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City of London Corporation pays good money to find an honest woman

11 December 2013

The City of London Corporation is keeping romance and history alive by rewarding a Camden resident with a time-honoured marriage dowry worth £150.
Marriage is becoming an increasingly costly affair with the average couple spending around £20,000 on their big day. But one lucky bride benefitted this week from a dowry dating back to 19th century London that continues to be handed out by the public authority to lovers born or resident in the Square Mile. 
Italian-born Pasquale Favale, who fell in love with and married a City girl, bequeathed 18,000 Lira in 1882 to the City Corporation. He stipulated that each year a portion of the money was to be given to a "poor, honest, young woman, native of the City of London, aged 16 to 25 who has recently been or are about to be married."
Clearly a true romantic, Favale’s will stated that he was "induced to make the bequest” by the fact that his wife was a native of London and that he had “passed many happy years of his life in the City” with his beloved wife Eliza.
With London being one of the most expensive cities to live in, the City of London Corporation’s biggest challenge since then has been finding women who live in the City, can prove that they are City-born and, of course 'honest'!
The chosen recipient was Lorna Emmett, 31.  Lorna was born at the City’s St Bartholomew’s Hospital and married husband James Emmett at Burgh House in Hampstead on 18th May 2013.
Lorna, a Chartered Accountant, said:
“I feel really honoured to be part of such a romantic story and more so being a part of London’s history. I hope Pasquale Favale is looking down smiling.”
John Tomlinson, Chairman of the Port Health and Environmental Services Committee at the City of London Corporation, which is responsible for managing the dowry, said:
"We’re delighted to continue the tradition of this unique bequest and we wish Lorna and James a long, happy married life. I hope it will help make a memorable contribution for them just as it has done for many other couples for well over a century.”
Notes to editors
Press enquiries
John Park, Media Officer, City of London Corporation
T 020 7332 3639 / M 07824 343 456

About the City of London Corporation
The City of London Corporation has three roles: we support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration and skills projects. The City of London Corporation’s charity, the City Bridge Trust, makes grants of more than £15 million annually to charitable projects across London and we also support education - with three independent schools and three City Academies – plus a primary school and the world-renowned Guildhall School of Music and Drama. We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important ‘commons’ in south London. And – with its heart in London’s Square Mile - we also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events, research-driven policies and a long-term approach. See for much more on our uniquely diverse role, including the City of London Police, etc.

11 December 2013
Last Modified:
11 December 2013