Anna Letitia Le Breton

Anna Letitia Le Breton
Anna Letitia Aikin

30 June 1808
London, United Kingdom
Died 29 Sept. 1885
Hampstead, United Kingdom
Resting place Hampstead Cemetery
Nationality British
Known for Literary memoirs
Spouse(s) Philip Hemery Le Breton
Children Anna Letitia Roscoe
Lucy Hingeston
Six others
Parent(s) Charles Rochemont Aikin

Anna Letitia Le Breton (née Aikin, 1808–1886) was an English author.

Early years and education

She was born into a distinguished literary and medical family of prominent Unitarians. Her father was Charles Rochemont Aikin, a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. He had grown up as the adopted child of his aunt, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, a prominent poet, essayist, literary critic, editor, and children's author; he was educated at the school she ran with her husband, the Palgrave Academy. Charles Rochemont's father was in fact, John Aikin (1747–1822), a medical doctor, historian, and author. His siblings/cousins (Anna Letitia's aunt and uncle) were Lucy Aikin (1781–1864), a historical writer, and Arthur Aikin (1773–1854), a doctor and chemist.

Her mother was Anne, daughter of the Rev. Gilbert Wakefield.

She was educated at home in London and saw much of her namesake great-aunt and other members of the Aikin family.

She had eight children. Among them were Anna Letitia Roscoe, who married Francis James Roscoe, and Lucy Hingeston.


She married in 1833 Philip Hemery Le Breton, a lawyer of the Inner Temple, born to a Jersey family of clerics, and who was second cousin to actress Lillie Langtry.[1] They lived in Hampstead, then a village outside London, but now part of Inner London. For twenty years he was a member of its vestry.[2] He chaired the Metropolitan Board of Works parks committee and lobbied successfully with the Commons Preservation Society (now Open Spaces Society) for the preservation of Hampstead Heath.[3]

She assisted her husband in his Memoirs, Miscellanies, and Letters of her aunt Lucy, which was published in 1864. In 1874 she herself edited Lucy Aikin's correspondence with William Ellery Channing, the American Unitarian theologian, and published a Memoir of Mrs. Barbauld, including Letters and Notices of her Family and Friends. In 1883 appeared Le Breton's last book, Memories of Seventy Years, by one of a Literary Family, which was edited by her daughter, Mrs. Herbert Martin.[4]

Her husband died in 1884. She died at Hampstead 29 September 1885, and was buried in the cemetery there. Of her eight children that reached maturity, six survived her.[4]


  1. ^ "British History on Line". Hampstead: St. John's Wood. A History of the County of Middlesex. 1989. pp. 60–63. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  2. ^ "Metropolitan Board of Works". The Standard. 27 September 1879.
  3. ^ T F T Baker; Diane K Bolton; Patricia E C Croot (1989). C R Elrington (ed.). "Hampstead: Hampstead Heath". A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9: Hampstead, Paddington. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  4. ^ a b Nicholson 1892.

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