S. Frost

Children born even one day before their parents' marriage remained illegitimate for life, while those born one day after a wedding had the full benefits of legitimacy. This book explores the legal and social consequences of growing up illegitimate in England and Wales. It concentrates on the late-Victorian period and the early twentieth century, and takes the child's point of view rather than that of the mother or of 'child-saving' groups. An extended analysis of criminal and civil cases involving illegitimacy, including less-studied aspects such as affiliation suits, the poor law and war pensions is presented. In the twentieth century, illegitimate children gained more family, and adoption became an option after 1926. Women had choices when faced with unwanted children, and many chose to suffer in the workhouse rather than harm their babies. Though the criminal courts were harder on non-maternal defendants, mothers were collusive in many crimes. The two legal processes illegitimate children were most likely to inspire were often entwined - affiliation proceedings and the poor law. Problems with the bastardy laws abounded, legislative successes were few in the nineteenth century. Fostering encouraged child circulation because of its temporary nature. The effects of social discrimination changed when children went to their jobs, dividing those with family from those without. Differences of class and gender also influenced the scope of illegitimacy's reach. Placing the stigma on Victorian children was simple, but ridding the law of the term was painfully slow, and abolishing its power even slower.

David Rieff

Introduction Citing the celebrated opening sentence of the Communist Manifesto may seem an odd way to begin these modest reflections on the challenges the relief world is confronting, and the graver ones it is likely to confront over the course of the next decade. But just as the spectre of communism was haunting Europe in 1848, a spectre haunts the humanitarian international in 2018 – the spectre of illegitimacy. A disclaimer is immediately necessary: if you believe that the importance of the changes that are taxing the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Ginger S. Frost

1 Cohabitation, illegitimacy, and the law in England, 1750–1914 T hough conservatives liked to believe otherwise, the legal definition of marriage changed over time, including and excluding couples as it did so. The key legislation in these transformations was the Hardwicke Marriage Act of 1753, a watershed in family law. Parliament took control over the regulation of marriage, challenging the principle of marriage as an eternal sacrament, since the state now determined who was married and who was not. In addition, this act and subsequent pieces of legislation

in Living in sin
Sean Healy and Victoria Russell

). Hahl , O. , Kim , M. and Zuckerman Sivan , E. W. ( 2018 ), ‘ The Authentic Appeal of the Lying Demagogue: Proclaiming the Deeper Truth about Political Illegitimacy ’, American Sociological Review , 83 : 1 , 1 – 33 , doi: 10

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Author: Lucy Bland

This book recounts the little-known history of the mixed-race children born to black American servicemen and white British women during the Second World War. Of the three million American soldiers stationed in Britain from 1942 to 1945, about 8 per cent (240,000) were African-American; the latter’s relationships with British women resulted in the birth of an estimated 2,000 babies. The African-American press named these children ‘brown babies’; the British called them ‘half-castes’. Black GIs, in this segregated army, were forbidden to marry their white girlfriends. Up to half of the mothers of these babies, faced with the stigma of illegitimacy and a mixed-race child, gave their children up for adoption. The outcome for these children tended to be long-term residency in children’s homes, sometimes followed by fostering and occasionally adoption, but adoption societies frequently would not take on ‘coloured’ children, who were thought to be ‘too hard to place’. There has been minimal study of these children and the difficulties they faced, such as racism in a (then) very white Britain, lack of family or a clear identity. Accessibly written and illustrated with numerous photographs, this book presents the stories of over forty of these children. While some of the accounts of early childhood are heart-breaking, there are also many uplifting narratives of finding American fathers and gaining a sense of self and of heritage.

Illegitimate relationships and children, 1450–1640

This is an exploration of the extent and implications of the pre- and extra-marital relationships of the gentry and nobility in the period 1450–1640 in the north of England. It challenges assumptions about the extent to which such activity declined in the period in question, and hence about the impact of Protestantism and other changes to the culture of the elite. The book is a major contribution to the literature on marriage and sexual relationships, on family and kinship and their impacts on wider social networks, and on gender.

Abstract only
Ginger S. Frost

Conclusion In 1930, anarchist Sylvia Pankhurst published Save the Mothers, in which she detailed the costs of illegitimacy to unwed mothers and their babies. The work stressed their high maternal and infant death rates, due to poverty and ‘disgrace’. Pankhurst was scathing about the forces of ‘morality’ that blocked any improvements. She noted with disgust the opposition that arose when a local medical officer recommended a midwife be offered to all women for free, regardless of marital status. Pankhurst explained, ‘unscrupulous misrepresentations were made

in Illegitimacy in English law and society,1860–1930
Custody, inheritance, and taxation
Ginger S. Frost

1 ‘Strangers in the blood’: custody, inheritance, and taxation I am far from defending the law of England … On the contrary, I think it is a disgrace to the nation. It visits the sins of the parents on the children; it encourages vice by depriving fathers and mothers of the strongest of all motives for making the atonement of marriage; and it claims to produce these two abominable results in the names of morality and religion.1 This passage from Wilkie Collins’s 1862 novel, No Name, encapsulates the contradictions in the English law of illegitimacy. Children

in Illegitimacy in English law and society,1860–1930
Illegitimacy and law reform
Ginger S. Frost

5 Simple acts of justice: illegitimacy and law reform The English prided themselves on their low illegitimacy rate, the result, many believed, of the fact that England did not allow legitimation upon the marriage of the parents (in contrast to Scotland) and also restricted women’s ability to get support. Those who sought to change the law, then, faced a contingent of conservative opinion mixed with nationalist self-congratulation. The House of Lords was a particular barrier to change; peers refused to risk any property going to illegitimate heirs, and the

in Illegitimacy in English law and society,1860–1930
Abstract only
Social discrimination
Ginger S. Frost

8 ‘Bad blood’? Social discrimination The legal complications of illegitimacy were considerable, as were the difficulties of family life; the many times illegitimate children circulated between caregivers was only one indication of that. For poor children, the disadvantages of illegitimacy were material, even deadly. Nevertheless, most of these children survived into adulthood, married, and had families of their own. After all, the majority of Britons struggled against various ills – poverty, bad health, the deaths of loved ones – at some point in their lives

in Illegitimacy in English law and society,1860–1930