18th Century - Runaway Family Members in the Classifieds

R5 plus

Ad Honorem
Apr 2013
3,787
Home of Ringing Rocks
Along with runaway slaves and lost dogs, men would sometimes advertise that their wives had left and that they refused to be responsible for their debts. Attached is an interesting article, apparently newspaper ads like this ran as late as the 1980's! Sometimes wives would defend themselves by taking an ad out themselves.

Has anyone here heard about these advertisements for other people who ran away during the 18th century? I'm sure indentured servants were in the mix, but how about sisters, daughters, or other family members? If you have any links to examples, that would be great.

 
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Jun 2017
734
maine
Yes, these kind of notices go way back. There was a regular template for them. I don't think that they were ever legally binding and the purpose often was public shaming.

These notices are useful in doing genealogical research. In a similar vein are gravestone epitaphs which often contain complaints against spouses. This one wasn't too long ago:
1579202714765.png
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,561
SoCal
Apparently the stone above is his cenotaph--with this being his grave:



Of course, his cenotaph is nevertheless very insightful.
 
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Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,812
Australia
I think in Australia it was a legal requirement to have such a notice up until the divorce laws changed in the1970s. Otherwise a person - usually the husband - could be responsible for his wife's debts.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,561
SoCal
I think in Australia it was a legal requirement to have such a notice up until the divorce laws changed in the1970s. Otherwise a person - usually the husband - could be responsible for his wife's debts.
Women in Australia were perceived as being a type of "property" of their husbands until the 1970s? Is this what coverture was historically all about--as in, married women's legal identities being submerged into those of their husbands?
 

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,812
Australia
Women in Australia were perceived as being a type of "property" of their husbands until the 1970s? Is this what coverture was historically all about--as in, married women's legal identities being submerged into those of their husbands?
I don't know about being women being perceived as property, but the 1975 laws allowed for 'no fault' divorce and reduced the amount of time it took for the process to be finalised.
 

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,369
Kansas
Women in Australia were perceived as being a type of "property" of their husbands until the 1970s? Is this what coverture was historically all about--as in, married women's legal identities being submerged into those of their husbands?
Kinda sorta. A married woman could have their own bank accounts etc, but could not go into debt without specific permission from their husband. I can remember my mother had to wait at a store while they called my father to confirm he gave permission for mum to start a lay away or lay by.
 
Feb 2019
909
Pennsylvania, US
Wow... James Kerr was not a man to be trifled with (judging from his contribution in the article shared in the OP).

"Whereas Fanny Marlton... has without cause left my habitation, and is floating on the ocean of tyrannical extravagance, prone to prodigality, taking a wild goose chase, and kindling her pipe with the coal of curiosity, to abscond and abolish such insidious, clandestine, noxious, pernicious, diabolical and insidious deportment...."

This guy had a flair for metaphor that surely was wasted on a simple "runaway wife" advert... :lol:
 
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stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,741
Las Vegas, NV USA
Wow... James Kerr was not a man to be trifled with (judging from his contribution in the article shared in the OP).

"Whereas Fanny Marlton... has without cause left my habitation, and is floating on the ocean of tyrannical extravagance, prone to prodigality, taking a wild goose chase, and kindling her pipe with the coal of curiosity, to abscond and abolish such insidious, clandestine, noxious, pernicious, diabolical and insidious deportment...."

This guy had a flair for metaphor that surely was wasted on a simple "runaway wife" advert... :lol:
Incontestably and prodigiously true but he should have known better than to cohabit with someone named Fanny.