Anne Orthwood's Bastard: Sex and Law in Early Virginia (Paperback)

Anne Orthwood's Bastard: Sex and Law in Early Virginia Cover Image
Not in stock. Usually arrives in 2-5 Days
(This book cannot be returned.)


In 1663, an indentured servant, Anne Orthwood, was impregnated with twins in a tavern in Northampton County, Virginia. Orthwood died soon after giving birth; one of the twins, Jasper, survived. Orthwood's illegitimate pregnancy sparked four related cases that came before the Northampton magistrates -- who coincidentally held court in the same tavern -- between 1664 and 1686. These interrelated cases and the decisions rendered in them are notable for the ways in which the Virginia colonists modified English common law traditions and began to create their own, as well as what they reveal about cultural and economic values in an Eastern shore community. Through these cases, the very reasons legal systems are created are revealed, namely, the maintenance of social order, the protection of property interests, the protection of personal reputation, and personal liberty. Through Jasper Orthwood's life, the treatment of the poor in small communities is set in sharp relief.

Anne Orthwood's Bastard was the winner of the 2003 Prize in Atlantic History, American Historical Association.

About the Author

John Ruston Pagan is a Professor in the School of Law at the University of Richmond, Virginia.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780195144796
ISBN-10: 0195144791
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: November 28th, 2002
Pages: 232
Language: English