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Mrs Jeffrey, née Mary Wilkes (1728–1808)

Photo credit: Victoria Art Gallery

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At first glance, it is clear that this sitter was a strong personality. Born Mary Wilkes, her brother was the well known radical politician John Wilkes. She married three times, travelled around America, and seems to have had a very adventurous life for a woman of her era.

In old age Mary Jeffery retired to Bath. The life she led here was far from quiet. She loved gambling, and probably won and lost large amounts of money. She owned a striking carriage pulled by four black horses, which went around the city faster than any other vehicle. She was reputedly highly eccentric and a great conversationalist. Any visitors to Bath with a reputation for wit and intellect were invited to parties at her house.

Victoria Art Gallery





oil on canvas


H 122.9 x W 87 cm

Accession number

BATVG : P : 1934.16

Acquisition method

gift from Mrs S. S. Light, 1934

Work type



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Victoria Art Gallery

Bridge Street, Bath, Somerset BA2 4AT England

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