Berry, Mary

BORN 16 Mar 1763, Kirkbridge, North Yorkshire - DIED 20 Nov 1852
GRAVE LOCATION Petersham, Greater London: St Peter's Church, Church Lane (churchyard)

Mary Berry was the daughter of Robert Berry, who was the nephew of a wealthy Scottish merchant. Robert Berry married a distant cousin, Miss Seaton. After giving birth to their children Mary and Agnes (1764-1852) she died in 1767 in childbirth. They were raised by their grandmother in Askham, Yorkshire. After the uncle died Robert Berry inherited money and in 1783 he travelled with his daughter to Halland, Switzerland and Italy. In Florence Mary started writing "Journals and Correspondence".

In June 1786 they retuned home. In 1788 she met the seventy year old Horace Walpole who became fond of her and her sister. For them he wrote "Reminiscences of the Courts of George I and II" (1789). He found a place to live for them in Teddington and in 1791 he moved them to Strawberry Hill, a house where his friend the actress Kitty Clive had lived until her death in 1785. In 1795 Mary she was engaged to General Charles O'Hara, the governor of Gibraltar. In 1796 the engagement was broken off. Walpole died in 1797 and left the sisters 4,000 pounds and Strawberry Hill House.

In 1798 she published "Works of Horace Walpole" in five volumes from the manuscripts that he had left them. In 1802 she travelled to Paris where she was presented to Napoleon. In 1810 she published the letters that Madame du Deffand had written to Walpole between 1766 and 1780 with her own annotations. She also edited the letters of Madame du Deffand to Voltaire.

In 1817 their father died during a trip to Genoa. Mary continued writing and publishing. In 1828 the first volume of "A Comparative View of the Social Life of England and France from the Restoration of Charles the Second to the French Revolution" was published and the second volume "Social Life in England and France from the French Revolution in 1789 to that of July 1830" followed in 1831. She died in 1852 in the same year as Agnes and they were buried in the same grave at Petersham.

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• met Napoleon I Bonaparte


The grave of Mary Berry at the churchyard of St Peter's Church, Petersham, Greater London.
Picture by Androom (16 Jun 2022)


The grave of Mary Berry at the churchyard of St Peter's Church, Petersham, Greater London.
Picture by Androom (16 Jun 2022)


The Berry Sisters, Sojourns in Twickenham and Teddington - Twickenham Museum
Mary Berry (writer - Wikipedia

Bertelli, Luigi

Published: 08 Oct 2022
Last update: 08 Oct 2022