Beatrice of Carnew Castle - a Life in Letters, 1888-1964

CHAPTER TWO: A Troubled Time - a Death and a Move

Alana Stephens

The life story of Beatrice Woodhouse (born Dowse) as told in letters, from 1891, when Beatrice was sent back to Ireland from Canada, to her death in 1964 in Dublin. Compiled and edited by her grand-niece Alana Stephens and published on this website in a series of chapters. 

 
Photo:Beatrice c. 1915

Beatrice c. 1915

 

Chapter Two  covers the period of Beatrice's life when she was in transition between living with her grandparents and striking out on her own. It is before she went to live permanently in The Castle with her Aunt Edie Dowse after the death of her uncle, Richard Morton Dowse. Edie and Dick Dowse moved from Umrigar House to the Castle in 1917. He died in 1923. Chapter Two gives detailed descriptions of the deaths of Beatrice's grandparents and the move from Kilninor Glebe to Dalkey. 

CHAPTER TWO: A Troubled Time – a Death and a Move

In 1911 Rev. Kilbride became seriously ill, and required an operation and many weeks of recovery in hospital. This put the family in a precarious position financially, as Emma Sarah Kilbride explains to her daughter May.

                                                                       

                                                                        The Glebe

                                                                        March 16/11

My own Darling May,

I must begin my long-postponed letter by telling you that your Papais going on very well, (a month in hospital yesterday) is able to sit in a chair in the afternoon for some hours, wound healing nicely, better appetite. Likely he will be another fortnight or three weeks in hospital. I quite dread his coming here again except he stayed in bed, as he would want to be going out, and it is generally cold in April. Everything is very uncertain and will be for some time, but of course we will leave this place. I wonder who will buy it - not a farmer I hope, but there is not enough land for anyone to make a living out of and land is cheap compared to what it was.

            The expense will be very great, about 70 pounds I think, as Dr. Murphy is not paid yet and he has been coming all January.

            Maud said she thought it would be four guineas a week at the hospital, and there are other items which are expensive. I thought your Papa had money in the Bank but it seems not so, where it will come from I don’t know but we must hope it will come right in the end. God never forsakes those who trust Him. You will understand what an anxious time we have had. Maud would not tell us when the operation would take place as she knew we would be so anxious so it was a relief when it was all over and successful.

 

Aunt Kate’s letter of 9/8/11 to May Dowse explains that Rev. Kilbride is contemplating retirement, and at present he and Violet are in Dalkey, Co. Dublin looking at houses to rent.

 We had sent [your letter] on to Dalkey where as you no doubt have heard, your Papa & Violet are staying in lodgings, & Violet sent it back that we might read it.

You will think it time I said something about your Papa’s intended movements, but there is nothing to be said. He has said nothing about leaving or resigning, but likes Dalkey. Rents there are very high. Maud is, as I suppose you know, on a night duty case, but as she cannot sleep by day will not I think stay longer than this month. She goes out in the afternoons to go about with Violet& take exercise, but her Papa wants her to be with him then because he does not like to be alone! In a letter from her today she wishes we had some male relative to settle matters. In the meantime we are comfortable here & I dread a break-up & consequent separation.

Aunt Kate also describes in this letter an event that was taking place at Umrigar House, an event which Beatrice unfortunately had to miss. As Beatrice’s grandfather and Aunt Violet were in Dalkey looking at potential properties to rent she was therefore needed at home to care for her Aunt Kate and grandmother.

 

Edie & Dick have had a tennis tournament & gave two silver boxes 1/10 each as prizes, one for each sex! They were won by Papa, Jack Smith & Mrs. Swan (Willie would know the names I dare say). Mrs. Wilson, Pearl, Jessie & Charlie Manifold[1] have been at Umrigar for a long time. I was very sorry that Beatrice was not able to go. I think there were twenty or thirty players & a large number of guests looking on. They were going to wind up with a dance in the evening. Beatrice did go over on Saturday & stayed Sunday, returning Monday morning by train & was met at Inch… The crops promise well, except oats. A large piece of turnips being thinned & looking very good, potatoes very dry & nice, a small field of hill hay was cut today & the oats are to be cut on Friday.

