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1100 - 1400
Restrictions on a wife's dower rights

A husband was expected to give his wife dower, property to sustain her after his death. This law attempted to prevent an urban man using his chief property in this way and thus depriving his heir of his rights to inherit the property after his father's death.



Of alienacion of the chefe tenement

[translation] No man may put away his chief building from his heir, nor dower his wife therein, if he has any other land with which he may make lawful dower, or else is constrained to sell it because of need.

Na man may put away his chefe bigging fra his ayre, na dow his wyfe thar in, gif that he has ony othir lande with the whilk he may mak lauchful dower, of ellis he be constreynit to sell it thruch nede.


Ancient Laws and Customs of the Burghs of Scotland, Vol. 1.1124-1424 ed Cosmo Innes (Edinburgh: Scottish Burgh Records Society, 1868), Leges Burgorum, no. 106, p.51. Translation by E. Ewan

Tags: law inheritance dower