Full Name Macaulay, Catharine
Birth Date 1731-04-02
Death Date 1791-06-22
Birth Place Kent (England)
Death Place Berkshire (England)

Catharine Macaulay was the second child (among four) of John Sawbridge and Dorothy Wanley. Macaulay’s mother passed away when she was two years old, and she and her sister were left in the care of a governess, who was likely uneducated. Macaulay probably taught herself by reading in her father’s library, where her readings in Greek and Roman history steeped in her a passion for political freedom. In 1760, Macaulay married the Scottish physician, George Macaulay. This marriage lasted six years, until Mr. Macaulay’s death. During this time, Macaulay started writing her eight-volume influential work History of England from the Accession of James I to That of the Brunswick Line (1763-1783), which was written as a republican Whig response to David Hume’s Tory History of England. Because of this work, Macaulay is recognized today mostly as a historian, though her History includes arguments for republicanism. Her political and moral philosophy is also expressed in the form of stylized letters, a treatise and polemical pamphlets. She was connected to the Bluestockings, a circle of female intellectuals’ circle, including Elizabeth Carter and Elizabeth Montagu, and the Society of the Bill of Rights, a political group supporting John Wilkes. Macaulay was also associated with dissenters of the time, including Timothy Hollis, Richard Baron, and Sylas Neville. In 1778, Macaulay was marriage to William Graham, aged twenty-one. This second marriage and the ensuing scandal seriously damaged Macaulay’s reputation and dismissed her from some of her previous social connections in London. 

Created 2017-01-11, 10:49:44
Updated 2022-15-01, 03:47:58