The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 36, Issue 2

Article 4
According to the Law: Women’s Property Rights in Bridgetown, Barbados, 1800-1834

Cheryl King


This essay addresses the marginality of white colonial women in the slave era. It explores the nexus between the legality of women owning property in a male-dominated society and the ways in which this relates to the broader social construction of gender. In addition, it attempts to establish the extent of patriarchal dominance in white colonial society. The discourse relates primarily to married women. Single women were not always directly under the influence of a male head and could acquire and dispose of property in much the same way as men.