Female, Deceased Person
1678 – 1718
Who was Mary Steele?
She was born in Carmarthen, the daughter of Jonathan Scurlock, Sheriff of Carmarthen. Being his only child, she inherited the Llangunnor estate, where Steele retired a few years before his death in 1729.
The correspondence between Steele and his wife, whom he nicknamed "Prue", is famous. They are believed to have met in 1706, at the funeral of his first wife, Margaret, and married in the following year. Prior to this, Mary had been unsuccessfully sued for breach of promise by a man named Henry Owen, whom she accused of being a fortune-hunter.
Following their marriage, they took up residence in London, but Steele's precarious financial position made it difficult for them to keep up the rent and they were forced to move to properties in less fashionable districts or to use houses that belonged to the Scurlock family.