Monday, January 28, 2013

Amanuensis Monday: Letter re Death of Elizabeth Taylor (nee Rushworth)

Elizabeth Taylor in her Nurses Uniform
Lucy and Joseph Hartley
This morning I was going through my file of family letters looking for some more information on Emma Jane and Mary Ann Weston when I came across a letter about the death of Elizabeth Taylor, so today I am allowing myself to be side tracked a little, as I would like to share this letter as a follow on from my previous posts on Elizabeth.  

The letter was written by Lucy Hartley (Elizabeth's daughter) to her brother Richard Taylor and his family.  Richard had immigrated to Sydney, Australia in the early 1880's. Though he had regular correspondence with his family in England, he had not seen his mother since leaving England. Two of his sons, Richard and William had been able to visit the family in Colne while they were on leave from the Australian Army in World War I. (Lucy mentions this visit in her letter).

The letter is very poignant and provide a wonderful completion to my Blogs Elizabeth, so please forgive my divergence back to previous posts.

62 Ackincoates Rd
Feb 13th 1927

Dear Brother Richard,

Just a few lines to let you know the sad news of Mother's death.  She had not been well for some considerable time, her strength gradually getting weaker and weaker until she could scarcely stand and finally she was compelled to take to her bed through sheer exhaustion, where she lay very patiently until the end came at 4.00, on Monday morning Jan. 31st.  She passed peacefully away in her sleep and her last words were - "Lord have mercy on us".  Matilda and I were present at the last and Father lay beside her, having just got off to sleep for a few minutes.

As you will see from the card we laid her reverently to rest in Colne Cemetery on Thursday same week, amidst many scenes of respect and honour and general regret in the town at the passing of her gentle soul.  We miss her very much now but must not grieve, for it is our loss but her gain.  A great worker, a kingly and sympathetic soul - no one appealed to her in vain for help if it was in her power to give, but above all - a good mother, she will be remembered for many years to come.

In future you must, address all your letters to our house, as we are breaking up the old home.  Father and Matilda are coming to live with us, as we shall be able to look after him better at our house, he has been here since Mother died and bears up very well considering their great attachment to each other when Mother was alive.

Our family will now consist of Joe and myself, our two children - Nellie (19) and Fred (9), Lizzie (19) - sister Lizzie's girl who came to live with us when her mother died 6 years ago, Grandad and Mathilda. Lizzie's boy is living with friends close by.

Father is fairly well considering his great age, but very deaf and rather bad on his props, but his appetite is fairly good, he sits nearly all the time in his chair and smokes his pipe and reads the newspaper, we think he will be now the oldest person in Colne.

I think we have now told you all the news so must now close, remember us to the boys, we often talk about them when they were here, we also hope and trust you are all keeping well.  We receive letters from Jessie and Tilly, also Dicks wife and the photo of John and his bride just came in time for Grandma to see - the week before she died. When is will going to be married, he does not seem to be in much hast about it, does he!

We all join in sending our love to you all and please remember the new address when any of your family write again,

Your affectionately Sister
Lucy and Joe Hartley


  1. I saw you were featured on GeneaBloggers and wanted to stop by, say hi, and read some of your blog. What a wonderful letter. So exciting to have items like that so you can have a personal view of your ancestors lives. I am fairly new at genealogy and very new at blogging. I love looking at all the incredible blogs.


  2. thanks for your kind comments. Yes it is great to have these letters, they give such a personal touch to our stories. I hope you enjoy my blogs. I am fairly new to blogging as well, so it is all trail and error. good luck with your blogs and family tree research.