Nellie Brennan’s House: Source D

Nellie Brennan's Obituary, published in the Manx Sun, 29 January 1859

THE LATE ELEANOR BRANNAN.- In our obituary column, many readers will regret to see the name of Eleanor Brannan, for “this woman was full of good works and alms’ deeds which she did.” In her humble sphere she was a true Dorcas whose fervent piety and charity might put to shame the sluggishness of many a self-indulgent Christian. While she trusted for salvation only in the atoning work of Christ, she endeavoured to tread in the footsteps of His most holy life. With heart and hand she laboured to clothe the naked, to feed the hungry, to soothe and comfort the sick and suffering, and to lead sinners to their Saviour. At times of fever and cholera she went about as a ministering angel to the afflicted; and with almost more than angelic kindness her charitable service was rendered – for it involved the self-denial of a feeble, sickly body, that often shuddered with horror and nausea at the work before her; but this was the high moral courage of Christian love, triumphing over disgust and fear. The love of Christ was the constraining motive; for His name’s sake she laboured in weakness and weariness. She was formerly matron to the Douglas Medical Dispensary, and on the establishment of the General Hospital, Fort-street, she was unanimously chosen by the committee as matron to the new institution, where she laboured indefatigably as long as her strength permitted her. The clergy of the town ever found her a valuable auxiliary in their ministrations amongst the sick and poor, and many a distressing case has been first brought under their notice by her, and consequently receive timely relief.

Questions to consider:

  1. What can you learn about Nellie’s role in the care for the poor during the cholera epidemic and afterwards.
  2. The article emphasises Nellie’s ‘weakness and weariness’. Why do you think the writer chose to show her in this way?


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