Biography of Mary Leapor
Mary Leapor was christened on 26 Feb 1722 at Marston St Lawrence. Her father, Phillip Leapor, was a Brackley man, who was a gardener employed by Sir John Blencowe until 1726. Her mother was Anne Sharman from Weston by Weedon.
Mary was a poetess, and was also employed in service as a cook maid in Weston working for Susannah Jennens, the married daughter of John Blencowe, whose husband owned Weston Hall. Mary fell out of favour in the household, but returned to her parents home in Brackley, from where she died and was buried 'in wool' in Brackley on 14 November 1746.
Mary Leapor produced a substantial body of exceptional poetry which was only published after her early death at the age of twenty-four.
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When Friends or Fortune frown on Mira's Lay,
Or gloomy Vapours hide the Lamp of Day;
With low'ring Forehead, and with aching Limbs,
Oppress'd with Head-ach, and eternal Whims,
Sad Mira vows to quit the darling Crime:
Yet takes her Farewel, and Repents, in Rhyme.
But see (more charming than Armida's Wiles)
The sun returns, and Artemisia smiles: