28th December Mr. Neville Clutterback
A cold day with clouds until sunset.
A very grave day this has been indeed. Mrs. Thomas had a fall descending the stairs, bumping her head. Mr. Thomas and I got her to her room and Mr. Thomas placed her in bed to rest. Later she complained of pains and said the babe was coming and to fetch the Doctor. I went to the stable and ordered a horse saddled, then rode to Bexford to Dr. Thornton. He got his horse and followed me immediately. He tended Mrs. Thomas for a time and then conferred with Mr. Thomas saying he would like Dr. Woodforde to attend also due to the head injury which was causing Mrs. Thomas to fall out of consciousness from time to time. I sent the groom to fetch Dr. Woodforde for I thought Mr. Thomas needed my support at that time. When the housekeeper admitted Dr. Woodforde a short time later I was very worried and bade him follow me directly upstairs to Mrs. Thomas’ room. The two worked diligently and after a while I could hear the cry of the babe and praised God for his mercy in this. Then afterwards as he doctors were leaving they informed me Mary Thomas had not survived the birth. I went directly to Mr. Thomas to offer my condolences and support at this most tragic time. A wet nurse was found to tend the babe, the house sombre and quiet when just hours ago it was filled with laughter and love. The maid and housekeeper cried for the loss of their mistress who was a kind woman and much loved by them. Dr. Woodforde had given Mr. Thomas a dose telling him he needed to rest for he had a daughter who depended upon him now. Mr. Thomas had privately christened the child in the name of her mother, Mary. I urged him to go and rest and I would be on hand to tend to anything else. I didn’t go to my bed until the early hours. The wet nurse assured me the babe was not lacking and drank her milk hungrily. Once in my room, I finally allowed myself to cry for such a woman who was bonny and kind, and for the man she left behind who adored her. God must have purpose in this but I cannot see it just now.