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Women, Marriage and Property in Wealthy Landed Families in Ireland, 1750-1850$
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Deborah Wilson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780719077982

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719077982.001.0001

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Widows and property

Widows and property

Chapter:
(p.154) 6 Widows and property
Source:
Women, Marriage and Property in Wealthy Landed Families in Ireland, 1750-1850
Author(s):

Deborah Wilson

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719077982.003.0007

This chapter discusses the role of widows in the family property distribution and formal–informal powers available to elite woman. Widows were discernably marginalised from family property in Ireland. Throughout the period, all women in the families in this study received jointure in place of dower, which in most cases was significantly less than the widow would have received as dower. Widows also had no rights to their husbands' personal property, which tended to be treated as an extension of estate property and bequeathed as such to the heir. Family practices, such as the use of trustees, further sidelined widows from family financial business. The stereotypical image of the greedy dowager bleeding dry an already encumbered estate was a common feature in the correspondence of this class.

Keywords:   widows and property, role of widows, formal–informal power, family property, estate property

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