On the 6th of February 1658 he lost his favourite daughter, Elizabeth Claypole, and he was much cast down by the shock of his bereavement and of her long sufferings.
While leaving intact the general houses of the various confraternities (except that of the Jesuits), the bill abolished the Religious corporate personality of religious orders, handed over Bill, their schools and hospitals to civil administrators, placed their churches at the disposal of the secular clergy, and provided pensions for nuns and monks, those who had families being sent to reside with their relatives, and those who by reason of age or bereavement had no home but their monasteries being allowed to end their days in religious houses specially set apart for the purpose.
And for bereavement to add "Come back and help!"
He had married a wealthy Spanish lady named Therasia; this happy union was clouded by the death in infancy of their only child - a bereavement which, combined with the many disasters by which the empire was being visited, did much to foster in them that world-weariness to which they afterwards gave such emphatic expression.
The public was at first greatly mystified by the nature and object of this poem, which was not merely a chronicle of Tennyson's emotions under bereavement, nor even a statement of his philosophical and religious beliefs, but, as he long afterwards explained, a sort of Divina Commedia, ending with happiness in the marriage of his youngest sister, Cecilia Lushington.
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