Daly, Emily Lucy de Burgh (1859–1935), traveller and writer, was born at her father's residence at Clooneyquin, Co. Roscommon, fourth daughter among nine children of Christopher French , JP, DL, and high sheriff of Co. Roscommon, and Susan Emma French (née Percy). She was a sister of the songwriter and humorist Percy French (qv). Educated privately at home, she was reared in a lively household where the children engaged in producing little theatricals and family magazines. However, this gentry lifestyle was undermined by the land war of the 1880s, when the family estate was regularly patrolled by police at night. In 1888 Emily left home, and after a period training as a nurse in the Mildmay Hospital, Bethnal Green, London, she travelled to Ningpo (Ningbo), China, where she nursed and later took charge of a hospital for Chinese women. Here she began learning the language, which, despite her twenty-five years in the country, she never mastered. She gave up nursing when she married (October 1890) Charles de Burgh Daly, the port doctor for Ningpo and director of the Church Missionary Society Hospital, with whom she had at least two sons and one daughter. In 1893 they moved to Newchwang, southern Manchuria, where in 1894 they took in refugees from the Sino–Japanese war. In the years that followed she travelled extensively throughout the country, witnessed the build-up to the Boxer rebellion and Russo–Japanese war (she fled the country with her children during both conflicts), and with her husband was recalled from their leave in Ireland to treat the sick during the pneumonic plague of 1910. Her memoirs, An Irishwoman in China, published after she settled permanently in Dublin in 1912, provide detailed descriptions of the local customs and people, and the lifestyle of her fellow Europeans. She also edited two collections of her brother's work, Chronicles and poems of Percy French (1922) and Prose, poems and parodies of Percy French (1925). She died 13 November 1935 at Priory Lodge, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.
Burke, LGI (1912); Emily de Burgh Daly, An Irishwoman in China (1915), Chronicles and poems of Percy French (1922); Ir. Times, death notice 14 Nov. 1935; Brendan O'Dowda, The world of Percy French (1981); A. A. Kelly, Wandering women: two centuries of travel out of Ireland (1995); GRO