Revealing Doctor Fletcher

My paternal great grandfather, Dr Patrick Fletcher, was occasionally mentioned in family stories 
which suggested that he might have been sent to New Zealand because of indiscretions in his
Scottish homeland. The term 'remittance man' was uttered and as a child I picked up dubious 
connotations from this, although knowing that he was favourably regarded as a doctor. 
One story said that he ran away with the housekeeper which was disapproved of by his family. 
 
By the time I was eight years old, my aunt, Helen Thompson, Dr Fletcher's granddaughter, had 
written "East of the Rock and Pillar" on behalf of the Strath Taieri and Macraes Historical Society. 
I lived close to my aunt and must have shown interest because I received an autographed copy 
of the book. This revealed the version of the doctor's history which she was prepared to share. 
It did contain mystery and included the story of how he hid his profession on arrival in Otago and 
worked initially as a shepherd. Somewhere along the way I also picked up that his family had 
brewed whisky on Jura.
 
Being a bookish child, I read this Strath Taieri history and retained into adulthood the above 
impressions gained from its pages and family lore. As a young adult my curiosity was aroused 
when I visited two aunts at Middlemarch, and I was shown precious family papers. These included 
a lengthy will detailing the distribution of Archibald Fletcher's estate. He was Patrick Fletcher's 
father and resided in Scotland at the time of his death. My recollection was that there were 
accompanying papers showing expenses associated with his funeral (including the whisky) and 
that he was buried on the Isle of Jura.  
 
For the next thirty years I lived in the central North Island quite remote from my Otago connections.
I tried to obtain copies of the documents I had seen but nothing eventuated and Dr Fletcher's
background remained largely embedded in two paragraphs in my aunt's book. I am not sure why 
I did not question my father, although he was too young to have known the doctor, but soon Dad's 
generation was gone. 
 
Later, coincidence intervened. I wrote to the Otago Settlers' Museum in Dunedin asking for information 
about Dr Fletcher and received a reply which said that they had recently had another enquiry from 
a descendant, Kay Rhynd from North Auckland, and they passed on her name and address. 
We met and enjoyed sharing family recollections; nevertheless, details of the doctor's life still 
remained largely unknown. Confirmation of some of his medical credentials did emerge. 
The Rhynds visited Scotland, but only looked across the water to Jura and we had little knowledge 
of his life there.  
 
In 1999 I returned to Dunedin and since then good fortune and research have revealed the story 
I want to share. I re-established contact with my cousin and was able to get a copy of Archibald 
Fletcher's will. Later I bought my grandparent's house at Middlemarch, where Mary Beattie 
(nee Fletcher) lived almost all of her married life. The seller was Jim MacDougall, my cousin's 
husband. He casually mentioned that there were a few photographs in the garage that I could have, 
as well as glass negatives stored in the house. Previously I had been given Archie Fletcher's 
christening gown. 
 
Now the family archive was growing, but who were these people? Few of the photographs were 
named and the detective work began in earnest. The glass negatives, although taken after the 
doctor's death, led to a search to match locations with present day landscapes. There was 
confirmation through buildings still standing (just), my mother's memories, and to cap it all the actual 
clothing, still in a relative's possession, that Patrick Fletcher's wife, Helen (nee Merrilees), wore in 
some of the photographs. From this information I was able to identify one photograph of Patrick Fletcher, 
his wife and three daughters outside their Ngapuna, Strath Taieri, home.  This uncaptioned image 
is the only one that allows us to look on the face of the doctor. Although in his fifties, he is grey haired
 with an unruly beard and is shown with his family, two dogs and deer antlers, hinting at outdoor 
interests and perhaps a reminder of the red deer of Jura.
