This excerpt from "Old Esther Dudley" provides
details of Esther's appearance and her relationship to the Province House.
"Subduing, at once, the passion to which he had yielded only in the faith that it was unwitnessed, Sir William Howe became conscious that an aged
woman, leaning on a gold-headed staff, was standing betwixt him and the door. It was old Esther Dudley, who had dwelt almost immemorial years in
this mansion, until her presence seemed as inseparable from it as the recollections of its history. She was the daughter of an ancient and once
eminent family, which had fallen into poverty and decay, and left its last descendant no resource save the bounty of the King, nor any shelter
except within the walls of the Province House. An office in the household, with merely nominal duties, had been assigned to her as a pretext for
the payment of a small pension, the greater part of which she expended in adorning herself with an antique magnificence of attire." (courtesy of