A History of Infanticide in Britain c. 1600 to the Present by Anne-Marie Kilday (auth.) PDF

By Anne-Marie Kilday (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1137349123

ISBN-13: 9781137349125

ISBN-10: 1349361402

ISBN-13: 9781349361403

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Additional resources for A History of Infanticide in Britain c. 1600 to the Present

Example text

Certainly, it is hard to discern the accuracy of birth registration in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 69 Such definitional inconsistencies were especially prevalent after Lord Hardwicke’s Clandestine Marriage Act came into force in England in 1754. This legislation outlawed previously ‘accepted’ versions of marriage which had been conducted outwith an officially sanctioned church ceremony. 72 Although questions remain about the rate and extent of illegitimacy during this era, the prevailing attitudes towards unmarried pregnancy seem to be uniform and unambiguous.

Explanations for the growth that occurred have been the subject of extensive historiographical debate. Yet, as so many of the women accused of new-born child murder at this time were unmarried mothers, it is important for our understanding of this offence to explore the potential causes of their ‘unfortunate’ circumstances. 55 Socio-economic and cultural changes over the seventeenth The Archetype of Infanticide in the Early Modern Period d 33 and eighteenth centuries in particular were said to have encouraged ‘the high mobility of adolescents and young adults [and] their assimilation to a popular culture centred on the alehouse rather than the church, which permitted a considerably larger area of flexibility in social and sexual behaviour than was strictly allowed by either church or magistrate…’.

Explanations for the growth that occurred have been the subject of extensive historiographical debate. Yet, as so many of the women accused of new-born child murder at this time were unmarried mothers, it is important for our understanding of this offence to explore the potential causes of their ‘unfortunate’ circumstances. 55 Socio-economic and cultural changes over the seventeenth The Archetype of Infanticide in the Early Modern Period d 33 and eighteenth centuries in particular were said to have encouraged ‘the high mobility of adolescents and young adults [and] their assimilation to a popular culture centred on the alehouse rather than the church, which permitted a considerably larger area of flexibility in social and sexual behaviour than was strictly allowed by either church or magistrate…’.

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A History of Infanticide in Britain c. 1600 to the Present by Anne-Marie Kilday (auth.)


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