Lucy Lyttelton Cameron (1781-1856)
Lucy Lyttelton Cameron was born in Stanford-on-Teme, taking her name from her godmother Lady Lucy Fortescue Lyttelton.
Her father George Butt was the vicar in Stanford at her birth and a minor poet. He was well connected and became George III’s Chaplain-in-Ordinary in 1783.
In childhood she studied French, Italian and Greek. Between 1792 and 1797 she attended Reading Abbey Girls’ School, depicted in the novel Emma by another former pupil, Jane Austen.
She and her sister Mary (later Mary Martha Sherwood) had a strict upbringing and if it was not for her supposed delicacy then she would have been required to wear a backboard and an iron ring, like her sister, to improve her posture.
The year after leaving school she wrote The History of Margaret Whyte, or, The life and death of a good child, joining her sister, who was already published. By this time she was living with her mother in Bridgnorth. Both of the daughters taught at Sunday School, which is where their writings were targeted.
Lucy married in 1806, taking the name of the evangelical Rev Charles Richard Cameron. Together they moved to Snedshill where he was the first curate at St Michaels Church at Donington Wood at Lilleshall in Shropshire. They had twelve children.
The Camerons also adopted a niece when her sister followed her husband to India. They stayed in Shropshire for 25 years before they took “the living of” Swaby, near Culverthorpe, although still lived at Snedshill.
The Cameron family grew further in 1818 when her only brother’s wife died. Her brother was unable to cope so her sister adopted his four sons and Cameron took his three daughters into her household. The extra expense was offset by a £50 a year allowance given to her by the industrialist, Isaac Hawkins Browne, when he died that same year.
Throughout her life Cameron wrote as did her brother and sister. Her brother was not so productive, but her elder sister was and she enjoyed more popularity.
Lucy’s best known work might be The Raven and the Dove, The Nosegay of Honeysuckles, Martin and his Two Sunday Scholars or The Pink Tippet.
During her life she wrote about 400 works of varying sizes which like her sister were published by a Shropshire company.
This was in addition to serving as the editor of Nursery and Infants’ Schools Magazine, a role she performed from 1831 to 1852. She was published in America too.
Lucy died in 1856 and was buried in Swaby churchyard.