Exeter Law School
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Women and the crime of bigamy, 1603-2023

Posted by The Law School

28 November 2023

On Tuesday 21 November 2023, Professor Rebecca Probert delivered the annual lecture of the Cambridge Centre for English Legal History on the topic of ‘Women and the crime of bigamy, 1603-2023’.

In her lecture Professor Probert traced the changing parameters, punishment, and perceptions of bigamy, beginning with the passage of legislation making it a felony punishable by death. Throughout the talk she highlighted the differential treatment of men and women, both as perpetrators and as victims. As she concluded, while the legal remedies available to the spouses (first or subsequent) of a bigamist have improved, the way in which the offence is defined results in a significant gap in the protection afforded by the law.

The lecture can be viewed here on YouTube.

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