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 Mary <I>Devlin</I> Booth

Mary Devlin Booth

Sand Lake, Rensselaer County, New York, USA
Death 21 Feb 1863 (aged 22)
Dorchester, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 37018750 · View Source
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Nickname: Mollie
Mary Elizabeth Devlin Booth, first wife of Edwin Booth (the foremost American Shakespearean performer of the 19th century), died on Feb. 21, 1863. She is buried at Mount Auburn. Edwin Booth, who died in 1893, is buried beside her and their daughter and her family share the plot.

Throughout his life, America's last great tragedian was afflicted with melancholia--not without reason. Mary Devlin, the woman he most loved, died of pneumonia in 1863, 2 years after he married her. Booth forever blamed himself for having been too drunk to open the telegrams which said she was dying and urged his prompt return.

Mary was an actress in her own right, and in "The Letters and Notebooks of Mary Devlin Booth" she details her passion for her own career as well as her early relationship, courtship and marriage to Booth. The letters and notebooks provide an interesting glimpse of theater life in the 1850's and 60's, with comments on Edwin Booth's roles and reviews and thus make it all the more tragic that she died so young. Edwin Booth was married to Mary from 1860 to 1863, the year of her death. He and Mary had one daughter, Edwina, born in 1861.

Family Members



North Side:
Wife of Edwin Booth
May 19, 1840 - Feb. 21, 1863

South Side:
The handful here, that once was Mary's earth,
Held, while it breathed, so beautiful a soul,
That, when she died, all recognized her birth,
And had their sorrow in serene control.

“Not here! not here!” to every mourner's heart
The wintry wind seemed whispering round her bier;
And when the tomb-door opened, with a start,
We heard it echoed from within,—“Not here!”

Gravesite Details Mary's epitaph, on the back of the monument and now barely legible, is the first two stanzas of "Her Epitaph", by T. W. Parsons.




  • Created by: Carolyn Mitchell
  • Added: 12 May 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 37018750
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Devlin Booth (19 May 1840–21 Feb 1863), Find A Grave Memorial no. 37018750, citing Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Carolyn Mitchell (contributor 47127793) .