I have a child born 1772 to an unmarried woman, his father being already married. However, the boy was given his father's surname and appears to have been acknowledged by him as he appears on an old family genealogical chart and also had contact with others in the family. He owned some property in Shaftesbury where he was born, possibly before he joined the Royal Horse Artillery where he became a Lieutenant so must have had some money earlier in life.
Can anyone tell me what the status of a 'base born' child was please. Was it common/legal for the father to recognise him in this way?
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Thread: Base born child 1772
30-12-2011 5:09 AM #1
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Base born child 1772
30-12-2011 7:57 AM #2
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Prior to the hypocrisy of the Victorian era there was no shame in having/being a bastard child.
It was common in all classes of society for children to be born out of wedlock.
In many cases the couple would marry at a later date but often they did not.
The drawback to such births was the child could not inherit land or titles or wealth of his father as a right but had to be specifically named in a will and/or testament.
In the cases of the father being already married it was not unusual for him to acknowledge and pay support for his bastard children.
In other cases the mother through the Parish Overseers or through Justices of the Peace to ensure support in the form of a Bastardy Bond.
This is where shame came into the equation.
If a person could not support their family or if they were forced to support their family they brought shame on themselves and their family.
As the years past the Victorians extended such shame to all bastard births, a stigma society is still fighting off today.
GuyAs we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.
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30-12-2011 8:20 AM #3
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An explanation can be found here It’s in a thread started by Thpmasin entitled “A spiteful vicar”. The post is by Guy Etchells
just click on the 'here' above
Last edited by terrysfamily; 30-12-2011 at 8:23 AM. Reason: link didn't work- does now
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