In 1869, Fitzgerald married Dorcas Louisa daughter of the 10th Lord Massereene and Ferrard. Of course, she was introduced to Charles Dickens and she too stayed at Gads Hill Place, but she did not have long to get to know him. She herself only lived for six years of marriage and they had no children.

It is clear that Charles Dickens valued his friendship with Percy Fitzgerald and once thought of him as a suitable match for his daughter Mary, writing:

I am grievously disappointed that Mary can by no means be induced to think as highly of him as I do.

Fitzgerald became well known as a visitor to the family home and Henry Dickens said:

…he was a favourite of my father

while Georgina Hogarth, Dickens’ sister-in-law, stayed in touch with him after Dickens’ death.

He wrote to Fitzgerald’s mother:

No man ever sets foot in my house whom I better like to see there.

Dickens and his daughters

Sketch copy of photo of Dickens two of his daughters. B&W: 23cm x 29cm

Charles Dickens Ephemera collection, MAC

Percy Hetherington Fitzgerald exhibition home page