Graves, Caroline Elizabeth

BORN 1830, Toddington, Gloucester - DIED 14 Jun 1895, London
BIRTH NAME Compton, Elizabeth
GRAVE LOCATION London: Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kensal Green (141/PS (31754))

Caroline Graves was the daughter of the carpenter John Compton from Toddington, Gloucestershire. In 1850 she married a shorthand-writer named Geroge Robert Graves in Bath. They lived in London and in 1851 they had a daughter, Harriet. Graves died in January 1852. She lived with her widowed mother Mary Ann Graves at the time she met the author Wilkie Collins. This was probably in 1856 and by 1858 they lived together. She looked younger than she was and was able to act like a lady. She was presented as his 'housekeeper' and didn't go to dinner parties with him, but she received his friends and travelled with him.

She never married Collins but lived with him until she married Joseph Charles Clow in the church of St. Marylebone on 29 October 1868. This was probably after Collins started a secret relationship with Martha Rudd. But the marriage must have failed, because in April 1871 she lived with Collins again although he continued his relationship with Martha Rudd. She stayed with Collins until his death in 1889. After her own death in 1895 she was buried in Collins' grave.

Related persons
• lived with Collins, Wilkie

27/9/1889Wilkie Collins is buried at Kensal Green Cemetery. According to his wishes he was buried in a simple grave. Among those present were his niece Jane Ward, Holman-Hunt, Pigott, George Redford, Edmund Yates, Charles Dickens the Younger, Frank Beard, Caroline Graves, Ada Cavendish, Arthur Pinero, Squire Bancroft, Sebastian Schlesinger, Andrew Chatto, A.P. Watt, Hall Caine and Edmund Gosse. In 1895 Caroline Graves was buried in the same grave. [Bancroft, Squire ][Cavendish, Ada][Collins, Wilkie][Dickens, Charles Culliford Boz][Hunt, William Holman][Schlesinger, Sebastian]


Wilkie Collins' grave at Kensal Green Cemetery, London. His companion Caroline Graves was buried beside him.
Picture by Androom (11 dec 1993)


• Clarke, William M., The Secret Life of Wilkie Collins, Allison & Busby/W.H. Allen, London, 1988
• Peters, Catherine, The King of Inventors, A Life of Wilkie Collins, Seeker & Warburg, London, 1991

Gravina di Rammacca, Gilberto, Conte

Published: 21 Sep 2018
Last update: 25 Apr 2022