Catalogue of Caroline de Crespigny's album of verse and drawings,
Bodleian Library, University of OxfordMargaret Czepiel
Department of Special Collections
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Caroline de Crespigny’s album is made up
predominantly of original autograph verse by herself, Thomas Medwin and the German
poets they encountered and translated. Tipped in, pinned or loosely inserted are
also original drawings and watercolours, together with cut-outs and press cuttings,
and one music manuscript. As far as it has been possible to establish, her own
verses are unpublished. A number of other pieces remain unidentified.
Extent: 1 volume
Language(s) of Material: English, German, with a few
verses in Latin, French and Greek.
Full range of shelfmarks:
Caroline Champion de Crespigny was born in 1798 into the literary and political
family of Bathursts. Her father was the Bishop of Norwich, her brother the diplomat
Benjamin Bathurst, and her wider family included Earl Bathurst, the minister for war
during the Napoleonic period. In 1822 she married Heaton Champion de Crespigny,
later a clergyman. The marriage ended in 1832 with de Crespigny moving to Germany.
She settled with her children in Heidelberg where she embarked on a literary career.
Her first publications were volumes of original and translated verse (
Enchanted rose, 1844; My souvenir, 1844;
Vision of great men, 1848). De Crespigny's later literary
endevours included prose and a momoir of her father. The majority of de Crespigny’s
translations, it seems, were the fruit of collaborative work with Thomas Medwin, the
cousin and biographer of Percy Bysshe Shelley and the friend and biographer of Lord
Byron. Like her, Medwin was separated from his wife and in financial distress, and
settled in Heidelberg. Following a publication of Sketches in Hindoostan,
with other poems (1821), Medwin became involved in translating classical
and German texts, with many English versions of the poems appearing in periodicals
such as The Athenaeum. The pair knew personally or corresponded with
many contemporary German writers, including the poet Justinus Kerner and his son
Theobald. De Crespigny died in 1861. Medwin survived her by eight years.
Scope and Content
Inexhaustive list of items in the album:
Pieces by Caroline de Crespigy:
- 'L'envoie' [not the same as 'L'envoi'] and 'The picture', attributed to
'Caroline de Crespigny née Bathurst', not an autograph
- 'Stanzas addressed to the Lutheran Preachers of Heidelberg', a newspaper
cutting with anonymous verses ascribed in ink to C.de C.
- 'On the death of Prince Taxis', possibly autograph, signed C.de.C.
- 'To XX', manuscript, signed C. de C. and dated July 1849
- 'Lines on the portrait (by Francis Winterhalter) of Miss Emily Beauchamp', a
finely printed broadside, Heidelberg, 23 January 1856
- 'I learnt to love', a four-line verse in caligraphic hand on an envelope
addressed to Thomas Medwin and dated 14 Sep. 1838
- 'Lines written on the grave of Moore', ascribed to 'C.de C.' by T. Medwin (in
- 'The monster in a dream', ascribed to 'C. de C' by T. Medwin (in his
- 'To the Countess Kransinska in return for a water colour drawing', not signed
but likely to be by de Crespigny (with a draft of the same verses elsewhere in
- 'The leaf in the book', not an autograph, likely to be composed by de
- Pencil drawing of a field flower, signed C.de C. and dated 1855
- Pencil drawing of a snowdrop, signed C. de C.
- Watercolour of an orange butterfly, signed C. de C.
- Watercolour of a flower, signed C. de C.
- Pencil portrait of Peter de Goler, signed C. de C.
- Watercolour of flower wreath, signed C. de C.
- Pencil drawing of a lily of the valley, signed C. de C.
Pieces by Thomas Medwin:
- Four lines beginning 'The girl replies', written under 'L'envoie' and 'The
picture' by de Crespigny, signed T.M.
- 'The poor soul, from the German of Madame de Plônnies [sic] by T.H.
Medwin', newspaper cutting with manuscript corrections
- 'Immaculate', six lines, signed T.M. and dated 23 May 1852
- 'On Crinoline', 20 lines, with two added epigrams, signed T.M.
- Translation into English from Goethe, in calligraphic hand, ascribed to T.
