Margaret Ann Courtney

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Margaret Ann Courtney (16 April 1834 – 12 May 1920) was an English poet and folklorist based in Penzance, Cornwall.

Family life[edit]

Margaret Ann Courtney was born at Penzance in 1834, the eldest daughter of Sarah Mortimer Courtney and John Sampson Courtney.[1] Her mother was from Scilly; her father from Devon. One brother, John Mortimer Courtney, was a government official in Canada; another, Leonard Henry Courtney, was a British politician. Her younger sister Louise d'Este Courtney married Richard Oliver, a New Zealand politician from Cornwall.[2]


M. A. Courtney is perhaps best known for her book Cornish Feasts and Folk-Lore (1890), a detailed description of many of the traditions and folklore present in west Cornwall.[3] It has also appeared under the title Folklore and Legends of Cornwall.[4] Other titles by Courtney included Cornish Feasts and Feasten Times (1910)[5] and Glossary of Words in Use in Cornwall (1880, co-authored with Dr. Thomas Quiller Couch).[6]

A poem by Margaret Ann Courtney was included in the 2000 collection Voices from West Barbary: an anthology of Anglo-Cornish poetry 1549-1928.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ William Henry Kearley Wright, West Country Poets: Their Lives and Works (E. Stock 1896): 122.
  2. ^ Family of John Sampson Courtney of Penzance;
  3. ^ Margaret Ann Courtney, Cornish Feasts and Folk-Lore (EP Books 1973).
  4. ^ Margaret Ann Courtney, Folklore and Legends of Cornwall (Cornwall Books 1989). ISBN 9781871060058.
  5. ^ M. A. Courtney, Cornish Feasts and Feasten Times (Read Books 2010). ISBN 9781445520988
  6. ^ M. A. Courtney and T. Q. Couch, Glossary of Words in Use in Cornwall (Trübner & Co 1880).
  7. ^ Alan M. Kent, ed., Voices from West Barbary: an anthology of Anglo-Cornish poetry 1549-1928 (Francis Boutle Publishers 2000): 145.