Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton
1808 – 1877
Who was Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton?
Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton was an English feminist, social reformer, and author of the early and mid-nineteenth century. Caroline left her husband in 1836, following which her husband sued her close friend Lord Melbourne, the then Whig Prime Minister, for criminal conversation. The jury threw out the claim, however Caroline was unable to obtain a divorce and was denied access to her three sons. Caroline's intense campaigning led to the passing of the Custody of Infants Act 1839, the Matrimonial Causes Act 1857 and the Married Women's Property Act 1870. Caroline modelled for the fresco of Justice in the House of Lords by Daniel Maclise, who chose her because she was seen by many as a famous victim of injustice.
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