The Journal of Sir Walter Scott from the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford Editor's Note
by Sir Walter Scott
NOTE.—From July 20th, 1329, to May 23d, 1830, there are no entries
in the Journal, but during that time Sir Walter met with a sad
loss. He was deprived of his humble friend and staunch henchman,
Thomas Purdie. The following little note to Laidlaw shows how
keenly he felt his death:—
"MY DEAR WILLIE,—I write to tell you the shocking news of poor Tom
Purdie's death, by which I have been greatly affected. He had
complained, or rather spoken, of a sore throat; and the day before
yesterday, as it came on a shower of rain, I wanted him to walk
fast on to Abbotsford before me, but you know well how impossible
that was. He took some jelly, or trifle of that kind, but made no
complaint. This morning he rose from bed as usual, and sat down by
the table with his head on his hand; and when his daughter spoke to
him, life had passed away without a sigh or groan. Poor fellow!
There is a heart cold that loved me well, and, I am sure, thought
of my interest more than his own. I have seldom been so much
shocked. I wish you would take a ride down and pass the night.
There is much I have to say, and this loss adds to my wish to see
you. We dine at four. The day is indifferent, but the sooner the
better.—Yours very truly,
"WALTER SCOTT. 
 Abbotsford Notanda, p. 175.
"31st (sic) October," Qy. 29th.
To Mr. Cadell, a few days later, he says, "I have lost my old and
faithful servant, my factotum, and am so much shocked that I
really wish to be quit of the country. I have this day laid him in
On coming to Edinburgh, Sir Walter found that his old friend and
neighbour Lady Jane Stuart  was no longer there to welcome him.
She also had died somewhat suddenly on October 28th, and was buried
at Invermay on November 4th.
 Eldest daughter of David, sixth Earl of Leven and fifth
of Melville, and widow of Sir John Wishart Belsches Stuart, Bart., of
Fettercairn. See ante, vol. i. p. 404; vol. ii. pp. 55, 62.