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Written by Nikki N
(1/29/2011 12:06 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, The normal practice, penned by Kathleen Glancy
In P&P, the conditions on Lydia's marriage to Wickham was that she was to be assured "by settlement, her equal share of the five thousand pounds" after the death of her parents, and that her father was to pay her an allowance of 100 pounds per year during his lifetime. In Lydia's case she would receive less after her father's death than during her lifetime, since the funds that could be inherited by the Bennet sisters were so small in comparison to the income from their father's estate.
In the Woodhouses' case however, the situation appears to be the opposite -- the funds were very large -- about 60,000 to be divided between two sisters. So I wonder if it would all go to the girls immediately on their marriage, or it was settled so that it would defintely go to them after their father's death, but that in the meantime, the married woman would also receive an allowance from the settled funds -- perhaps on half of it, while the income from the other half would be retained by their father in his lifetime e.g. "a life interest on a moiety" seemed also a common practice for a surviving parent.
Unlike the Bennets, the Dashwoods and the Elliots, there appeared to be no entail or settlement on a male heir for Hartfield. Daughters in general inherit equally under the law unless different provisions or settlements had been made in the family -- but I've read cases where the settlement made was that the property would go to the eldest son, or if there is no son, then to the eldest daughter -- if there was such a settlement, then Hartfield would go to Isabella.
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