Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

By Moosey
  • Born

    Born
    Lady Mary Pierrepont was born on 15 May 1689 in at Holme Pierrepont Hall in Nottinghamshire and baptised on 26 May 1689 at St. Paul's Church in Covent Garden, London. She was the eldest child of Evelyn Pierrepont, 1st Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull (c.1655–1726), and his first wife Mary Fielding (d.1692), the only daughter of the third Earl of Denbigh (d.1692). Lady Mary had three younger siblings, two girls, Frances and Evelyn, and a boy, William (he died of smallpox).
  • Is toast of the Kit-Cat club as a beauty at age 7

    Is toast of the Kit-Cat club as a beauty at age 7
    members of the newly formed Kit-Cat Club, a group of fashionable men, nominated her as the subject of their toast to the beauty of the season, and they had her name engraved on the glass goblet used for this purpose. (picture is of John Vanbrough, a member). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kit-Cat_Club
  • Mother dies (date?)

    Her mother, who she thought would have supported her aspirations, died. Then her paternal grandmother Elizabeth Pierrepont raised Mary and her siblings until she died when Mary was eight years old.[7] Then, after Mrs. Pierrepont's death, Mary was passed to the care of her father, who did not believe he was obliged to assist with her education.
  • Period: to

    Self-educates: Used the well-furnished library to "steal" her education by hiding in the library from 10am-2pm

    and "every afternoon from four to eight.' She taught herself Latin, a language usually reserved for men at the time. She secretly got a hold of a "Latin dictionary and grammar" and by the age of thirteen, her handling with the language was on par to most men.A voracious reader, jotting the lists of characters and titles she read into a notebook. Read "plays of Beaumont and Fletcher, Dryden, Rowe, Lee Otway" and French and English romances
  • Two albums of poetry, a novel, and a romance by age of 15

    at the age of fourteen or fifteen, Mary Pierrepont had written two albums entitled "Poems, Songs &c" filled with poetry, a brief epistolary novel, and a prose-and-verse romance modelled after Aphra Behn's Voyage to the Isle of Love (1684). She also corresponded with two bishops, Thomas Tenison and Gilbert Burnet, who supplemented the instruction of the governess. Overall, Mary impressed her father, who was not a scholar, with her progress.
  • Moves with father to Acton and gets the measles

    hates the house because it's 'dull and disagreeable' and because it doesn't have a library. Correspondence with Edward, misunderstandings and patch-ups. Not sure about the date.
  • Period: to

    Corresponds with Edward Montague, brother of her late friend Anne

    (without her father's permission, apparently).Lady Mary often met Edward at "friends’ houses" and "at Court.
  • Father pressures her to marry Coltworthy Skeffington

    Father pressures her to marry Coltworthy Skeffington
    the heir to the Irish Viscount Massereene. Skeffington's marriage contract included "an allowance of £500 a year as ‘pin-money,’ and £1,200 a year if he died." However, she rejected him.
  • Breaks up with Edward

    On 2 May, he replied, "Adieu, Dearest L[ady] M[ary]. This once be assur’d you will not deceive me. I expect no answer." In that same summer, her father Lord Dorchester decided to find a husband other than Edward Wortley Montagu for his daughter.
  • Elopes with Edward Montague to avoid marriage to Skeffington

    "I shall come to you with only a night-gown and petticoat, and that is all you will get with me. I told a lady of my friends what I intended to do. You will think her a very good friend when I tell you she has proffered to lend us her house if we would come there the first night…If you determine to go to that lady’s house, you had better come with a coach and six at seven o’clock to-morrow."
  • Birth to Edward Wortley Montagu the younger

     Birth to Edward Wortley Montagu the younger
  • Edward accepts the post of Junior Commissioner of the Treasury

    When Lady Mary joined him in London, her wit and beauty soon made her a prominent figure at court. She was among the society of George I and the Prince of Wales, and counted amongst her friends Molly Skerritt, Lady Walpole, John, Lord Hervey, Mary Astell, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, Alexander Pope, John Gay, and Abbé Antonio Schinella Conti.
  • Gets smallpox at age 26

    Gets smallpox at age 26
    While she was ill someone circulated the satirical "court eclogues" she had been writing. One of the poems was read as an attack on Caroline, Princess of Wales, in spite of the fact that the "attack" was voiced by a character who was herself heavily satirised
  • Edward appointed ambassador to Constantinople

    to negotiate an end to the Austro-Turkish War.
  • Period: to

    Stay in Turkey

    In August 1716, Lady Mary accompanied him to Vienna, and thence to Adrianople and Constantinople. He was recalled in 1717, but they remained at Constantinople until 1718.
  • Letters from Turkey

    Letters from Turkey
    The story of this voyage and of her observations of Eastern life is told in Letters from Turkey, a series of lively letters full of graphic descriptions; Letters is often credited as being an inspiration for subsequent female travelers and writers, as well as for much Orientalist art.
  • Writes back about variolation of smallpox.

