General Court Martial of Lieutenant Nathaniel Fitzpatrick
[Please be advised that this court martial contains testimony of a mature nature.]
[Continuation of a general court martial of Lieutenant Nathaniel FITZPATRICK of the Queen's American Rangers for behaving in a Scandalous infamous Manner such as is unbecoming the Character of an Officer and a Gentleman.]
Monday the 1st June 1778.
The Court being met pursuant to Adjournment.
Lieutenant William ATKINSON of the Queens Rangers, being duly sworn was examin’d.
Q. Does he not remember that Mary DUCHÉ who liv’d with Captain MURRAY, at the time of the Q[u]eens Rangers being at Salem, not only Inveigled Lieutenant FITZPATRICK knowing or at least hearing that he was then indisposed with a Venereal Complaint, to lay with her, and that she had taken the same pains with several others and himself (the Witness) in particular?
Q. Did he at any time whilst the Regiment was at Salem, see Mary DUCHÉ in Lieutenant FITZPATRICK’s Room, and what was her behaviour then?
Q. Had he not Connections and laid with Mary DUCHÉ, during the absence of Captain MURRAY, and did she not entice him to it?
Q. Has he not known Lieutenant FITZPATRICK ever since he (the Witness) has been in the Queens Rangers?
Q. Has he ever known Lieutenant FITZPATRICK’s behaviour to be unlike that of an Officer and a Gentleman?
Q. Did he at any time refuse to roll in duty with him (Lieutenant FITZPATRICK) or think his behaviour disgraceful to the Corps?
Q. (by the Court) How long has he been in the Queens Rangers?
Q. Did he find any ill Effects by laying with Mary DUCHÉ?
Q. Was it before or after Lieutenant FITZPATRICK lay with her, that he (the Witness) did.
Q. Did he suppose that Lieutenant FITZPATRICK had lain with her?
Q. Did he know the reason of Lieutenant FITZPATRICK being left behind the Corps?
Q. Is he certain that Mary DUCHÉ knew or heard that Lieutenant FITZPATRICK had a Venereal Complaint on him?
Q. (by Lt. Col. SIMCOE) Did he ever lay with her after he knew that Lieutenant FITZPATRICK had had Connections with her?
Q. (by desire of Lieutenant FITZPATRICK) Was it before or after the Regiment return’d from Salem that he knew of Lieutenant FITZPATRICK’s Laying with her?
The Court Adjourn’d till next Morning 9 o’Clock.
Tuesday the 2d June 1778.
The Court being met pursuant to Adjournment.
Mary DUCHÉ, being duly sworn was examin’d.
Q. (by desire of Lieutenant FITZPATRICK) whether she remembers telling any Gentleman yesterday that she was not disorder’d, and that Lieutenant FITZPATRICK did not disorder her?
Q. (by the Court) Has she been disorder’d, and by whom?
Q. Did she know that Lieutenant FITZPATRICK was disorder’d at the time that he lay with her?
Q. Did Lieutenant FITZPATRICK ever give her any Medicine
Q. Does she know for what purpose, he gave it to her?
Q. Did he not tell her for what purpose?
Q. As she did not know that Lieutenant FITZPATRICK was disorder’d at the time that he lay with her, what reasons has she to suppose that it was him who disorder’d her; in preference to any other Man?
Q. (by desire of Lieutenant FITZPATRICK) Had she any Connections with any other man during Captain MURRAY’s absence, except Lieutenant FITZPATRICK
Q. Had she ever any Connections with Lieutenant ATKINSON?
Q. Does she know Lieutenant ATKINSON
Q. Did she ever go to Lieutenant FITZPATRICK’s Room in the dead of the night?
Q. During the absence of Captain MURRAY, did she not Complain to Lieutenant FITZPATRICK that she could not get any thing from the Sutler, and desire that he would come and dine in her Room, in order that she might get something to Eat?
