e.4. Elizabeth Johanna Wilhelmina VON WIELLIGH, geb. 30/05/1823, ged. 10/08/1823

e.4.  Elizabeth Johanna Wilhelmina, geb. 30/05/1823, ged. 10/08/1823, Kaapstad, (will 1863) (MOOC 7/1/266 125).

Elizabeth Johanna Wilhelmina was die dogter van Johannes von Wielligh en Christina Maria Uys.


1839:  Motion.  Petition of Richard Clarke, married to Maria Christina van Wielligh, Simon Petrus Jone (Joone) maried to Johanna Alida van Wielligh and Elizabeth Johanna Wilhelmina van Wielligh, heirs in the estate of the late Johanna van Sittert, widow of the late Arend van Wielligh.

In the parlance of the time, men and women married as consenting individuals but were bound jointly by a 'contract with society': dissolving a marriage was seen as destroying a pillar 'on which civilised society rests'.Governments and religions sought to channel sexual behaviour in directions both socially useful and conducive to standards defined as 'moral'. The institution of marriage has been central to matters such as property and succession, and to a rational ordering of reproduction to meet social needs: 'a vehicle for the production of soldiers, sailors, workers and housewives'In England 'divorce meant adultery'.Cape judges recruited in Britain were uncomfortable with the Roman-Dutch law's admission of malicious desertion as ground for divorce although it, like adultery, claimed biblical authority. Musgrave wished the new Cape parliament might place the law of divorce 'on a more satisfactory footing' - apparently one which permitted judicial separation but preserved an unhappy couple's marriage.Here too, the Roman-Dutch tradition afforded relief more generously than the law of Britain where, at the time in question, divorce a mensa et thoro which revoked the duty to share bed and board (but did not end the marriage) was the province of ecclesiastical courts.At the Cape a legal separation was available through notaries or courts of law.  In practice, resort to the legal remedies in cases of breakdown in relationships was erratic. In 1843, after two years of marriage, Henry Farmer of Cape Town left Elizabeth van Wielligh and went to England. Shortly after, she - being 'ill provided for' - formed 'a criminal connexion' with Frederick Watson whom she married, 'representing herself as a widow'. When Farmer returned (1852) he secured a divorce, citing her adultery. A judge asked if, in granting such divorces, the court had been faithful to the 'principles of morality and public policy by which it guides itself'.  (Malherbe, Vertrees C, Former Senior Researcher, Centre for Socio-Legal Research, University of Cape Town:  Family Law and ‘The Great Moral Public Interests’ in Victorian Cape Town, c.1850-1902)