Story of how Chrissie bought her Wedding Dress and the problems
Christiana Musgrove was to marry Thomas Langman in November 1885.
The preparations for the wedding obviously included buying a wedding
dress. She suggested to her father George Musgrove she should have
an advance from a trust fund that had been set up some years earlier
for her mother. This trust fund was set up in the late 1860's when
money from a Will was left to George Musgrove's wife to be, Christiana.
The Tustees agreed that a sum of £60 (comparable today to £28,225)
would be given for her trouseaux. On October the twentieth 1885
George, his wife Emily and daughter Christiana travelled to London
her future husband Thomas Langman. They first went to the offices
of the solicitors Starling and Giblett in Grays Inn Square. They
were responsible for administering the trust fund. Mr Starling
provided a cheque for £60 and expressly stated that the money
was to be exclusively used by Christiana only for her wedding.
They then walked to the Union Bank of London
in nearby Chancery
Lane and cashed the solicitor's cheque for sixty pounds into gold
which Emily put in her bag. They then went to the Post Office and purchased
a postal order for fourteen pounds payable to Messrs Hill, the
brewery who owned The Cricketers Pub in Danbury to pay off an
outstanding debt with some of the money just received from the
wedding dress was then purchased for £14 .. 4s .. 6d (comparable
today to £6,700). Emily also bought a tea service and some
other items all from the £60 and then they all returned to
Christiana and Thomas married on the fourth of November 1885 in
Danbury. After the wedding she asked for the balance of the sixty
pounds trouseaux because she had used less than twenty pounds.
The newspaper reports of this incident vary. One states that she
asked her father for the outstanding balance and he said "ask Emily."
The other report states that she asked Emily who said she should
ask her father. Whichever was the case the reply was "now
you have married Tom Langman he must keep you" and gave her
two shillings (comparable today roughly to £50).
This incident was the reason that Christiana and Thomas took George
and Emily to Chelmsford County Court to obtain the balance from
her £60 trouseaux. There was also a dispute between the two
families over the remaining trust fund monies which went to the
of Chancery for settlement. The original trust fund amount in 1871
was £12,000 (comparable
today to just over six million pounds).
The map below shows the area of Grays Inn Square
and Chancery Lane where the Solicitor and Bank were located the
diectory show both these offices. The illustrations of wedding
dresses come from contempory magazines of the period. On
the bank notice Carey street is mentioned
this was where bankruptcys were filed and a common saying was if
times were hard "we'll end up in Carey Street".