The Fletcher family, minus son, Archie, at their Ngapuna home. Back: Agnes? Fletcher, Helen Fletcher, Mary? Fletcher Front: Helen Fletcher (nee Merrilees), Patrick Fletcher
A further visit to Jim MacDougall yielded more surprises; a second set of glass negatives, a box containing letters and other papers, plus a leather-bound photograph album. The letters came from Trotter Bank in Scotland. They spanned around 20 years from the 1870s to the 1890s and were written by Patrick Fletcher's wife's siblings; the Merrilees family. The letters refer frequently to the doctor and express the unrelenting longing of a family separated from their loved ones. In addition here were the originals of his medical certificates showing Patrick's attendance and progress through Glasgow University, plus other miscellaneous certificates and papers from Scotland and New Zealand ranging from birth and vaccination certificates, to rabbit tallies from his son, Archie. The documentation is far from complete and as it reveals it also throws up new mysteries. A chance internet connection has given me a wealth of information from very helpful Scottish Canadians, including an extensive family tree showing the ancestry of Patrick Fletcher's father They also provided vivid descriptions of life on Jura and the typical occupations of the Fletchers. Angus Fletcher, from Canada, has been to Archibald Fletcher's grave which, as I recalled, is on Jura. A large family connection with Southern Africa was also revealed. However, as my informants acknowledge, there are still mistakes and inconsistencies threaded through the information and that of accepted internet sources. Nowhere is Patrick's story told correctly. How can I be sure, based in New Zealand, that Scottish information, sometimes obtained from family members, is incorrect? I am guided by his father's will, which provides meticulous documentation of Patrick's family at the time it was written, plus supplementary documentation on the disbursement of the estate after his father's death. This is my starting point which is supported by census data, certificates, newspapers from the past and, recently, access to a first hand account written by a friend of Dr Fletcher's family. The latter does raise questions about how much of the doctor can be revealed. She recalls that "he had a great fund of anecdotes and stories, many of these grossly exaggerated; so that even his friends would say "What a Fletcher!" (Shaw, p. 1) The Expanding Story Sections of this narrative are prefaced with italicised excerpts from the foundation paragraphs written by my aunt in East of the Rock and Pillar (Thompson, 1949, p 164, 165). These are used as the basis for the emerging story of Dr Patrick Fletcher. Scottish background "Of Highland descent, he was born at Keills, North Knapdale, Argyleshire. His boyhood was spent on the island of Jura, where his father had a sheep farm ...." Partick Fletcher was the third son of Archibald Fletcher and Mary Fletcher (nee Kennedy) and born around 1846. His siblings were Dugald, John, Alexander, Annie, Jessie and Archibald. Archibald senior, was descended from the ninth clan chief, Archibald Fletcher who lived in the Glen Orchy area on the mainland (Angus Fletcher, 2008). The Fletchers were involved with droving and closely associated with the Campbell clan. An ancestor of Patrick's, also named Patrick, married Janet Campbell and came to Jura around 1800, where droving continued to be the prime occupation for the Fletchers. During the 19th century cattle were swum from the rich pastures of Islay to Jura, and then shipped across the narrow, but dangerous strait to Keills. The Fletchers owned the land on both sides of the strait allowing them to hold the cattle as required to fit with sailings. Descriptions of the poverty of Jura soils and the strong Fletcher involvement with the movement of cattle cast doubt on the claim that Patrick spent his boyhood on a sheep farm on Jura. However, recently Digital Newspapers briefly provided open internet access. Within minutes I had found supporting evidence. Not only did they farm sheep on Jura but Patrick's brothers outbid rivals to pay top prices of £10 and ™20 for prize winning cheviot rams for their farm at Tarbert. Patrick's father, Archibald was involved with making whisky. From 1841 for about 20 years he seems to have supplemented their farm-related income through distilling whisky. Given that production was reliant on being able to grow barley this was a seasonal occupation (Angus Fletcher, 2008). Patrick's wider family was also involved with hospitality on Jura. The 1861 census reveals one of Patrick's siblings staying with his grandmother, Janet Fletcher, retired innkeeper, at Craighouse on Jura. Mary Kennedy, Patrick's mother, was the daughter of Rev. Alexander Kennedy, parish minister on Jura who is said to have written the "New Statistical Account for Jura" in 1843 (mason, 1973). Her maiden name Kennedy was passed down to my grandmother, Mary Kennedy Fletcher. Medical training ".... and although educated to be a doctor" Archibald Fletcher seems to have had a master plan for his family. He guided two sons towards professions, gave his Jura property to the two oldest sons during his life time, and kept the youngest son at home until his father's death, when he inherited the Knapdale property. Control