Mary Laetitia Bell Martin

Martin, Mary Laetitia Bell, an authoress, daughter of Thomas B. Martin, of Ballinahinch Castle, County of Galway (who died in 1847), was born early in the present century.

An heiress to landed property in the county, worth some £5,000 per annum, she married Arthur G. Bell, who took her name.

She was a writer of no mean ability, and contributed largely to the Encyclopedie des Gens du Monde and other French periodicals, besides writing some novels, of which St. Etienne, a Tale of the Vendean War, and Julia Howard may be mentioned.

The failure of the potato crop and the famine and pestilence of 1845–'7 caused the financial ruin of herself and her husband.

“Her projects for the improvement of the wild district over which she had reigned as a sort of native sovereign were at an end, and she went forth from the roof of her fathers a wanderer, without a home, and, as it would appear, almost without a friend.”

She died in a hotel in New York, 30th October 1850, ten days after her arrival in America, having suffered much from fever, the consequence of a premature confinement during her passage on board a sailing vessel.


7. Annual Register. London, 1756-1877.

16. Authors, Dictionary of British and American: S. Austin Allibone. 3 vols. Philadelphia, 1859-'71.