Lady Caroline Lawes - 1822-1895

Wife of Sir John Bennet Lawes

By Anon

The source and date of this anonymous account of Caroline Lawes are not known. Since it was written, information about the whereabouts of some of her watercolour paintings has changed and the article has been edited accordingly.

Photo:Lady Caroline Lawes

Lady Caroline Lawes

LHS archives - copy in B 3.75

Lady Caroline Lawes was the daughter of Andrew Fountaine of Narford Hall, Norfolk. She was born in 1822 and married John Bennet Lawes, the founder of Rothamsted Experimental Station, in 1842. She died in Scotland in 1895 - see her husband's tribute.

She had two children, Charles, born in 1843 and Caroline, born in 1844.  Charles became the second baronet on the death of his father in 1900. He was a good athlete and an artist and sculptor of considerable ability.

Caroline married Walter Creyke, and lived to be 102 and attended the centenary celebrations in 1943! [See the photo below of her playing croquet, perhaps in the 1920s]

See below for pictures of Charles and Caroline. 


Artist in water colours

Photo:Rothamsted Manor, watercolour by Lady Caroline Lawes

Rothamsted Manor, watercolour by Lady Caroline Lawes

Reproduction in Old Harpenden collection, LHS archives

Lady Caroline's great interest was painting - mainly water colours. She painted many pictures including local scenes such as the Manor and Hatching Green but most were of Scotland.  

Photo:Rothamsted Manor, from the south-west - watercolour by Lady Caroline Lawes

Rothamsted Manor, from the south-west - watercolour by Lady Caroline Lawes

Reproduction in Old Harpenden collection, LHS archives

According to her husband's diary entries and his tribute to her, she took lessons from G Fripp. George Arthur Fripp was a London-based water-colour artist, and she went to Euston for lessons from him in the 1850s and he visited Rothamsted. G Fripp also often visited the Lawes family when they were on holiday in Scotland.

Lady Caroline was not a great artist, but competent and above the standard usual of gentlewomen dabbling in art.

Photo:Caroline (Diane) Bennet Lawes - sketch by Dore

Caroline (Diane) Bennet Lawes - sketch by Dore

LHS archives - copy in B 3.77

Photo:Caroline Creyke, nee Lawes

Caroline Creyke, nee Lawes

LHS archives - scan from B 3.79

Photo:Sir Charles Lawes - painted by Frank O Salisbury, 1890s

Sir Charles Lawes - painted by Frank O Salisbury, 1890s

LHS archives - copy in B 3.80

This page was added by David Hinton on 28/02/2011.
Comments about this page

Lady Caroline Lawes was the cousin of Julia Mabel Lydekker (nee Durnford) who was the daughter of Col Edward Durnford, and wife of Arthur Lydekker.

Ed - see the link to The Lydekkers of Tolgate cottage.

By Anon
On 25/06/2013

Lady Caroline was the aunt of Margaret Fountaine, born 1862, the intrepid adventuress & butterfly hunter whose diaries were edited & published as 'Love Among the Butterflies' and 'Butterflies and Late Loves'.

By Tim Paine
On 06/05/2014

Caroline Creyke (nee Lawes, & known to the family as 'Skye'), who lived to 102, was an indomitable woman, passionate about hunting, shooting & fishing from an early age, especially in the Highlands.  In 1890 her book 'Sporting Sketches' was published under the name 'Diane Chasseresse'; and Macdonald Hastings published a biography 'Diane: A Victorian' in 1974.

Ed: We have added some photos copied from 'Diane' at the foot of the page. Perhaps someone will volunteer to write a short biography for this website?

By Tim Paine
On 13/05/2014

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