Mary Booth 1704-1772

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Lady Mary BOOTH, Countess of Stamford 1704-1772

The earliest of Mary Booth's bookplates (Franks 3064), from an item in the collections of Dunham Massey. (Image provided by Ed Potten).

Biographical Note

The only child of George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington (1675-1758) and Mary Oldbury, Mary Booth was born in 1704. She married her cousin, Harry Grey, Lord Grey of Groby, later 4th Earl of Stamford (1715-1768) in 1736. Throughout their married life the couple seem to have split their time between houses in Staffordshire and Cheshire, and many of their possessions moved around with them.


Booth's library, much of which survives at the estates of Enville and Dunham Massey, has been studied and reconstructed by Edward Potten, who reflects that its contents "chart every stage of Mary’s life, and her books paint a vivid picture of a powerful, devout, intelligent and appealing character". Her personal library contained at least 265 books, covering a wide range of subjects including literature, botany, theology, and the classics, in English, Latin, French and Italian. Booth's library was reconstructed through Potten's study of extant volumes, as well as the inclusion of her name on subscription lists and the contents of her commonplace books.

Characteristic Markings

Booth used five different bookplates throughout her life, including a Jacobean armorial featuring three boars' heads (Franks 3064) which was commissioned for her by her father when she was a child. Booth also inscribed and annotated some of her books. 252 extant books and manuscripts contain either her bookplate or inscriptions.


With thanks to Patricia Bond.