Women in Peril 1868 — Mathilda Routh


I have written a few stories of how hard it was for women in years gone by. I try not to write sad stories, but feel it is important that everyone remember what women went through. PMS and Menopause were sometimes treated by sending them to Brockville or Kingston insane asylums and unwed mothers, well, all I can say is my heart breaks for them. A list of stories is below.


Author’s Note Update December 2 –2016..

Perth Courier, May 12, 1871

Teskey-Routh—Married, on the 28th ult., at the residence of the bride’s father, Appleton, by Rev. Thomas Atkinson, Franklin Teskey of Appleton to Miranda Routh of the same place. She was Maltida’s sister

Perth Courier, Jan. 10, 1868

A young woman named Mathilda Routh died in Appleton last week under circumstances which lead to the holding of an inquest.  As the result of the inquest it was discovered that the poor girl had fallen victim to a heartless wretch who first ruined and then induced her to procure an abortion to conceal her shame.  The jury returned a righteous verdict of “willful murder” against William H. Patterson of Almonte but we regret to learn that he has managed to decamp.  Consequently, justice is not likely to be carried out.  Miss Routh was only 21 years of age and altogether the case is painful in the extreme.


Of course, women did find themselves with unwanted pregnancies. Abortifacients were discreetly advertised and there was a considerable body of folklore about methods of inducing miscarriages. Amongst working-class women violent purgatives were popular, pennyroyal, aloes and turpentine were all used. Other methods to induce miscarriage were very hot baths and gin, extreme exertion, a controlled fall down a flight of stairs, or veterinary medicines. So-called ‘backstreet’ abortionists were fairly common, although their bloody efforts could be fatal. Estimates of the number of illegal abortions performed in England varied widely: by one estimate, 100,000 women made efforts to procure a miscarriage in 1914, usually by drugs.

In Memory of Matilda, daughter of Launcelot & Meranda Routh, who died Dec 30, 1867, aged 21 yrs.

Wesleyan Methodist Cemetery

Lot 13, Con. 9, Ramsay Twp. near Almonte.

Burials – 1827 – 1947


Name Matilda Routh
Event Type Burial
Event Place Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Cemetery Wesleyan Methodist Burial Ground+
Note In Memory Of, Matilda, Daughter Of, Launcelot & Meranda Routh, Who Died,Dec.30,1867, Aged,21,Y’rs., [Inscription Unreadable]

The Sad Tale of Unwed Mothers of Days Gone By — Perth through the Ages Tour


The Very Sad Tale of Hessie Churchill

To Be Manic Depressive in a Rural Town — Kingston Insane Asylum

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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