it is Day 9 of my Mary Stewart Advent Calendar and this is also an #OnThisDay post.

On this day, 9 December 1886, Mary’s father Frederick Albert Rainbow was born. He was a vicar in the Church of England and, according to this marvellous Rosemary Goring article, it was he who encouraged Mary to write. It was he who officiated at Mary’s wedding.

Mary married Frederick Henry Stewart in 1945. He, like Mary, was born in 1916; he, again like Mary, was recorded in the marriage register (in her father’s handwriting) as a university lecturer – Mary lectured in English, Frederick in Geology, at Durham University. Mary and Frederick Stewart enjoyed 56 years of marriage but then, after a short illness, Frederick died in 2001 aged 85.

Sadly, his death occurred on this day too: 9 December.