Louisa Chatterley

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Louisa Chatterley
File:Louisa Chatterley as Lady Teazle in The School for Scandal by George Clint.jpg
Born Louisa Simeon
c. 1797
Piccadilly, London, England
Died 4 November 1866
37 Brompton Square, London, England
Other names Mrs Chatterley
Known for Acting
Spouse(s) William Simmonds Chatterley, Francis Place
Partner(s) William Edward Taylor Christmas

Louisa Chatterley or Louisa Place born Louisa Simeon (1797 - 4 November 1866 [1][2]) was a British actress. She was involved in an embezzlement case, and later married a noted social reformer with fifteen children.


Louisa Simeon was born in Piccadilly on 16 October 1797 to Madame Simeon. From the age of three she was sent to convents, a boarding school and finally a seminary by her milliner mother.[3]

She married the actor William Simmonds Chatterley, at Bedminster, on the 11th of August 1813. The two of them both enjoyed some success. Louisa took the name "Mrs Chatterley" and worked regularly in comedic roles in Bath and London. It was said that she was particularly adept at playing a French woman. She appeared in well known plays including The Rivals, She Stoops to Conquer,[4] and Twelve Precisely, where Chatterley was required to play twelve different roles as she tests the character of a lover.[3] In the winter of 1821 Mrs Chatterley was earning 12 guineas a week employed at Covent Garden.[3]

Louisa was painted in the role of Lady Teazle by George Clint[5] and sketched by Rose Emma Drummond.[6]

She went on to have a relationship with William Edward Taylor Christmas whilst still nominally married to William Chatterley. Christmas was a clerk at Hoares bank who had married a rich widow after he had been asked by the bank to advise her on her affairs. This was considered acceptable behaviour until he started a relationship with Chatterley.[7] The rich widow was annoyed at Louisa's behaviour and tried to get her mother, Madame Simeon, to intercede.[3] Meanwhile, the bank sacked him citing the poor example his lifestyle set to have one of their clerks in a relationship with "an actress". As it turned out the bank was to remember Christmas as he was discovered to have embezzled thousands of pounds. Some suspected this was to fund his time with Chatterley. Christmas was sentenced to be transported for 14 years and in 1825 he wrote an apology to the bank asking for leniency. They arranged for him to get an office job where he was again found to be forging documents.[7]

From 1825 until 1830, she lived at 15 Brompton Square.[8]

Her second marriage was to the social reformer Francis Place, on the 13th of February 1830, in Kensington.[9] Place had 15 children and championed unfashionable reforms such as birth control.[10] During the time she was married to Francis Place, Chatterley gave up acting. Her husband's family were not impressed by his new wife. In 1833 their finances required that they move from Charing Cross, to 21, Brompton Square.[8] Place's son considered his father "virtuous" until he married Louisa. Francis suffered a stroke in 1844 and they separated in 1851. Her husband went to live with his children and died in 1854.[10]

She returned to the stage after the death of Francis Place, acting at the Olympic, and Adelphi theatres.[11][1]

Louisa (written as Louise on her burial and probate registers), died on the 4th of November 1866, at 37, Brompton Square, London. This is a short distance east of Holy Trinity Brompton. Probate of her Will was granted on the 29th of November 1866, to Louisa Reeves Place, who was a granddaughter of Francis Place.[2] She was buried on the 10th of November 1866, at Brompton Cemetery.[12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Music, Arts, Science, and Literature." The Bath Chronicle, Thursday November 29 1866, p.7. The British Newspaper Archive: Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited in partnership with the British Library.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "England & Wales, National Probate Calender (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858 - 1995 for Louise Place." Original Data: Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England. London, England © Crown copyright. Ancestry.com, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Thespis (1841). The daughters of Thespis; or, A peep behind the curtain. pp. 154–163.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Chatterley, William Simmonds (1787–1822), actor | Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/5186.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  5. "CollectionsOnline | G0111". garrick.ssl.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-07-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "CollectionsOnline | G0112". garrick.ssl.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-07-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Appeal by William Christmas" (PDF). Hoares Bank. Retrieved 10 July 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Appendix: Artists, musicians and writers resident in Brompton, 1790-1870." Survey of London: Volume 41, Brompton. Ed. F H W Sheppard. London: London County Council, 1983. pp.253-254. British History Online. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  9. "Francis Place - Louise Chatterley, 13 Feb 1830, Kensington." Greater London Marriage Index, Transcriptions © West Middlesex Family History Society: Findmypast. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Thomas, William (2004-09-23). "Place, Francis (1771–1854), radical and chronicler". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/22349.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  11. "Chatterley, Louisa." Biography. The Garrick Club Collections. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  12. "Brompton, London, England Cemetery Registers, 1840 - 2012 for Louise Place." The National Archives; Kew, London, England; Office of Works and successors: Royal Parks and Pleasure Gardens: Brompton Cemetery Records; Series Number: Work 97; Piece Number: 102. Ancestry.com, 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2020.

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