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)
Spouse(s) John Campbell
Edward John Bury
Children 11
Parent(s) John Campbell, 5th Duke of Argyll
Elizabeth Gunning

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 Shawfield, 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 Ardencaple Castle, Dumbartonshire, in May 1832, aged 42.

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. Self-indulgence : a tale of the nineteenth century. 1812. 2 volumes.
  3. Conduct is fate. 1822. 3 volumes.
  4. Alla Giornata, or To the Day anonymous, 1826. 3 volumes.
  5. Flirtation anonymous, 1828, which went to three editions. 3 volumes.
  6. A Marriage in High Life [By the Hon. Caroline Lucy Lady Scott.]edited by the author of Flirtation, 1828. 2 volumes.
  7. The Exclusives. 1830. 3 volumes.
  8. Separation by the author of Flirtation, 1830. 3 volumes.
  9. Journal of the Heart edited by the author of Flirtation, 1830
  10. The three great sanctuaries of Tuscany, Valombrosa, Camaldoli, Laverna: : a poem, with historical and legendary notices, by the Right Honourable Lady Charlotte Bury. 1833
  11. The Disinherited and the Ensnared anonymous, 1834
  12. Journal of the Heart second series, edited by the author of Flirtation, 1835
  13. The Devoted by the author of The Disinherited, 1836
  14. Love anonymous, 1837; second edition 1860
  15. Memoirs of a Peeress, or the days of Fox by Mrs. C. F. Gore, edited by Lady C. Bury, 1837
  16. Ellen Glanville by a Lady of Rank, 1838, 2 vols. Attributed to Bury by the New York Public library, but the basis for the attribution is unclear.
  17. Diary illustrative of the Times of George the Fourth anonymous, 1838, 2 vols
  18. The Divorced by Lady C. S. M. Bury, 1837; another edition 1858
  19. " The History Of A Flirt. Related By Herself" anonymous 1840 (London) 3 vols.; 1841 (Phila.) 2 vols.
  20. Family Records, or the Two Sisters by Lady Charlotte Bury, Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard, 1841, 2vols.
  21. The Manoeuvring Mother. By the author of "the History of a Flirt". 1842. London. 3 volumes.
  22. The Wilfulness of Woman. By the authoress of "The History of a Flirt". 1844. London : Henry Colburn. 3 volumes.
  23. The Roses. : By the author of "The history of a flirt." 1853. London : Hurst and Blackett, 3 volumes
  24. The lady of fashion / by the author of "The history of a flirt". 1856. London : Hurst and Blackett, 3 volumes
  25. 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.


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

Children of Colonel John Campbell and Lady Charlotte:[2]


  1. ^ Symons, Arthur (1907). "3.From Lady Charlotte Bury's Diary". William Blake. New York: E. P. Dutton and Company. pp. 331–335. 
  2. ^ Burke, Bernard (1852). A genealogical and heraldic dictionary of the landed gentry of Great Britain & Ireland for 1852. London: Colburn and Company. p. 179. Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Fisher, David R. (2009). D.R. Fisher, ed. "GORDON CUMMING, Sir William Gordon, 2nd bt. (1787-1854), of Altyre, Forres and Gordonstown, Elgin". The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820–1832. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
  4. ^ Burek, C. V.; Higgs, B. "The role of women in the history and development of geology: an introduction". Geological Society, London, Special Publications. 281 (1): 1–8. doi:10.1144/sp281.1. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Lady Charlotte Bury at Wikimedia Commons