Wolverhampton BTW

Emma Lucretia Lestourgeon

Lestourgeon, Emma Lucretia, later Barnes, c.1816—1878

by Benjamin Colbert

Emma Lucretia Lestourgeon was born at Cambridge, the daughter of Charles Lestourgeon (1779-1853), surgeon at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, and Elizabeth Lestourgeon, née Burbridge (1783-1828). The family’s ancestors were French Huguenots a branch of whom settled in Britain in the eighteenth century, but connections remained with relatives in France. Emma Lestourgeon and her brothers and sisters grew up in Cambridge and appear to have been tightly knit.

Pencillings of a Journey to Boulogne (1840) is accordingly a family affair. Emma Lestourgeon co-wrote the jeu d’ésprit with her older sister Sarah Couth Lestourgeon (c.1814-88). Their travelling companions during the brief summer 1839 excursion were their eldest brother, Charles Lestourgeon (1808-91), and a friend, Joseph Watkins Barnes (1806-58), Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, whom Emma Lestourgeon would later marry (16 May 1844), after he had taken orders and gained a living as vicar of Kendal (Preston Guardian). Another Lestourgeon brother, Frederick, hosted them at London, where he worked with an uncle as a distiller. After the conclusion of the journey, the private printing of the book fell to Emma and Sarah’s older sisters, Elizabeth Lestourgeon (c. 1811-69) and Anna (or Anne) Maria Lestourgeon, later Husband (c.1812-47), whose names appear as ‘printers’, although there is no evidence of their having set up professionally in that capacity.

Pencillings is Emma Lestourgeon’s only known work. After her marriage to the Reverend Barnes in 1844, she removed to Kendal in the Lake District. She had five children and, in addition to family life, played a role in the restoration of Kendal Parish Church (1850-52), presenting a stained-glass clerestory window during the reopening ceremonies (Nicholson 49). She outlived her husband, who died in 1858, by twenty years. They are both buried in Kendal cemetery.


'Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries'. The Preston Guardian, no. 1657 (Sat. 1 June 1844). Gale Databases: 19th Century British Library Newspapers: Part II. Web. 14 Dec. 2017.

Bushell, William Done. The Two Charles Lestourgeons: Surgeons of Cambridge: Their Huguenot Ancestors and Their Descendants. Cambridge: W. Heffer & Sons, 1936. Print.

Nicholson, Cornelia. The Annals of Kendal. 2nd ed. London: Whitaker & Co., 1861. Print.


Title Published
Pencillings of a Journey to Boulogne 1840

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