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Dorothy's Prayer

Dorothy Barrington who died on the 9th May 1670 aged 18 years and 9 months

On two pages of foolscap is this account of the death of Dorothy Barrington. It is written very clearly on some rather old paper; my guess is that it is a copy, but it might just be the original. I suspect it came into our possession through the death of Julia Barrington who married Henry Philip Powys and died at the age of 25 in 1821 after a long illness; one of her relations may possibly have given it to her for some form of comfort.

I have tried to preserve the spelling though I cannot imitate the elongated 's' that is freely used. I have written 'v' when apparently 'u' is there; I have used the written 'ff' though it stands for the capital 'F'; and I have used 'y' for the thorn consonant as in 'ye' for 'the'.

On the left margin is this:

She dyed in London of the Small Pox at her Brother Thomas Barringtons House in Pickadilly Street May ye 9th 1670.

The main document is:

My most deare Daughter Dorothy Barrington aged 18 yeares and nine Munthes Expressed her Selfe on Sabbath day Morning being the 8th of May 1670. On her death bed thus:

A Broken and Contrite heart oh Lord thou wilt not dispise, oh Lord have mercy on my poore Soule. If the shouldst give mee accordinge to my deserts, I should be in Hell. But beleiving in Jesus Christ thou will not refuse a poore sinner. Mercy, mercy Lord, have mercy on mee, If I had not made thee my Confidence what should I have done all this while, looke not on mee according to my offences, but for thy Goodnesse sake have Mercy on my soule and save mee - Send mee Lord one dropp of Comfort, before I goe away from hence.

She further Expressed her Selfe on Munday morning being the 9th May 1670, Not many houres before she departed this Live, in the hearing of many. Thus.

Oh Lord keepe mee in thy feare, that I may dye in thy favour. Mr Warren is still praying for mee, he is down on his knees. I have honoured my ffather and Mother. Those that feare the Lord shall be as Mount Sion which shall never be removed but abideth for ever. Oh deliver my soule for thy Mercies sake, oh Bless my ffather and Mother, with all spiritual and Temprall blessings, I would be Buryed at Hatfield, will you promise it mee, Let mee not Lye here; Little did I thinke when I came last from thence that I should never see it more; It is a hard thinge to dye in my Youth and Prime of Yeares, Lord blesse my ffather amd Mother, thou knowest Lord I have been dutyfull unto them. Thy Promise is Length of dayes to such. I Urge thy owne promise Lord, but not my Will but thine be done, My dayes are but short, they are Cut off, Lord Jesus have Mercy, have mercy upon mee. Tis a hard worke to dye, oh doe thou keepe mee, and blesse mee, and I know I shall not dye Eternally, oh Lord leave mee not, nor forsake mee. He will not cast mee out, nor leave nor forsake mee. In this is my confidence. Doe you thinke God will have mercy on mee. If I am Engrafted into the true Vine Jesus Christ the Living Stocke, Nothing can seperate mee from the Love of Jesus Christ. Neither height, nor depth. I crave mercy through Jesus Christ for my poore soule. Oh Bless my deare Brothers and Sisters, from ye least to the Greatest, but Especially my deare ffather amd Mother, and lady Anne, oh let my father and Mother live Long, in length of dayes, to comfort their Children. Tell my friends I pray for them, and desier my friends, that they may live soe that we may meet in Glory. Grant that my father and Mother may live long to comfort their Children. Had I ten thousand Worlds to live I would spend them in praising God. The Lord struck mee with death half an houre agoe, it gave mee a Cold Kisse. oh Lord doe thou Comfort my Mother for whom have not done enough, oh what great love have I for that Mother and ffather of mine, I would dye for them. Christ said to Peter thrice lovest thou mee, he said Lord thou knowest all thinges, thou knowest I love thee. Soe Lord thou knowest I love thee. Lord my dayes are not a span long, they are but minutes; I am Cut off from before thee, oh spare mee Lord, that I may yet live, if it be thy pleasure. God hath suffered mee to see the Vanities of this World with my Eyes but my Heart did never affect them, for which she praised God. fullfill the Word and Promise of Lord to the servant in which thou hast made me to trust. Take mee not away in the Prime of my Yeares, yet not my will, but thine I submite to. Tho living the living they praise thee, in the Grave, they can not. oh Pray, Pray for mee all you about mee, it is the greatest Charity in the World to pray for a dying person, if you were in my Condition I would pray for you. Pray heartily to God to have mercy on my poore soule, Againe she repeated these words. They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Sion, which can not be removed but abideth for ever, and said as to this I Urge thy Promise Lord. Lord pardon my Sinnes. Then she asked those about her, may I adventure to dye, may I adventure my salvation on these grounds, Beleiving [sic] on the Lord Jesus Christ. And hear doe I trust. Then she said the World was but Vanity and Vexation of Spirit. And againe she said Lord thou knowest I had made it my worke to be dutyfull to my deare ffather and Mother, Lord grant that my Brothers and Sisters may live long and be dutyfull to them though God take mee off in my Youth. Og what shall I doe if God will not have mercy on mee. But God will not cast away a poore sinner that desiers mercy. She said then, What will my deare Mother doe when I am gone. The Lord be her Support, and bless my deare ffather and Mother, oh Lord leave mee not, oh God doe not forsake mee, they poore Sinfull Creature in my now distresse, Lord hear and answere mee, and have Mercy on mee. And Concluded with those words. They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Syon which can not be removed, but abideth for ever. Lord I trust in thee.

This with many other Perticulars she uttered with great fervency of spirit, which could not be taken, she speaking it soe fast.

Who was she? I am not sure. There is only one Dorothy in the records, the daughter of Gobert Barrington and Lucy Wiseman.

From the text, this Dorothy lived at Hatfield, which was Hatfield Broadoak in Essex, the caput of the Barringtons. This indicates she was of the senior branch of her time and could not be the Dorothy who was born to Gobert Barrington who lived at Tofts in Little Baddow and did have an eldest brother Thomas. But this Thomas was in the army and was unlikely to have had a house in Piccadilly.

She referred to Lady Anne. This is probably Lady Anne Rich, daughter of the earl of Warwick and the wife of Thomas, son of John Barrington (1605-1683) and Dorothy Lytton (d. 1703). This makes it likely that Dorothy was the hitherto unknown daughter of John and Dorothy and the sister of the Thomas who died in 1681, two years before his father's death. She would not appear in the normal family genealogies as no documents would have referred to her: she would not have been left anything, dying before her parents, nor would she have received any dowry in marriage. And it is known that this Thomas mostly lived in fashionable London, which suited Lady Anne but not him, leading to some marriage breakup at one stage when he retreated to the countryside (see Barrington Family History).

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