Her writing and association circle
Boscawen, Edmund Burke, David Garrick, Edward
Gibbon, Samuel Johnson, Thomas Percy, Sir Joshua
Reynolds, Richard Sheridan, Adam Smith and Thomas
Walter Scott (c. 1947)
Vesey was born in 1715 in Ossory,
Ireland, the child of Mary and Thomas
Vesey. Little is known about her childhood.
Elizabeth was married twice.
Her first marriage was to William Hancock, a member
of Parliament. He died in 1741. Elizabeth then
remarried her cousin, Admondesham Vesey. When
he died in 1785, he left Elizabeth impoverished.
Elizabeth helped initiate
the Bluestocking tradition of salon
parties where entertainment consisted
of conversations on literary subjects.
One of the most important things
that Elizabeth is credited for is developing the
to define the group. Elizabeth invited Benjamin
Stillingfleet, a scientist and writer, to one
of her salon parties. When he refused because
he didn’t have proper attire for a social
event, Elizabeth insisted that he come anyway.
Part of the regular formal attire was black dress
stockings; when Benjamin came to the salon, he
was wearing informal blue stockings. This is one
reason provided for the name of the group.
Elizabeth, like Frances, took on the role
of the hostess; Elizabeth did write some, but did not
publish. Her influence was felt most strongly in her
willingness to host important evening parties.
Elizabeth died in 1791.