In the summer of 1897 she had a severe illness, from which, as the following letter shows, she partially recovered.
Mrs. Warburton to Lady Agatha Russell
PEMBROKE LODGE, October 11, 1897
You can’t imagine, or rather you can, what a happiness it is to be able to record a perfect drive round the Park again with Mama this most beautiful day, she enjoying it as of yore, and as full of pleasure and observation as I ever remember. In short, it is quite difficult to me to realize how ill she has been since I saw her in June. She seems and looks so well. She is a marvellous person, so young and fresh in all her interests, sight and hearing betraying so little sign of change. She says she is out of practice, and her playing is not as easy or as vigorous as it was, I thought; but how few people of her age would return to it at all after such a long illness. (There are the sounds of music overhead as I sit here in the drawing-room—how she enjoys it!) ... About the reading—Dr. Gardiner  was against her being prevented from a little—she enjoys it so much. Sinclair reading to her is a great comfort.
 Medical attendant and valued friend for over twelve years, partner to Dr. Anderson, of Richmond, with whom he attended Lady Russell till her death.
PEMBROKE LODGE, November 15, 1897
Eighty-two this day. God be praised for all he has given to brighten my old age. God be praised that I am still able to love, to think, to rejoice, and to mourn with those dear to me. But the burden of wasted years of a long life, in which I see failure on every side, is weighty and painful, and can never be lightened. I can only pray that the few steps left to me to take may be on a holier path—the narrow path that leads to God. My own blessings only brought more vividly to my mind the masses of toiling, struggling, poverty-stricken fellow-creatures, from whom the pressure of want shuts out the light of life.
My Agatha well, weather beautiful, and seventy very happy boys and girls from the school to see a ventriloquist and his acting dolls (drawing-room cleared for the occasion). The children’s bursts and shouts of laughter delightful to hear.
Lady Russell was wonderfully well that day—her last birthday on earth—and joined in the fun and laughter as heartily as any of the children. Old age had not lessened her keen enjoyment of humour, nor dimmed the brightness of her brave spirit.
PEMBROKE LODGE, December 11, 1897
A beautiful day for old scholars’ meeting. Ninety-four came, a larger number than ever before; table spread in drawing-room and bow-room. Not able to go down to see them, but all went well and merrily. I was able to get to my sitting-room in the afternoon, and all came up to me by turns for a hand-shake. It was pleasant to see so many kindly, happy faces.
PEMBROKE LODGE, January 1, 1898