Pugin's Family

Early days

street where Pugin lived as a child Auguste Charles Comte de Pugin, Pugin's father is said to have come from an aristocratic line, from the Rhone valley, many of the family were soldiers. He came to England during the French revolution, leaving behind two sisters.

In 1802 he married thirty four year old Catherine Welby, who was the daughter of a barrister and came from a distinguised Lincolnshire family. Their only child, a son Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin was born ten years after they were married in 1812.

Pugin did not have a formal education,although he was enrolled at Christs Hospital School in the city as a day boy, whether he attended school regularly is not known.

Auguste, Catherine and Augustus lived in Store Street, Bloomsbury, London. They often went off on architectural tours together abroad.

Catherine was a complex woman who treated her son with kindness and encouragement. She ran the household in a dictatorial manner and had a strong sense of duty, unfortunately she suffered from ill health. She had a sister Selina Welby of whom she was very fond.

Life in London

The young Pugin was inspired by his father, who instilled in him a love for Gothic. The family moved to Great Russell Street and worked together there. Later on he started up his own Gothic carving business in Hart Street, now known as Bloomsbury Way. house where Pugin lived as a young man

Pugin marries

In 1831 Pugin married Anne Garnet he was nineteen and she was twenty. The following year she died in chilbirth and he was left with his baby daughter Anne. In the same year his father died, and the year after that Catherine died and Pugin married Louisa Burton.

Augustus and Louisa spent some their married life in Salisbury, London and Ramsgate. Ramsgate was where Pugin had an aunt Selina of whom he was very fond, she lived in Rose Cottage. It was her who bailed him out of trouble when his business in Gothic carving failed, and when she died in 1834 Pugin inherited some money.

photograph of a Deal Lugger

Pugin's children

Pugin's first son Edward Welby was born in Ramsgate. Their second child Agnes was born two years later at St. Marie's Grange, Alderbury, Wiltshire. This was the first house that Augustus built for himself. Unfortunately both he and Louisa were so unwell. The decision was made to leave it, two years after the house was completed. It was put on the market.

Their third child Cuthbert was born in Ramsgate. Two more children followed, Catherine and Mary then Louisa Pugin died in 1844.

Pugin fell in love twice more before marrying again, with Mary Amherst who became a nun and with Helen Lumsden the niece of a neighbour in Ramsgate. Pugin proposed to her and designed her wedding gown and jewellery, but he was thwarted by her family who did not approve of the match. Pugin was furious that he had gone to so much trouble with the gown and the jewellery, so rather than wasting them he recycled them and produced them for Jane.

He married Jane Knill in 1848. She was devoted to Pugin, despite being younger than him. She bore him another two children, Margaret and Peter Paul, and was a good stepmother to all his other offspring.


When Pugin fell so ill in London, where Edward had taken him to try to revive his old spirits, she demanded that he be brought home so that she could nurse him. He died at home in Ramsgate on 14th September 1852. It has been said that he may have taken mercury to ease the pains he suffered from, possibly caused by nervous exhaustion. a vase designed by Pugin,full of white lillies placed by his effigy, on the anniversary of his death Jane Pugin was granted a Civil List Pension of one hundred pounds a year in recognition of Pugin's importance as an architect, and in consideration of his inability to work due to illness. This took effect on September 2nd 1852, twelve days before his death, and continued until her death in 1909.
However Pugin died intestate and the family were short of money, so many books and antiquities were sold. The family left The Grange for Birmingham and then London. They did return to Ramsgate in 1861 where Cuthbert lived until his death in 1928, he was the last child to be buried in the family vault.

Continuation of the family

His eldest son Edward followed in his footsteps, principally as a church architect. He had rather an irascible nature and never married. Like his father he died young. He did enter into communications with the Barry family concerning the work done by his father, for Barry on The Houses of Parliament. carving of Pugin's eldest son Pugin's eldest daughter Anne, married his only pupil John Hardman Powell, in October 1850 and had twelve children. His second daughter Agnes, married Lewis Frederick Peniston of Ramsgate and they had five children. His fifth daughter Margaret married Captain Thunder of the 7th Royal Fussiliers. Peter Paul, Pugin's youngest son and Edward's partner, married in 1886 and had five chlidren.

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This original work was created for the World Wide Web by Victoria Farrow, with the support of the Pugin Society. It was constructed by Mike Farrow of Channel Business Internet Systems.
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