Person    | Male  Born 10/2/1775  Died 27/12/1834

Charles Lamb

Categories: Literature

Born at 2 Crown Office Row, Inner Temple. Studied at Christ's Hospital where he became friends with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. "Elia" is the pseudonym Lamb used for a series of essays he wrote for the London Magazine and then published in book form, 1821 - 33.

Charles and his sister Mary both experienced periods of insanity but Mary outclassed him. In 1796, aged 32, Mary stabbed and killed their mother with a table knife. Charles, only aged 21, rescued Mary from a life in prison by taking responsibility for her. They lived together for the rest of his life, leading a rich social life in London, moving to Edmonton in 1828.

Prior to her fit of madness Mary had been the chief bread-winner for her family through her industry as a needlewoman. She was clever, creative, responsible, serene and sensible. However their mother always displayed a distinct preference for Charles, leaving Mary emotionally deprived since childhood. After the murder Charles swiftly had Mary confined in a private madhouse in Islington so that her insanity could be established, as a safeguard against judicial punishment. She apparently made a full recovery, of sorts, since, for the rest of her life, she suffered occasional "distempers" and thenceforth "the Lambs never left home without a straitjacket". They moved from Islington to Enfield in 1827 and to Edmonton in 1833 where Charles died at Walden's/Bay Cottage, Church Street. Mary deteriorated and died 12 years later in 1847. Both were buried in Edmonton Churchyard.

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
Charles Lamb

Commemorated atInformation

Charles Lamb - 85 Chase Side

The overflow pipe is not part of the memorial.

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Charles Lamb - 89 Chase Side

Charles Lamb lived here October 1829 until May 1833.

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Charles Lamb - EC4

An information map/board gives us "Charles Lamb was born in 2 Crown Office Ro...

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Charles Lamb - Gentleman's Row

The (wooden) plaque adds two years to his life.

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Charles Lamb - Giltspur Street

Ornamental Passions have a good post on this memorial, saying that Lamb is sh...

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