Maria Cosway


The Amadeiti founded the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in the district of San Bartolomeo, just outside Gate Pavese

the Minimi friars obtain the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, placed outside the city walls

the monks of San Francesco di Paola (1416-1506), named Paolotti, build a monastery in the district of Santa Croce (at present Via Paolo Gorini, in Lodi)

on the 12th of August the church of Saint Maria delle Grazie is consacrated and on the 23rd of the same month the Sacred Image of the “Vergine col Bambino” is transferred; it is a mediocre fresco that depicts the Madonna of Humility, of XV century, considered as miraculous in 1598


in Nancy is born the antique dealer, adventurer and inveterate gambler, who appointed himself as Baron d'Hancarville (Pierre-Francois Hugues)

on the 6th of April is born in Stretta, a village of Morosaglia, Pasquale (Pascal) Paoli, a Corsican general (he wrote 123 letters to Maria). The difference in age with Maria lets us think of a platonic love affair. Maria will call her daughter Paolina (perhaps in his honour)

on the 5th of November is bor William Richard Cosway in Tiverton, Devon, England

on the 13th of April is born Thomas Jefferson, one of the fathers of the American Independence, founder of the Constitution, third President of the francesco melzi d'erilUnited States of America, and founder of the Republican Party

on the 6th of March in Milan is born Francesco Melzi d'Eril, duke of Lodi

on the 11th of June in Florence is born Maria Luisa Caterina Cecilia Hadfield Madame Cosway

on the 3rd of January in Ajaccio is born Joseph Fesch, Napoleon's uncle, Archbishop and then Cardinal in Lyon

George Hadfield, Maria's brother, is born; architect and engraver, under Jefferson's patronage, he will join him in the US, where he will plan some government buildings in Washington

in November Charles Hadfield, Maria's father, dies in Florence

on the 25th of June the Hadfield family leaves Italy for London

on the18th of January Maria marries William Richard Cosway in the Protestant church of St. George, Hanover Square, London. Richard gives as a wedding present 2,800 pounds. Maria will write: “I was informed about Mister Cosway, his offer was accepted, my mother's desires were satisfied and I married under age”

my heart and my head1786
on the 12th of October Thomas Jefferson writes to Maria "My heart and my head" a conversation between the rational voice of Mind and the sentimental and passionate one of Heart

on the 4th of Mmay in London borns Louisa Paolina Angelica, Maria Cosway's daughter

on the 29th of July dies Louisa Paolina Angelica Cosway, at the age of 6

on the 12th of April is taken a census of the library of the Minimi friars (Paolotti), which was closed and the keys were given to the Superintendent


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on the 4th of March Thomas Jefferson is appointed as the third President of the United States of America

in Padua dies the antique dealer and Baron d'Hancarville (Pierre-Francois Hugues)

on the 5th of February in London dies Pasquale (Pascal) Paoli, Corsican general

in London dies Isabella De Kock, Maria's mother

on the 11th of May the monastery of the Minimi friars (Paolotti) is ufficially withdrawn

on the 31st of December Maria, in a letter to Melzi d'Eril, "founds" the College of the Beata Vergine delle Grazie in Lodi

on the 18th of February Maria moves to Lodi, as she considers it her second homeland, and the restoration of the monastry of the Minimi friars (Paolotti) begins. She arrives in Lodi with two teachers: Giovanna Lambreaux and Anna Proudhon (1794-1867), who is considered by Maria her adopted daughter

on the 29th of Febraury Francesco Melzi d'Eril buys the Paolotti's monastry, in the district of Santa Croce, church of San Salvatore, with the declared intention to give it to Maria Cosway

on the 2nd of April the College welcomes it's first pupil, Giuseppina Menrisi. During November of the same year the boarders reached the number of forty-two

on the 15th of May Lodi is declared a royal town of the Austrian Empire

on the 16th of January in Milan dies Francesco Melzi d'Eril, duke of Lodi

on the 19th of Febraury the Emperor Francesco I (1768-1835) visits the Lodi College

the right hand of Richard Cosway becomes paralized

on the 21st of January in Maleo dies Maria's sister Elisabetta (Bettina)

on the 21st of August Richard Cosway makes his will and his wife Maria is made the only heiress

on the 4th of July in London, in Edgware Road 34, dies William Richard Cosway. He was buried in the New Church of Marylebone

on the 4th of July in Monticello dies Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States of America

dies George Hadfield, Maria's brother

on the 27th of July Maria makes her will

on the 17th of April Maria buys the building from Duke Giovanni Francesco Melzi d'Eril (called “il duchino”). The deed dated 17th of April describes all the property transfers of the ex-monastry of the Minimi friars. (cf. Final purchase of the Monastry… now for the use of the Education College for young pupils. G.B. Giudici, Notary in Milan)

in Lodi the first "English Ladies" arrive: Madam Regina Nobile of Starkmann and Madam Maria Mariacher

Maria Cosway institutes the Organ of the Conservationists (deed dated 7th of June, document n°.3180 of the catalogue, Giuseppe Carimati, Notary in Lodi). In the same document the College is raised to the rank of Corporation

on the 15th of April the College is entrusted to the congregation of the Beata Vergine Maria Institute (English Ladies) by a government dispatch of the I.R. provincial Delegation of Lodi

on the 14th of November to Maria is granted, by the Emperor Francesco I , the title and the rank of Baroness, in recognition of the credits acquired during her activity as an educator.

on the 5th of January, at sunset, in Lodi Maria Cosway dies. Her remains, after being preserved for a short time in the graveyard of San Fereolo, on the 6th of November are transferred to the delle Grazie church, as she expressed this desire (previously Maria had expressed the desire to be buried in her villa in Blevio on the lake of Como). The amount of expenses for her solemn funeral added up to 11.366 Lire and 9 soldi

Maria Anna of Savoia and Maria Luigia of Austria visit the College in Lodi

on the 13th of May dies in Rome Joseph Fesch, uncle of Napoleon, Archbishop and then Cardinal in Lyon

in March, Giuseppe Garibaldi visits the College of the English Ladies and he is welcomed by Mother Superior Elena Solera; young pupils play the Hymn with 16 hands and brighten up the meeting

dies in Lodi Anna Proudhon, one of the first teachers of the College in Lodi

on the 8th of November Vittorio Emanuele II raises the College to Moral and Lay Corporation (Royal Decree, registered at the State audit court on the 16th of December)

on the 22nd of January, by a Decree of Umberto I, it is declared that the College is not subjected to the guardianship of the Law n° 6972 of 1890 and is exclusively controlled by the Department of Education and Science

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the College is entrusted to the nuns of “Carità di Maria Santissima Bambina”

the Cosway Foundation transfers to The White House Collection the miniature of Thomas Jefferson, a work (1788, oil painting) made by the American painter J. Trumbull and owned by Maria and left, according to her will, to her College in Lodi. The work is given to president Gerald Ford by the president of our Republic Giovanni Leone, when he visited officially the US on the occasion of the Bicentenary of American Independence

Ends the custody of the College by the nuns of “Carità di Maria Santissima Bambina”

on the 14th of March, by decree n. 40769, the Council of Lombardy Region approves a new Statute of the “Maria Cosway Foundation”

jefferson in paris1995
is shown the film "Jefferson in Paris", in French , directed by James Ivory. Cast: Jean-Pierre Aumont (D'Hancarville), Simon Callow (Richard Cosway), Nick Nolte (Thomas Jefferson) and Greta Scacchi in the role of Maria Cosway



Fondazione Maria Cosway   Via Paolo Gorini, 6   26900 Lodi   C.F. 84511920153