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physicians nine days ago, subsequent symptoms gave me hopes that she would recover: but these hopes are withered; and she has, after a suffering of nineteen days, left Mrs. Oakley, myself, and her dear surviving sisters and brother, to bewail the loss of one of the sweetest flowers that Nature, in her most luxuriant fancy, ever created. I cannot dwell upon this afflicting scene.
Your unhappy Son,
To The Rev. Doctor RAVENHILL, Tooting.
MY DEAR SIR,
Tavistock Place, February 12, 1817. As I cannot obtain a portion of the vault for my family where my dear son lies, and it being the wish of Mrs. Oakley to have one in town, I have this morning contracted for the purchase of a cemetery in St. Mary-la-bonne New Church.
As this will alter my arrangements for to-morrow, I send a special messenger with this to acquaint you of it; and also to inform you, that I have been with my friend, Mr. W. Moore, of Doctors' Commons, from whom I have obtained the promise of a faculty for removing the body of my dear son, which will issue from the Bishop of Winchester's Court, and which faculty will be produced to you when the body is sent for.
I therefore purpose carrying this into effect on Saturday morning, (till which day I have postponed the funeral of my little daughter), and will thank you to arrange with the bearer, at what time it can be done most conveniently to yourself.
My dear friend Mr. Ravenhill will, I have no doubt, sympathize with me on this painful ceremony, and lend every assistance in his power to soothe the feelings of
His faithful Friend and Servant,
To the Rev. WILLIAM BUCKLEY, NOTTINGHAM Place.
Tavistock Place, February 15, 1817.
IF urbanity, gentleness of disposition, and gentlemanly attention to a stranger, demand not the best thanks, there is nothing in life deserves remembrance.
My anxiety to possess a cemetery for my children did not escape your sympathy; and the tenderness you manifested upon the occasion of my application, and your kindness in directing me how to accomplish it, demand my best acknowledgments.
After my conference with you on Wednesday last, and having determined upon the purchase of a vault in the north-east corner of the new church, I requested the sexton to inform me what assignment I was to have, and the form of it. He said he did not know, he had no orders; but believed his receipt was sufficient.
Next morning I called upon him again, and gave directions when to receive the remains of my son, which were buried at Tooting, in Surrey, (for the removal of which I had obtained a faculty the preceding day); and also to name the hour for the funeral ceremony of my infant daughter, to take place this day. This being arranged, I expressed my readiness to pay the consideration-money for the vault; but the sexton (to whom I impute no blame,) said again, “ he had no orders,” and was not prepared to receive it. I left him my address, and requested he would procure from the vestry clerk what was proper, and that I should feel obliged by his calling upon me for the amount. I saw nothing of the sexton, nor did I hear from him until a late hour last night, when I was given to understand that the bodies of
my children would not be received at the church, unless the money was previously paid! I lost no time, and instantly (between ten and eleven o'clock,) despatched a messenger with my drafts, one for £120 for the vault, and one of £20 for dues.
A parent's distress for the loss of his child, and an arrangement likewise made for the removal of another from a distant part, with the anxiety that an interruption may check that arrangement, did not contribute to his repose, or tend to soothe a distressed family. If your vestry clerk had, when requested by the sexton, done his duty, this painful notice would have been avoided : but when a servant of the public has a duty imposed upon him, and it is not acted up to, he deserves reprehension. Sir, I complain of inattention ; and having stated the cause of complaint, I should be wanting in justice to you, as one of the representatives of the widely-extended parish of St. Mary-la-bonne, did I not acquaint you of an injury done to the feelings of a father, by a dereliction of duty in your officer. I have the honour to be, Sir, &c.
A JOURNAL OF FANNY'S ILLNESS.
THURSDAY, January 23, 1817. My dear little Fanny's indisposition first manifested itself.
Friday, 24. Languor, with heaviness of spirits.
Saturday, 25. Continued listlessness, with chills.
Sunday, 26. Symptoms of delirium - sent for Mr. Mathias - appearance of fever — its nature synochus.
Monday, 27 Fever rather increased.
Wednesday, 29. Worse this morning - sent for Doctor Powell — the character of the fever decidedly typhus – her beautiful hair cut off, and wet towels steeped in vinegar applied.
Thursday, 30. Procured a nurse to attend her - the children prohibited from seeing their sister.
Friday, 31. Dr. Latham called in - fever somewhat lower.
Sunday, 2. Doctor Latham again attended symptoms very alarming, and hardly any hopes - in the evening still worse, and at eleven at night given over - appearance of approaching dissolution — revived at two o'clock, and in the morning considerably better.
Monday, 3. Rather favourable through the day; with a relapse at night, and scarcely a gleam of hope.
Tuesday, 4. Took todgings for the children in Compton Street, as a measure of precaution against infection — the last and preceding night, the children rested in the drawing-room discharged the nurse, and, at the recommendation of Doctor Powell, obtained a sister from St. Bartholomew's Hospital to attend upon the little sufferer.
Wednesday, 5. Favourable hopes — from Monday, till this time, she had been kept alive by strong stimulants, but principally by brandy - continued to get better through the day, until two o'clock on
Thursday, 6, when immediate dissolution was apprehended at noon revived — at five better - and cheering hopes late in the evening, when Doctor Powell and Mr. Mathias left in good spirits.
Friday, 7. Much better, and hopes entertained of her recovery — not so well towards night.
Saturday, 8. Favourable report, and good symptoms — the nurse obliged to return to the hospital — sent again for Mrs. Lloyd, the first nurse,
Sunday, 9. Much the same through the day.
Monday, 10. Unfavourable night, and very low at eight in the morning - I saw her for the last time - I went into the city with gloomy impressions, when the appearance of my servant, whom Mrs. Oakley had sent to my office, too well indicated a serious change — the spirit of my dear Fanny took its flight at four o'clock.
Thus was cut off this lovely flower, in the bloom of youthful innocence, at the premature age of eleven years.
Fanny was a universal favourite : she was, in effect, the gilded clasp to the volume around my fire-side. When she entered the room, the leaves of the book flew open: all were eager to embrace her - all tongues were loose when hers was unstrung. The intelligent archness of her eye — the acuteness of her inquiries — the quickness of her replies — and the fascinating charms of a peculiarly interesting expression - elicited from a domestic circle feelings of the tenderest love, and excited in the breast of every one who knew her the fondest admiration.
To the discriminating instruction of her sister Hannah she was indebted for all she knew of language. She had also made considerable progress in her Latin grammar; and what was very remarkable, during the delirium occasioned by the fever, she was heard to conjugate her verbs with the greatest exactness, and also repeat many pages of poetry, and even sing her pretty songs. This, although the ebullition of a frenzied intellect, serves to shew how well her mind was stored, and how much was anticipated from this child of early promise. Poor little Fanny! “ a ministering angel” she is now, (and if there be communion among the dead), associating with her dear departed brother; and, in