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Mary Brook [née Brotherton] (c. 1726 - 1782), writer

Mary Brotherton was born in Woodstock, Oxfordshire and was the daughter of William and Mary Brotherton. She was brought up as a strict Presbyterian under the auspices of her aunt in Warwick. When she was older she returned to live with her mother at Hook Norton, Oxfordshire.

On 18th June 1759 she was married to Joseph Brook (1720 - 1790), a Quaker and a wool stapler who was a resident of Leighton Buzzard. Joseph, was originally from Shepley, Yorkshire, being the son of Epaphras and Martha Brook. Mary and Joseph had two children, Hannah (b. 1760) and Mary (1762 - 1763).

In 1753, the American preacher, Elizabeth Ashbridge was touring Great Britain and Ireland, and converted Mary Brook to Quakerism. She became an active minister and as part of her missionary work visited many places around the country including London, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and York.

Her main religious lecagy is her pamphlet Reasons for the necessity of silent waiting, in order to the solemn worship of God. To which are added, several quotations from Robert Barclay's Apology (1774). This went through ten editions between 1774 and 1842, two American editions, and also French and German translations.

Mary Brook was seized of "Violent Histericks" at the beginning of 1781, followed by several paralytic strokes. She finally died at Leighton Buzzard on the 10th November 1782. She was buried in the Quaker burial ground at Woburn Sands, Buckinghamshire.

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