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Trish@Somerset
14-12-07, 13:25
When divorce become acceptable for the ordinary people in the street?

Christine in Herts
14-12-07, 13:28
That's always going to be a bit subjective, but...
Probably when no-fault options became available. And that was quite recent.

Christine

Phoenix
14-12-07, 13:31
I don't know about acceptable, but it was only available from 1858.

TNA have indexed the early ones: 1858: 1937

Detecting your browser settings (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/search.asp)

use this link, put in the surname you want and type J77 in the department or series box at the bottom, then see what comes up. I found a Skillings divorce that way.

Phoenix
14-12-07, 13:34
nb if that link doesn't work, copy & paste this address

http://www.national archives.gov.uk/catalogue/search.asp

removing the space between national & archives

Olde Crone Holden
14-12-07, 13:38
Teeny correction, Phoenix, sorry.

Divorce has always been available, but until 1858 it was the prerogative of the rich mostly, and an individual act of parliament had to be passed for each divorce.

The church also operated "divorce" which they preferred to call annulment, or marriage dissolved. Again, mostly for the rich.

My Thomas and Mary Holden divorced in 1603, with surprisingly modern complaints about each other. She was "a great and incontinent whore" and he was lacking in the bedroom department, lol.

The divorce cost them a £400 fine, paid to the church of course.

OC

Muggins in Sussex
14-12-07, 13:46
Crikey!!!!
I think they must have added to the National Archives recently, as I had looked before and not found this.

My parents always told me that my maternal grandmother divorced her husband ( my grandfather) because of his involvement with the abduction of my aunt.

It now seems that HE divorced HER because of her adultery!!!!

Crikey!!!

Olde Crone Holden
14-12-07, 13:56
Muggins

There were still only very few reasons for divorce, even round WW2. Abducting a child was not one of them!

Have you checked she didn't enter her own divorce action?

OC

KiteRunner
14-12-07, 14:04
Ooh, I see that if you put a surname in that search box it also comes up with cases where the co-respondent had that name!

KiteRunner
14-12-07, 14:42
Ooops, just found a certain direct ancestor of mine listed as co-respondent! Won't give more details on here as google will pick it up...

Vivienne
14-12-07, 15:02
When divorce become acceptable for the ordinary people in the street?


I don't know about acceptable to ordinary people Trish but my mother was horrified when I told her in 1979 that I was leaving my husband & coming home to England. According to her, nothing like that had ever happened in our family. Yeah right!:D

Muggins in Sussex
14-12-07, 15:18
Muggins

There were still only very few reasons for divorce, even round WW2. Abducting a child was not one of them!

Have you checked she didn't enter her own divorce action?

OC

Sorry, I was in a rush - had to go for my annual hair cut!

No I haven't checked but will - my grandfather was always made out to be the black sheep in the family - I understood also, that he lived with another woman . I never met him and until a few years ago, didn't know his name.

I suppose if my grandmother also petitioned, it would be relatively close in time (?)

Interesting that the NA summary includes the name of the co-respondent

Thanks OC

Phoenix
14-12-07, 15:18
Um, yes, well OC, I meant divorce for us plebs. The only routes for my lot pre 1858 were desertion, bigamy & murder (the last two hopefully undetected!)

Trish@Somerset
14-12-07, 15:23
Many thanks, so really only recently unless you were loaded

Olde Crone Holden
14-12-07, 15:55
The church had a handy get out clause, pre civil divorce.

Desertion for seven years (including imprisonment or transportation) allowed the "innocent" spouse to remarry in church.

And someone on here I think it was, reported a divorce in the late 1800s of a very lowly man, which appears to have been funded by the CHURCH!

Muggins

Yes, I would expect petition and counter-petition to be concurrent. However, they may have agreed privately to let one divorce the other - this was highly illegal and could result in imprisonment if caught; and it was usually the MAN who allowed himself to be divorced, not the woman, as she always had far too much to lose, including her children.

I would say that certainly up to WW1, divorces were in the hundreds each year, rather than thousands.

OC

Muggins in Sussex
14-12-07, 16:34
Thanks yet again OC - there is definitely only the one petition on the NA website (maybe the listing doesn't show cross-petitions (?) )

The Divorce was actually in 1928 - much earlier than I had thought

There now appear to have been three men in my grandmother's life!

Why do both sides of my family have to be so flippin' complicated!! -

Muggins in Sussex
14-12-07, 19:11
Actually, I guess the naming of a co-respondent could just be a red herring

And sorry for having hi-jacked your thread, Trish

Uncle John
14-12-07, 20:53
And someone on here I think it was, reported a divorce in the late 1800s of a very lowly man, which appears to have been funded by the CHURCH!

I have one in 1889 of a fairly nondescript couple, in this case funded by the wronged husband's parents (mostly the mother), who also "abducted" the child of the marriage. All very sad, by 1905 the child had hardly a living relative.

Uncle John
14-12-07, 21:04
Just looked on the offchance for my "cad" Villiers, and I found a 1903 divorce (not the right people) where it's the husband's petition and the co-respondent is female.

Harrys mum
14-12-07, 22:03
Just a side note..............I found my divorce (pre 1858) in The Times Digital Archive.

The whole juicy story was there.

KiteRunner
15-12-07, 10:50
Just want to point out that those entries on the National Archives J77 include divorce actions that didn't actually result in a divorce (having looked at the obituary of one of the people involved in one of them)

Olde Crone Holden
15-12-07, 13:11
Yes, that's a good point Kate - divorce was not automatic, just because you petitioned for it, not like it is these days.

If there was the slightest sniff of collusion between the parties, the divorce was thrown out.

OC

Vicky the Viking
15-12-07, 17:29
many thanks for that link.

I found my gt uncle's divorce, 1922, but what surprised me was that I also found him named as a co-respondent in an earlier divorce, 1918. He didn't go on to marry that lady, so I have come to the conclusion he was a serial womaniser :D

He didn't have any legitimate children, which now leads me to wonder if there are a few Illegitimate ones we don't know about ;)