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Posts Tagged ‘Cassandra Austen’

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Martha Lloyd
1765 – 24 January 1843

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Martha Lloyd

Martha Lloyd was the eldest daughter of Rev. Noyes Lloyd of Bishopstone in (Wiltshire and his wife, Martha Craven. Her mother was second daughter of the Royal Governor of South Carolina, Charles Craven. She is believed to have met her future husband in Newbury, when she and her sister lived there with an aunt. Mrs Lloyd considered herself fortunate to have married “a beneficed clergyman of respectable character and good position.” The Lloyds settled down and had four children. Martha, the oldest daughter, was born in 1765 and her sister Mary in 1771. A few years later, a smallpox epidemic took the life of their brother and left the two older sisters scarred for life, though the youngest, Eliza, seems to have escaped relatively unharmed. When the Rev. Lloyd died in 1789, the Lloyd family lived for two or three years in the parsonage at Deane, a benefice held by Rev. George Austen. During this period, Martha Lloyd and her sister Mary became particular friends of Cassandra and Jane Austen, friendships that lasted as long as they lived.

The Lloyd family had much in common with the Austens and from an early time, visits between the two families were frequent. Though no one knows quite how they met, the Austens and Lloyds shared many mutual friends and when the Rev. Lloyd died in 1789, his widow and her two oldest, single daughters were happy to move into the unused Deane parsonage offered by Rev. Austen. Their time there, only a mile and a half from Steventon, must have been a delight for young Jane, for though she was ten years younger than the oldest Lloyd daughter, Martha, they were, as Jane’s cousin Eliza de Feuillide remarked, “very sensible and good-humored.”

Austen considered Martha to be a second sister, as her letter of 13 October 1808, written to Cassandra, shows: “With what true sympathy our feelings are shared by Martha, you need not be told;—she is the friend & Sister under every circumstance.”

Three years later, when Jane Austen’s brother, James, married and assumed the parish of Deane, it was necessary for the Lloyds to move, this time to a home in Hurstbourne, called Ibthorpe. Though only 15 miles (24 km) from Steventon, this separation must have seemed cruel to Jane, who had few friends nearby and no mode of transportation. It is clear from Jane Austen’s correspondence that her friend Martha was privy to her great secret—her writing. An early piece of Juvenilia, Frederick and Elfrida, is dedicated to her “As a small testimony of the gratitude I feel for your late generosity to me in finishing my muslin Cloak, I beg leave to offer you this little production of your sincere Friend” and later writings prove that she had been allowed to see the manuscripts for Love and Freindship [sic] and for First Impressions, an early version of Pride and Prejudice and an honor accorded to few.

In 1805 changes abounded for the Austen and Lloyd families. Many years had now passed since James Austen’s first wife had died and he had remarried again, choosing the younger Miss Mary Lloyd to be his second wife. With The Rev, George Austen’s retirement and his family’s to Bath in 1801, James had taken over both the Deane and Steventon, Hampshire holding and his growing family now lived in the Steventon parsonage.

It was while they were living in Bath, Somerset that Mr. Austen finally succumbed to his long illness and not too many months later that Mrs. Lloyd also died. The women, being in a delicate financial state, decided to combine housekeeping and all four (Mrs. Austen, Cassandra, Jane and Martha Lloyd) moved to Southampton to be with Jane’s younger brother Frank and his wife, Mary. As an officer in the Navy, Frank was often away from home and this joining of households not only helped him look after his widowed mother, but provided constant companionship for his soon pregnant wife. It seems to have been, by all accounts, an excellent arrangement.

On 7 July 1809, Jane Austen moved to a cottage in Chawton, together with her mother, her sister Cassandra, and their friend Martha Lloyd, at the invitation of her brother Edward Austen Knight, on whose estate it lay. Their new house was a late 17th Century brick building with two sitting rooms, five bedrooms, kitchens, garrets, outbuildings, and about 2 acres (8,100 m2) of grounds. It had once been an inn, and stood at the junction where the Gosport and Winchester roads met and became the main road to London.

