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Mary MacAskill was born in 1873, the daughter of bard Malcolm MacAskill and Ann MacAulay of Baile. She became a domestic servant and married yachtsman John MacLeod of Backhill in April 1900. Tragically, he drowned a few months later, in October of that year. Their son John was born in May 1901.
Mary took up dressmaking, (her mother was a sewing mistress), and she and her son stayed with her parents for a time. She later moved to Leverburgh.
Two poems composed for Mary by her father are published in Orain Chaluim.