know little of Mary MacCullagh, we don't even know if she lived
in Bollington. However, we have a legal document dating from 1872
that shows that she owned property in the town. Alas the set of
documents is incomplete so we don't know which property she owned.
The purpose of the documents was to transfer the ownership of
the property from Mary to her husband, Archibald MacCullagh. This
was necessary in earlier times because women were not permitted
to own property. Sometimes they came by property as a result, for
instance, of becoming a widow, or having it left to her by her
deceased father. When this occurred it was necessary for the property
to be transferred into the ownership of her husband. This is what
this document set out to do.
This procedure was often misused by devious men. They would identify
a wealthy widow, one who owned a useful piece of property. The
lady would in all probability be keen to find herself a new husband
for this bestowed many advantages upon her in society in those
days. She would be courted and married. Soon after the matter of
her property would arise and under the law of the day she would
be obliged to transfer ownership to her new husband. The evil of
his intentions would then be disclosed when he sold the property
and left her in the lurch without a penny.
full transcript of the document is available.
Acknowledgements | Your