Tag Archives: mrs louis

The Affair With Testament (Part 1)

‘In March 1806, while they were living at Windsor, ten – year – old Charlotte went into a room where Mrs Campbell was writing at a table. When Charlotte asked what she was doing, Mrs Campbell answered that she was making her will.

“Then I’ll make mine too”, said Charlotte. And so she did, in the same childish detail as she kept her accounts.

“I make my will. First I leave all my best books, and all my books, to the Rev. Mr. Nott.
Secondly, to Mrs. Campbell my three watches and half my jewels.
Thirdly, I beg Mr. Nott, whatever money he finds me inpossession of, to distribute to the poor, and all my money I leave to the poor to them. I leave with Mr. Nott all my papers which he knows of, and I beg him to burn those which he sealed up. I beg the Prayer Book which Lady Elgin gave to me may be given to the Bishop of Exeter, and the Bible Lady Elgin gave me may be given to him also. Also all my playthings the Miss Fishers are to have. And lastly, concerning Mrs. Gagarin and Mrs. Louis, I beg that they may be very handsomly paid, and that they may have a house. Lady de Clifford the rest of my jewels, except those that are most valuable, and those I beg my father and mother, the Prince and Princess of Wales, to take. Nothing to Mrs. Udney, for reasons. I have done my will, and trust that after I am dead a great deal may be done for Mr. Nott. I hope the King will make him a Bishop.

Charlotte.
March, 1806
My birds to Mrs. Gagarin and my dog or dogs to Mrs. Anna Hatton my chambermaid.”

When Dr Nott saw the will, he entered into the spirit of the game and suggested that Charlotte was being too unkind to Mrs Udney. Charlotte agreed and added a codicil making a bequest to Mrs Udney as well. But by then, somehow – and it is not difficult to guess how – the original will had found its way into the hands of the Prince of Wales, who allowed himself to be convinced that it had been written under the influence of Mrs Campbell.

[an extract from ‘Charlotte&Leopold’ by James Chambers]

testament

Picture: an eighteenth century testament http://www.scottishhandwriting.com/18cTIntro.asp

Charlotte’s Education

‘”His Majesty,” wrote the King at the end of his final list, “thinks that on this plan the Princess will be surrounded with persons who will cultivate her mind, furnish it with excellent principles, and render her an honour and comfort to her relations, and a blessing to the dominions over which she may hereafter preside.” But in the long run all these people made little impression upon Charlotte’s mind: she learned what she wanted to learn, and picked up a good deal of useful information in the company of her two maids Mrs. Gagarin and Mrs. Louis.’

[an extract from ‘Prinny’s Daughter: A Biography of Princess Charlotte of Wales’ by Thea Home]

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Picture: A miniature of Princess Charlotte by Richard Cosway

All The New People

‘The move to Warwick House was made all the more traumatic for Princess Charlotte by the fact that she had only recently acquired a completely new staff of governesses and senior tutors.Indeed, there were only two members of her entire househol who had been with her for any length of time at Carlton House. One was her personal maid, worthy Mrs Louis, the German widow of a British soldier. The other was her dresser, pretty Mrs Gagarin, who had innocently contracted a bigamous marriage with a Russian aristocrat and kept his name, although not his title, when she left him soon after. Inevitably, in the circumstances, the little Princess was on what some saw as inappropriately intimate terms with these two, and their mutual devotion was to continue for the rest of their lives.’
[an extract from ‘Charlotte&Leopold’ by James Chambers]
warwick
Picture: Warwick House, aquatint from Ackerman’s Repository of Arts, 1811 (picture from the page http://www.georgianindex.net/Prn_Charlotte/P_Charlotte.html)