At the turn of the 20th century, where traditionally at Christmas women would get on their knees and beg forgiveness from their husbands for all the mistakes they had made during the past year.
In the early Victorian era, a woman entering upon marriage had almost no rights. All her property automatically became her husband’s. Even if she had her own land, her husband received the income from it.
A husband had the right to lock up his wife. If he beat her, she had no legal redress. The law mostly removed itself from marital relations.
Married women were put into the same category as lunatics, idiots, outlaws and children. Even her children were not hers, according to the law. And if a woman left the home to take refuge elsewhere, her husband could lock her out, without needing a court order.