            You are very civilized. Beatrice & I are wondering when will Ireland have a thing called a seeder, a cultivator & a hiller, whatever that may be. We have to do everything with our fingers!

 

Shortly after this letter was written the Kilbride family had to hastily pack up and move from their beloved Kilninor to new lodgings in Dalkey, Co. Dublin. Aunt Kate reveals her feelings of helplessness and distress at the suddenness of the move and the fact that she had to leave many of her belongings behind.

 

                                                                                    Gaeta

                                                                                    Barnhill Road

                                                                                    Dalkey

                                                                                    Co. Dublin, Ireland

                                                                                    November 1, 1911

My dearest Marion,

I am trying to write to you & do not know where to begin! I think I told you in my last (from the Glebe) how your Papa pushed matters at last, having the auction advertised before he had resigned or had looked for a house - consequently everything was hurried. Maud was in Dalkey at the time on a night case & spent most of her day time looking for a house - footsore & weary every day. Then there was a choice of only two houses & Violet had to come up and choose. One had few rooms (but large) & no place for fowl, which she & your Mother wanted to keep, so she had to take this.

There is one room in front, the drawing room, & hall beside it, behind that a very small dining room, next to that just off the hall is a small bedroom occupied by your Mother, then 7 steps leads down to the kitchen in which is a large stove & a few shelves & a corner cupboard. At the foot of the stairs is a little pantry & opposite that is a tiny place with a water tap & trough, which is very handy, as one need not go out for water. The back room opens from it & opposite that, a few feet between, is Violet’s bedroom. Turning round from the kitchen steps are 7 more steps to the only good room in the house, which is your Papa’s bedroom. Turn around again & go up 8 steps to the roof [and there] is my bedroom, with small dormer window, & five or six feet wide, & long enough for bed & press - no room for table, chair, or washstand. I have a basin on top of the press, which is a low one I had brought from the Glebe. I was told not to bring my chest, but as most of my belongings as well as Beatrice’s were in it I did, for one must have clothes, sheets, quilts & [illegible], & Maud & Beatrice got a railway porter to get it upstairs to the little lobby outside my door in which there is a small window. It (chest) just fills it leaving room to walk in front & in which I must put a small stool, for when I get up from the kitchen I feel so tired I must sit down, & the bed & chest are too high to rest on. All the beds have to be single ones. Up there Beatrice & I have slept since we came to this house, but we are well used to each other & accommodating & manage pretty well, but the chief trouble is that there is no place to put anything down & half our time is spent looking for things, they seem to disappear.

            The auction was said to be a good one but had there been time given us it would have been better. Your Papa would have his brother’s books[2] brought from Aran years ago & he had to collect them & all got since. It took us days to collect them & they sold for a few shillings - there must have been over a thousand of them! Beatrice divided most of her good books, prizes, presents between the young Moores, Murphys, & Symes (Sandham’s daughters). Your Papa had all his own brought, even his old sermons. They are now in boxes in a coal hole! The piano is gone to Inch Rectory. Mr. Woods is the rector. He & his wife were at the Sale, & got what they wanted. The best china bought by Mrs. Ashton.[3]

 So much of our time had to be spent collecting things to be given away & burned that we had not time to select what we might bring. I had to burn all my Xmas cards & photos, so please do not send a card here just a few lines at Xmas will be [illegible]. Your Mothergot 6 pounds for the donkey & trap (which Mrs. Kingsley had given her) & her geese & hens fetched something, but she misses her regular egg money. She has a __ of fine pullets which should lay soon, but they have not the extended run they had in Kilninor & have no place to scratch except a flower border! There is a small one in front of the house where Beatrice & I put down all the choice flowers & bulbs we brought with us.

