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Anna Riggs, Lady Riggs-Miller

(b. 1741, London, England – d. June 24, 1781, Hotwells, Bristol, Somerset )

Gender: F

Anna Riggs (1741-1781) was the daughter of Margaret Riggs and Edward Riggs. In 1765 she married John Miller, an Irishman, and brought him a large fortune, which they spent on building a large house and garden at Batheaston, near Bath. In order to economise, they first moved to France and then made a tour of Italy. In 1777 Anna published three volumes of Letters from Italy (London, Edward & Charles Dilly). John Miller became a baronet in 1778 and his wife became known as Lady Riggs Miller. She instituted a fortnightly salon at her home in Batheaston, at which visitors were required to place verses in an antique urn she had purchased in Italy. A committee judged these, and the winning authors were crowned by Lady Miller with wreaths of myrtle. This continued until Lady Miller’s death, but both the practice and the poetic productions were much mocked by Samuel Johnson and Horace Walpole. A selection of the compositions was published in 1775, followed by further volumes in 1776, 1777 and 1781Among the contributors were the Duchess of Northumberland, Lord Palmerston, Lord Carlisle, David Garrick and Anna Seward. Fanny Burney was introduced to Lady Miller by Hester Thrale in 1780, and wrote, “Nothing here is more tonish than to visit Lady Miller. She is a round, plump, coarse-looking dame of about forty, and while all her aim is to appear an elegant woman of fashion, all her success is to seem an ordinary woman in very common life, with fine clothes on” (Diary & Letters of Madame D’Arblay, London, Henry Colburn, 1842, Vol 1, p. 364).

Also known as:

  • Anna Riggs
  • Lady Riggs-Miller

Mentioned in 1 letters

Please note that all dates and location information are provisional, initially taken from the library and archive catalogues. As our section editors continue to work through the material we will update our database and the changes will be reflected across the edition.