Perdita woman: Mary Arthington


Mary Arthington was the seventh of eight children, and fifth daughter, of Ferdinando Lord Fairfax and his wife Mary, the daughter of Lord Sheffield. Thomas Lord Fairfax, the parliamentary general, was her elder brother. Mary was born at the Fairfax family property of Scow Hall on 4 May 1616, and baptised at Fewston eight days later. She married Henry Arthington, of Arthington, Yorkshire, at St Mary's, Bishophill, on 24 May 1638. Little is known of her married life, except that she and her husband had several children, at least one of whom died young. Her letterbook of incoming correspondence (Bodleian MS Add. A.119) testifies to her puritanical piety and anxieties about her inclusion among the elect, as well as her close relationships with her elder sister Frances Widdrington and younger sister, Dorothy Hutton, both of whom she consulted for advice on spiritual matters. Henry Arthington died on 19 June 1671, and Mary herself was buried at St Mary's, Bishophill, on 21 December 1678.

Biography by Gillian Wright.

Bodleian Library: MS Add. A. 119
Letter book ( c. 1680-1700)
Mary Arthington ( Compiler)
Short entry.