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Charlotte Christian Bruce, Lady Locker

Charlotte Christina Bruce was my 3rd cousin, and daughter of Thomas Bruce, Lord Elgin, and my 2nd cousin, Elizabeth Oswald.

 

Lady Charlotte Bruce married Frederick Locker, and was his second wife. Frederick was the son of Edward Hawke Locker and Eleanor Mary Elizabeth Boucher. Frederick's grandfather was also a person of historical interest. Frederick's grandfather was Captain William Locker a Royal Navy officer and the one who famously gave Lord Nelson the advice "to lay a Frenchman close and beat him".  The future Lord Nelson served under William Locker on board the HMS Lowestoffe in 1777, barely aged 19. Twenty years later, in 1799 Nelson wrote to his old captain:

 

"I have been your scholar; it is you who taught me to board a Frenchman by your conduct when in the Experiment; it is you who always told me ‘Lay a Frenchman close and you will beat him;’ and my only merit in my profession is being a good scholar. Our friendship will never end but with my life, but you have always been too partial to me."

 

I will dedicate another full page to Captain William Locker as he was an interesting and integral figure in world history.

 

Frederick's maternal grandfather, Reverand Jonathan Boucher, Vicar of Epsom was a personal friend of George Washington.

 

Charlotte's brushes with historical greats does not end there. Her husband Frederick was friends with many now famous literary figures including the Browning Sisters, Charles Dickens, George Eliot and Lord Tennyson. In fact, Charlotte and Frederick's daughter, Eleanor Bertha Mary Locker, married Lord Tennyson's son, Lionel Tennyson.

 

Charlotte's father in law also had some brushes with now famous historical figures. Edward Hawke, youngest son of Captain William Locker, was a water colourist with works now on display at the Victoria & Alfred and British Museums in London. In 1813 he delivered dispatches directly to Lord Wellington. He also met Napoleon in May, 1814, during Napoleon's exile in Elba.

 

Charlotte's step-son, Godfrey Locker-Lampson was also involved in several prominent historical events. He had been approached by those involved in plotting (and later suceeding) in Rasputin's assassination. He had planned an escape for Tsar Nicolas II of Russia and his family to escape Russia and take haven in Great Britain. Between World Wars I and II, Godfrey remained a loyal supporter of Wintson Churchill (and therefore it is probably safe to assume knew Churhill well) and warned others of the impending threat of both communism and nazism. In fact, during the Nazi persecution of the Jews in Europe, Godfrey personally arranged the safe passage of many Jews including Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud. 

 

Of personal interest to me is that Edward Hawke was also a founding member of the Athenaeum Club, a private members club located at 107 Pall Mall. I stay at the Sofitel Hotel, directly across the street from the Athenaeum Club.  The club was established in 1824 and some of the more notable members have included Viscount Palmerston, Michael Faraday, Charles Dickens, The Duke of Wellington and Charles Darwin. I've always wondered what type of club it was but never in a thousand years would I have believed that, in some small part, my family played a role in establishing the club! I wonder if they would let me in?