Monday, April 18, 2011

Tart Weddings: Mary and Thomas Robinson

Many of our tarts have commonalities in their marriages.  The first being they were usually miserable, the second being they were extremely young when the nuptials took place.  Such was the case with Mary Darby who would be most well-known as 'Perdita' to London society.

St Martin-in-the-Fields, more
crowded than at Mary's wedding
Mary had humble beginnings which began in Bristol.  In her teenage years she caught the attention of David Garrick who saw her star potential and sought to make her a great actress.  However her mother had different ideas and viewed Garrick as an eager agent filling a girl's head with visions of fancy.  She instead encouraged Mary to take the hand of Thomas Robinson an illegitimate son and accounting clerk.  Mary turned down her blooming acting career to become wife at the tender age of fifteen.

An example of a
Quaker gown
On 12 April 1773 at Saint Martin-in-the-Fields the Robinson marriage took place.  Although Mary's account written years later is shadowed with inaccuracies due to her bitter feelings toward her husband we can, however,  always depends on Mary to give us great deets on what she was wearing.  Mary walked up the aisle in habit of a Quaker despite not being a Quaker herself.  She felt the somber attire was appropriate for a child-bride in order to represent her purity.  But that attire was quickly shed after the ceremony.  For the modest reception (more of a breakfast) Mary changed into a muslin gown with a chip hat and satin slippers.  Let the party begin!


  1. Hmm it's interesting to see a side of a tart, before becoming a tart :)

  2. The "innocent" years before the purity is tarnished and the fun begins ;)

  3. I like this idea for a post! Great picture of the church! I think there is an almost replica of that church stateside!

  4. Hi Heather, I'm Irene from Cipria e Merletti. I'm italian, so...sorry for my very very BAD english. I'm trying to remember all my english studies, and it's sooo difficult.
    However, I follow u with pleasure for months, and if u visit my Cipria e Merletti, there are 2 gift for u.

  5. I do love a good story about an unhappy marriage, always a good read!