Molesworth, Andalusia

BORN c1809, London - DIED 16 May 1888, London: Eaton Place, Belgravia
BIRTH NAME Carstairs, Andalusia
GRAVE LOCATION London: Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kensal Green (056/PS (12766))

Andalusia Carstairs was born into a family of Scotish descent. In 1824 she studied at the Royal Academy of Music under Domenico Crevelli. She debuted under the name of Miss Grant in the Hanover Square Rooms in 1826. In 1827 she first performed at the Drury Lane theatre. She was an able concert singer, but an acting appearance with Charles MacReady in "Edward the Black Prince" proved that she was no actress. She married the older landowner Temple West (1771-1839) from Great Malvern in Worcestershire in 1831. In 1837 and 1838 she appeared in Liverpool and in Manchester. After West died in 1839 she lived in London. In 1843 she performed in Newcastle.

In 1844 she married Sir William Molesworth, whose family were not enthousiastic about her simple background and her advanced age. She became a well known society hostess and at Pencarrow House in Cornwall they were visited by Charles Dickens and by emperor Napoleon III and empress Eugénie. After Molesworth died in 1855 her companion was George Byng, 7th Viscount Torrington. In 1869 the ordered the construction of the Molesworth mausoleum at Kensal Green Cemetery and she was buried there herself after her death in 1888.

• Husband: Molesworth, William, 8th Baronet (1844-1855, London: St George, Hanover Square)

Related persons
• was visited by Dickens, Charles
• was visited by Napoleon III Bonaparte
• was visited by Thackeray, William Makepeace

3/1/1849First meeting of Charles Dickens and Andalusia Molesworth. The meeting took place at Devonshire Terrace during a dinner to celebrate "The Haunted Man". Later Andalusia visited Dickens at Gad's Hill and in January 1863 in Paris. He also visited her and they corresponded. [Dickens, Charles]


The grave of Sir William Molesworth at Kensal Green Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (26 Jun 2009)


• Vivian-Neal, Henry & Alexander Bisset, Their Exits: Encore, The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, London, 2020
The Charles Dickens Letters Project
Andalusia Molesworth - Wikipedia

Molesworth, William, 8th Baronet

Published: 13 Mar 2024
Last update: 13 Mar 2024