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Theodosia Blachford (1744-1817)

Theodosia Blachford was the daughter of William Tighe and his wife Mary, eldest daughter of the Earl of Darnley. Theodosia married Reverend William Blachford, an Anglican clergyman of considerable private means and the Librarian of St Patrick's Library in Dublin.

Theodosia's husband died 'of a malignant fever' at an early age, leaving her with a son and daughter to raise. Blachford was a devout member of the Dublin Methodist Society and was described by John Wesley in a letter of 1788 as 'one of our jewels. I love her much.' She spent little on her herself, and after ensuring that her own children's needs were provided for, spent much of what was left on helping the poor. Blachford also spent several hours each day attending to the education of twelve poor girls. She was a friend of John and Mary Fletcher and was particularly close to the Wesleyan minister Henry Moore and his wife Mary Ann, periodically visiting them in England.

Blachford's daughter Mary Tighe (she was married to her cousin Henry Tighe) was a poetess of considerable reputation. Her most famous work was Pysche or the Legend of Love.

Theodosia Blachford died in Dublin on 7 November 1817.

Source: Dictionary of National Biography (under Mary Tighe), Gentleman's Magazine 122: 1817, 567-568, MAM Fl. 5.5/1 (MARC), The Life of the Rev. Henry Moore by Mrs Richard Smith (London, 1844) and Burke's Landed Gentry 1853, 2:1396.

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