of his daughters was to extend beyond his death with Jessie's inheritance being dependent on her choosing an approved spouse, which she apparently did. However, there is no hint that Patrick had been 'sent to the colonies', or that he had disgraced the family. He appears to be very fairly treated in the will. It is mentioned that he had received ?300 in addition to his profession. But other family members were also supported. ?600 and his profession had gone to Alexander, and Archibald's married daughter Annie (Mrs Campbell) had received £800 by time her father died. These amounts were each deducted from the evenly divided inheritance. Patrick Fletcher began attending Glasgow University in 1864, when he was around 18 years old. The courses he studied were an intriguing mix of medical and other subjects. This suggests that doctors were expected to be widely educated, or indicates Patrick's interests. Logic, Greek, French, Botany and Geology as well as medical courses such as Midwifery, Descriptive Anatomy, Medical Jurisprudence, Chemistry, Materia Medica and Clinical lectures re Surgery Patients are all shown on his certificates. The dark bulk of the old Glasgow Royal Infirmary where his practical training was done, still imposes its presence in modern day Glasgow. Its gloomy appearance could hint at practices we would shrink from, but in some respects, at least, it was an enlightened institution. Patrick Fletcher's lecturers are said to have included Professors Lister, Thomson and Ragan (Fulton, 1922); the former two renowned for their medical advances. Lister introduced ideas of asepsis which revolutionised surgical procedures and Thomson changed practices in his anatomy department, even outlawing smoking which would not have appealed to Patrick whose tobacco pouch was a favourite possession. (Merrilees letters.) Thompson and Ragan signed his certificates, and he would undoubtedly have heard of Lister's work as it was happening where and when he trained. By 1871 Patrick had apparently completed his medical training and was working as an assistant surgeon for the Coltness Ironworks at Overton, Wishaw just south of Glasgow. I was quite affronted when a New Zealand medical magazine, in recent years, suggested in an article about the difficulty of attracting doctors to rural areas, that Dr Fletcher was unqualified, While I did not have a full set of certificates, I also knew that he had practised in Scotland, was referred to by family and in-laws as 'doctor', and described as such on official documents. Wishaw was close to Glasgow where he trained. Altogether it seemed very unlikely that he was deceiving anyone about his right to practise, despite a possible propensity for tall tales. However, I have just found information which casts a different light on Patrick's qualifications. A firsthand account written by a friend of the Fletcher family (Shaw: p.1) says that, "It was generally known that he had failed his final examination, but he was ever hopeful that a diploma would eventually come to hand." This could explain why he first worked as a shepherd on arrival in Otago and was then "persuaded to start practising at Green Island." (Thompson: 1949, p 164) Marriage In 1872, when he was about 26, Patrick married Helen Hamilton Merrilees at Cambusnethan where her family lived, close to his workplace, at Overton. Does the evidence support a scandal? Probably not, although Helen was only 16. She could have worked for the Fletchers although it was not close to her home and seems unlikely. The marriage occurred at an almost decent interval before the birth of their first child, Agnes, in 1873. Whatever happened, the families were not permanently estranged because the Merrilees letters mention, on a number of occasions, contacts with the Fletchers and Patrick's sister, Jessie coming to visit. Given that the Merrilees were small scale orchardists, hard pressed to make a living from their pears, stawberries and goosberries, while the Fletchers were quite wealthy landholders, there possibly was initial disapproval. According to the 1861 census Patrick's father had 16000 acres and employed 15 people, whereas the Merrilees' Trotter Bank orchard occupied 7 acres. From the Merrilees viewpoint discord is never hinted at but they do encourage Patrick to communicate with his mother. Patrick kept photographs of his sister, Annie, and an aunt, which have been passed down through the family. He also continued with Scottish traditions for naming his children after family members indicating a desire to sustain family connections. For more than a year Patrick and his wife lived near the Merrilees family. Fond memories of this time are recalled in a Merrilees letter to Helen Fletcher in June, 1879. "Tell the Doctor that I have never forgotten the many happy days I have spent in the Cottage beyond the school with little Agnes." The family emigrates " ...when he came to New Zealand by the ship Otago in 1874 he went as a shepherd to Cargill and Anderson's station at Moa Flat. After a few months there he came to Barewood where at the time F. Pogson was the manager." The Fletcher family are said to have travelled on the Otago, to Port Chalmers in 1874. Their absence from passenger lists was a puzzle, but I have found an account of the arrival of this ship in August 1874 (Otago Daily Times: 1874) and no passenger