Mary Monck


Mary Monck (née Molesworth) was a poet and a translator of chiefly Italian works, whose writings seem to have been largely confined to a private social circle during her lifetime. Most of them were published posthumously by her father, Robert, Viscount Molesworth, as Marinda: Poems and Translations upon Several Occasions (London, 1716). He records having found ‘most of them in her Scrittore after her Death, written with her own Hand, little expecting, and as little desiring the Publick shou'd have any Opportunity either of Applauding or Condemning them’.

What may perhaps have been the one poem missing from her papers, and omitted from Marinda, was not published until 1755. This is the touching poem written on her death-bed, as a ‘faithful wife’ to her ‘tend'rest husband’. This clearly became her most popular poem and is the one poem by her which did circulate widely in manuscript (MkM 1-22).

Peter Beal