Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bryan, Margaret

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BRYAN, MARGARET (fl. 1815), natural philosopher, a beautiful and talented schoolmistress, was the wife of a Mr. Bryan. In 1797 she published in 4to, by subscription, a 'Compendious System of Astronomy,' with a portrait of herself and two daughters as a frontispiece, the whole engraved by Nutter from a miniature by Samuel Shelley. Mrs. Bryan dedicated her book to her pupils. The lectures of which the book consisted had been praised by Charles Hutton, then at Woolwich (Preface, p. xi). An 8vo edition of the work was issued later. In 1806 Mrs. Bryan published, also by subscription, and in 4to, 'Lectures on Natural Philosophy' (thirteen lectures on hydrostatics, optics, pneumatics, acoustics), with a portrait of the authoress, engraved by Heath, after a painting by T. Kearsley; and there is a notice in it that 'Mrs. Bryan educates young ladies at Bryan House, Blackheath.' In 1815 Mrs. Bryan produced an 'Astronomical and Geographical Class Book for Schools,' a thin 8vo.

'Conversations on Chemistry,' published anonymously in 1806, is also ascribed to her by Watt (Bibl. Brit.) and in the 'Biog. Dict. of Living Authors' (1816). Mrs. Bryan's school appears to have been situated at one time at Blackheath, at another at 27 Lower Cadogan Place, near Hyde Park Corner, and lastly at Margate.

[Mrs. Bryan's Works.]

J. H.