Death of wife & daughter
Nine months later Elizabeth gave birth to a daughter, Eleanor Jane Owen, who was baptized at St Nicholas’ Church, Leicester, on 3 August 1879, by Thomas Yard, Chaplain and Brother at nearby Wyggestons Hospital. Thomas, Elizabeth and Eleanor were then living in High Cross Street.
The fact that the marriage had been by licence rather than banns, quite common but often to speed up the process and the involvement of a hospital chaplain in the baptism all might suggest, in the light of events, that Elizabeth was ill throughout this period; she died soon afterwards, aged 33, from pulmonary phthisis (tuberculosis of the lungs). Thomas was with her at her death on 10 February 1880 though she died at 216 High Street, Bangor. Elizabeth's father was a widower, living at number 213 and it is likely that Elizabeth was being cared for by a neighbour who was a widow and whose stepson was the parish sacrist.
Thomas and Elizabeth’s daughter Eleanor was to die from the same dread disease and at the same address soon afterwards on 23 May 1880, aged 10 months.
Within the space of two and a half years, Thomas had married, fathered a child and lost both wife and daughter. His faith must have been sorely tested.
After this traumatic period Thomas continued to live in High Cross Street. The 1881 census shows him living there with a young resident domestic servant, Naomi Priestnall.