Mary Lacy

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Mary Lacy (c. 1740 – 1801) was a British sailor, shipwright and memoirist. She was arguably the first of her gender to have been given an exam and a pension from the British admiralty as a shipwright.

Lacy ran away from home dressed as a boy at the age of nineteen in 1759, and worked as a servant for a ship's carpenter of the British navy under the name William Chandler until 1763. She then studied as an apprentice to be a shipwright. In 1770, she took her exam as a shipwright, arguably the first of her gender to have done so. In 1771, however, she was forced to stop working because of her rheumatism, and applied for a pension from the admiralty under her legal name, Mary Lacy, which was granted.

On 25 October 1772, at St Mary Abbots, Kensington,[1] Mary Lacy married Josias Slade, a shipwright, of Deptford, Kent.[2]

She published her memoirs The Female Shipwright (1773).

That same year, Mary gave birth to her first child,[3] Margaret Lacey Slade, who was baptized at St Nicholas, Deptford, Kent, on 29 August.[4] Their other children were Josias Slade (1775–1777), Mary Slade (1777–1777), Josias Slade (1778–1781), Elizabeth Slade (1780–1780), and John Slade (born 1784).[5]

In 1775 Mary petitioned for her husband to be granted a servant because of his 16 years' service as a shipwright.[6] She had also applied unsuccessfully before Lord Sandwich for her husband to succeed Thomas Boyles, who lined the stuff for the Sawyers at the dockyard.[7]

Mary died in 1801 and was buried at St Paul, Deptford, Kent, on 3 May 1801.[8][9] Her husband, Josias Slade, died in 1814 and was also buried at St Paul, Deptford, Kent, on 13 February 1814.[10] In his will and codicil, he only mentions his son, John Slade, and daughter, Margaret, now wife of Joseph Ward[11] (Margaret Lacey Ward died the following year and was buried at St Paul, Deptford, Kent, on 23 April 1815[12]).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Index record by West Middlesex Family History Society on FindMyPast.co.uk
  2. ^ digitized image from London and Surrey, England, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1597–1921 on Ancestry.co.uk
  3. ^ digitized image of General Evening Post (London, England), July 31, 1773 – August 3, 1773 from Seventeenth - Eighteenth Century Burney collection newspapers from Gale Cengage Learning
  4. ^ digitized image from London, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538–1812 on Ancestry.co.uk
  5. ^ digitized images of baptisms and burials from London, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538–1812 on Ancestry.co.uk
  6. ^ index record ADM 106/1231/171 from The National Archives (UK)
  7. ^ index record ADM 106/1231/171 from The National Archives (UK)
  8. ^ Genealogists' Magazine, Vol. 22, No. 11, September 1988, page 403
  9. ^ digitized image from London, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538–1812 on Ancestry.co.uk
  10. ^ index record from England, Select Deaths and Burials, 1538–1991 on Ancestry.co.uk
  11. ^ digitized image from England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384–1858 on Ancestry.co,uk
  12. ^ index record from England, Select Deaths and Burials, 1538–1991 on Ancestry.co.uk