Born 1 February, 1990 to Charles and Judi Marling, Laura Beatrice Marling was raised in Eversley, a small town (population 829) in Hampshire (which is also the birthplace of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen). Marling now lives in London. Somewhere between living in Eversley and London, she lived in Reading, Berkshire where she attended school at Leighton Park.

Tom Lamont, writing for THE OBSERVER related that: "The [Marling] family lived on a farm near Wokingham and Charlie ran a small recording studio there. In 1988 Liverpool band The La's came to stay, recording their famed anthem, 'There She Goes', on site. When Laura was six months old Black Sabbath pitched up."

She has two sisters, one of them named Georgina (7 years older). Her dog, Skippy, died in 2008 at the age of 13. Marling's father, Charles William Somerset Marling, who was an amateur singer-songwriter, began teaching her the guitar when she was 3, and when she was 13 she wrote her first songs, inspired by The Libertines. The first record Laura Marling ever bought (according to an April NY Times interview) was by Macy Gray. Her father then insisted she listen to some good music, and played her lots of Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. She plays the bass and piano as well, and owns (and possibly can play) a dulcimer. At the age of 16, with her parents' permission, she left school and went to London to launch her singing career.

Sydney freelance writer Lynden Barber wrote about Marling in an article for THE AUSTRALIAN titled CREATURE OF A NEW TRADITION. In it, Marling said this about her parents: "My dad used to run a residential recording studio, which was actually shut down when I was quite young. And my mum used to run the house that the bands stayed in.". Her finger picking style is, she says "exactly like (dad) plays guitar. That's the only way I've learned." His style is "...not wildly left of centre, but it's quite distinct. I don't know many people who play guitar like him. When I go home we get our guitars out and he shows me things he's come up with. In a way I owe him a lot more credit than he's had.".

Once Marling got to London, a friend arranged a gig for her with a country band led by Winston Marshall, (now part of Mumford and Sons). At that time, Marshall ran a club night in London and Marling became part of it. There she met Charlie Fink, who was looking for a female backup singer for Noah and the Whale. Marling joined Noah and the Whale and recorded one album (Peaceful the World Lays Me Down) with that group in 2008, before going solo. She has also recorded with The Rakes, the Mystery Jets, and Johnny Flynn.

Marling moved to Los Angeles in the spring of 2013. In December 2014 she moved back to the UK. In 2016 she set up a studio in Los Angeles, because London is "too expensive".

Others born on 1 February: Boris Yeltsin; film directors George Pal and John Ford; poets Langston Hughes and Günter Eich.


"Laura" is derived from the Latin Masculine name Laurus (meaning laurel). It is a popular name because of two people. The first is St. Laura, who was a 9th century Spanish woman who became a nun after the death of her husband. The Moors, after invading and occupying Grenada, tossed her into a Saint Laura of Cordoba - iconography by Deacon Matthew D. Garrett cauldron of molten lead. This was fatal but it raises another question: was molten lead so cheap and readily available to the invading Moors that they used it as an execution device? Did they bring it along, or did they use local lead? The second Laura of note is the woman addressed in the poetry of Petrarch. Her actual identity has not been conclusively established. He met her in 1327 in Avignon and she died of plague in 1348.

"Marling" is literally a clay line. In nautical terms, a "small stuff of two fiber strands, sometimes tarred, laid up left-handed, or a finer kind of spun yarn". Although she does like to spin yarns, the more likely derivation of the name is from Merlin which in turn means a small bold falcon, Falco columbarius, of the Northern Hemisphere. All of these references can be traced back no farther than the last half of the 14th century.

The most Marlings in the United States are found in New Mexico, Texas, and Ohio.

Some photos from Eversley
courtesy of
Eversley Online Gallery

village pond river blackwater new mill footbridge eversley church eversley centre bluebells at lower eversley copse Eversley Street The Golden Pot


Leighton Park School in Reading

Sir Charles William
Somerset Marling

Marling's father is the 5th Baronet of The Marling Baronetcy (Stanley Park and Sedbury Park) in the County of Gloucester It was created on 22 May 1882 for the cloth manufacturer and Liberal politician Samuel Marling. The second Baronet served as High Sheriff of Gloucester in 1888. The third Baronet was a Colonel in the Army and was awarded the Victoria Cross.

A Baronet is addressed as 'Sir', but ranks above all knighthoods except the Order of the Garter and the Scottish Order of the Thistle. A baronetcy can only be passed on to a male heir.