Mary Tyldesley 1684-1759 was the daughter of Thomas Tyldesley 1657-1715 and so the older sister of Ann Cecilia Tyldesley 1687-1736. Mary joined the nuns of the English Benedictine Abbey of Ghent in Flanders and was clothed in 1700 at the age of 17. By this time, the loyalty of the Tyldesleys to their faith and to the Stuart caused had exacted a heavy financial toll. By 1704 Thomas Tyldesley was attempting—unsuccessfully—to sell Holcroft Hall to Richard Norris. The straitened circumstances of the Tyldesleys delayed the profession of Mary Tyldesley:
In the course of a few years (between 1726 and 1730) the professions were received of Dame Mary Scholastics Haggerston (so called in distinction to Dame Scholastica Stanley), and Dame Mary Michael Tyldesley. The latter had given great proof of her constancy to her vocation, for whereas she had long been wishing to give herself to God, the circumstances of her family obliged her to defer the fulfilment of her wish for some years. It is well known how much the Tyldesley family had to suffer in fines and penalties for their religion and loyalty to the exiled Stuarts, and our monastery not being sufficiently provided for to take subjects without portions, it was some time before she was able to present herself to the novitiate, but her patience was at last rewarded.Dame Maura Fitzwilliam, Dame Anna Westby, and Dame Constantia Howard passed away during the few years of which we are now speaking.
1. Annals of the English Benedictines of Ghent, 1894