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Charles Waterton's Life and Family
| A Brief Marriage |
The English Convent, Bruges (Engels Klooster, Brugge)

Charles Waterton married Anne Mary Edmonstone in Brugge (Bruges), Belgium on 18th May 1829.

English Convent (Engels Klooster)English Convent (Engels Klooster) Carmersstraat, Brugge / Bruges, Belgium

Charles Waterton married Anne Mary Edmonstone in Bruges, Belgium on 18th May 1829 (see A Brief Marriage). However, the marriage is not the only connection between the Watertons and the convent.

Amongst the papers of the Squire's father, Thomas, was a number of letters from Thomas' aunt, Mary Augustine More. This lady was the Mother Superior at the English Convent in Brugge (Bruges) in Flanders, Belgium. In some of her letters there are references to his wife at the convent, one Eusebia Pickering. Amongst the letters is one from the lady herself 'your once sweet and beloved wife'.

Eusebia was of Portuguese and English descent and arrived at the convent in 1758. Eusebia died in her early seventies at the convent. Quite how she fits into the Waterton story is a something of a mystery. Thomas Waterton had a wife at Walton Hall, of course, she was Anne Bedingfield (see family tree). (1)

That there was continued contact between Walton Hall and the convent is evidenced by a letter from the Mother Superior to Eliza Edmonstone (Anne Waterton's sister), concerning Eliza's poor state of health. (2)

The nuns of the convent also asked about the health of the young Edmund Waterton during his formative years. (3)

The following memorial is on the wall of the Covent Chapel:

Waterton Memorial, English Convent Bruges/Brugge.
The Waterton Memorial in the chapel of the English Convent.
Names: Charles Waterton, his wife Anne Edmonstone,
Edmund Maria Waterton (son of the Squire),
and Josephine Margaret Alicia Ennis (Edmund's first wife).
[Photograph courtesy of Martin Wood]

■ A view inside the walls of the convent (date not known).
■ The Nuns' Refectory (postcard by L. Lagaert, Brussel (Bruxelles).

See also:
English Convent (Engels Klooster) The English Convent Bruges - Het Engels Klooster Brugge.
The official web site of the convent. [Site accessed 23 Mar 2019.]

1. Charles Waterton, Traveller and Conservationist, Julia Blackburn, The Bodley Head, London, 1989. Julia Blackburn covers this part of the Waterton story in Chapter I 'Brown Rats and Black Rats'.
2. ibid, Chapter XIV, 'Sentimental Journeys'.
3. ibid, Chapter XVI, 'Father and Son'.


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