Mary Brook [née Brotherton] (c. 1726 -
Mary Brotherton was born in Woodstock, Oxfordshire
and was the daughter of William and Mary Brotherton. She was brought
up as a strict Presbyterian under the auspices of her aunt in Warwick.
When she was older she returned to live with her mother at Hook
On 18th June 1759 she was married to Joseph
Brook (1720 - 1790), a Quaker and a wool stapler who was a resident
of Leighton Buzzard. Joseph, was originally from Shepley, Yorkshire,
being the son of Epaphras and Martha Brook. Mary and Joseph had
two children, Hannah (b. 1760) and Mary (1762 - 1763).
In 1753, the American preacher, Elizabeth Ashbridge
was touring Great Britain and Ireland, and converted Mary Brook
to Quakerism. She became an active minister and as part of her
missionary work visited many places around the country including
London, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and York.
Her main religious lecagy is her pamphlet Reasons
for the necessity of silent waiting, in order to the solemn worship
God. To which are added, several quotations from Robert Barclay's
Apology (1774). This went through ten editions between 1774
and 1842, two American editions, and also French and German translations.
Mary Brook was seized of "Violent Histericks" at
the beginning of 1781, followed by several paralytic strokes. She
finally died at Leighton Buzzard on the 10th November 1782. She
was buried in the Quaker burial ground at Woburn Sands, Buckinghamshire.