Historical information

A Letter of condolence sent to Lily (Elizabeth Ann Jones) for the death of her Mother, Mary Ann Jones, who died on 18 January 1903, from her school friend Jane Clark.
Following Queen Victoria’s example, it became customary for families to go through elaborate rituals to commemorate their dead. This included wearing mourning clothes, having a lavish (and expensive) funeral, curtailing social behaviour for a set period of time, and erecting an ornate monument on the grave. . Relatives and friends were expected to give handwritten Condolence Cards and Letters, preferably by hand when visiting the bereaved. The different periods of mourning dictated by society were expected to reflect the natural period of grief.
In recent years some traditions have given way to less strict practices, though many customs and traditions continue to be followed. Condolence Cards and Letters are still expected for relatives and close friends. These can be individually composed and handwritten or purchased from a Greeting Card Manufacturer.

The letter shows Tucker Road as being in East Brighton. Due to the confusion caused by so many 'Brightons' in the area of Henry Dendy's Special Survey of 1841 this area was renamed Bentleigh after Sir Thomas Bent.


The Clark family and the Jones family were early settlers in Moorabbin Shire

Physical description

White paper with a black border used for a hand written condolence letter sent by Mrs Jane Clark in 1903 during the mourning period for the mother of her school-friend Lily, (Elizabeth Ann Jones).