Caroline Norton

woman and social reformer

Died aged 69

Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton, Lady Stirling-Maxwell (22 March 1808 – 15 June 1877) was an active English social reformer and author. She left her husband in 1836, who sued her close friend Lord Melbourne, then the Whig Prime Minister, for criminal conversation (adultery). The jury threw out the claim, but she failed to gain a divorce and was denied access to her three sons. Norton's campaigning led to the passage of the Custody of Infants Act 1839, the Matrimonial Causes Act 1857 and the Married Women's Property Act 1870. She modelled for the fresco of Justice in the House of Lords by Daniel Maclise, who chose her as a famous victim of injustice.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Caroline Norton 1808–1877 Champion of women's legal rights lived here 1845–1877

3 Chesterfield Street, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom where they was