Gethin, Lady Grace

, an English lady of uncommon parts, was the daughter of sir George Norton, of AbbotsLeigh, in Somersetshire, and born in 1676. She had all the advantages of a liberal education, and became the wife of sir Richard Gethin, of Gethin-grott, in Ireland. She was mistress of great accomplishments natural and acquired, but did not live long enough to display them to the world, for she died in her twenty-first year, Oct. 11, 1697. She was buried, not in Westminster-abbey, as Ballard mistakes, but at Hollingbourne, in Kent, In Westminster-abbey, however, a beautiful monument with an inscription is erected over her; and for perpetuating her memory, provision was made for a sermon to be preached in the abbey, yearly, on Ash-Wednesday for ever. She wrote, and left behind her in loose papers, a work, which, soon after her death was methodized and published under the title of “Reliquiae Gethinianae; or, some remains of the most ingenious and excellent lady, Grace lady Gethin, lately deceased; being a collection of choice discourses, pleasant apophthegms, and witty sentences. Written by her, for the most part, by way of essay, and at spare hours, 1700,” 4to, with her portrait before it. This work consists of discourses upon various subjects of religion, morals, manners, &c. and is now very scarce. Among Mr. Congreve’s poems are some encomiastic “Verses to the memory of Grace lady Gethin,” occasioned by reading her book: and Dr. Birch, in his anniversary sermon on her death, says, that to superior talents and endowments of mind, she joined meekness, candour, integrity, and piety. Her reading, observation, penetration, and judgment, were extraordinary for her years, and her conduct in every relation of life correct and exemplary. 2


Ballard’s Memoirs. Noble’s Continuation of Granger, vol. I.