"In those days, a marriage settlement was settled upon the marriage".1 Such settlements can be compared to prenuptials and should not
be confused with financial settlements made on the dissolution of a marriage. In those days,
marriage settlements were a convenient way for a husband-to-be to make adequate financial provision
for his wife-to-be, should he decide to desert his wife during the marriage. The arrangement
prevented a wife from otherwise becoming destitute or from having to turn to prostitution, for
example, to support herself.
Marriage settlement of Charlotte Garnham Luard
In 1815, a marriage settlement was drawn up before Charlotte Garnham Luard (1789-1875)
married William Wright Luard (1786-1857), for which "a sum of £22,000 was settled upon
Charlotte and her offspring". Jacob Howell Pattisson, Charlotte's son-in-law, became the trustee of
Charlotte's settlement fund. However, Pattisson's relatives demanded he step down from his
trusteeship of the fund, accusing him of malpractice, abuse of trust and appropriating money from
the marriage settlement.
For further details, see Jacob Howell Pattisson's biography.
Married Women's Property Act
The passing of the Married Women's Property Act in 1883 gave women
the right to acquire, hold and dispose of property for the very
Charles Conybeare, who had
co-authored a treatise on the Act with a colleague barrister called
Andrews, was a supporter of women's rights and a member of the
Men's League for Women's Franchise, and so would have entirely
approved of the idea of his wife being able to own property.
Marriage settlement of Lily Florence Gage
In 1891, shortly before he married, John Williams 5th (1861-1942), the owner of
Scorrier House in Cornwall, created a marriage settlement for the benefit of his
wife-to-be, Lily Florence Gage Hodge. The marriage settlement was in the form of a trust and
was subject to the union taking place between John Williams and Lily Florence Gage Hodge - which it
did in 1892.
The purpose of the trust was to secure a rental income of £500 a year for the
benefit of John Williams's wife after his death, for as long as she remained his widow. The rental
would be levied on "certain lands and hereditaments" which were placed on trust with Percy
Dacres Williams (John's brother) and William Harding Gage Hodge (John's
For further details, see the 1948 Conveyance.
Marriage settlement of Florence Annie Strauss
The marriage settlement made Florence co-beneficiary with her husband of the Tregullow
Office(s), a count house in Scorrier, Cornwall, a property that later became
Zimapan or Zimapan Villa. Other details of the marriage settlement made by
her husband Charles Augustus Vansittart Conybeare are not known, but the settlement
would have included:
For further details, see:
a provision for Florence to inherit property which he had secured for her on trust,
should he pre-decease or desert his wife following their union
a legal entitlement to an equal proportion of any proceeds from the sale of property of
which she had been made co-beneficiary, while both were living.
1896 Deed of Trust
1. Ian K. Nelson.