            I am very far from strong & I think I would have lost my senses but for the unceasing care & help of Beatrice. She was at Kilninor all the summer, going to Umrigar for only a short time while her Aunt & Pearl[4] were there. When she and Edie drove over for her, then she found it very difficult to get back again, but Edie & Mrs. Peterson drove over one morning to say goodbye & brought her then. I was glad to see her for I never could ... [rest of letter missing]

 

It is obvious from this letter that the move was a sudden one and poorly planned, and as a result Aunt Kate had to leave behind many of the articles that she was not ready to part with. An upheaval of this sort is never easy at any age, and Rev. Kilbride, Emma Sarah Kilbride and Aunt Kate were advanced in age by this time, and had few years left to them.

Up until this time Beatrice had been dividing her time between Umrigar House and Kilninor Glebe, as she was needed and loved at both places, but when the Kilbride family moved to Dalkey it became more difficult to transition between the two families, and small rivalries sprang up between them for Beatrice’s attention.

 

Emma Sarah Kilbride to her niece Kathleen, in Canada

We will be very lonely when Bea goes to Carnew, but she wants a change.

 

Aunt Kate, Nov. 19, 1912, Gaeta, Barnhill Road, Dalkey, Ireland, writes in her usual forthright way,

 

My dearest Marion[5],

Beatrice received this morning from Etta[6] your kind and welcome present. No doubt you think that Beatrice returned to Umrigar after she had been here to see Alice, but as I think you know Maud had left Miss Busteed’s,[7][as she] wished to keep herself clear to accept anything that was worth accepting. We got Beatrice to stay tho’ she lost her return ticket by it (or I did). It is so pleasant to have her. Violet on Saturday 16th is for London with Alice Wilshire for a week, & may then go to Enniscorthy for a week or more.

            Maud leaves tomorrow to go to the McGeough Home for old ladies, (I am sure you know it), where I hope she will be comfortable. The Matron was a Sister at Steeven’s Hospitalwhen Maud was there, and asked Maud to go to her. Alice is very pleasant & well off, but I think spends her income. She intends to stay in England for more than a year & will come over again next summer. She admired some of Beatrice’s crochet work & has given her a commission for a collar. She gave Beatrice a nice white blouse embroidered in silk. Beatrice would write, but is helping Maud with various things & I wished to write to you at once to thank you for her. She is setting off now to buy in Kingstown,[8] a pair of soles for Mauds bedroom slippers. She will walk down & return by train.

21st Maud left for Dublin yesterday afternoon & we feel quite lonely, but glad that she has got some employment & is so near us. I gave her & Beatrice a sou between them last week to buy hats in Kingstown & they got very becoming ones, felt velour, turned up all round, & with a white feather in each, black & white & the fashionable colours this winter. You would not have got them for the price I suppose. They seemed to have had a great deal of fun over their purchases. I shall get another feather for Beatrice’s, as it is rather small. Hats have been very ugly for a very long time (covering the shoulders) but are worn smaller now.

            We heard twice from Violet. She is “doing” London under the guidance of Alice, who was there several times before.

            Edie wants to know how soon Beatrice is going back. She is hurting now, & nurse is leaving to take up maternity cases, & a Miss Ivors is going to Agnes[9], but Beatrice will not go just yet. Your Papa & Mother are well, but do not go out. I do once a month, I cannot walk.

With love to All from All

                        I am

                        Your affectionate Aunt

                        Kate

 

With the sudden retirement of Rev. Kilbride in 1911 the family were left with very little income, and his daughters Violet and Maud and his granddaughter Beatrice, were forced to find employment wherever they could. It is likely that Beatrice assisted her aunt and uncle, Richard and Edie Dowse, at Carnew with the care of Edie’s sister, Agnes Goodisson, and when in Dalkey Beatrice would have done all she could for her increasingly frail grandparents. It was not an easy life for a 24 year-old woman. Aunt Maud had found employment as a nurse in Dublin, and consequently most of the work at Gaeta had fallen to Aunt Violet, but when Violet took a much-needed holiday to London with her friend Alice, the brunt of the work fell to Beatrice, as there was no one else to care for her ailing grandparents.

