“A dowry was the wealth brought into a new marriage by the bride. This could either be in the form of cash, goods or property and was usually provided by the bride’s father. Negotiations over the exact level of dowry for a particular marriage could be complex, there was no standard sum.
I did have a dowry.
A silver sixpence.
If you believed my father, it was payment for Jack to take me off his hands!
When we were well and truly married, daddy asked Jack if he could have the sixpence back… because he had another unmarried daughter on his hands.
The sixpence went back, and when daddy died, it was found in the pocket of a suit jacket, by my eldest brother. On one of our visits to Dublin, my brother handed the coin to Jack with the words “I think this belongs to you”!
I still have it today.