If married women would ‘lay out no Money but what their Husbands knew and freely allow’d of, the Consumption of a thousand things they now make use of would be lessened by at least a fourth part… It is incredible what vast quantity of Trinkets as well as Apparel are purchas’d and used by Women, which they could never have come at by any other means, than pinching their Families, Marketting, and other ways of cheating and pilfring from their Husbands: Others by ever teazing their Spouses, tire them into Compliance’.
Bernard Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees (1714),ed. Phillip Harth, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970, pp.236-7.
There are other ways of looking at 18thc women and money! More of that anon.