 Finally, after only three years of retirement, Rev. Henry Neville Kilbride succumbed to his illnesses and died on February 1, 1914.

A letter of Emma Sarah Kilbride, Dalkey, Feb. 11th 1914, to her daughter May Dowse gives the details of his death.

 

My own darling May,

I scarcely know how I got through the last few weeks. Your poor dear Papa was taken away to [illegible] Lord. Truly we could hardly imagine it to be true. He refused to eat all the week, just taking liquid nourishment, but could talk a little. Had a great inclination to sleep, and on Saturday the Dr. examined him, but did not say he was worse. 

The girls sat up with him by turns, and on Sunday morning Feb. 1st he asked Maud to help him out of bed (which she did, or rather was trying to) when he fell back on his arms and died. I had just left the room, and on hearing Maud call ran back only to find he had gone. It was a great shock to them both and when Maudcame into my room & told me I was shocked, as he got better after many worse attacks.

For some time he sat up nearly all night, and when the cold weather set in got cold on his chest, which I think had a bad effect. He was laid to rest the 4th at Dean’s Grange Cemetery where we bought a lot for 4 pounds 10 shillings. His funeral was private but a good many friends attended, amongst others the Ashtons came up from the Glebe at Hollyfort, then came on here with the others. I was in bed for three weeks after. Jack[10] was a great comfort, as he stayed till after the funeral. Beatrice too was a great help, but unfortunately got a bad cold and had to stay in bed several days. I wrote for Vi on Sunday & she was here on Monday about 1 of. Violet has a very busy time attending on two, besides Jack, who had a great deal of business to look after.

We are quite unsettled as we don’t know what to do. Violet thinks of taking a lodger, but I don’t like that idea at all. The girl who comes in about half 11 could not light the fire, so all the work would fall on Violet (get breakfast and light the fire in the sitting room) and she has had enough of that work the last two years.

            How I wish we were near you but it is in vain wishing. If only the sea voyage would have to be encountered I would gladly go to you. But perhaps I would get my courage and go, but all the same I would not like to leave the others. I don’t go out often, not since last August, so I don’t want [illegible] clothes. Every thing looks dark and gloomy at present, but we will let you know when anything is settled.

            Kate has been suffering from her head, and was in bed some days. She is a lot better now. We all feel very lonely and sad. There are a great many dying. Dr. Dowse of Enniscorthy[11] died yesterday and Canon French is very ill, so people pull away from this world, I hope to this Better land where [illegible] is unknown.

            Beatrice is going to Dublin tomorrow to meet Maud who wants her to meet a [illegible]. I must finish now, as I am so tired.

                        With love to all. 

I remain my darling May your affectionate                                        

Mother

We are left very badly off. I believe I will get a pension of Ferns[12] Widow Fund!!

Excuse the writing, as can’t do any thing my hands get so cold.       

 

Photo:Photo of Maud Kilbride in her nursing uniform

Photo of Maud Kilbride in her nursing uniform

Alana Stephens

 

 A letter of Maud Kilbride to her sister May gives a few more details of Beatrice’s condition after the death of her grandfather, and reveals the delicate financial situation that the remaining Kilbrides found themselves in,

 

Poor Bea collapsed that day, & has been in bed ever since - a very bad cold & neuralgia & high temperature. She is better, but far from well. I wish I had not to leave on the 14th but I must, alas. 

            Ethel wanted Mother & Kate to go there,[13] but the journey would be too much for them - besides it would be awful to be separated from them & hardly see them again. We must try to keep together at all costs.

            Jack has written to the Bishop, & there are other Societies from which help ought to be obtained considering Mother’s age & Papa’s long service & such hardship. The rent is so high, but if we can get a lodger it might be manageable. Kate keeps wonderfully well. I don’t know how she goes as she does, up & down those steep stairs. When Bea gets better she will look after her & perhaps Violet could get a rest.

