Guide to the Mary Martin Rebow Papers 1767-1779
Cage 134

Summary Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Rebow, Mary Martin.
Mary Martin Rebow Papers
Cage 134
Date [inclusive]
1.0 box
General Physical Description note
.5 linear feet of shelf space
Letters written by Mary Martin of London to her fiance (later her husband), Isaac Martin Rebow, whose estate, Wivenhoe Park, was in Colchester, Essex.

Preferred Citation note

[Item Description] Mary Martin Rebow Papers, 1767-1779

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

Return to Table of Contents »

Biographical/Historical note

Mary Martin and Isaac Martin Rebow married circa 1776. They were cousins; Isaac Rebow's mother (also Mary Martin) and Mary Martin's father were brother and sister. Mary and Isaac had three daughters. He served in local political office as Alderman of the Borough of Colchester, and for nearly thirty years as a member of Parliament.

Return to Table of Contents »

Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of approximately one hundred letters written by Mary Martin (d. 1804) to Isaac Martin Rebow (1731-1781). The earliest letters (1767-1772) were written during their long courtship, and later ones (1778-1779) during their marriage.

Mary Martin's letters are filled with details of daily life: her interactions with family members, friends, servants, and others; recreation, such as walking and fishing, and her pets; social activities; and household events such as redecorating and struggling to engage servants.

In a 1971 essay about the collection, librarian Josephine Asaro Manning described the letters and Mary Martin's social position as a privileged young woman in Georgian England:

"Mary Martin, writing from her fashionable West End residences in Chelsea and Queen Square, and sometimes from Isaac Rebow's elegant Duke Street townhouse, reveals what it was like to be of the leisure class in 18th century England. She conveys through the excessively formal, almost stilted, writing style that convention demanded, her sensitivity to the ordinary, the dramatic, and even the comic episodes that made up her day. News events, family intrigue and gossip, scandal, routine events, and hopes and aspirations, propel her quill pen as the ubiquitous Post-Boy rings the bell and waits at the door for her missive."

(Source: Josephine Asaro Manning, "The Mary Martin Rebow Letters, 1767-1772, Part I," The Record 32 (1971): 5-46.)

Return to Table of Contents »

Arrangement note

The collection is arranged in a single chronological sequence.

Return to Table of Contents »

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries © 2014
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open and available for research use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The Friends of the Washington State University Library purchased this collection circa 1955-1960.

Return to Table of Contents »

Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)

  • Great Britain -- Social life and customs -- 18th century -- Sources

Personal Name(s)

  • Rebow, Isaac Martin, 1731-1781--Archives
  • Rebow, Mary Martin, d. 1804


  • Social Classes
  • Women

Return to Table of Contents »

Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Notes and transcriptions 

1 1


Box Folder


1 2


1 3


1 4


1 5


1 6


1 7


1 8


1 9


1 10

Supporting documentation: issues of The Record including essays about the collection (1971-1972) 

1 11-12