AW F01

Charlotte Langton nee Wedgwood – Charles Darwin's sister-in-law



To the memory of


The wife of

Revd. Charles Langton

Formerly of Langton

In the county of Lincoln

Now of Hartfield Sussex

Died at St Leonards-on Sea

Jany. 2nd 1862 aged 63 years

Reading the inscription on Charlotte's grave one could be forgiven for wondering why it was all about her husband Charles.  There are a number of gravestones in Hastings cemetery recording unmarried Victorian women described solely in the context of their fathers' positions in life, and for married women their status too was derived from their husband.  The background of Charlotte Langton is more interesting than the memorial inscription suggests.

Charlotte was born on 10 November 1797, the second daughter of Josiah Wedgwood II, son of the founder of the Wedgwood pottery company.  The family lived at Maer Hall, Staffordshire.

When she was young Charlotte was considered the beauty of the family and was talented at singing and painting.  The family were wealthy, and the four Wedgwood daughters were in no hurry to marry.  In her late twenties Charlotte was still making long trips with her parents and sisters on the continent.  Charles Darwin is said to have admired her when young, although eventually he married her younger sister Emma.

In 1832 Charlotte married the Reverend Charles Langton.  She was the first of the Wedgwood sisters to marry.  She is mentioned in the letters of Charles Darwin at the time of her marriage: ”I received a letter from Charlotte talking of parsonages in pretty climes” (in a letter to his sister Caroline Darwin 2-6 April 1832).  Charlotte and Charles Langton married on 22nd March in Maer Church.