feme covert

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Anglo-Norman feme (woman) covert (covered, protected).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

feme covert (plural femes covert or femes coverts)

  1. (law, now chiefly historical) A married woman.
    • 1817, Walter Scott, Rob Roy, IX:
      ‘you, Diana Vernon, spinstress, not being a femme couverte, and being a convict popish recusant, are bound to repair to your own dwelling, and that by the nearest way, under penalty of being held felon to the king [...].’
    • 1851, Thomas W Waterman, American Chancery Digest, vol. II:
      A deed of a feme covert, to be valid, must be executed by the husband also.
    • 1986, Marylynn Salmon, Women and the Law of Property in Early America:
      Connecticut courts failed to recognize feme couvert property rights until 1723, when the legislature finally passed an act significantly reforming the law on conveyancing.

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