list is available. Presumably the Fletchers were among the 52 Scotch immigrants on board. They would have been relieved that their little girl Agnes did not succumb to the measles epidemic which took the lives of three children on board. Why Patrick chose to leave Scotland with his wife and daughter is not known. The Merrilees family seemed to expect them to return as shown in Agnes Merrilees' letter (1877). Many a time we are thinking that you will all be home soon as it is now more than three years since you went away. We do weary very much to see you all and would be so glad to have you beside us which we hope will not be very long." One could guess that they sought a healthier life in New Zealand. Young people were dying of chest complaints. The Merrilees letters contain many tales of woe as more and more of their generation died. ou see we are losing the Cousins very rapidly. I suppose you won't know either that Helen Hamilton of Crindledyke is dead. .... It has ended with Consumption with them all." (September 9, 1884) Other people from the area where the Merrilees lived also emigrated to Otago. In later years these other emigrants were the second hand source of news about serious illnesses experienced by both Helen and Patrick. The Fletchers obviously treasured the letters from home, to the extent that they have survived for around 130 years, but they were apparently not good correspondents. "We have been looking very anxiously for a letter from you, as we weary very much to hear how you are all getting on. We had a letter from your Mother Mrs Fletcher and she appeared to be very anxious to hear about you. We would like very much if you would write every month and we will try and do the same." (Agnes Merriliees, 25 March 1879) There was also another family example of seeking out a new life in unknown realms. Peter (Patrick) Fletcher, Patrick's uncle, is said to have left Jura in the 1850s and gone to South Africa where he established a flourishing branch of the family referred to as the Rhodesian Fletchers. (Mason 1973) rom shepherd to doctor "In cases of sickness or accident his knowledge and skills were so apparent that the curiosity of his fellow workers was aroused, and it needed only letters from Scotland addressed to Dr Fletcher to confirm their suspicion that perhaps he was a member of the medical profession." No letters from this early New Zealand period are included in the collection I have. The first one dates from 1877, by which time Patrick was again a practising doctor. My grandmother Mary Kennedy Fletcher, would have been born in the shepherding phase. Dr Fletcher's midwifery training included attending the lying in hospital in Glasgow where he was certified as handling 15 cases. Perhaps in the isolation of Moa Flat or Barewood he may have delivered his own child. ... because of the scarcity of doctors he was persuaded to start practising at Green Island, where he remained until 1884 ..." When Archibald Fletcher (Archie) was born in December 1876 the family had moved to the more closely settled area of Fairfield. The doctor's practice served the broader Green Island district and he was based at Walton Park almost opposite to where Martins Nursery flourished for many years (Fulton, 1922). The esteem in which he was held is highlighted by an Otago Witness account (24 July, 1880) of an evening held in Mosgiel when the doctor was feted by local people. He was presented with a horse, and 25 guineas was given to his wife in recognition of their role in the community. In keeping with his selfless commitment to his patients, the doctor left the gathering before it concluded when an urgent message came from Kuri Bush. Patrick Fletcher's full acceptance into the local medical fraternity is evident in several newspaper accounts which show he worked with other doctors and took responsibility for difficult cases. The sojourn at Walton Park included difficult and tragic times for the Fletcher family which, by 1881, comprised three girls and one boy. In that year the doctor suffered a serious illness. We can only guess at its nature but some feared for his life. The alarm extended to Scotland as the letters show. "We heard last week the Doctor had been very ill. We sincerely hope he is a little better now. We have been very uneasy since. You might write as soon as convenient and tell us how he is. New Zealand would be a very solitary home for you were you left alone." (Maggie Merrilees, 23 March 1881) "We have been all truly anxious to hear from you since we heard of your affliction but we fondly cherish the hope that the Doctor will be spared a little longer. Of course we cannot change our lifetime we can only apply to Him, who can give strength and comfort in the day of deep affliction and trial. .....Father & Mother bid me tell you, if you do lose your husband they will welcome you in your bereavement back to your own home." (Maggie Merrilees, 20 April 1881) The doctor recovered, but this trauma was followed by their third daughter, Helen, dying of a mastoid infection in November of the same year (Otago Witness, November 1881). Years later another daughter was born and she was also given her mother's name, Helen Merrilees. Moving on "...when he removed to Mosgiel and practised in partnership wth Dr McCaw. In the following year the latter suggested that Dr Fletcher