Mrs Becher's Diary


Miss Robertson

Miss Robertson lived where the Vicarage now is – Westbury in those days. – She was an elderly lady living alone with a young but very devoted maid. I used to go and read to her when her eyes began to get bad, & sometimes I would go for hours on end while she slept peacefully – not daring to stop in case she woke. The Idylls of the King and Paradise Lost were her favourites. Then as time went on, I wrote her letters for her & read out to her all those that arrived.

One day there came an appeal from a nephew for advice upon his matrimonial venture. Miss Robertson turned to me: ‘you are a far more suitable adviser and you must write in your own words a reply for me to sign’.  Near the end she became very incapacitated & she arranged that I should have power of attorney so that I might sign her cheques.

This was very helpful after her death, as the fact of my having the power to draw money, the estate could be wound up in a very short space of time.

One morning her maid sent me a message to come & see her. I found that her mind had become very deranged & she was obsessed by the idea that she and she alone knew of a plot to murder the  King as he stepped off the boat on his visit to Ireland.  She was beside herself with worry and anxiety & would not rest till the King’s advisors had been told of the danger.  I said I would hurry out and send a prepaid telegram & she must wait as patiently as possible.  I went out into the garden with a book. Presently I hurried in, rushed up the stairs & told her joyfully that the reply had come & that the Plot was known and prepared for. It was as if a bubble had been pricked, her mind became calm and she fell asleep like a little child.

The maid was goodness itself & never left her tiII she died. Once I offered to take part of the night so that she could have a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.  I remember that I sat on a stool by the fire and embroidered a fine linen Pall which I expect is still being used at Tylers Green Church.