Mary Richardson (1815–49)

John Ruskinʼs cousin, daughter of Janet (“Jessie”) and Patrick Richardson of Perth. For her life dates, see Viljoen, Scottish Heritage, 184, 185 She married Parker Bolding, a lawyer, in 1848 (Hilton, John Ruskin: The Early Years, 112).
In 1826, following the death by consumption of Ruskinʼs cousin, James Richardson, who had lived at Herne Hill, Margaret Ruskin declared a ban on “bringing ourselves under such responsibility” by adopting relativesʼ children into the household. Nonetheless, by April 1827, Margaret declared “how great a relief” she felt owing to the arrangements for Mary to live at Herne Hill for at least part of the year. Perhaps Margaret was led to this exception by Maryʼs gender, since in the same April 1827 letter she conveyed to John James her satisfaction in having a female companion, a Miss DePree, to stay with her “while you are away” on business travel, “and it seems to be her real desire to make herself useful and spare me trouble” in such tasks as sewing and shopping. Following the death of Maryʼs mother, Jessie Richardson, in May 1828, Maryʼs residence at Herne Hill became permanent until her marriage (Burd, ed., Ruskin Family Letters, 144, 156, 157 n. 2).
More to come.
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