11 December

From GDP/8 John Leeson

John Leeson (1803-1865) owned and rented out property in London. In his diaries, he regularly recorded a mixture of his business dealings, family news, and politics.

11 December 1847

Mother got worse on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday + Wednesday. We had Sir James Clark to see her on Thursday who said there was great danger. She was very quiet + composed all day and wished all of us to go to bed at ten of’clock. She also made Nurse go to bed, who got up at 11 of’clock to give her the medicine when she sat up with her. She + Ann [a servant] called me at 2 of’clock on Friday morning + I came down to her directly. She was fast sinking, her breathing difficult; sensible, told them to turn her on the left side + died very gently.

Death is most awful in the stillness of night. She was indeed a good mother to us all, and we shall feel her loss very much. Born 24 January 1771 – 76 years of age last birth day.

Mary [the diarist’s sister] came here on Friday morning after Mother had died – she cried much.

Richard [the diarist’s brother] came up from Norwich on Saturday after – he feels the loss very seriously.

Friday evening – Mother in her coffin. Under taker Mr Smith, John St., Portland Street.

Our old servant Jane Plours called on Saturday to see Mother’s remains – she was very much affected and cried bitterly.

I had intended to have gone to Norwich on Thursday with Richard, had all my clothes out ready to pack up. Mother had given me some Port to take + we had arranged all about me starting on that day. But God’s ways are not as our ways. ‘Boast not thyself of to morrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth’.

I sent for Miss Coventry, who is here with me at present as housekeeper. I am very thankful to have her – she is a great comfort to me both as a companion and a friend.

We had iron railing put to the back of the house to prevent any carriage in at night.