1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Leapor

Alexander Chalmers, in General Biographical Dictionary (1812-17) 20:110-11.



MARY LEAPOR, a young lady of considerable poetical talent, was born Feb. 26, 1722. Her father at this time was gardener to judge Blencowe, at Marston St. Lawrence, in Northamptonshire. She was brought up under the care of a pious and sensible mother, who died a few years before her. The little education which she received, consisted wholly in being taught to read and write, and it is said that she was for some time cook-maid in a gentleman's family: with all these disadvantages, however, she began at a very early age to compose verses, at first with the approbation of her parents, who afterwards, imagining an attention to poetry would be prejudicial to her, endeavoured by every possible means to discountenance such pursuits. These, however, were ineffectual, and she was at last left to follow her inclination. She died the 12th of November, 1746, at Brackley; and after her death two volumes of her Poems were printed in 8vo, in 1748 and 1751, by subscription, the proposals for which were drawn up by Mr. Garrick. Mr. Hawkins Browne was editor of the second volume. Our late amiable poet and critic, Cowper, had a high opinion of Mrs. Leapor's poetry.