Monday, August 6, 2007

Lydia's Lady's Companion

Lydia Morton married the young prominent doctor Mathias York in 1868 in a small village church in Fairfield, Connecticut. He was a well respected gentleman having endeared himself to the townsfolk by assisting his father who had been the local doctor before him.

When several months after their marriage, Lydia informed him that she was with child he was exalted. On his next trip into Bridgeport he returned with a special gift for her, a Lady's Companion. All the rage in England he was able to purchase one at a specialty shop. This gift would allow her to carry the layette she was sewing proudly with her as she visited her mother and sisters. (During their confinement women of some social stature did not go out in public in the latter part of pregnancy. Limited appearances in private were acceptable.) The little reticule contained all the necessary tools to make the parlor visits pleasurable.

That following spring Lydia delivered a beautiful daughter. Just two weeks after the birth she died of complications. She was only 23. Heartbroken her husband laid her to rest in the peaceful churchyard next to where they had been wed.

Transcribed upon her tombstone he had placed this verse:

Hark angels whisper memory
My partner dear, adieu
In the sweet wain of endless day
Our love we will renew

Description of a Lady's companion:
leather; assorted tools; made for a day's outing or a holiday trip; in addition to tools a mirror, a small copy of the New Testament and a single blade knife might be included. (Sewing Tools and Trinkets Vol. 2 by Helen Lester Thompson)


Christine said...

dearest Susan,

oh...this has to ne the most beautiful little Lady's Companion. What a beautiful thing to have and enjoy, to be ble to savor each tiny stitch and worn edges.
thank you for sharing it.

Suzanne said...

What a lovely Lady's Companion, and bittersweet story of Lydia's short life. Thank you for the telling.

oldflowers4me said...

i was so happy to see your pictures and then iread your words - its so sad that young doctor must ofhad such a broken heart- i feel like crying- mmm such is love.. singing and skipping love jo anderson

carole said...

Good Afternoon Susan:
What a lovely sad tale. I bet his daughter grew up being his nurse for his patients.
Thank you for your advice and the resource. When you have time e-mail me.
It has been my pleasure.