- THE DOROTHY HEWETT AWARD
The Marriage Knot: Marriage & divorce in colonial Western Australia 1829–1900
In this fascinating book, renowned WA historian Penelope Hetherington turns her analytical gaze to marriage and divorce in colonial Western Australia.
Who solemnised the marriages of the first settlers after 1829? What English laws for marriage solemnisation were followed for the first twelve years after settlement, before new laws were introduced for registration and solemnisation in 1841? Why were these laws changed three times between 1847 and 1856? The Marriage Knot ends the confusion about religious arrangements and disagreements in the first thirty years of the colony and along the way, reveals the kinds of marriage registration instigated by the government and other aspects of its marriage laws.
How did the rules apply differently for men and women? What was the difference between judicial separation and dissolution of marriage? What role did the Magistrate’s Courts play in resolving marriage conflicts? Hetherington analyses the nature and number of divorce petitions by men and women from 1863 to 1900 and examines the importance of the 1892 Married Women’s Property Act, and other laws passed towards the end of the century.