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|I seem to recall ...
Written by Emmy
(6/16/2007 9:35 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Question about Marriage Articles, penned by Cathy Allen
(and there are others who can surely get the exact text as I'm just going from memory) that Miss Gardiner's dowry was £4000 and £1000 came from Mr. Bennet or his family. Mr. B (and thus the household) would benefit from the interest off this money, but the principal couldn't be touched - thus the need for marriage articles - that is why Lydia had £1000 settled on her versus giving it to Wickham outright - we know how well he managed the £4000 he got from the Darcys!
Once Mr. B dies, Mrs. B will get the interest - so she shan't be completely destitute, but her style of living will certainly go down with only £250 (or thereabouts, I believe the average interest at the time was 4 to 5%) instead of £2000. Once she dies, the daughters will inherit (and I presume, could spend the principal unless it is transferred by THEIR (the daughters) marriage articles/settlement.
It makes me wonder though, if Mrs. Phillips had £4000 of her own dowry and what Mr. Gardiner inherited as well. Old Mr. Gardiner must have done fairly well for himself to have that kind of fortune to pass on. Mr. Bennet does far less for his daughters...
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