Q. Did not she and Lieutenant FITZPATRICK frequently dine together, during Captain MURRAY’s absence?
Q. Was it by her invitation that Lieutenant FITZPATRICK used to dine with her?
Q. How long before Captain MURRAY return’d, did she lay with Lieutenant FITZPATRICK?
Q. Did she lay with Lieutenant FITZPATRICK more than once?
Q. Did she ever tell any body the reason why Lieutenant FITZPATRICK remain’d behind the Regiment?
William CUNNINGHAM, Provost Martial, being duly sworn was examin’d.
Q. Did not Mary DUCHÉ tell him yesterday, that she was not disorder’d, neither did Lieutenant FITZPATRICK disorder her?
Lieutenant FITZPATRICK Closed his defence as follows.
Gentlemen, when I first appear’d before you I promised to give the court as little trouble as possible, altho’ my Crime given by my Commanding Officer was of the blackest dye, and if I have, from the variety of incidents, fresh accusations, or the unfriendly Insinuations dropt against me to the Court by Colonel SIMCOE to darken my Character in any trifling matter exceeded that promise, I flatter my self the Court will not Construe it to my disadvantage, as it is the first Court of honor I was ever call’d before.
I acknowledge Gentlemen with Candour my inexperience, and want of Abilities to Animadvert distinctly on the different Evidence on the part of the prosecution, and therefore I must submit to your superiour Wisdom and Justice to decide it.
I have only to observe to the Court, that my Prosecutor took great pains to shew his reluctance in bringing me before a General Court Martial, and quotes my Letters as the cause why he did.
But you Gentlemen must see the Severity of my case, that from one unguarded act, and for which I had endeavor’d to make every reparation in my power by obeying my Commanding Officer, even in that very instance, and it is acknowledged by the Gentleman himself who was the immediate person concern’d that he did accept the submission and wishd the matter buried in oblivion, and yet no Terms could be accepted by my Commanding Officer, but my Resignation.
Colonel SIMCOE in speaking of my Character has represented it to this Court as a dishonor to the Regiment since he has Commanded it, and accuses me of neglect of duty and being absent from Parade when the Regiment was going upon Service, and quotes one Instance for which he put me in arrest.
I acknowledge once last Winter the Regiment marching at a minutes warning and that in the middle of the Night to be absent, having spent the Evening in Town, but that I over took the Regiment before it had got any distance, yet notwithstanding the Colonel put me in arrest.
This being the only instance, I humbly beg leave to hope when the Court will reflect that after the fatiguing Campaign of last year, that this one fault of being absent from a Parade, for that it seems was the only time the Colonel could accuse me, that they will not Condemn entirely my Conduct as so very dishonorable, as the Colonel has wish’d to represent it, as from the different Evidences call’d by me in Defence of my Character as a Gentleman and an Officer it is not pretended by any one that my Character stood in a dishonorable light amongst my brother Officers.
I would not wish to dwell too much on the many accusations brought against me by my Commanding Officer before the Court, but as an Insinuation was dropt that I had interested Views in keeping Company with Captain MURRAY’s Girl, and that Captain MURRAY was put to a very great expence on that account, I beg leave to remind the Court however severe the Insinuation was, That Captain MURRAY has flatly denied the Charge.
And it again appears that this matter in the first instance was taken up by the Captain, and that the reason Lieutenant WHITLOCK refused doing duty with me was from a particular request Captain ROSS made to the Subalterns for that purpose, and yet there appears but that one Subaltern refused to Roll on duty with me, as was proved by the Evidence of Ensign DUNLOP.
Thus Gentlemen have I spoke to the Charges brought against me. And I most humbly hope you have seen, and do Commiserate the peculiar hardships and severities of my Case. And that I have a call on your Justice for an honorable Acquittal.
The Court having considered the Evidence for and against the Prisoner Lieutenant Nathl. FITZPATRICK, together with what he had to offer in his Defence, is of Opinion that his is Not Guilty of behaving in a Scandalous infamous Manner, such as is unbecoming the Character of an Officer and a Gentleman, as stated in the Charge;
the Court is however of opinion that his behaviour was highly improper, and doth therefore adjudge that he should make a public apology to the Officers of the Corps to which he belongs.
Step. P. ADYE
Great Britain, Public Record Office, War Office, Class 71, Volume 86, Pages 291-310.
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