Ann Yearsley

Ann Yearsley née Cromartie (c. 1753 - 1806) was an English poet and writer.

Born in Bristol to John and Anne Cromartie (described as a milkwoman), Ann married John Yearsley, a yeoman, in 1774. A decade later the family were rescued from destitution by the charity of Hannah More and others. More organized subscriptions for Yearsley to publish "Poems, on Several Occasions" (1785). The success of the volume led to a quarrel between More and Yearsley over access to the trust in which profits from the undertaking were held. Yearsley included her account of this quarrel in an 'Autobiographical narrative' appended to a fourth, 1786, edition of the poems.

Now supported by Frederick Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol, Yearsley published "Poems, on Various Subjects" in 1787. "A Poem on the Inhumanity of the Slave-Trade" appeared in 1788. She turned to drama with "Earl Goodwin: an Historical Play" (performed in 1789 ; printed in 1791) and to novel-writing with "The Royal Captives: a Fragment of Secret History, Copied from an Old Manuscript" (1795). Her final collection of poetry, "The Rural Lyre", appeared in 1796.

Yearsley's husband died in 1803; she died in 1806 at Melksham near Trowbridge, Wiltshire.

Works

*"Poems, on Several Occasions" (1st edition, with preface by Hannah More, 1785)
*"Poems, on Several Occasions" (4th edition, with new preface by Yearsley, 1786)
*"Poems, on Various Subjects" (1787)
*"A Poem on the Inhumanity of the Slave Trade" (1788) ( [http://www.brycchancarey.com/slavery/yearsley1.htm Etext] )
*"Stanzas of Woe" (1790)
*"Earl Godwin: An Historical Play" (performed 1789; printed 1791)
*"The Royal Captives: a Fragment of Secret History, Copied from an Old Manuscript" (4 vols., 1795)
*"The Rural Lyre: a Volume of Poems" (1796)

Further reading

* Mary Waldron (1996) "Lactilla, milkwoman of Clifton: the life and writings of Ann Yearsley, 1753–1806"

External links

* Mary Waldron, [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/30206 ‘Yearsley , Ann (bap. 1753, d. 1806)’] , "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 12 Nov 2006
* Brycchan Carey, [http://www.brycchancarey.com/abolition/yearsley.htm British Abolitionists - Ann Yearsley: biography and bibliography]
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