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The Black Knee Chronicles

Volume 4

Nelly Fitzpatrick

Nelly Fitzpatrick was the natural daughter of Robert II (b 1808) of Dunacliggan by the daughter of Archibald's bailiff. She was brought up with the family at Dunacliggan, and in later years became special nurse to Charlotte (b 1843, m Alfred Standage 1867) and Robert III (b 1841, d 1895).

It is said that she frequently showed Charlotte and others papers which probably belonged to the father (died 1860), including one with a heavy seal attached: but no information seems to be there as to these papers. . .

In 1873-4 when she was dying, she sent an urgent message to Charlotte to come to her as she had something important to tell her. Charlotte, who had a great distance to come, was delayed, and got there after Nelly's death. It is said that there were signs of a great amount of paper having been burnt.

We cannot know the disposition of the characters in this story, but it is apparent that Nelly, probably as the last survivor of her generation, was the keeper of the family papers. In the unavoidable absence of Charlotte, she spent her dying strength destroying the papers, presumably rather than have them possibly fall into the hands of strangers, who might misuse their contents.


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