Mary Clavering


Individual's Timeline

MarriageSeptember 1706Mary Clavering
Death10 October 1723Sir William Cowper 3rd Bart, 1st Earl, Lord Chancellor of Great Britain

Primary events

Secondary circumstances

  • Married Name: Her married name was Cowper.

Locus Operandi

Research Notes

  • Research note 01: the daughter of John Clavering of Chopwell, Durham, who was related to the Claverings of Callalee and Axwell, a family of Jacobite and Roman Catholic leanings.
    John Clavering married twice, Mary and Anne [married to Henry Liddell], being his surviving children by his first wife. By his second wife he had several children, including John, groom of the bedchamber to George II, and Margaret, Lady of the Bedchamber to Augusta, Princess of Wales.
    Mary was born in 1685, and died three months after her husband, in 1723/4. She was a Lady of the Bedchamber to Caroline, Princess of Wales, and parts of her service in this post are recorded in her Diary which was edited by Spencer Cowper, and published in 1864.
    Her papers, as listed below, include a great deal of correspondence, including letters in French from Baron Bernstorff to her, acting as intermediary for her husband, who could not speak or write French. Occasionally she translated drafts of memoranda to the king, and similar documents, into French, for him.
    In addition to the correspondence, her papers also contain a copy of the "diary" of Sir David Hamilton, one of Queen Anne's physicians, which relates the course of her illness, and political events of the time.
    In her capacity as a Lady of the Bedchamber, she was often involved in court intrigues which are often touched on in these papers. One of the more explicit examples is the effort to persuade the Princess of Wales to interest herself in the reprieve of Lord Carnwarth, who was imprisoned after the 1715 rebellion, with Sir David Hamilton acting as go-between].