Mary Collier (1893 words)

  • Stephen Van-Hagen (University of Coventry)

On the basis of her “Remarks” at the beginning of Poems on Several Occasions (1762), which account for virtually all that is known about her, Mary Collier must have been born c.1690. She states that she was born near Midhurst in Sussex, “of poor, but honest Parents” who taught her to read until her mother’s early death. For many years nothing more was known about her birth, but the scholar H. Gustav Klaus discovered parish records in 2000 that make reference to a “Mary, daughter of William Collyer”, baptised at Lodsworth, three miles from Midhurst, on 9 October 1688 (“Mary Collier (1688?-1762)”, 2000, pp. 201-04). Collier was not sent to school, being “set to such labour as the Country afforded”, i…

Van-Hagen, Stephen. "Mary Collier". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 March 2007
[, accessed 11 December 2016.]