Mary, Countess Cowper

Standard Name: Cowper, Mary,,, Countess
Birth Name: Mary Clavering
Used Form: Mary, Lady Cowper
Used Form: Mary, Baroness Cowper
Most of MCC 's extant writings were produced with some immediate political purpose. Even her loving letters to her husband are attentive to the state of the nation and to his career within it. Other letters address key players on the political stage. MCC 's reputation rests on the lively Court diary which she kept early in the reign of George I , while she was a Lady in Waiting, but to the regret of later historians she burned most of it.
Portrait of Mary, Countess Cowper, by Godfrey Kneller or one of his school, 1709. She sits facing the viewer, head a little turned to her right, on a stone bench, by a fountain in front of a stone column and landscape. She wears a voluminous golden gown with white lace showing at the wrist and deep neckline, and holds a book in her right hand. A piece of paper with writing on it lies beside her.
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Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Family and Intimate relationships Sarah, Lady Cowper
Lady Cowper bore Sir William four sons in six years. They were educated at boarding schools, apparently not by their mother's choice, and she was also not happy about the early marriages contracted by the...
Family and Intimate relationships Judith Cowper Madan
This diarist, JCM 's paternal grandmother, Sarah, Lady Cowper , was an extraordinary woman. Born into the wealthy merchant class, deeply pious, highly intelligent and well-read, she consoled herself for an unhappy marriage to an...
Family and Intimate relationships Judith Cowper Madan
JCM 's aunt Mary, Lady Cowper , wife of the Lord Chancellor, became a Lady of the Bedchamber at the Hanoverian accession in 1714. She is remembered for her diary, which was first published in...
Literary responses Delarivier Manley
A series of various keys attached to later editions fed curiosity about the originals of DM 's portraits, without actually giving very much away.
Manley, Delarivier. “Introduction”. New Atalantis, edited by Ros Ballaster, Pickering and Chatto, 1991, p. v - xxviii.
Her work can claim some credit for the collapse of...
Textual Production Sarah, Lady Cowper
SLC was evidently well acquainted with the conventions of keeping a diary. She numbers her pages and records the date of each day in the margin, writing the month, often the year too, at the...


By 6 April 1742
An Account of the Conduct of Sarah Duchess of Marlborough, a politicalapologia and attack on her enemies composed by her over almost forty years with various helpers, appeared a few weeks after Prime Minister...