Matilda Susannah Stone

Matilda was the youngest of the ten children of Thomas and Ann Stone and was the only one to be born in Green Ponds, probably on 31 December 1838. After their mother died in 1856 Matilda and Lucy continued to live at home with their father but we know very little about how they spent their time. Lucy probably took care of the housekeeping and when she was visiting her brothers in Victoria in June 1861 no doubt Matilda took over that responsibility.

We have a number of letters written by Thomas to his son Alfred between 1859 and 1861 and he makes reference to Lucy on a number of occasions but there is only one reference to Matilda. Writing to Alfred while Lucy is staying with him in Victoria he writes:

I have also received a letter from Lucy, and as she is at present sojourning with you, this letter may be an answer to you both as I have very little news to send you. Your brothers Tom & Joseph’s families are all now pretty well, tho’ they have been through much sickness during the last few months, severe colds, fevers, Measles &c.

Tilly has not been affected, and my own health continues as well as from my age I can expect it, the Asthma sometimes much affects me, but I am generally comfortable and going on well.

Letter from Thomas to Alfred, 18th June 1861.

What I had not been aware of until recently is that just under five years later Matilda’s life came to an end in the saddest of circumstances. On the 3rd April 1866 Matilda gave birth to a son named John (the father not being named) and three weeks later she died on the 25th April as a result of puerperal fever (a streptococcal infection). The baby then died on the 7th May as a result of “Weakness”. He had lived for one month and four days.

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