Fanny’s letters detailed the progress of their new house. She described the deal she’d managed to get on bricks, ‘a shilling cheaper than I expected to get them’ and progress on the building, ‘your son has galloped to Hatchlands this morning. Says it is very high, the last scaffolding up and looks just ready for the roof’. She was particularly proud of plans for her garden walk, ‘I will just deign to tell you that I have purple lilacs, yellow laburnums, white Gelder roses, fine red cinnamon roses’.
A sad end
The Admiral was not able to enjoy the fruits of his and Fanny’s labour for long. While at sea, off the east coast of France near Quiberon Bay, he suffered an attack of typhoid fever. He was brought ashore and transported to Hatchlands where Fanny nursed him constantly.
Her friend Elizabeth Montagu wrote ‘The noble Admiral does not fight so well with a fever as he does with the French; he will not lie in bed, where he would sooner subdue it.’
Edward died in January of 1761, just 2 years after Hatchlands was completed, with his wife at his bedside.