Ireland’s Aunt Lucy was his mother’s younger sister. Born in Cumbria c. 1846, she moved to stay with family members, the Warings, in Penrith. She already carried their surname as her middle name – Lucy Waring Nicholson.
Lucy married another distant relative, Thomas Varty, in 1867, and died in 1890 at the age of 42. Lucy had several children: another Lucy, Thomas Nealy, Cecilia (who married the composer’s cousin Reynold), an Annie Elizabeth named after her big sister, a John Nicholson named for her father, Margaret Alleyne and Henry A. Varty – he who died in unfortunate circumstances in southern Spain. This reveals how closely interconnected this family were, with Nicholsons, Warings and Vartys frequently intermarrying.
A drinking fountain in Castle park, Penrith is inscribed in memory of Lucy Waring Varty, dated 1897.