Monckton, Mary (1746–1840)

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Monckton, Mary (1746–1840)

Irish socialite and countess of Cork and Orrery . Born in 1746 in Galway, Ireland; died in County Cork, Ireland, in 1840; daughter of John Monckton, 1st Viscount Galway; married Edmund Boyle, 7th earl of Cork, in 1786.

Mary Monckton was born in 1746, the daughter of John Monckton, 1st Viscount Galway. Her parents were popular in artistic and literary circles, and parties at the family home were gatherings of some of the most talented people of the time. Monckton married Edmund Boyle, the 7th earl of Cork and Orrery, in 1786, and began entertaining on her own. Many of the finest writers of the late 18th and early 19th centuries attended her parties, including George Gordon, Lord Byron, Sir Walter Scott, and the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and it has been speculated that the characters of Lady Bellair in Benjamin Disraeli's Henrietta Temple and Mrs. Leo Hunter in Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers were based on her. Monckton died in County Cork, Ireland, in 1840.

Grant Eldridge , freelance writer, Pontiac, Michigan

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