A Letter from Walter Boa to his Father-in-Law to announce the death of 13 year old Joan.

Walter was born in 1800.His prose is strongly influenced by the Bible, with which he must have been brought up.

In September, 1856, he was at Aucharioch Farm, on the island of Arran, seen below.


Joan died here of "inflammation in the head" (death certificate). They may have been staying with his brother Peter and family. Walter wrote this letter to Samuel Little, his father-in-law, who lived at Campshead Farm, Crawford.

It is transcribed below.

Aucharioch 7 Sept. 1856

Dear Father,
I wrote to my daughter Catherine on the 2nd and 4 Inst informing her of the bad health and severe suffering of her dear sister Joan. Her sufferings are now over.She departed this life last night 5 minutes to 7 o'clock calm and collected that is her mind did not seem to wander.She had been low throughout the night. Her pulse became quicker in the forenoon and she became restless until about 3P.M. Her pulse then became very low and she seemed to have litle pain but she could talk little. Her tongue had been in part paralysed from the beginning of her troubles.

But when she had her senses she could answer yes or no but could not talk much that we could understand which was a great grief unto us. But we ought not to grieve as those that have no hope. The last four hours she had she seemed for the most part to understand what was spoken to her and even in the very very moments of dissolution, her sister Mary spoke to her and said Joan you are going to Jesus now. Her eyes which had been mostly shut opened full on her and shed forth as bright a luster as ever they did in her life.

It almost seemed to me as if she had opened her eyes in heaven, and then she calmly closed them again on all time's things. May God sanctify unto us our present trials and bereavement , so that they may work in us the peaceable ? of righteousness. Dear Father, you will inform my Daughters of the death of their sister, and try to comfort them to the Lord Jesus Christ, and console them with the consolations of religion.
Yours affectionately,
Walter Boa.

Kilmory Church, Arran, where Joan is buried.