1882 Married Women's Property Act

After the 1880 General Election William Gladstone became Prime Minister of a government that promised legislation that would reduce the legal inequalities between men and women. One example of this was the passing of the 1882 Married Women's Property Act. Under the terms of the act married women had the same rights over their property as unmarried women. This act therefore allowed a married woman to retain ownership of property which she might have received as a gift from a parent. Before the 1882 Married Women's Property Act was passed this property would have automatically have become the property of the husband. The passing of the 1893 Married Women's Property Act completed this process. Married women now had full legal control of all the property of every kind which they owned at marriage or which they acquired after marriage either by inheritance or by their own earnings.