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Talbot, Mary Anne

TALBOT, MARY ANNE (1778-1808), the "British Amazon," was born in London on the 2nd of February 1778. She believed herself to be the illegitimate child of the 1st Earl Talbot. Early in her career she eloped, in the disguise of a boy, with a captain. In 1792 she was a drummer in Flanders. In the capture of Valenciennes her lover was killed; and Mary Anne deserted and became cabin boy on a French lugger, which she asserted was captured by the British, who transferred her to the " Brunswick," where she served as a powder monkey, being wounded in Lord Howe's victory of the 1st of June 1794. For this she later received a small pension. When the wound healed she again went to sea, was captured by the French, and imprisoned for a year and a half. Her sex was not discovered until shortly afterwards she was seized by a pressgang. She finally became a household servant to Robert Kirby, a London publisher, who included an account of her adventures in his Wonderful Museum (1804) and in Life and Surprising Adventures of Mary Anne Talbot (1809). She died on the 4th of February 1808.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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