Maria Louisa Charlesworth

Maria Louisa Charlesworth (1819-1880) was the daughter of Rev. John Charlesworth and Elizabeth Charlesworth (née Beddome). She never married.

Maria Charlesworth was a visitor in her father's parish from a young age. She drew on her experiences for "The Female Visitor to the Poor". "Ministering Children", set in a town modelled on Ipswich. It sold over 300,000 copies during her lifetime. It was especially popular as a 'reward book' for Sunday school prizes, and was translated into French, German and Swedish.

On her father's death in 1864 Maria Charlesworth lived for a while with her brother Rev. Samuel Charlesworth in Limehouse and then sent up a ragged school and a mission in Bermondsey. She retired to Nutfield in Surrey, where she died on 16 October 1880.

See Wikipedia article on Maria Louisa Charlesworth

There are several references to Maria Louisa Charlesworth in the family biographies.

Maria Louisa Charlesworth's books

There is a problem about the following. Her books were popular, and were reprinted a lot. There were British and American publications, and other multiple publications. I have tried to find reputable first dates, but I may be wrong! Also, since some of her books were so popular, such as "Ministering Children", chapters or stories from these books were reprinted by themselves. I have tried not to include those. There are also reprints under different titles, for example "The Old Looking Glass" was also reprinted under the title "The Broken Looking Glass".

Since "Ministering Children" was her most popular, I have made my own text version of it here.

DateTitleSecondary title
1846The Female Visitor to the PoorRecords of Female Parochial Visiting
1848A book for the cottageThe History of Mary and Her family
1849Letters to a friend under affliction
1849A letter to a child
1850The light of lifeDedicated to the young
1853Sunday afternoons in the nurseryFamiliar Narratives from the Book of Genesis
1854Ministering ChildrenA tale dedicated to childhood
1856Africa's Mountain ValleyThe Church in Regent's Town, West Africa
1856The cottage and its visitorrevised edition of The Female Visitor to the Poor
1856The Sabbath given, the Sabbath lost
1858The ministry of life
1860India and the EastA Voice from the Zenana
1861England's yeomenFrom life in the nineteenth century
1863The sailor's choiceLittle Lenny's friends on the shore
1866A sequel to Ministering ChildrenVol II
1870The last command
1871Where dwellest thou?The inner home
1872Eden and heaven
1876Oliver of the millA tale
1877The old looking-glassMrs. Dorothy Cope's recollections of service


Maria Louisa Charlesworth - Personal estate under £5,000. - Resworn January 1882 under £6,000.
29 October. The Will of Maria Louisa Charlesworth late of the Cottage Nutfield in the County of Surrey Spinster who did 16 October 1880 at the Cottage was proved at the Principal Registry By the Reverend Samuel Beddome Charlesworth of the Rectory Limehouse in the County of Middlesex Clerk the Brother the sole Executor.