The Dowry

Nora Williams, late of Clogherboy

The Dowry or Fortune

The Dowry or fortune as it was called. Long ago women did not have a choice as to whom they would marry. It was mostly farmers from the country were involved. The man of the house was on the lookout as to what lady would be a good match for his son. She had to be strong with a good pair of legs. Age did not matter too much. It was arranged that each family would meet one day in the town and over a few drinks they would talk it all over. It was left so for a while and the girl and boy would get a while together and most of them would get very attached. Then another meeting was held at the same place. It was like buying a cow or such. The farmer would ask the other couple for their daughter’s hand in marriage which they all agreed, on certain conditions. There was the fortune or dowry as it was so called. The deal went on for quite a while till they agreed on the dowry. It could be a few hundred pounds, which was a lot of money in those times. The marriage was arranged later and everything went well. The father was happy – he got a good girl for his son and a good lump of money. She settled in for richer or for poorer till death do us part.

That’s what they did and they reared big families and lived to old age with their son and daughter-in-law. Not so today. People want to be independent.

This page was added on 27/09/2018.

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