Wives Imported into the Colony Series: Marriage Contract
The Marriage Contract became a common practice in the colony during the early 17th century. A typical term secured to the woman the right to retain the whole of her property. In a marriage contract between John Hurst and Elizaabeth Alford of Lower Norfolk County in 1675 it was stipulated that Hurst should not "meddle" with his wife's property and that she had full authority to manage her property, or sell it for tobacco or other merchandize, etc. Source: Calendar of British State Papers, Colonial 1574-1660, p. 13.