Mary Anne Macdaniel
Londen, 1819 - 05.01.1884
Mary Anne Macdaniel was the daughter of Catherine Beck (Chipping Norton, Oxon 1781-Belgium 26/03/1859) and Charles Macdaniel (London, Middlesex, 1778- Surrey 28/05/1855). Her father was a renowned manufacturer and seller of fine metal goods (knives, razors, corkscrews...) based at 343 Oxford Street in London. Mary Anne Macdaniel was born in 1819, and baptized at St. James, Westminster, London, Middlesex. In 1851, the family further included a sister Elizabeth, born in 1821, and baptized at St. James, Westminster, London, Middlesex. She, like her elder sister Mary Anne Macdaniel, was unmarried in 1851. Also living there at the time was 64-year-old Mary Beck, Catherine's sister and Mary Anne's aunt. She too was unmarried. Two Irish girls also lived there. Father Charles Macdaniel was a board member of the Aged Poor Society. He was wealthy, but he lost his money on a bad investment that left his daughter Mary Ann in poverty. In April 1854 he ceased trading in Oxford Street. Mary Anne Macdaniel's address in May 1865, according to "The Tablet" was 9 Dorchester Place, Blandford Square, London, N.W. She also stayed in Ostend in May 1865 and travelled on to Kortenberg where her aunt was staying in a psychiatric institution. She also spent some time there herself, probably as a patient. In 1866 she wrote letters to Guido Gezelle from Ramsgate. She was Fanny George's friend and corresponded with her about Gezelle, among other things. This and other correspondence shows that Gezelle was her confessor and that she also spent some time in the Sint-Juliaangesticht, a psychiatric institution in Bruges. She translated religious works from English, sometimes commissioned by the Belgian bishops, such as "A Novena to St. Joseph to obtain of God" (from the French of J. A. Verdun, London, 1871), "The true vocation and the real vocation" (Thomas Richardson and Son, London 1872), "The Mission of Woman" (from the French of G. Mermillod, London, 1873) and "The Stations of the Cross in company of St. Joseph" (London, 1873). She had a literary agent: Mrs. C. Baker of Lancaster. She also arranged for the re-release of a religious game 'Road to Heaven', the sale of which had to provide her with some financial resources. In 1879 she was still in poverty and there was a call in the "Tablet" to elect her for monetary support from the Aged Poor Society. She received a contribution of £20 a year until her death in 1884.