Edward Clarke to

Mary Clarke

London 27th December 1694

my deare

I heartily thanke you for the news you therein sent mee, but most particularly for the accott you therein give mee of my children, and I doubt not by the blessing of God but that Sammy will recover his strength in the spring. I could heartily wish that all the younger brothers were of Jack's temper, that being most suteable to the uncertaine state of mankind, and will best carry a man through the variouse fates and changes of this life, but since one can hardly have anything in this world just as one would wish, lett us continue to doe what is reasonable to bee done in all things, and quietly and thankefully submitt to ye Greate, Good, and Wise disposer of all things, who best knows what is fittest for us, and tho His Dispensations may in many instance appeare verie severe upon us, yett lett us remember tis in His Power to turn it all to our advantage. I cannott without teares acquaint you how extreame ill the Queen has been ever since the date of my last letter to you, the physitians at that time thought her in little or noe danger, but that night there appear'd severall purple spotts upon her, and many other ill symtomes have attended her ever since, in soe much that her life is almost dispayred of, but Allmighty God, who hath done miracles for the saveing of the Nation, can yett rayse her, and by giveing her a long life and a happy reign, continue the greatest blessing that can happen to this poore nation, wch I heartily pray for, as I doe for the preservation of you and all my children, in Health, Peace and safety, and remaine, Yr truly affectionate and faithfull, but disconsolate, husband,

Edw Clarke

I am just now told that ye Doctors doe all dispayre of the Queens life, and I feare shee will be actually expired before the post goes thence, my concern is too greate to enter further upon particulars.

At a quarter to one in the morning of Friday 28 December the Queen died, and tolling bells carried the news to a snowbound city. Edward was appointed to help draft the address of condolence to the King.