Broome, Charlotte (1761–1838)

Daughter of the musicologist Charles Burney (1726–1814; DNB) and his first wife Esther Sleepe (d. 1762), and younger sister of the novelist Fanny Burney (1752–1840; DNB) and of Southey’s friend James Burney. She married, firstly, the physician Clement Francis (c. 1744–1792) and, secondly, the stockjobber, pamphleteer and poet Ralph Broome (1742–1805). In 1818 Broome asked Southey for a poem commemorating her younger son Ralph Broome (1801–1817). The Poet Laureate normally disliked writing to order, but felt that this was a request he could not refuse. He produced an epitaph (‘Time and the World, whose magnitude and weight’), sent to Broome in February 1818 and later inscribed on a memorial to Ralph in St Swithun’s Church, Walcot, Bath. In 1829 Broome lost her eldest son, Clement Robert Francis (1792–1829), a Fellow of Caius College, Cambridge. Southey, who had met Francis in the Lake District, produced a second epitaph, ‘Some there will be to whom, as here they read’, for a memorial to him.

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