- Translation into English of L. Diefenbach's 'Blume und Welle', newspaper
cutting undereath the poem in manuscript
- 'Hudibrastics written under a scull in the possession of Peyton by his friend
Medwin. Heidelberg, 1st November 1856', printed broadside [no copy
- 'L’Envoie. Dialogue between a Pen and a Cheroot', perhaps not in Medwin’s
hand, but with some additional lines by him. On the verso of the sheet is an
'Epitaph' signed T.M. and two four-line verses in pencil by W.S. Landor titled
'Julius Hare' [seemingly unpublished, possibly autograph]
- 'Sonnet', signed T.M. and dated 14 September 1839?
- Tranlsation into Latin of 'Lines written on the grave of Moore' by de
Crespigny, signed T.M.
- 12 lines by T.M. written underneath a poem by de Crespigny 'The monster in a
- 'With a painted wreath of bays', draft verses, with a note at the foot,
'Inscription on a Sepulchral Vase at Rome', possibly T. Medwin's
- Translation into Latin of de Crespigny’s verse 'The leaf in the book', signed
by T. Medwin, but not written by him
- 26-line draft, untitled, beginning 'How shall I greet thine end, Old Year',
Other verses in German:
- Helmina de Chezy (1879-1857): autograph translation into German of de
Crespigny's 'Gerstern'; newspaper cutting of 'Klage'; two songs set to music by
the composer Wilhelm Taubert (with music); autograph of a poem about
- Lorenz Diefenbach (1806-1883): poem written on New Year’s morning 1841 'An
Herrn Medwin Esq.'; 'Blume und Welle' with newspaper cutting of a translation
into English by T. Medwin
- Emma von Suckow (1807-1876): four poems, second signed Emma Niendorf, her
- Elise von Hohenhauser (1789-1857): four poems (not all by her), one translated
into English by T. Medwin
- Luise von Plönnies (1803-1872): newspaper cutting of 'Die arme
Seele' in Dutch translation by J.F. Brouwenaar and English translation by T.
Medwin; possibly autograph of 'Und werden ihre gaben'
- Daniel Fenner von Fenneberg (1817-1859): possibly in his hand and by him 'Die
Sänger und der Hirten Knabe'; 'Ewig D[ei]n!', signed 'Fenner von
- Justinus Kerner (1786-1862): 'Das Verbrennen alter Zeit', not an
Other verses in English:
- Edward Balston (1817-1891): 'Epitaph on the death of a young lady', in Greek,
signed Edward Balston and annotated 'given me by W. Pocock'
- Frederick K. Harford (1832-1906): poem and letter addressed to de Crespigny,
also asking to be remembered to Captain Medwin
- Rosa Emma Salaman, author of Poems by R.E.S.
(London, 1853): 'A lovely night in May', initialled and dated 1854; 'On
receiving a photographic likeness of Dr. Marshall Hall, signed Rosa Emma Salaman
and dated 18th November 1854
- 'The fairies' lament', attributed to Shelley's niece, Florence
- Mathew Arnold (1822-1888): 'Stanzas in memory of Edward Quillinan Esq.', not
- E. G. Holland: 'To Weimar', broadside dated 1855
- a number of other pieces, either anonymous or initialled only
Drawings and watercolours:
- Guido Schmitt (1834-1922): drawing of a squinting child; drawing of a man in
profile (dated 1847); drawing of a sleeping child
- Alessandro Cittadini (b. ca. 1820): portrait in pencil of Fenner von
- Nathaniel Schmitt (1847-1918): watercolour of red rose, dated 1861;
watercolour of a tea-tree flower, dated 1860
- Carte de visite photograph of T. Medwin’s daughter, the Countess of
Purchased from John Hart, March 2016.
Preferred Form of Citation
Oxford, Bodleian Library [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS.
Personal name(s) (NCA Rules)Crespigny | Caroline de | 1798-1861 |
Medwin | Thomas | 1788-1869 | biographer of P.B.
English poetry -- Women authors
German poetry -- Women authors
Poetry, English -- 19th century
Poetry, German -- 19th century
Women and literature -- Germany -- 19th century
Women poets, English -- 19th century
Women poets, German -- 19th century
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17 July 2018