Starling [Hookham], M. A.

To date, little is known of Starling or her mother (also mentioned in this Correspondence) and their friendship with Mary Hays. It seems this is the same Mary Ann Hookham who authored the Life and Times of Margaret of Arigon (London, 1872).  The only Starlings to appear in Pigot’s 1823 London Directory were Thomas and William, both booksellers (and probably related), with Thomas at 7 Clark’s Place, Islington, and William at 21 Warren Street, Fitzroy Square (48). The Islington connection fits Hays well, given her many family members who had lived in Islington for many years, including herself and her sister Elizabeth. However, given the Brewer Street address for the above letter, it seems likely that Miss Starling is the daughter of William Starling, given the close proximity of Brewer Street and Warren Street. It is also likely that Miss Starling’s future husband is Thomas Hookham, also a bookseller, at 15 Old Bond Street (46). Given that the Starlings and Hookhams are booksellers, it is feasible they became known to Hays as sellers of one or more of her late publications.