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Author: Farrell, Sarah


FARRELL, Sarah, formerly FIELDING (1749-1832:

She was one of the three daughters of William Fielding (1717-1773) and his wife Mary Cormack. Her father was superannuated as Rear Admiral in 1762 but this led to a reduced pension for his widow after his death in 1773 since he only had the title and not the rank. Sarah Fielding (often Feilding) married Capt. Thomas Farrell of the 65th Regiment of Foot on 9 June 1764 at St. Margaret’s, Westminster, with her father’s consent. They had at least three children. Her daughter Isabella Maria (1765-1847) married a Bristol sail maker and timber-merchant. Her other daughter, Sophia Fielding (1788-1850), lived with her mother at Connaught Terrace, London and remained there until her death in 1850. On the publication of Charlotte, or A Sequel to the Sorrows of Werter (1792), a critic in the European Magazine noted, “from some plaintive terms in her writings, it is too evident that her conjugal happiness has not been equal to what her amiable virtues merited.” This is corroborated by her brother Lieut. William Fielding who managed to obtain a pension for her of £75 p.a. in 1775 which the Queen paid out of her own purse. Two years later he wrote that Thomas Farrell  was “in a most miserable condition, living on his Estate (called deer Island in the Bay of Funday) with a Woman he brought from England, by whom he has several children. . . . The Attorney Gen[era]l W[illiam] Nesbit . . . told me he is a madman and is much Surpised he had not been hanged.” Her brother sought to secure the proceeds of the estate (valued at £500) in the event of Farrell’s death for the benefit of his sister. In 1809 she was living at Bath and applied to the RLF, informing them she had “struggled through a course of years to bring up a young deserted family.” In a further letter the same year, written from her married daughter’s house in Bristol, she lamented that “sickness and sorrow” had “left unfinished several works of fancy.” She was awarded 10 guineas. She died at her residence in Connaught Terrace, London, on 10 May 1832 and was buried a week later at St. Mary, Paddington Green. ( 6 Aug. 2020; 6 Aug. 2020; National Archives, ADM 6/19/446; Kentish Gazette 29 Sept. 1773; Arthur Collins, The Peerage of England [1768] 3: 169; European Magazine Nov. 1792, 355; RLF 231; Morning Post 15 May 1832; M. Balderston and D. Syrett, The Lost War: Letters from British Officers during the American Revolution [1975] 120-1 et passim)  AA


Other Names:

  • Mrs. [Sarah] Farrell

Books written (1):

Bath/ London/ Bristol/ York/ Gainsborough/ Birmingham/ Edinburgh/ Dublin: for the author by Campbell and Gainsborough/ Robinsons, Vernor, Hookham, Cadell/ Bulgin and Brown/ Wilson and Co./ Mozely and Co./ Pearson/ Creech/ Dugdale, 1792