Frequently asked questions
Bastardy was a former offence. If you had a child, without the means to support it, outside marriage, and it became chargeable to the state, you could be sent to goal. The idea was that people should be responsible enough to ensure they had the means to support any children born. This sentence could be applied to either a man or a woman if they could be proved to be the parents.
A definition of this and other words can be found in the site glossary.