LEADBEATER, Mary. Biographical Notices of Members of the Society of Friends, who were Resident in Ireland.
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London: Harvey and Darton, 1823. Foolscap octavo. pp. [iv], 366, [2 (Index)]. Later half black morocco on cloth boards, title in gilt direct on spine. Some blank pages bound in at end. Repair to tear on titlepage. A near fine copy.
Mary Leadbeater (1758-1826), author, poet, and memoirist was born in Ballitore, County Kildare. She was the daughter of Richard Shackleton by his second wife, Elizabeth Carleton, and grand-daughter of Abraham Shackleton, schoolmaster of Edmund Burke. Her parents were Quakers. She was thoroughly educated, and her literary studies were aided by Aldborough Wrightson, a man of great ability who had been educated at Ballitore School and had returned to die there. In 1784 she travelled to London with her father and paid several visits to Burke’s town house, where she met Sir Joshua Reynolds and George Crabbe. She also went to Beaconsfield, and on her return wrote a poem in praise of the place and its owner, which was acknowledged by Burke, 13 December 1784, in a long and eulogistic letter. In 1791 she married William Leadbeater, a former pupil of her father, and they resided in Ballitore. Leadbeater, who traced his descent from the Huguenot family of Le Batre, was a small farmer and landowner, and his wife kept the village post office. On her father’s death Mary received a tender letter of consolation from Edmund Burke. She had from time to time written poems, and in 1794 published anonymously in Dublin ‘Extracts and Original Anecdotes for the Improvement of Youth’, which begins with “some account of the society of the people called Quakers”, and contains several poems on secular subjects, and concludes with “divine odes”. Preface signed at Ballitore, 4th month, 1822. A very useful work with biographical information on Irish Quakers. Includes detailed and in most instances lengthy notices of: William Edmundson, Anne Wright, Susanna Mitchell, Robert Sandham, William Morris, Thomas Carleton, George Gregson, John Burnyeat, Elizabeth Whiddon, Abraham Fuller, Richard Poole, James and Anne Greenwood, John Clibborn, Anthony Sharp, James Knowles, George Newland, John Watson, Elizabeth Heritage, John Chambers, Sarah Baker, William Watson, Margaret Hoare, John Barcroft, Thomas Wight, Hannah Philips, Thomas Wilson, Joseph Pike, Ellen Bewley, Joseph Gill, Elizabeth Balfour, Samuel Watson, Anne Grubb, John Rutty, James Gough, Susanna Lightfoot, Samuel Neale, Sarah Newland, Elizabeth Pike, Eliza Chamberlain, Mary Ridgway, Susanna Hill, Elizabeth Ussher, etc. Surrounded by her immediate family, Leadbeater reportedly died a painful death, at the age of sixtyseven,
at Ballitore, Co. Kildare, on 27 June 1826. She was interred in her village’s Quaker burialground.
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