Minding their own business: married women and credit in early eighteenth-century London

Shepard, A. (2015) Minding their own business: married women and credit in early eighteenth-century London. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 25, pp. 53-74. (PMCID:PMC4602702)

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Abstract

Taking a micro-historical approach, this paper explores the business activities of Elizabeth Carter and Elizabeth Hatchett, two married women who operated together as pawnbrokers in London in the early decades of the eighteenth century. Based on a protracted inheritance dispute through which their extensive dealings come to light, the discussion assesses married women’s lending and investment strategies in a burgeoning metropolitan economy; the networks through which women lenders operated; and the extent to which wives could sidestep the legal conventions of ‘coverture’ which restricted their ownership of moveable property. It is argued that the moneylending and asset management activities of women like Carter and Hatchett were an important part of married women’s work that did not simply consolidate neighbourhood ties but that placed them at the heart of the early modern economy.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Shepard, Professor Alex
Authors: Shepard, A.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Journal Name:Transactions of the Royal Historical Society
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0080-4401
ISSN (Online):1474-0648
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Royal Historical Society
First Published:First published in Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 25:53-74
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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