Monck (Monk, Molesworth), Mary (c.1678–1715), poet and translator, was one of the seventeen children, nine of whom survived to adulthood, born to Robert Molesworth (qv), landowner, writer, and politician, later 1st Viscount Molesworth, of Brackenstown, near Swords, Co. Dublin, and Edlinton, Yorkshire, and Laetitia Coote, daughter of Richard Coote, Lord Coloony. Little is known of her early years. She appears to have been mostly self-educated and made good use of the family's well-stocked library, teaching herself Latin, Italian and Spanish, and acquiring an impressive knowledge of English literature. In about 1700 she married George Monck (1672–1726) of St Stephen's Green, Dublin, a barrister, surveyor general of customs and MP for Phillipstown, King's Co. (1703–13); they had a son and two daughters. They seem to have experienced some financial difficulties, and at times Mary required assistance from her father. Added to these problems was her husband's mental instability. Writing on 16 July 1712, her father states: ‘We are bleeding, physicing and dieting George Monk. He is now very sober, but by fits starts out and then ‘tis always quarrelsome and withal dangerous’ (Lonsdale, 70). For some of this time they were separated, and in 1714 she is mentioned by her sister as living in lodgings with their children.
After her death from consumption at Bath in 1715, her father published a collection of her poems and translations, discovered in her desk, under the title Marinda: poems and translations upon several occassions [sic] (1716), which he dedicated to the princess of Wales, later Queen Caroline. In his introduction, Molesworth described her verses as the
Product of the leisure Hours of a young Gentlewoman lately Dead, who in a remote Country Retirement, without any Assistance but that of a good Library, and without omitting the daily Care due to a large family, not only perfectly acquired the several languages here made use of, but the good Morals and Principles contain'd in those Books.
Included in the collection are a number of poetic contributions from friends, addressed to her as Marinda, which praise her skills as a translator and make evident that she was part of a literary coterie. It also contains her translations of Della Casa, Guarini, Petrarch, Quevedo and Tasso, and her own, often satirical, odes, songs, epigrams, and eclogues, and a lengthy landscape poem, addressed to her brother Richard, 3rd Visount Molesworth (qv). Not included in the collection is her best-known poem, ‘Verses written on her death-bed at Bath to her husband at London’, which expressed both her fondness for her husband and a sense of relief in escaping from a long and painful illness. After its initial publication in The Gentleman's Magazine in 1750, it was republished in Cibber's Lives of the poets (1753) and George Colman and Bonnell Thornton's Poems by eminent ladies (1755).