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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'A mother makes no bastard': family law, sexual relations and illegitimacy in Dutch colonial Cape Town, c. 1652-1795
Author:Groenewald, GeraldISNI
Periodical:African Historical Review
Geographic terms:South Africa
The Cape
family law
illegitimate children
colonial period
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17532520701786178
Abstract:Many mothers in 17th and 18th-century Cape Town (South Africa) produced prenuptial or out-of-wedlock children. This paper addresses some of the issues raised by illegitimacy and presents some of the sources available to historians. It does so by concentrating on the legal framework: illegitimacy is first of all a legal and not primarily a moral category. Who were the parents of illegitimate children and what sort of sexual relations resulted in their birth? How did the specific social conditions at the Cape impact on the different types of relations - amongst others in the context of prostitution and concubinage - that existed between men and women? And, above all, how was this regulated - what was the impact of family law on the relations between parents and the status of their children? Furthermore, what happened to such children? Were they allowed to live? What provisions were made for them, and what was the legal impact of their status as bastards? Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]