    Writes back about variolation of smallpox.
    visited the women in their segregated zenanas, a house for Muslims and Hindus, making friends and learning about Turkish customs. There she witnessed the practice of inoculation against smallpox – variolation – which she called engrafting, and wrote home about it in a number of her letters. The most famous of these letters was her "Letter to a Friend". Variolation used live smallpox virus in the pus taken from a mild smallpox blister and introduced it into scratched skin of the arm or leg.
  • Has Edward, aged five, inoculated

    Has Edward, aged five, inoculated
    with the help of Embassy surgeon Charles Maitland. In fact, her son was the "first English person to undergo the operation." In a letter to a friend in England, Montagu wrote, "There is a set of old women [here], who make it their business to perform the operation , every autumn…when then great heat is abated…thousands undergo this operation... [and there] is not one example of anyone that has died in it. https://brewminate.com/the-origin-of-vaccinations/
  • Daughter: later Mary, Countess of Bute

    Daughter: later Mary, Countess of Bute
  • Back to London

    Back to London
    After an unsuccessful delegation between Austria and the Ottoman Empire, they set sail for England via the Mediterranean, and reached London on 2 October 1718. In the same year, Austrians and the Turkish signed the Treaty of Passarowitz at the conclusion of the Austro-Turkish War.
  • Daughter is inoculated - first inoculation in England

    When a smallpox epidemic struck England, she had her daughter inoculated by Maitland, the same physician who had inoculated her son at the Embassy in Turkey, and publicised the event. This was the first such operation done in Britain.
  • Persuades Princess of Wales to test inoculation on seven prisoners.

    Persuades Princess of Wales to test inoculation on seven prisoners.
    She persuaded Caroline of Ansbach, the Princess of Wales, to test the treatment. In August 1721, seven prisoners at Newgate Prison awaiting execution were offered the chance to undergo variolation instead of execution: they all survived and were released. Despite this, controversy over smallpox inoculation intensified.
  • The Princess's two daughters Amelia and Caroline successfully inoculated

    The Princess's two daughters Amelia and Caroline successfully inoculated
    by French-born surgeon Claudius Amyand.
  • Publishes under a pseudonym in favour of inoculation

    In response to the general fear of inoculation.
  • Young Edward runs away from Westminster school several times.

    He was then entrusted to a tutor with strict orders to keep him abroad. In later years, her son managed to return to England without permission and continued to have a strained relationship with both his parents
  • Attack from Pope in The Dunciad

    Attack from Pope in The Dunciad
    While Pope may have been fascinated by her wit and elegance, Lady Mary's replies to his letters reveal that she was not equally smitten. Very few letters passed between them after Lady Mary's return to England, and various reasons have been suggested for the subsequent estrangement. In 1728, Pope attacked Lady Mary in his Dunciad, which inaugurated a decade in which most of his publications made some sort of allegation against her
  • Daughter marries john Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, despite parents' disapproval.

    Later, Lady Mary wrote to Lord Gower, 1th Earl Gower, about her daughter's disobedience. In response, Lord Gower tried to console Lady Mary: "I hope by her future conducts she will atone for her past, and that choice will prove more happy than you and Mr. Wortley expect."
  • Mary met and fell in love with Count Francesco Algarotti

    Mary met and fell in love with Count Francesco Algarotti
    who competed with an equally smitten John Hervey for her affections. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francesco_Algarotti
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hervey,_2nd_Baron_Hervey
  • Leaves England for France ostensibly for health

    Actually went to live with Algarotti in Venice. After she left England, she and her husband never met again.
  • Relationship with Argolotti ends

    after Lady Mary and Algarotti were both on a diplomatic mission in Turin
  • Settles in Avignon after travels

    Venice, Florence, Rome, Genoa and Geneva
  • Period: to

    Falls ill in Brescia and stays there

  • Leaves for Lovere

  • Travels to Venice on unknown business

  • Sees Argolotti again in Venice and Padua

  • Husband dies, Mary goes back to England

  • Arrives in London after very rough passage

  • Dies of cancer (age 73)