            I must end now with much love to you all - hoping you will feel too that all is well with him & be comforted.

            Ever your loving sister

            Maud

 

After the death of her grandfather Beatrice craved independence, and rather than be dependent on her aunt Edie and uncle Dick Dowse at Umrigar House she decided to accept employment as a nurse/companion to Miss Busteed, who Maud had nursed previously.

 

May 28, 1914, Aunt Kate explains Beatrice’s decision to May,

 

You must be surprised to hear that Beatrice has gone to Miss Busteed, (who asked her) & as Beatrice has for some time wished to be independent, I could not oppose her any longer, particularly as I know that if she stayed at Umrigar now it would be as almost a servant to money. Edie and Dick do not like Beatrice to move, indeed I think he feels very lonely, but I shall write more about this.

 Emma Sarah Kilbride was beginning to fail in health at this time, and although Aunt Kate was older than her sister she was in much better health and still able to look after herself. The remaining Kilbride family – Emma Sarah Kilbride, Aunt Kate, and Violet Kilbride decided to leave Gaeta, Dalkey, and move to other lodgings. At first they contemplated moving to Dublin to the home of someone known to them, but this plan did not succeed, as Emma Sarah explains in a letter of April 24, 1914 to Beatrice,

 You will be glad to hear the house is let at last to a lady who lived close to this.  She has no one but herself & servant so it will be large enough for them. I do not know yet where we are going, but I think to Jenny Boyd’s house where we can have apartments - 4 rooms at 25[illegible] a year. Vi is gone today to look at them. I am so glad to leave this horrid hole, as I never stir out without going to the trouble of driving myself.  I went out on Sunday for the first time since last August and sat on the pier for some time but did not enjoy myself as the sun was in my eyes and I had no parasol. The weather is very cold for April - frost & snow.

[The next day]

Vi returned from Dublin last evening disgusted with the house, is a common lodging house with a single dark kitchen, so we won’t go there. All our plans are altered but I can’t explain them, Kate will. My eye is very weak so please excuse the writing. I hope all are well.

            With much love

            Your loving Gran

 

More suitable lodgings were found in Dalkey and the remaining Kilbride family prepared to move to 3 Connaught Terrace. The move was not without its difficulties however, as Kate further explains to May on May 28, 1914,

 

I think no one of us all wrote to you last week, and suppose you think that we have moved into the fresh house. No indeed, such an impasse I never knew! The people can’t leave until Friday & we must be out of this then, indeed the incomes sent a tradesperson last week to begin, but Violet promptly sent him away & she sent in some large lamps last evening. We keep on friendly terms & Violet has exchanged curtains, blinds etc. with her. We are packing & a van will take things.

The solicitor who let the house told me on Saturday that the men would begin papering & painting on Monday. Violet went down that day eve - no one had been. Next day she found a man had brought a ladder. On Wednesday four men were in, but the occupant of my room won’t leave till the last minute!! We must get in a cleaner ourselves, and a lady said that there is an inch of mud on the floor. The old rule used to be that the outgoers left the house clean, but nothing has changed for the better, except machinery. 

A Mrs. Powell came in last evening and packed up tea things, ornaments, plates & Beatrice packed a box for me last week & by good luck I got my old chest down to the drawing room, after I had taken everything out, & then I brought them down & packed full, & that is a weight off my mind.

            Your Motherseemed failing since I last wrote & was always cold, & last eve just before Mrs. Powell came (& fortunately B. Ashton[14] was here) she got a shivering fit & seemed so ill that he ran for Dr. Bradshaw, he being at Kingstown. Beatrice went to the next house & brought Dr. Greer, who seemed to think she was dying. He wrote a prescription, which was got at once, but as soon as he had gone she rallied & seemed alright.

 [B. Ashton] had to go to Dublin & was to call & tell Maud how bad she was, but as she got better so soon Mrs. Powell kindly phoned to Maud & told her the truth before he could get there, which saved poor Maud from a fright.

