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Sunday 27 April 2014

Did Agnes Aitchison's Son Survive ?

In the Hawick Heritage Hub, I found a letter (SC/B/33/2/29) from Agnes Aitchison of 68 Church Street, Berwick on Tweed. The addressee isn't stated but from the following letter, I surmise that it was sent to George Tweedie, Inspector of the Poor at Swinton.

October 2th (sic) 1882
Berwick upon Tweed
I write a few lines to let you know that my boy has fallen into bad health with the dregs of the mesles and we took him to the docter and he said he would have to paint his throat in the inside but he would not touch him and if you would two or three lines by return of post to try and save my child I had docter Fraser when they had the mesles Please write by return of post
Agnes Aitchison
68 Church Street
Berwick on Tweed

This letter (SC/B/33/2/31), in the same bundle, is from Dr Thomas Fraser to George Tweedie, Inspector of the Poor at Swinton.

Ravensdowne Berwick on Tweed 4th Oct 1882
A woman named Aitchison residing in Church Street Berwick, called on me today and asked me to attend her child stating that your parish would pay me for attendance and medicine supplied.  In July and August I attended the child when suffering from measles on the strength of the Same statement wd you now oblige me by letting me know whether you will authorise me to attend the child as well as pay me for past attendance.

I am Yours truly
Thomas Fraser, MD

George Tweedie Esq,
Inspr of Poor

It's odd that Agnes fails to mention the boy's name but we can presume she has only one son.
Measles was a real killer in Victorian Britain and no doubt she was very worried.
I haven't found her on the 1881 census yet but she doesn't seem to have been in Berwick.
I haven't looked at the Poor Law records for Swinton, however I think that would provide the name of her son and possibly her husband and thus will enable more of her history to be discovered.

Do you know whether her son survived ?

I have found Thomas Fraser on the 1881 census, though.
58 Ravensdowne, Berwick on Tweed

58 Ravensdowne, Berwick was occupied by Thomas Fraser, 31, a general medical practitioner, Edinburgh University, born Scotland.
He was single and the other occupants were 2 unmarried servants: Jane Robertson, 17, born Horncliff and Susan Davidson, 49, born Scotland.

If you're related to Agnes Aitchison, George Tweedie, Jane Robertson, Susan Davidson or Thomas Fraser, please leave a comment.

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