Edith Pope, née Turner (1643 bapt.–1733)

  • Baptized

    Edith Turner was born near Barnsley, 50 miles south of York, the daughter of William Turner (1597-1665). The Turners were a prominent trading family there, Freemen of the City, office holders, and Lords of the Manor of Towthorpe. Edith was the fourteenth of at least sixteen children. She was baptised in the Anglican faith at Worsboough near Barnsley. The family had for several generations "carefully trodden the borderline between Catholicism and protestantism, those of the former faith depending on those prepared—publicly at least—to profess the latter" (Howard Erskine-Hill, 'Pope, Alexander (1688–1744)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004).

  • Move to Kexborough

    Around 1645 the Turner family moved to Birthwaite Hall, Kexborough, 4 miles north of Barnsley.

  • Father dies

  • Mother dies

  • Birth of Alexander Pope

    At what was likely no. 2 Plough Court just off Lombard Street in the City of London, Edith gave birth to her only child, Alexander Pope, when she was forty-four.

  • Death

    Three days after his mother's death, Alexander Pope wrote to his friend Jonathan Richardson:

    upon her countenance such an expression of Tranquillity, nay almost of pleasure, that far from horrid, it is even amiable to behold it. It wou'd afford the finest Image of a Saint expir'd, that ever Painting drew; and it wou'd be the greatest obligation which even That obliging Art could ever bestow on a friend if you cou'd come and sketch it for me. ... I will defer her interment till tomorrow night.

    Edith Turner Pope was buried in the churchyard of St. Mary's, Twickenham, likely in the evening as was common for Catholic burials in Protestant grounds.