It is by no means a necessary consequence, returned the other, winking, with a shrewd look around the bar room; “there is such a thing, I suppose you know, in law as a filius nullius
At common law, nonmarital children were filius nullius
or the "child of nobody.
In British law a bastard was "nobody's child": "Under the ancient legal doctrine of Filius Nullius
, a bastard was .
See 2 KENT, supra note 63, at 175; see also 1 BLACKSTONE, supra note 58, at *447 ("[T]he rights are very few, being only such as he can acquire; for he can inherit nothing, being looked upon as the son of nobody, and sometimes called filius nullius
The common law definition of an illegitimate child as filius nullius
, child of no family, gave way to firm legal recognition of the bond between mother and child.