Transcript of the letter from Robert MacDonald, Elizabeth's father, to her brother Roderick in Australia with the news and details of his sister's death
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Transcript of the letter from Robert MacDonald, Elizabeth's father, to her
brother Roderick in Australia with the news and details of his sister's death.
13, Telford Road, Inverness. Mar. 16/66
My dearly beloved Son,
It is with deep feelings of sorrow that I take my pen now to write to you this letter, & I am sure that it will be with equal feelings you will read it. It fell now to my lot to send to you the sad & distressing Notice of your beloved sister Elizabeth's death! On the morning of Thursday the 8th day of this month, at 9 O'clock, she was delivered of a living son, but she died almost immediately after it. The child is living, but his mother has gone to her long home! A sad & sore stroke this is to poor Thomas & his throng & weak family! The Midwife was sent for, but she was away from home attending another wife. The doctor was sent for but he was too late a-coming. Your poor mother, with Widow McKay, had to do their best in the case. Thomas was from home tugging a ship on Lochness, & only arrived home three hours after his dearly beloved wife's death!
Mr May ordered one of his men to make the coffin, & it was made, mounted, & lettered, equal to any made here for any Lady. Her name "Elizabeth McD-Findlay, aged 41" on the plate on its breast, as I ordered. She was buried at 1 O'clock on Saturday in the same grave with her sister Catherine, & aside her own daughter. The burial was very numerously attended by both high & low of the neighbourhood, & Mr May & other gentlemen, along with the rest followed the Hearse, on foot to the gate of the Church-yard, from that the coffin till they saw it placed in the grave. Her death is deeply lamented by all in the neighbourhood. She was 4 hours dead before I got notice of it. ---- I sent Notices immediately to Robert, John, Margaret, Alex'r, & to Dingwall, & to Sutherlandshire, but as she was to be buried on Saturday none of them could come. (I had no letter from Robert since. I am highly displeased at him. He is not what I ought to expect him to be, as a son & a brother.) He will repent when I will not be in need of his aid, or sympathy.
Your mother is still in Thomas's taking charge of his family. He urgently wished her & me to give up this house, to go to reside in his house to take care of his family, & his House, & Garden, & that he would engage a servant to do the work, under your mother's directions, so that your mother would not have to do but very little, & that we would have our choice of either the lower or upper flat of the house for our accommodation, & our use of the garden as well as himself & family; --- & all that as long as he would have the house & that we would try & make a living thereby.