Wolverhampton BTW

Sarah Couth Lestourgeon

Lestourgeon, Sarah Couth, later Lestourgeon, c.1814—1888

by Benjamin Colbert

Sarah Couth Lestourgeon was born at Cambridge, the daughter of Charles Lestourgeon (1779-1853), surgeon at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, and Elizabeth Lestourgeon, née Burbridge (1783-1828). The family’s ancestors were French Huguenots a branch of whom settled in Britain in the eighteenth century, but connections remained with relatives in France. Sarah Lestourgeon and her brothers and sisters grew up in Cambridge and appear to have been tightly knit.

Pencillings of a Journey to Boulogne (1840) is accordingly a family affair. Sarah Lestourgeon co-wrote the jeu d’ésprit with her younger sister Emma Lucretia Lestourgeon (c.1816-78). Their travelling companions during the brief summer 1839 excursion were their eldest brother, Charles Lestourgeon (1808-91), and a friend, Joseph Watkins Barnes (1806-58), Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, whom Emma Lestourgeon would later marry in 1844. Another Lestourgeon brother, Frederick, hosted them at London, where he worked with an uncle as a distiller. After the conclusion of the journey, the private printing of the book fell to Sarah and Emma’s older sisters, Elizabeth Lestourgeon (c. 1811-69) and Anna (or Anne) Maria Lestourgeon, later Husband (c.1812-47), whose names appear as ‘printers’, although there is no evidence of their having set up professionally in that capacity.

In 1838, Sarah Lestourgeon’s uncle, aunt, and their family had immigrated to the United States, and there may already have been an understanding between her and her first cousin George Lestourgeon (1815-1902). In 1843 he invited her to join him in the US and when she arrived they were married at Kendall, Illinois. They and their children later relocated to Bridgeton, New Jersey, where she died in 1888.


Bushell, William Done. The Two Charles Lestourgeons: Surgeons of Cambridge: Their Huguenot Ancestors and Their Descendants. Cambridge: W. Heffer & Sons, 1936. Print.


Title Published
Pencillings of a Journey to Boulogne 1840

[see updates]