But what is the extent of the remedy where the contract has been made since the end of the year 1882 ?
*In this case the married woman may be sued alone, but her liability is limited to her separate property (m). But, as we have already seen, the likelihood of her having separate property is greatly increased (n). The Rule of Equity also, which exempts the wife's after-acquired property from liability to a previous contract by her (o), seems abolished. For by sect. 1, sub-sect. 3, of the Act of 1882, "every contract entered into by a married woman shall be deemed to be a contract entered into by her with respect to and to bind her separate property, unless the contrary be shown." And by sub-sect. 4, " every contract entered able to his rank and fortune, and that the price charged for them was a fair and reasonable one; but, on the other hand, it appeared that an inquisition had issued out of Chancery under which the Earl was found to have been insane for a period long anterior to the time at which the carriages in question were supplied to him. The L. C. J. Abbott, before whom the case was tried, directed the jury, that, as the articles hired were suitable to the station and fortune of the defendant, and as the plaintiffs, at the time of making the contract, had no reason to suppose him of unsound mind, and could not be charged with practising any imposition upon him, they were entitled to recover; and the jury accordingly found a verdict for the plaintiffs. Mr. (afterwards Lord) *Brougham moved in the next term to set it aside, but the Court supported the direction of the Lord Chief Justice.
(l) Ante, p. *334.
(m) See sect. 1, sub-sect. 2, of the Act of 1882, cited ante, p. *350. (n) See M. W. P. Act, 1882, s. 2, ante, p. *337.
(o) See ante, p. *352. See as to the alteration of this rule by the M. W. P. Act, 1882, Bursill v. Tanner, 13 Q. B. D. 691, 693. 374 into by a married woman with respect to and to bind her separate property shall bind not only the separate property which she is possessed of or entitled to at the date of the contract, but also all separate property which she may thereafter acquire." These two sub-sections have no retrospective operation so as to include contracts entered into by a married woman before the commencement of the Act (p).
Where also a married woman carries on a trade separately from her husband, she may be made a bankrupt, sect. 1, sub-sect. 5, of the Act, enacting that "every married woman carrying on a trade separately from her husband (q) shall, in respect of her separate property, be subject to the bankruptcy laws in the same way as if she were a feme sole."
*Having thus disposed of the considerations arising on contracts made with or by infants and married women, I will postpone the conclusion of this branch of the subject till the next Lecture.
(p) Conolan v. Leyland, 27 Ch. Div. 632.
(q) As to what amounts to carrying on a trade separately from the husband, see Lovell v. Newton, 4 C. P. D. 7.