Sister Dora - a locally born nurse with a national reputation - a talk by Susan Stirke
Venue: Middleham Key Centre at 2.00 pm
Born in Hauxwell in 1832, Dorothy Pattison was one of 12 children. In her twenties she formed a relationship with James Tate, 2nd Master of Richmond School whilst continuing another liaison with local farmer Purchas Stirke. In 1864 she joined an Anglican religious community near Redcar and became known as Sister Dora. She would devote the rest of her life to nursing and moving to Walsall in 1865 she worked amongst the miners and steel workers as a nurse and developed an especially close bond with the local people. Her nursing skills, self-sacrifice and personal devotion to her patients became a legend. After her early death in 1878 her statue was unveiled in Walsall in 1886, reputedly the UK’s first statue to a non-royal woman.
Because of her husband’s family connections with the Pattisons, Suzanne Stirke has concentrated her research on Dora’s life in Hauxwell. It is a dark tale of mental and physical abuse, the children and their mother, lived in constant fear of their father Rev. Mark Pattison.
Annual membership of Middleham and the Dales Local History Group is still only£10, visitors are welcome at £3 per meeting.
For more information contact Tony Keats by email, or phone 01969 640436.