visit Hindon, where he eventually went to live in 1886, to attend to the large number of men then working on Mullocky Gully and Nenthorn sections of the railway. The workmen spoke highly of him." In the Shaw manuscript we are given a glimpse of the doctor and his family illustrating their kindliness and something of Patrick's personality. The writer's brother had a serious hip ailment and the Fletchers took him into their Mosgiel home for several weeks while the doctor treated him. When his " health improved he used to accompany the Doctor on his rounds ... the big man and the small boy bowling along in a high gig, behind a spanking horse, both singing Sankey's hymns at the top of their voices". Shaw, p. 2) And stopping off for a whisky for the man and a lemonade for the boy, at the many pubs along the way. A correspondent to the Otago Witness (August 8, 1885) tells the story of one of the doctor's nearly tragic episodes laced with humour. The doctor, riding a young and inexperienced horse was on his way to visit a patient at Hindon when forced to cross the flooded river at Mt Allan. "All went well until deep water was reached when the youngster lost his feet and was carried downstream head over heels, horse and doctor suddenly disappearing, both entirely out of sight. The bystanders thought for the moment they had seen the last of their popular and daring medico; but it was not to be so .and when the horse's head rose, then sure enough, immediately bobbed up thereafter the portly form of the gallant doctor, secure in his position on the saddle, and gently reining in his steed, guided both to land in safety." The tremendous challenges faced during this period can be envisaged by those who have travelled through the Taieri Gorge by train. The precipitous rocky hillsides offered almost insurmountable barriers to the railway construction gangs. Medical support was extremely difficult. Dangerfield and Emmerson (1995) write of caches of medical supplies kept at various sites along the track and patients being carried by litter to hospital. Nevertheless the Shaw account offers a lighter side to the imagined difficulties. She describes being invited to stay at Hindon and to bring a riding habit. The Fletcher family lived in a "cosy three roomed cottage in a sheltered gully. There was also a tent in the garden where the family slept when they had visitors. A side saddle and a quiet horse were put at my disposal, and the Doctor and I had some wonderful rides, over the hills and through partially constructed tunnels. " The doctor was apparently a sociable and very hospitable man. The writer recalls being awakened at 2 a.m. one morning. A cook had come in from one of the stations"to have a tooth pulled and the doctor was entertaining him royally." (Shaw, p. 3) The Strath Taieri years "In 1889 , as the railway works pushed on to Strath Taieri, an influential committee in the district guaranteed a yearly amount to a medical man, and Fletcher accepted the offer and came to Middlemarch as the first resident doctor." Several factors appear to have combined to bring Doctor Fletcher to the Strath Taieri area. Prior to the shift he was already visiting the area and treating patients. The railway was progressing and the men he tended were moving on. Then came the offer from the committee. The large runs of the extensive plain and surrounding mountain and hills were already being broken up, leading to closer settlement, and the township of Middlemarch was developing facilities for the new settlers. The openness of the plain contrasted strongly with the gorge at Hindon. I travelled to the probable site of their Hindon house, going very steeply down, and down, nearly to the river, and was given medicine bottles, of an appropriate date, retrieved from there. Despite its stark beauty, to live in this environment, especially in winter, would have been a testing experience. When the local population diminished, as railway construction progressed towards Central Otago, the district could no longer support a permanent doctor, but a Medical Club was set up with representation from as far afield as Hyde and Moonlight. It fixed the doctor's subsidy at ?21 5s. per quarter. (Thompson, 1949, p.165.) "Dr Fletcher worked with vigour for many years, but long distances and severe exposure told on him and in 1893 he purchased Spark's property at Ngapuna and asked to be relieved of his duties in order to take up farming." Riding was a common source of injury, not only for the patients, but for the doctor himself. A newspaper report (Otago Witness, October 3, 1889) described how he had to set his own leg, broken between ankle and knee, after a fall from his horse when returning from visiting a patient at Hyde. Patrick Fletcher's father's estate was dealt with in 1892 and the doctor was to receive £1581.5.5 according to his father's will. It is probable that this legacy was used to purchase the Ngapuna property 1893 and to allow him to contemplate a less arduous life style. I have no direct evidence of the doctor's farming interests, but after his death the women of the family continued to run their small property for many years. The glass negatives produced during that time show cattle on turnips, pet sheep, dogs, horses, ducks, hens and a hay stack complete with schist rock tie down.
Helen Fletcher feeds her sheep.
