Wolverhampton BTW

Robinia Elizabeth Young

Young, Robinia Elizabeth, later Matteucci, c.1811—1897

by Benjamin Colbert

Robinia Elizabeth Young was the eldest daughter of Samuel Young, and niece to Robert Young, D.D. (c.1777-1813), from 1803 minister of the Scots Church, London Wall, and mistakenly considered her father by the reviewer of Views in the Pyrenees (1831) in the London Literary Gazette. The confusion was justified, however; after Samuel Young's death, Robinia Elizabeth Young had been adopted by Mary Ancrum Young (c.1790-1867), the widow of Robert Young. Little further is known of Robinia Young's upbringing and early adulthood.

On 7 September 1846 at Marylebone Church, Robinia Elizabeth Young married Carlo Matteucci, K.S. (1811-68), Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Pisa, whose work in bioelectricity had earned him international renown. They relocated to Italy, where Carlo Matteucci continued his scientific work while also playing a leading role in the movement for Italian independence in the revolutionary years of 1848-49. To publicise these events in England, Robinia Matteucci translated and edited the narrative of a patriot foot soldier, Dandalo Emilia’s The Italian Volunteers and Lombard Rifle Brigade, published by Longmans in 1851. In 1862, Robinia Matteucci was active in the ‘National Philanthropic Association of Italian Ladies’ at Turin, whose good causes included the development of Schools in Southern Italy.

After her husband’s death in 1868, Robinia Matteucci appears to have returned briefly to London. Back in Italy, she lived principally in Pisa and Florence, where she died 13 January 1897.


Bellion, Anna, ed. ‘Robinia Elizabeth Young Matteucci’. Dizionario Biografico dei Protestanti in Italia. Societa di Studi Valdesi. Web. 7 Nov. 2017.

Browning, Robert, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The Brownings’ Correspondence. Vol. 14: September 1846-December 1847, Letters 2616-2716. Winfield, KS: Wedgestone Press, 1998. 148n20. Print.

Dandalo, Emilia. The Italian Volunteers and Lombard Rifle Brigade, Being an Authentic Narrative of the Organization, Adventures, and Final Disbanding of These Corps, in 1848-49. [Trans. Robinia Matteucci.] London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans. 1851. Print.

London Literary Gazette, no. 795 (Sat. 14 Apr. 1832): 234. Print.

‘Marriages’. Gentleman's Mag. (Dec. 1846): 643. Print.

Matteucci, Carlo. Extract from a letter. Daily News, no. 4122 (Sat., 30 July 1859). Gale Databases: British Library Newspapers, Part I: 1800-1900. Web. 7 Nov. 2017.

‘Memoir of the Late Rev. Robert Young, D.D. Minister of the Scots Church, London Wall’. Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle (Mar. 1814): 85-89. Print.

Memorie della Società Italiana delle Scienze Fondata da Anton-Mario Lorgna. Ser. 3. Vol. 2. Fireze: Stamperia Reale, 1869-79. Print.

‘Philanthropic Association of Italian Ladies, under the Patronage of H.R.H. The Princess Maria Pia’. The Examiner, no. 2841 (Sat., 12 July 1862). Gale Databases: British Library Newspapers, Part I: 1800-1900. Web. 7 Nov. 2017.

Wilson, Walter. The History and Antiquities of Dissenting Churches and Meeting Houses, in London, Westminster, and Southward; Including the Lives of Their Ministers, from the Rise of Nonconformity to the Present Time. 4 vols. London, 1808. 2:512-14. Print.


Title Published
Views in the Pyrenees 1831

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