Charlotte Widdrington

Photo:Pear Tree Green about 1853

Pear Tree Green about 1853

A grand Victorian widow

By Carolyn Sansbury

The 1871 census shows Charlotte Widdrington 58 years old, an “Officer’s widow”, living with three of her daughters, a housekeeper, a cook, and a maid, at no.11 Powis Square. Her daughters, Alicia (age 31), Charlotte (age 29), and Ella (age 17), were unmarried .  

Charlotte’s husband, the “Officer”, was her first cousin Captain Adolphus Latimer Tinling-Widdrington, whom she had married in Southampton on 29 June 1837. Charlotte came from Southampton, the daughter of Rear-Admiral Charles Ashley Stubbs Tinling (who was also Adolphus’s paternal uncle), and  Adolphus had been born in Aberdeen, and was the son of the imposing Lt-Gen. Sir David Latimer and Sarah Teesdale Tinling-Widdrington, (who were also Charlotte’s uncle and aunt).  Adolphus had been a captain in the 73rd Regiment of the Army since November 1829. 

For several years after their marriage, Charlotte and Adolphus seem to have moved around a lot, probably following his army postings, but eventually they went back to Southampton, to Pear Tree Green, where they were living in 1846, and were still there in 1851.    Charlotte and Adolphus had ten children, but only the first three and the last survived infancy: their only son Sidney, and Alicia, Charlotte and Ella, who were the three daughters living in Powis Square with their mother in 1871. All their other babies died when they were very small and are buried at the church in Pear Tree Green.

Poor Charlotte

And then by the time she came to Powis Square, Charlotte had also lost her husband. In June 1857, according to the Commissions and Inquisitions of Lunacy, Adolphus was admitted to the asylum in Alton, Hampshire, and three years later he died, and was buried at St Mary Extra, Southampton. 

So. Poor Charlotte.  Rather grand, rather sad. A real Victorian widow.  

But rich Charlotte!

But on the other hand, she was probably quite rich, as well as being well-connected. There was plenty of money in the family, and some of it must have come to her.  It is very likely that Adolphus inherited a good deal of money from his family, and this would have come to Charlotte on his death. She would also have had a pension from Adolphus’s army career, and anyway had herself inherited wealth from her father.

This page was added on 08/04/2010.

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