Charlesworth, Maria Louisa (DNB00)

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CHARLESWORTH, MARIA LOUISA (1819–1880), author, was daughter of John Charlesworth (1782–1864), son of John Charlesworth, rector of Ossington, Nottinghamshire. Her father was curate of Happisburgh, Norfolk (1809); B.D. of Queens' College, Cambridge (1826); rector of Flowton, Suffolk (1814–44); rector of St. Mildred's, London (1844–62); an ardent supporter of church societies, and an admirable clergyman (Fitzgerald, The Quiet Worker for good John Charlesworth, 1865). Maria Louisa Charlesworth was born at the rectory of Blakenham Parva, near Ipswich, held by her father for a short time while rector of Flowton, 1 Oct. 1819. From the age of six she ministered among the poor in her father's parish. After her parents' decease she sometimes resided with her brother, the Rev. Samuel Charlesworth, at Limehouse, but her permanent home for the last sixteen years of her life was at Nutfield, Surrey, where she died 16 Oct. 1880, aged 61. 'The Female Visitor to the Poor, by a Clergyman's Daughter,' 1846, a book in which she embodied her own experiences among the poor, ran to several editions, and was translated into foreign languages. 'Ministering Children,' first published by Miss Charlesworth in 1854, had an enormous circulation; many portions of it were issued as distinct works. The following is a list of her writings: 1. 'The Female Visitor to the Poor,' 1846. 2. 'A Book for the Cottage,' 1848. 3. 'A Letter to a Child,' 1849. 4. 'Letters to a Friend under Affliction,' 1849. 5. 'The Light of Life,' 1850. 6. 'Sunday Afternoons in the Nursery,' 1853. 7. 'Ministering Children,' 1854. 8. 'Africa's Mountain Valley,' 1856. 9. 'The Sabbath given, the Sabbath lost,' 1856. 10. 'The Ministry of Life,' 1858. 11. 'India and the East, or a Voice from the Zenana,' 1860. 12. 'England's Yeomen from Life in the Nineteenth Century,' 1861. 13. 'Ministering Children, a Sequel,' 1867. 14. 'The Last Command of Jesus Christ,' 1869. 15. 'Where dwellest thou? or the Inner Home,' 1871. 16. 'Eden and Heaven,' 1872. 17. 'Oliver of the Mill,' 1876. 18. 'The Old Looking-glass,' 1878. 19. 'The Broken Looking-glass,' 1880. 20. 'Heavenly Counsel in daily portions: Readings on the Gospel of St. Matthew. Being notes from the bible classes of M. L. Charlesworth. Edited by H. Maria Barclay,' 1883.

[Men of the Time (1879), p. 243; Woman's Work in the great Harvest Field, February 1881, pp. 45–7; Brief Memoir, 'written for insertion in Ministering Children,' privately printed.]

G. C. B.