Cameron, Charles -1812)
Charles Cameron was the son of Walter Cameron, a London builder. He was apprenticed to his father in 1760, and also studied under Isaac Ware, Master of the Carpenters' Company. As a young architect he went to Italy and on his return he published, in 1772 The baths of the Romans explained and illustrated. His father finding himself in financial difficulties, disposed of Charles's collection of books and engravings without consulting his son, who entered a plea of trespass against his father and committed him for nonpayment of the damages to a debtors prison on 29 August 1776, where he eventually died. When we next hear of Charles Cameron he is Russia. In 1779 he was appointed architect to Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, for whom he redecorated Tsarskoe Selo and added the Agate Pavilion and the Cameron Gallery. The initials on his stamp signify his status as "Architecte à sa Majesté Impériale Russe". He also built Pavlovsk for her son and heir the Grand Duke Paul. On Paul's accession to the throne he was replaced and given the less important post of Architect to the Admiralty. During his time in Russia, he amassed a large collection of books, many of them in French, and part of this collection was sold for his widow by Jean Grabit in St Petersburg in November 1812. There is a copy of the sale catalogue in the Lenin Library. Neither The baths of the Romans nor James Douglas's Travelling anecdotes is named in the catalogue, but a number of his manuscripts reached England in 1820, and it is likely that these two books came with them.