Waldie, Charlotte Ann (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 59
Waldie, Charlotte Ann

by Elizabeth Lee
Charlotte Anne Eaton in the ODNB.

WALDIE, CHARLOTTE ANN, afterwards Mrs. Eaton (1788–1859), author of ‘Waterloo Days,’ born on 28 Sept. 1788, was second daughter of George Waldie of Hendersyde Park, Roxburghshire, by his wife Ann, eldest daughter of Jonathan Ormston of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In June 1815 she was, with her brother John and sister Jane (see below), on a visit to Brussels. She wrote an account of her experiences which was published in 1817 under the title of ‘Narrative of a Residence in Belgium, during the Campaign of 1815, and of a Visit to the Field of Waterloo. By an Englishwoman’ (London, 8vo). A second edition was published in 1853 as ‘The Days of Battle, or Quatre Bras and Waterloo; by an Englishwoman resident in Brussels in June 1815.’ The latest edition, entitled ‘Waterloo Days,’ is dated 1888 (London, 8vo). The narrative is of great excellence, and takes a high place among contemporary accounts by other than military writers. In 1820 Charlotte Waldie published anonymously, in three volumes, ‘Rome in the Nineteenth Century’ (Edinburgh, 12mo); second and third editions appeared respectively in 1822 and 1823. A fifth edition, in two volumes, was published in 1852, and a sixth in 1860. The book is largely quoted by Mr. A. J. C. Hare, and is still useful to travellers.

On 22 Aug. 1822 Charlotte married Stephen Eaton, banker, of Stamford, of Ketton Hall, Rutland, who died on 25 Sept. 1834. She died in London, at Hanover Square, on 28 April 1859, leaving two sons and two daughters.

Thomson of Edinburgh painted a miniature of her at eighteen years of age. Yellowlees painted an unsatisfactory portrait in 1824, and Edmonstone a half-length in 1828. These pictures were at Hendersyde Park in 1859.

Other works by Mrs. Eaton are: 1. ‘Continental Adventures,’ a story, London, 1826, 3 vols. 8vo. 2. ‘At Home and Abroad,’ a novel, London, 1831, 3 vols. 8vo.

Her youngest sister, Jane Waldie, afterwards Mrs. Watts (1793–1826), author, born in 1793, showed a taste for painting at an early age, and studied under Nasmyth. She painted many pictures, mostly landscapes inspired by the beauty of the scenery surrounding her home. The figures in three or four of them are the work of Sir Robert Ker Porter [q. v.] As early as 1819 she exhibited at Somerset House a picture called ‘The Temple at Pæstum’ (Addit. MS. 18204). Twenty-eight of her pictures were at Hendersyde Park in 1859, but many had been removed at the time of her marriage, and remained in the possession of her husband. In September 1816 she accompanied her sister Charlotte, with whom she has often been confused, and her brother John abroad, returning to England in August 1817. The result was a book entitled ‘Sketches descriptive of Italy in 1816–17; with a brief Account of Travels in various parts of France and Switzerland’ (London, 1820, 4 vols. 8vo). On 20 Oct. of that year she married Captain (afterwards Rear-Admiral) George Augustus Watts of Langton Grange, Staindrop, Darlington (cf. O'Byrne, Naval Biography, p. 1260), where, after losing her only child, she died on 6 July 1826.

A miniature painted by M. Dupuis, a French prisoner at Kelso, when she was about twenty years of age, is a good likeness; after her death Edmonstone painted her portrait from two indifferent miniatures. These portraits were at Hendersyde Park in 1859.

[Burke's Landed Gentry, 1868 s.v. ‘Waldie,’ 1898 s.v. ‘Eaton;’ Gent. Mag. 1826 ii. 184, 1859 i. 655; Catalogue of Pictures, &c., at Hendersyde Park, 1859; Bell's Introduction to Waterloo Days, 1888.]

E. L.