The wife may hold, acquire and manage property the same as if she were single; she is also subject to the same liabilities in relation to her property as a single woman except that no contract or conveyance by her as surety or guarantor for her husband is binding.
Sometimes, when I compare myself with other men, it seems as if I were more favored by the gods than they, beyond any deserts that I am conscious of; as if I had a warrant and surety at their hands which my fellows have not, and were especially guided and guarded.
Personal surety appears as a complement of and substitute for collective responsibility.
A statute of 1553 made the breaking or defacing of an altar, crucifix or cross in any church, chapel or churchyard punishable with three months' imprisonment on conviction before two justices, the imprisonment to be continued unless the offender entered into surety for good behaviour at quarter sessions.
In 1748, however, the company broke up, and Lessing, who had allowed himself to become surety for some of the actors' debts, was obliged to leave Leipzig too, in order to escape their creditors.