Monthly Archives: November 2017

Emily Gets Married

When Emily married in 1905 a time when big weddings were uncommon unless it was a society one. This was not so in Emily and Edward Weddall’s case. It was just the two of them with two witnesses and the Vicar. This austerity possibly extended to the bride’s dress. It was not that Emily was miserly, in fact the complete opposite could be said of her it was a sign of those times. Below is an article, The World of Women, from the same year taken from the Penny Illustrated:

We are so utilitarian in these days; if we purchase or learn anything, then that thing must be purchased or learned only if it is likely to prove useful. wear carrying this utilitarian principle to the bride’s dress and the writer takes the liberty of thinking that it it not entirely a wise step.

The argument in favour of this application of the “useful” to the wedding garments is this: The young people are not very well circumstanced it is therefore, better than the bride should have a wedding dress that will easily “come in” for ordinary wear, instead of spending money on a garment that must, in all probability be laid aside after the ceremony…

Yet is it not a pity to banish the poetry from the most solemn, the most important and most poetical of all events of a girl’s life…

Whatever Emily wore to her wedding it was certainly set off by a hat. Emily had a lifelong liking for millinery, wearing the biggest hat available, which usually dwarfed her tiny frame, nevertheless she wore them well.

The Penny Illustrated 3rd June 1905





The Bride to be arrives at Islington

The newly built Highbury Station where Emily arrived before her wedding in 1905

Emily Burke arrived in London in April 1905. She made the journey alone as her only remaining sister lived in Australia at the other side of the world. Emily perhaps at this stage was used of being alone and the journey to London to become the second Mrs. Weddall would not have fazed the “intrepid” Emily too much. This ‘fly by the seat of her pants’ approach shows up in Emily’s life on many occasions.

Emily knew the sea captain for about ten years before they walked down the Isle together in St. Mary’s church in Islington. They met at least once in France in 1896, when Emily made a collection for the families of the Kingstown Lifeboat Disaster of 1895. Edward Weddall made an ostentatious contribution to the fund. Maybe it was the sea captain’s way of impressing young Emily. It took it’s time but it worked and a decade after first meeting the couple married.

Old map of Islington