Mary Graham (Cathcart) (1757 - 1792)

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Birthplace: Perthshire, Scotland
Death: Died in Nice, France
Cause of death: tuberculosis
Managed by: Erica Howton, (c)
Last Updated:

About Mary Graham (Cathcart)

Mary Cathcart was born in 1757 in Perthshire, Scotland and died in 1792 in Nice, France. From 26 December 1774, her married name became Graham.

Parents: daughter of Jane Hamilton (19 August 1726 - 13 November 1771) and Sir Charles Schaw Cathcart, 9th Lord Cathcart; he was ambassador to Catherine the Great in Russia.

Married:

  1. On 26 December 1774, in England to Sir Thomas Graham.

No children.

Brief Biography

In 1780 The Honourable Mary Graham left her native Perthshire and sailed to Lisbon. She was to remain on the Iberian Peninsular for more than a year, one of numerous British tubercular tourists seeking the benefits of a warm climate.

Acclaimed as a great beauty at the courts of St Petersburg and Paris, Mary Graham had become a renowned icon of beauty in Georgian London after her portrait by Gainsborough was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1777. Her portrait and her life create a defining moment in the eighteenth century. Her admirers included the Duchess of Devonshire, Robert Burns, Mary Wollstonecraft and Thomas Gainsborough.

Illness forced her to flee northern Europe but her adventures and exploits in Lisbon, Oporto, Vigo and eventually Madrid where she travelled in the summer of 1781, were reported back in Scotland and England. Recording exotic items of dress she saw abroad, she learned Portuguese and indulged her love of art in Madrid where she was the first British woman to admire a work by Goya in the Royal Academy . While her image by Gainsborough changed the trajectory of British female portraiture and looks forward to romantic portraits by Lawrence, Raeburn and Millais, her management of her disease, charitable work and artistic inclinations make her a heroine in tune with much 18th and 19th - century feminism.


Links

Citations

  1. [S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 718. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.
  2. [S3409] Caroline Maubois, "re: Penancoet Family," e-mail message to Darryl Roger Lundy, 2 December 2008. Hereinafter cited as "re: Penancoet Family."
  3. [S37] Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.
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Mary Graham's Timeline

1757
1757
Scotland
1792
June 26, 1792
Age 35
Nice, France
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mausoleum, churchyard of Methven, Scotland