Lady Charlotte Bury

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Lady Charlotte Bury
Tischbein - Lady Charlotte Campbell.jpg
Lady Charlotte Campbell by Tischbein, 1789.
Born Charlotte Campbell
(1775-01-28)28 January 1775
London, England
Died 1 April 1861(1861-04-01) (aged 86)
London, England
Nationality English
Occupation novelist
Notable work Diary illustrative of the Times of George IV (1838)

Lady Charlotte Susan Maria Bury (née Campbell) (28 January 1775 – 1 April 1861) was an English novelist, who is chiefly remembered in connection with a Diary illustrative of the Times of George IV (1838).


Lady Charlotte Susan Maria Campbell was the daughter and the youngest child of Field Marshal John Campbell, 5th Duke of Argyll and Elizabeth Campbell, 1st Baroness Hamilton, second daughter of John Gunning, of Castle Coote, County Roscommon, and widow of James Hamilton, 6th Duke of Hamilton. She was born at Argyll House, Oxford Street, London. In her youth she was remarkable for her personal beauty, and the charm of her manners rendered her one of the most popular persons in society, while the sweetness and excellence of her character endeared her more especially to those who knew her in the intimacy of private life. She was always distinguished by her passion for the belles-lettres, and was accustomed to do the honours of Scotland to the literary celebrities of the day. It was at one of her parties that Sir Walter Scott became personally acquainted with Monk Lewis. When aged twenty-two she produced a volume of poems, to which, however, she did not affix her name.

She married on 14 June 1796 Colonel John Campbell (eldest son of Walter Campbell of Schawfield, by his first wife Eleanora Kerr), who, at the time of his decease in Edinburgh on 15 March 1809, was Member of Parliament for the Ayr Burghs. By this marriage she had nine children, of whom, however, only two survived her, Lady A. Lennox and Mrs. William Russell. Lady Charlotte Campbell married secondly, on 17 March 1818, the Reverend Edward John Bury (only son of Edward Bury of Taunton); they had two daughters. Bury received from University College, Oxford, his B.A. in 1811 and M.A. 1817. He assumed the position of rector in Litchfield, Hampshire, in 1814 and died at Ardenample Castle, Dumbartonshire, in May 1832, aged 42.

Daughter of Charlotte and Edward John Bury (Charles Lock Eastlake)

After Lady Charlotte had been widowed in 1809 she had been appointed Lady-in-Waiting in the household of the Princess of Wales, afterwards Queen Caroline, when it is believed that she kept a diary, in which she recorded the foibles and failings of the unfortunate princess and other members of the court.

After her marriage with Bury she was the author of various contributions to light literature; some of her novels were very popular, although now almost forgotten. When the Diary illustrative of the Times of George IV appeared in two volumes in 1838, it was thought to bear evidence of a familiarity with the scenes depicted which could only be attributed to Lady Charlotte. It was reviewed with much severity, and attributed to her ladyship by both the Edinburgh and Quarterly Reviews. The volumes, however, sold rapidly, and several editions were disposed of in a few weeks. The charge of the authorship was not at the time denied, and as no one has since arisen claiming to have written the diary the public libraries now catalogue the work under Lady Charlotte's name. Volume 3 of the Diary was discovered by William Michael Rossetti to contain an encounter with William Blake; a rare description of the poet and artist from a contemporary.[1]

Lady Charlotte died at 91 Sloane Street, Chelsea, on 31 March 1861. The once celebrated beauty, the delight of the highest circles of London society, was curiously described in her death certificate at Somerset House as "daughter of a duke and wife of the Rev. E. J. Bury, holding no benefice.


The following is believed to be a complete list of Lady Charlotte's writings; many of them originally appeared without her name, but even at that time there does not seem to have been any secret as to the identity of the writer:

  1. Poems on several Occasions, by a Lady 1797
  2. Alla Giornata, or To the Day anonymous, 1826
  3. Flirtation anonymous, 1828, which went to three editions
  4. Separation by the author of Flirtation, 1830
  5. A Marriage in High Life edited by the author of Flirtation, 1828
  6. Journal of the Heart edited by the author of Flirtation, 1830
  7. The Disinherited and the Ensnared anonymous, 1834
  8. Journal of the Heart second series, edited by the author of Flirtation, 1835
  9. The Devoted by the author of The Disinherited, 1836
  10. Love anonymous, 1837; second edition 1860
  11. Memoirs of a Peeress, or the days of Fox by Mrs. C. F. Gore, edited by Lady C. Bury, 1837
  12. The Three Great Sanctuaries of Tuscany: Valambrosa, Camaldoli, Lavernas a poem historical and legendary, with engravings from drawings by the Rev. E. Bury, 1833
  13. Ellen Glanville by a Lady of Rank, 1838, 2 vols
  14. Diary illustrative of the Times of George the Fourth anonymous, 1838, 2 vols
  15. The Divorced by Lady C. S. M. Bury, 1837; another edition 1858
  16. " The Diary Of A Flirt. Related By Herself" anonymous 1841 (London) 3 vols.; 1841 (Phila.) 2 vols.
  17. Family Records, or the Two Sisters by Lady C. S. M. Bury, 1841
  18. The Two Baronets a novel of fashionable life, by the late Lady C. S. M. Bury, 1864.

She is also said to have been the writer of two volumes of prayers, Suspirium Sanctorum, which were dedicated to Samuel Goodenough, bishop of Carlisle.


  1. ^ Symons, Arthur (1907). "3.From Lady Charlotte Bury's Diary". William Blake. New York: E. P. Dutton and Company. pp. 331–335. 

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