Nina Agnes Paterson: Who Was Percy Fawcett’s Wife?

Nina Agnes Paterson is famous as the wife of British geographer Percy Fawcett. Besides being a geographer, Fawcett was an archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and artillery officer for North America. Fawcett, his son Jack, and Jack’s longtime friend disappeared in 1925. The trio had gone on an expedition he had launched to find an ancient lost city he named “Z,” which he and others believed existed in the Brazilian jungle.

This article will detail Nina Agnes Paterson, her children, and her husband. Let’s get started.

Nina Agnes Paterson Bio

Nina Agnes Paterson was born in Ceylon in 1871 to Judge George Watson Paterson and Agnes Milne Poe. Little is known about Nina’s upbringing as she kept her private details away from the public.

Nina met Percy Fawcett in 1886, and they married in 1901. The couple welcomed three children; two sons and a daughter.

During his expeditions, Fawcett wrote letters to his wife back home informing her of the progress of his findings. Similarly, Fawcett directed his last communication before he disappeared to Nina through a letter delivered by a native runner on 29 May 1925.

In 1931, Nina donated objects that Fawcett had collected to the Museum. Since then, she maintained a low profile until she died in 1954, aged 84.

Nina Agnes Paterson Children

As aforementioned, Nina and Fawcett welcomed three children into the world. Jack Fawcett was born on 18 May 1903 and followed in his father’s footsteps to become an explorer. Jack accompanied his father in his final expedition to look for the lost city “Z.” Like Fawcett, nothing was heard of him after 1925. He was best friends with Raleigh Rimell, who accompanied father and son to Brazil to look for the ancient lost city.

Nina’s second-born child was Brian Fawcett, born in 1906, who turned out to be an author. Some of Brian’s work was inspired by his father’s obsession with the lost city, including Ruins in the Sky, Exploration Fawcett: Journey to the Lost City of Z, and Lost Trails, Lost Cities.

Joan Fawcett was Nina and Fawcett’s last child, born in 1910. She married Jean Demontet and had a daughter named Valerie Anne Demontet. She maintained a low profile; hence little is known of her life story. Joan died in 2005.

Nina Agnes Paterson’s Husband

Percy Harrison Fawcett was born in Torquay, Devon, England, on 18 August 1867 to Edward Boyd Fawcett and Myra Elizabeth MacDougall. His father was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Fawcett had an older brother, Edward Douglas Fawcett, a mountaineer, novelist, and philosopher.

Besides his expeditions, Fawcett served in the British Army from 1886 to 1910 and resumed his service in 1914-1919. The highlight of Fawcett’s expeditions was the journey to the Brazilian jungle in 1924, funded by a London-based group of financiers known as “the Glove.” He had carried equipment like guns, powdered milk, canned foods, flares, a chronometer, and sextant. His last instructions were that if the expedition did not return, no rescue should be sent to avoid the rescuers suffering the same fate.

Fawcett, his son Jack, and Raleigh traversed the vast jungle for a while before they were declared missing two years after their last message. It was widely assumed that local Indians killed them. It was also likely that they got lost and died of starvation. The truth of their death remains a mystery to date,

Final Thoughts

Nina and her family suffered a double loss following her son and husband’s disappearance and the lack of factual details about their final days.