Dr. Bradshaw was here just now and says that she is in no present danger, but of course has to be kept very warm, & that is a difficulty with her. She has generally two hot water bottles in bed.

 I was so worn out last eve that I slept late & never heard Violet come in for the penny for gas, neither did I wake when she brought up my cup of tea. But when I did wake I went to your Mother’s room & found her reading the paper, & Violet told me she had eaten a good breakfast at 8 of & at noon asked for her dinner, which she has eaten (wined lamb) & left none, so I thank God we feel easy again. She often frightens us collapsing so suddenly & then recovers quickly.

 

Two photographs taken at the pier at Kingstown show Emma Sarah, Ethel and Maud Kilbride. Emma Sarah is wearing her mourning clothes. These photos are undated, but as Emma Sarah mentions having gone to the pier in her letter of April 24, 1914 it is likely that these photos are from that excursion.

 

Photo:Photo of the Kilbride women: Emma Sarah, Ethel and Maud, on the pier at Kingstown (Dun Laohaire)

Photo of the Kilbride women: Emma Sarah, Ethel and Maud, on the pier at Kingstown (Dun Laohaire)

 

 

By May of 1915 Emma Sarah Kilbride had become seriously ill, and Beatrice came down to Dalkey from Dublin to be with her grandmother.

A letter of Ethel Steele to her sister May Dowse, May 20, 1915. This letter is written from the Kilbride’s new lodgings at 3 Connaught Terrace, Dalkey.

 

My own darling May

It is strange to be writing to you from here, but I came up yesterday to see dear Mother who has failed very rapidly since last Thursday, & am staying for a week. I was so afraid she might have passed away before I came but she had not, & opened her eyes but did not know me. We are still watching her poor flickering life, but she has such a wonderful constitution. She is holding on though one can only hope for the end, that she may be at rest. She does not seem to be suffering though, only just too weak to be conscious of anything, & of course there is no use disturbing her to move her in any way now, it would only distress her.

            Poor Maud & Violet have had a long & trying time & both look very badly, dear Maud especially. I wish I could take her away & give her a good rest & loving care (she wants it) but one can’t think of the future yet. Kate is wonderful  - she actually met me in the hall looking much the same as in past years. I was amazed after her being in bed most of the winter & not able to move almost. I am sitting by her bed now for a few minutes while writing this. She is dozing, Maud & Violet watching by dear Mother. Beatrice was here yesterday & the night before. I was so glad to see her. They have wired for her to come over today, and she replied she would if she could. This must go tonight & there may be something to add before then, but if not you may expect to hear by next mail that all is over. You & Etta[15] will feel it being so far away - but we will all look forward to meeting in the Home above.

Ever, dear with fond love to all your dear family

                        Your loving sister

                        Ethel

 

Friday May 21:  All is over now & our darling Mother is gone, we believe & trust, to the Mansion prepared for her by her Savior. She passed away at 11:15 last night - Violet,Maud, Beatrice & myself being round her bed. She had two short spasms at the end but went away very peacefully & quietly, except for that. She looks so lovely & peaceful now, (though she was worn away to a perfect skeleton) but she looks so calm & peaceful & natural you would just think she would open her eyes & smile at ya (sic).

Poor Maud was worn out with nursing, anxiety, & watching, & I hope she may have a real rest now & get fattened up. We did not tell Kate till this morning, & she was greatly upset, but the old do not take things so keenly as young people though she will miss her terribly having been life-long companions. She keeps wonderfully. I am awfully tired.

Violet & I did everything for our darling, & made Maud (who was quite unfit for it) & Beatrice (for her own sake) go to bed & get a rest & sleep. Bee was just gone over to Miss Busteed to tell her, & get a week at home.

            I must send this now dear so goodbye.

