Wolverhampton BTW

Mary Abel Bartrum

Bartrum, Mary Abel (Lady) née Clinckett, 1797—1830

by Benjamin Colbert

Mary Abel Clinckett was born in Barbados, daughter of Abel Clinckett (1775-1848) and his wife Mary, née Als (d. 1803). Her father remarried in 1805. Around 1811, he sent Mary Abel to Clevedale, Bristol, for at least part of her education, and she returned to Barbados in late autumn 1813, a sojourn recorded in her first literary production, Early Attempts at Poetry, Written at Different Periods, from 1811, to 1816 (Bristol 1817). Although the volume was published under her maiden name, an introduction by her father notes that 'The Author was married May 25, 1816, to Mr. Alfred Bartrum [d. 1826], a deserving and respectable young gentleman, attached to the office of Commissariat in Barbados' [iii]).

In 1819, the couple returned to England with their daughter, Ellen Pringle Bartrum (1817-1834), and soon after voyaged to Mauritius where Alfred was to assume a minor government post in hopes of further preferment. A second daughter, Mary Gordon Bartrum, later Thurtell (c. 1821-1857), was born during their residence abroad, and their household also included two 'government slave apprentices', Theodore d'Adelaide (aged 9) and Delphine de Mie (aged 13), both withdrawn in 1826 the year in which Alfred died after a period of failing health and no prospects of an improved position. Mary Abel and their two children returned to England soon after, undertaking sometime later a further voyage to the West Indies in which Bartrum met with 'disappointments' followed by 'ill health', forcing her return to England where she died in 1830.


Clinkett, Mary Abel. Early Attempts at Poetry, Written at Different Periods, from 1811, to 1816. Bristol: Printed by Wm. Major, 1817. Calisphere. Web. 2 July 2018.

Slave Trade: Papers Relating to Slaves in the Colonies. Session 29 Jan.–28 July 1828. Vol. 25. 1828. Google Books. Web. 2 July 2018.


Title Published
Recollections of Seven Years Residence at the Mauritius 1830

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