Clement-Jones family 12/22 - Person Sheet
Clement-Jones family 12/22 - Person Sheet
NameMary BIRKETT , 3096
Birth1774, Liverpool
FatherWilliam BIRKETT , 3099
MotherSarah HARRISON , 3100
ChildrenNathaniel , 3095
Notes for Mary BIRKETT
See the excellent full article on her by Josephine Teakle on

In 1792, when she was 17 published A Poem on the African Slave Trade. Addressed to her own Sex. in two parts. The poem is noteworthy for the way in which it urges other women to boycott slave produced goods (sugar and rum) in protest against slavery. In this it may be unique as it is the only poem historian Clare Midgley ‘identified’, in her study Women Against Slavery, ‘which was written by a woman and directed specifically at her own sex’ .

Mary’s poem was written at a particular juncture in the abolition campaign. Publication of Parts I and II may have coincided with the passage of the 1792 Abolition Bill through the House of Commons in April and the Lords in May/June – Part II contains an address to members of the House of Lords.

She was closely involved in the life of the Society of Friends. She took on several offices, becoming Clerk to Dublin Meeting of Women Friends from 1813-1816. In 1807 she published a poem on the death of Joseph Williams, a revered Quaker elder. And her interest in antislavery continued. In 1806 she addressed a poem to Hans Hamilton, a Member of Parliament for Dublin County, urging him to support that year’s anti-slave trade bill. This was probably her response to the London Abolition Committee’s recommendation, in March 1806, that individuals write to their MPs. Thomas Clarkson was asked to make Irish abolitionists aware of this tactic (Jennings, pp.105-06).

Had eight children, but lost four in infancy
Last Modified 9 Jan 2010Created 4 Mar 2023 using Reunion for Macintosh