Sunday, May 31, 2015

Queen Charlotte visits Bath, October 1817

In October of 1817, Queen Charlotte was recommended by her physicians to visit Bath. She had been struggling with poor health--'spasms' and pain-for some time and it was hoped the spa town would refresh her health and spirits.

The 'Annals of Bath' described her arrival:

 The rest and change of scene seemed to help. Her Majesty took an airing the next day, and in the following days visited the Pump-room, received city officials at her house, and visited a charitable institution, Bailbrook Lodge, of which she was patron.

Within days however, disaster struck the Queen, and the nation. Princess Charlotte died in childbirth at Windsor. Queen Charlotte departed Bath in haste on November 7. The funeral, the attendant ceremonies, and grief took a toll on the Queen's health. By November 24, she returned to Bath, but this time the Queen's visit was notable for its lack of ceremony. She stayed a month taking short excursions and attending briefly at the Pump-room every morning.

'Walks Through Bath', written in 1819 by Pierce Egan, described the Queen's House, and provided an illustration of it.

Queen Charlotte died just under a year later. Her visit to Bath passed into history.

But the house in which she stayed has survived in part. Queen Charlotte's Orangery, 93a Sydney Place, a bed and breakfast inn, purports to be part of the original building. And a stock photo website has two pictures taken at the site (which I cannot reproduce with paying) here and here

Queen Charlotte's visit to Bath, touched by tragedy, lives on in word and in stone.

'Til next time,


Sources: Annals of Bath
              Walks Through Bath
              and several Memoirs of Queen Charlotte are all available for download from                 Google Books.