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dc.contributor.authorMacAlpine, Rebecca-Ann Preston 20:29:33 (GMT)
dc.description.abstractOver the course of the seventeenth century, 1298 women came before the Quarter Sessions to secure financial resources for the upkeep of their unborn children. These interactions with the legal system highlight the ways in which female experience did not always translate into the adjudication of their cases. The preoccupation of the court, which was to shift financial support away from the parish to the putative father, highlights that the lived experiences of women were secondary to the primary economic objective. The inability to fully engage with these experiences and adjudicate accordingly demonstrates the violating nature of these proceedings. Who did the court intend to protect through bastardy proceedings, and what was the marginalizing impact of these decisions? This dissertation explores the marginalizing processes embedded in the Quarter Session records of bastardy. Through the employment of a mixed methodological approach that engages both qualitative and quantitative strategies, this work shows that the Sessions were designed and implemented in a way that continued to marginalize unwed mothers for their failure to conform to socially accepted courting rituals. It also failed to account for the varied lived experiences of these women. As a result, the entire adjudicating process perpetuated institutionalized gender-based violence. The system was designed to not protect the well-being of mothers and their illegitimate children, but rather to protect the financial interests of the community at large, and reinforce gendered cultural expectations through a public shaming process. As a result, the processes ensured that women’s voices were present but silenced through the procedural mechanisms enacted in the Sessions and institutionalized gender-based violence enacted against unwed mothers in Somerset.en
dc.publisherUniversity of Waterlooen
dc.subjectgender-based violenceen
dc.subjectearly modern Englanden
dc.subjectearly modern Somerseten
dc.subjectunmarried womenen
dc.subjectchild maintenanceen
dc.subjectdigital humanitiesen
dc.titleIn Protection of No Woman: Consent, Illegitimacy, and Gender-Based Violence in Early Modern Somerset, 1600-1699en
dc.typeDoctoral Thesisen
dc.pendingfalse of Waterlooen
uws-etd.degreeDoctor of Philosophyen
uws-etd.embargo.terms2 yearsen
uws.contributor.advisorMilligan, Ian
uws.contributor.affiliation1Faculty of Artsen

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