Maria Edgeworth came of a lively family which had settled in Ireland in the latter part of the sixteenth century. Her father at the age of five-and-twenty inherited the family estates at Edgeworthstown in 1769. He had snatched an early marriage, which did not prove happy. He had a little son, whom he was educating upon the principles set forth in Rousseau’s “Emile,” and a daughter Maria, who was born on the 1st of January, 1767. He was then living at Hare Hatch, near Maidenhead. In March, 1773, his first wife died after giving birth to a daughter named Anna. In July, 1773, he married again, Honora Sneyd, and went to live in Ireland, taking with him his daughter Maria, who was then about six years old. Two years afterwards she was sent from Ireland to a school at Derby. In April, 1780, her father’s second wife died, and advised him upon her death-bed to marry her sister Elizabeth. He married his deceased wife’s sister on the next following Christmas Day. Maria Edgeworth was in that year removed to a school in London, and her holidays were often spent with her father’s friend Thomas Day, the author of “Sandford and Merton,” an eccentric enthusiast who lived then at Anningsley, in Surrey.