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1879: Richard Pankhurst, the radical lawyer who had earlier drafted an unsuccessful bill in favour of women’s suffrage, and who then drafted  the first Married Women’s Property Act, marries women’s rights campaigner Emmeline Goulden.

1882: he gets the second Married Women’s Property Act passed. It entitled women to administer their own property and, crucially, retain ownership and control of any properties they brought into a marriage. Many men were bitterly opposed to the end of the lucrative dowry a man could previously expect upon marriage to the daughter of a wealthy man. But they had been beaten. There was another Reform Bill proposing a widening of the franchise in the pipeline. Could self interested men keen to retain a monopoly stop women this time?……………

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