This collection contains records of divorces in England and Wales between the years 1858 and 1937. Records typically include the name of the husband, the name of the wife, the name of the corespondent, and the year of the divorce.<br><br>The Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857 caused a significant change in divorces in the UK, transferring the authority from the church to the state. People were now able to “petition the court” for a divorce on the basis of adultery, which would have to be proved. Only in The Matrimonial Causes Act of 1923 women were allowed to petition for a divorce on the basis of adultery without additional proof. The corespondent is the individual with whom the respondent had committed adultery.<br><br>This collection contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.