The Second Mrs Burke: Part 2


Marriage Settlement

Emily McArthur was well over thirty years old when she married Rev. William John Burke in October 1861. Emily had lost her entire immediate family in recent years and was pretty much alone in the world. She was independently wealthy, holding a trust fund, inherited from her mother, who died in 1855. Her only brother Rev. Richard McArthur, who had succumbed to scarlet fever in Canada a few years later left his entire estate to her. She need not have got married but she was a woman alone and maybe by the standards of the times it was better for her to do so.

On October 1st 1861 a marriage settlement was drawn up between Rev William John Burke and Charles Knox of Downpatrick and Rev. Michael Kennedy of Dublin. acting in the interest of Emily McArthur. The couple married the next day.

The newlyweds lived in Dublin for some time, until Rev took a post in Castlejordan Co. Meath. His wife pregnant with their first child remained on in Dublin for the birth. Their firstborn Miriam Sophia arrived in June 1863. After the birth the family moved to Edenderry Co Offaly (then Kings County), close to Rev Burke’s new parish of Castlejordan.

Miriam Sophia's birth announcement

Miriam Sophia’s birth announcement



16 June 1863 – Dublin Evening Mail – Dublin, Dublin, Republic of Ireland. P 1