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Will - Dower and Thirds

Will - Dower and Thirds

Posted: 22 Oct 2012 9:27PM GMT
Classification: Query
I have recently been transcribing a Will dated 1756 in which a widow was well provided for. Except that if she re-married her annuity would be halved and she would be expected to relinquish any claim to "dower and thirds".

What were dower and thirds?

Re: Will - Dower and Thirds

Posted: 22 Oct 2012 9:56PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hope this helps, it's from a legal dictionary.

A widow's interest (sometimes just a life estate) in real property owned by her deceased husband.

At common law, "dower" is a right which only vests as of the death of the husband, and was limited to one-third of the husband's real property.

Historically, this referred to a husband's obligation to support his wife for her lifetime and in heraldic vocabulary, the word dowager when placed in front of a woman's name meant that she was a widower living off a dower.

So it looks as though if she remarried she would lose half of her annuity and all of the income from her deceased husband's estate

Eveline

Re: Will - Dower and Thirds

Posted: 22 Oct 2012 10:04PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you Eveline, that's excellent!

You now also hold the record for the fastest response I have ever received, by 2 mins !!

Ken.

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