Anna Maria Bennett

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Anna Maria Bennett
Died12 February, 1808
NationalityKingdom of Great Britain
Spouse(s)Thomas Bennett
Partner(s)Admiral Thomas Pye

Anna Maria Bennett (ca. 1750[1] – 12 February 1808) was a Welsh novelist who wrote in English. Some sources give her name as Agnes Maria Bennett. She had two children and she taught her daughter to act and she became a noted stage actor.

Her best-known work is the epistolary novel Agnes de-Courci (1789).


Anna was probably born in Merthyr Tydfil[2] Glamorganshire, Wales, the daughter of David Evans, described variously as a customs officer or grocer. She was briefly married to customs officer Thomas Bennett, but while sheltering in a chandler's shop after moving to London, she met Vice-Admiral Thomas Pye.[3] She became his housekeeper and mistress in Tooting, Surrey.[4]

She minc'd his meat, & made his bed
And warm'd it too, sometimes, 'tis said.'[3]

The couple had at least two illegitimate children together, Thomas Pye Bennett and Harriet Pye Bennett. The latter became a famous actress as Harriet Pye Esten, with her mother helping to launch her career.[4]

When Admiral Pye died he left his Suffulk Street townhouse to Bennett and the families joined more confusingly when their son Thomas Pye Bennett married the Admiral's daughter Mary.[5]

Her daughter, Harriet Pye Esten, initially appeared in Bath and Bristol before moving on to appear in Dublin. Whilst she was there in 1789 she and her mother negotiated a formal separation with James Esten. Bennett paid off her son-in-law's debts in exchange for his agreement.[6]


  • Anna: or Memoirs of a Welch Heiress, 1785
  • Juvenile Indiscretions, 1786
  • Agnes de-Courci: a Domestic Tale, 1789
  • Ellen, Countess of Castle Howel, 1794
  • The Beggar Girl and he Benefactors, 1797
  • De Valcourt, 1800
  • Vicissitudes Abroad, 1806


  1. ^ Agnes Maria Bennett, in Laura Dabundo, ed., Encyclopedia of Romanticism (Routledge, 1992).
  2. ^ "Bennett, Anna Maria (Agnes) Evans". Blackwell Reference Online. Archived from the original on 5 July 2018. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b Charles Lee Lewes (1805). Memoirs: Containing Anecdotes, Historical and Biographical, of the English and Scottish Stages, During a Period of Forty Years. 4. R. Phillips. pp. 200–205. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b "'Bennett, Anna Maria (d. 1808)', rev. Rebecca Mills". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/2117.
  5. ^ Laura Dabundo (15 October 2009). Encyclopedia of Romanticism (Routledge Revivals): Culture in Britain, 1780s-1830s. Routledge. pp. 86–88. ISBN 978-1-135-23234-4.
  6. ^ "Esten [née Bennett; other married name Scott-Waring], Harriet Pye (1761?–1865), actress | Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/39766


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