            With fondest love,

 Ethel

 

A month later Maud was in Donegal staying with her sister Ethel Steele in order to rest and recuperate, and in this peaceful atmosphere she at last had the time to write to her sister May of their mother’s death, and also of Beatrice’s challenges in looking after the irascible Miss Busteed,

 

      

                                                                                    The Rectory

                                                                                    Rathmullan

                                                                                    Co. Donegal

                                                                                    June 10th/15

 

My darling Marion,

I hoped to write to you last week but had not time. I have had a good many letters to write, so with other things it is not easy so to do. By this time you have heard of darling Mother’s death. I am sure you were dreadfully upset, no matter how one knows the dear ones must go we can never get accustomed to the thought.

I did not think till the Monday that she was going. I thought she would get through the summer. She was so well on Sat. 15th - reading the paper & talking. On Sunday she seemed weak & not able to read much, & then she just got weaker. I cannot realize the fact that she is gone now even. I go over the last days, but I see her lying there for the last time. She looked so sweet, with a lovely smile - it was impossible to think she was dead. It was a lovely Whitsuntide as far as the weather went. You little thought when writing for her birthday where she would be - it had come before we left.

Well poor darling, we ought not to wish to keep her in this miserable world of trouble. She had a trying time - tired of bed, & her poor back used to be so painful & tired & she got that flatulence in her chest so bad. I feel as if every thing is different & that we have no home now, as it used to be. I don’t feel any interest somehow in things. She was always there to be considered & thought of, as to what she would like etc.

Now dear Aunt Kate is the last, poor thing. She is not too strong, & we don’t know what Violet will do. She heard from Bishop Dowse saying he did not know if he could continue the annuity he sent Mother. If he does of course that will be a great help, if not she has only what she has been promised from some Society, of 15 pounds. Aunt Kate said she had written to you lately, so I dare say she has told you about things there. Aunt Kate would like to go to Kingstown.

I have been here a fortnight. The weather has been very cold, but the last two days have been hot, so hope it will improve. It is a very pretty place.

            I feel as if I could never take up work again. Ethel wants me to stay some time, but if they have to move I must go to help.[16] Violet thought of staying & having lodgers, but none have applied as yet. I don’t think they will either.

            Poor Beatrice has had a trying time. When she got home for a week she had to go up & down every day to Miss Busteed, to bandage her knee etc. Miss Busteed is a very trying person to live with. Of course only Bea wanted to be near home I don’t think she would have stayed so long. Miss Busteed wears one out, & indeed she is not the sort Bea ought to be with. I wish she & I could do something together, but I suppose these are not times for trying things.

            I want to post this early in the morn so shall say goodnight now, hoping you are all well. You must have missed Mother’s letters very much, & she was not able to write for some time. When she could she was such a good correspondent, & sent so many papers. She always remembered the birthdays & gave such good things with her little bit of money she used to save.

            With love from Ethel & self

            Ever your very loving  Sister

            Maud

 

 

 

 


[1] Relatives of William Dowse

[2] Rev. William Kilbride, of Inishmore, Aran Islands

[3] of Holyfort parish.

[4] Aunt Emma Katherine Wilson (William’s sister) and Bea’s cousin, Pearl Wilson, of whom we will hear much more in later letters

[5] Aunt Kate always addresses May as Marion

[6] Etta (Henrietta) Pentland, May’s sister, who lived in Manitoba, Canada, on a farm near The Maples

[7] Maud was a private nurse to Miss Busteed. Maud was trained at Steeven’s Hospital

[8] Now called Dun Laoghaire, near Dalkey

[9] Edie’s sister, Margaret Agnes Goodisson. She is listed in the 1911 Census as having “spinal disease”

[10] Rev. John (Jack) Curtis Steele, Ethel Steele’s (born Kilbride) husband.

[11] Richard Henry Dowse, 6 St. John’s Terrace – a relative

[12] Rev. Kilbride was a clergyman in the Diocese of Ferns.

[13] The Rectory at Rathmullan, in Co. Donegal where the Steele family were living at that time

[14] Of Holyfort parish.

[15] May’s sister, who also had emigrated to Canada, and lived nearby

[16] Violet and Aunt Kate.

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