Wolverhampton BTW

Sarah Medley

Medley, Sarah, c.1768—1834

by Benjamin Colbert

Sarah Medley was the daughter of the Reverend Samuel Medley (1738-99; ODNB), Baptist minister and hymn writer of Liverpool, and Mary Medley, née Gill (c.1733-1801). Her first publication, Original Poems, Sacred and Miscellaneous (1807), was briefly but caustically noticed by the Eclectic Review ('we have seldom seen the faculties of imagination and judgement so unequally proportioned'). In addition to this volume and her guides to Leamington, Medley published Memoirs of the Late Reverend Samuel Medley (1833), in which she traces her family tree to the butler and travel diarist, Samuel Medley (b. 1667), who accompanied the Earl of Kinnoull to Constantinople in 1729-36.

In 1806, Medley resided at ‘Elmwood Cottage’ near Runcorn, a place she remembers fondly in Original Poems. Thereafter, she removed to Leamington where she became part of the non-conformist congregation, and wrote her guidebooks to the spa. At some point after 1826, she returned to the Everton district of Liverpool, where she ended her days on Friday, 25 July 1834, under unusual circumstances. While taking the air in a bath chair, Medley was thrown out and died of a head injury, her attendants having lost control of the mechanism on a slope. The accident was much reported in the London and provincial press, Medley being remembered briefly as ‘the daughter of the late Rev. S. Medley, and author of several poetical pieces’.


Rev. of Original Poems, Sacred and Miscellaneous, by Sarah Medley. Eclectic Review 4.2 (Dec. 1808): 1134. Print.

‘Shocking Accident’. Liverpool Mercury, no. 1213 (Fri., 1 Aug. 1834). Gale Databases: British Library Newspapers, Part I: 1800-1900. Web. 21 June 2017.

Webb, Nigel, and Caroline Webb. 'Appendix 2: Some members of the Medley family'. The Earl and His Butler in Constantinople: The Secret Diary of an English Servant among the Ottomans. New edn. London and New York: I.B. Taurus, 2009. 209-213. Print.


Title Published
The Beauties of Leamington Priors and Its Environs 1813
The Visitor`s Descriptive Guide to Leamington Spa 1826

[see updates]