Chance v. Chance. Researching an abused wife in the early eighteenth century
This paper discusses an early eighteenth-century Chancery case involving the extreme physical and mental abuse of a wife by a husband intent on stripping her of all her property, and looks at this in the context of the contemporary legal and social framework and the options for redress available to such a woman. In the process it explores the genealogy of the Catholic Arden family who were located near Bromsgrove in Worcestershire. In the absence of many Catholic records, especially for baptisms and marriages, it explores the use of wills, recusancy records, Chancery records, and correspondence to fill in the gaps and create a family history.