"It was not until after he had a severe illness late in 1894 that Dr Myles, who was to remain for less than a year was appointed. As there was no great inducement for a doctor to start, the district was without one for a time, so that all needing medical aid still sent for Dr Fletcher. Dr Shields was engaged by the Hyde Medical Club for two or three years, but when he died the work again fell on the "old doctor"." In fact it was Dr Fletcher who attended Dr Shields during the days prior to his unexpected death from pneumonia. (Otago Witness, September 1897) "So off and on, almost up to his last illness, he was called on in times of need. Generous to a fault he would take little or nothing for his services. In recognition of this the settlers presented him with a horse and gig, and when he died in 1905 at the age of fifty nine they erected a headstone in the Middlemarch cemetery in memory of their old friend." The doctor's generosity is also described by Shaw (p.3) who claims that he never sent out accounts, but runholders "would send in cheques regularly", while others paid in kind: "along would come a drayload of swedes, half a sheep, or a case of apples." Patrick Fletcher's tall headstone is immediately visible on entering the Middlemarch cemetery. It is inscribed:
In Loving memory of Dr Patrick Fletcher Died 27th December 1905 Aged 59 Years Erected by The Residents of Strath Taieri And Surrounding Districts As a Token of Their Respect and Esteem
Again Patrick Fletcher was recognised by his community and it seems fitting to conclude this section with further words from Shaw (p. 3). "The family were pleased, but it was his due. There are very many still living who will remember him with love and thankfulness. I am sure he never had an enemy. You do not see his type nowadays."
In conclusion Starting with a name, a few details about his practice as a doctor in New Zealand and a hint of mystery, I now know a great deal more about my ancestor. "This big loosely built man .... with a head of thick brown hair, brown eyes, a brown beard, a good nose and highly coloured cheek bones ... had the gentlest hands I have ever known and a big heart."(Shaw, p.1). He enjoyed his whisky and tobacco, yearned to farm, but was always on call for anyone in need and expected little in return. While he was known for his tall stories, he does not seem to have concealed matters of importance from friends and family. But why did Patrick Fletcher have Cape of Good Hope recorded as personal information on his son's birth certificate? It was not his place of birth or where he was married. Where was he during the 1861 and 1871 censuses in Scotland? How was a boy from Jura educated to prepare him for university? Much has been revealed but some mysteries remain. The 'diploma' may never have arrived from Scotland but Patrick Fletcher undoubtedly earned the title of doctor from the people of Green Island, Mosgiel, Hindon and Strath Taieri through his skilled medical care and willingness to serve his patients wherever and whenever he was needed. Dawn Coburn Bibliography Archibald Fletcher (1886) Trust Disposition and Settlement. MacEwan, A. Writer. Lochgilphead, Scotland. Dangerfield, J. A. & Emerson, G.W. (1995) 3rd edition. Over the Garden wall. Story of the Otago Central Railway. Dunedin: The Otago Railway & Locomotive society Inc. Digital Newspapers. Lothian Ram Society. Retrieved online in a brief period of open access. Date and address not available. Fletcher, Angus (2008) Personal Communications via Isle of Mull listserve and email. Fletcher family documents, miscellaneous copies and originals, in the possession of D. Coburn, Middlemarch. Fulton, R. V. (1922) Medical Practice in Otago and Southland in the Early Days. Dunedin: Otago Daily Times and Witness Newspapers Co. Ltd. Glasgow Digital Library. Allen Thomson 1809 - 1884. Retrieved December 5, 2008 from http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/mlemen/mlemen093.htm Lamont A. Joseph Lister father of modern surgery. Retrieved December 5, 2008. from http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v14/i2/scientists.asp Lewis, S. (1846) A topographical dictionary of Scotland. Retrieved 24 November 2008 from http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=43449 MacEwan, A. (Writer) (1892) Estimated Scheme of Division of the Executry Estate of the late Mr Archibald Fletcher Farmer, Keills. Lochgilphead, Scotland. Mason M (1973) Jura: An Ancient Scottish Clan the Fletchers of Glenorchy Retrieved December 5 2008 from www.spaceless.com/fletcher/flet9.htm Merrilees Letters (1877 - 1897) Letters from Agnes, Margaret and Alexander Merrilees, Trotter Bank, Wishaw, Scotland, to the Fletcher family in Otago. Otago Daily Times (31 August, 1874) Arrival of the Otago. P. 4. Shaw, M. (undated) Dr Patrick Fletcher. Typescript addressed to Miss M. Shaw, Gordon Road, Mosgiel. Located at Otago Settlers' Museum. Ref no. DC-1385. Papers Past. Multiple online access to Otago Witness 1874 - 1906. Retrieved December 5, 2008.from http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=CL1.OW Thompson, H.M. (1949) East of the Rock and Pillar. A History of the Strath Taieri and Macraes Districts. Dunedin: Whitcombe & Tombs. Photographs Coburn, D. Family collection Endnotes:

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