Mary Edwardine Bourke Emory

The lady for whom the Foundation is known was born in Queen Anne’s County to Edward Gray Bourke and Mary Ann Bordley Cox on September 15, 1830, on her father’s farm at Wye. Her father died four years later when he was 30 years old, leaving Mary without her father when she was four years old.

Mary had the enormous benefit of the kind of schooling that most young girls in pre-Civil War years had no opportunity for. At 16 she was a member of the graduating class of 1846 at St. Mary’s Hall, a prestigious Episcopal school in New Jersey. She was one of four girls from Queen Anne’s County who were privileged enough to be able to attend.

She married Blanchard Emory in 1852. By this time she had already inherited the home known as Bloomfield Manor, built by her grandfather about 1760, as a result of his daughter Anne Bourke Harrison, wife of Richard Harrison not having any children. Mary had four sons (Frederick, Edmund, Blanchard Jr. and William) and two daughters, Isabella and Alice Gray. These two girls married twin brothers, Isabella to George Davidson and Alice to Ogle Tilghman Davidson. It was their father Richard Earle Davidson of Queenstown who purchased Bloomfield Manor when Mary was forced to sell it.

In order to regain her home, Mary wrote her own detailed history of the Eastern Shore, specifically of Queen Anne’s County: Colonial Families and their Descendants. Written quite literally at the end of the 19th Century, it was published in 1900, selling for $2.50 per book. The sales were enough that she was able to purchase her beloved Bloomfield Manor back. Sadly, she was not able to spend much time there as she became ill and spent her last months with her daughter Alice Gray who was married to Ogle Tilghman Davidson and living in Queenstown. She died on February 20, 1907, with her funeral at St. Luke’s in Queenstown conducted by Rev. Algernon Batte and Rev. James Mitchell.