Hannah Cowley was born Hannah Parkhouse in Tiverton in 1743. Her father Philip Parkhouse, a bookseller with a classical schooling, provided his daughter with a comprehensive education that was rare for young women of her time. Furthermore the shelves in her father’s shop supplied her with all recent publications, and, it seems, she was a voracious reader: her published writings show her well versed in works of classical mythology, Restoration and early eighteenth-century drama, Enlightenment philosophy, political debates, history and military campaigns.
In 1772 she married Thomas Cowley, the son of a Cockermouth bookseller. Income was scarce in their new household: her husband brought home a meagre annual salary of fifty …
Blank, Antje. "Hannah Cowley". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 April 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=1046, accessed 26 October 2016.]