William Godwin's Diary


This entry refers cryptically to the death of Godwin's first son, William I, who was born a few days/weeks earlier and to the return of Godwin's second wife and William I's mother,Mary Jane Godwin. The parish records give 30 April as the D.O.B., St Clair suggests 8 May (the 'Casualty chez Fell') but Mary Jane continues to make calls with Godwin and they attended the theatre up to the 19th May. Then Mary Jane disappears from the diary until this date. This suggests that William I was born on or soon after 19 May, that the church records refer to another family (they do after all give 'Goodwin' as the name), and that the event at Fell's is either a threatened premature birth or something completely different. If the date the church records indicate is correct then Mary Jane was up and visiting an exhibition with Godwin only 4 days later and continued to lead an active social life for a fortnight before disappearing from the diary to look after the sick baby. St Clair suggests that Mary Jane was up and making several calls the day after giving birth, whereas this entry suggests that she had been staying away from the home, perhaps in a hospital.