The family remained at Chawton Cottage, even after Jane Austen’s death in 1817. Martha Lloyd took on many duties as housekeeper for the family, though the work was divided among the three surviving women. Unfortunately for Frank, by now Sir Francis Austen, his happy home was broken up upon the death of his wife in 1823 after the birth of their 11th child. In 1828 he remarried, completing the family circle by wedding Martha Lloyd. At sixty-two, Martha was at last a bride, and more than that, Lady Austen.

Martha Lloyd’s role as Jane Austen’s friend and confidante cannot be overvalued and her contribution to what we know of Austen’s life is significant. We have not only letters written by Jane to Martha, but Martha’s collection of recipes used at Chawton, which were later compiled into A Jane Austen Household Book by Peggy Hickman, David & Charles, Ltd. 1977, and in The Jane Austen Cookbook by Maggie Black and Deirdre Le Faye, British Museum Press, 1995 (ISBN 0-7141-2769-8). Martha Lloyd is also directly mentioned in Jane Austen’s poem, Oh! Mr. Best You’re Very Bad.

A single photograph (daguerreotype) exists of Martha, capturing her in old age accompanied by her dog. It must have been taken at some point after 1839 (when the daguerreotype was invented).

Martha Lloyd died in 1843.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Admiral Sir Francis William Austen
23 April 1774 – 10 August 1865

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Francis William Austen

Admiral Sir Francis William Austen was a Royal Navy officer. As commanding officer of the sloop HMS Peterel, he captured some 40 ships, was present at the capture of a French squadron and led an operation when the French brig Ligurienne was captured and two others were driven ashore off Marseille during the French Revolutionary Wars.

On the outbreak of Napoleonic Wars Austen was appointed to raise and organise a corps of Sea Fencibles at Ramsgate to defend a strip of the Kentish coast. He went on to be commanding officer of the third-rate HMS Canopus, in which he took part in the pursuit of the French Fleet to the West Indies and back and then fought at the Battle of San Domingo, leading the lee line of ships into the battle. He later commanded the third-rate HMS St Albans and observed the Battle of Vimeiro from the deck of his ship before embarking British troops retreating after the Battle of Corunna. He went on to be commanding officer of the third-rate HMS Elephant and captured the United States privateer Swordfish during the War of 1812.

As a senior officer Austen served as Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies

Born the son of the Reverend George Austen and Cassandra Austen (the daughter of the Reverend Thomas Leigh), Austen joined the Royal Navy in April 1786. After graduating at the Royal Naval Academy at Portsmouth, he was appointed to the fifth-rate HMS Perseverance on the East Indies Station. Promoted to midshipman in December 1789, he joined the third-rate HMS Crown and then transferred to the fifth-rate HMS Minerva in November 1791. In HMS Minerva he took part in a blockade of the coast of Mysore.

Promoted to lieutenant on 28 December 1792, Austen transferred to the sloop HMS Despatch and then returned to England at the end of 1793. In March 1794 he joined the sloop Lark, a brig that was part of a fleet that evacuated British troops from Ostend and Nieuwpoort after the French captured the Netherlands during the French Revolutionary Wars. In March 1795 HMS Lark was part of a squadron that escorted Princess Caroline of Brunswickto England. Austen transferred to the fifth-rate HMS Andromeda in May 1795 and to the second-rate HMS Glory in Autumn 1795. In HMS Glory he escorted the troops of General Ralph Abercromby destined for the West Indies in December 1795. He moved to the fifth-rate HMS Shannon in early 1796, to the fifth-rate HMS Triton in September 1796 and to the fifth-rate HMS Seahorse in March 1797. He then joined the second-rate HMS London in February 1798 and took part in the blockade of Cádiz. After securing the patronage of Admiral Lord Gambier, he was promoted to commander on 3 January 1799 and became commanding officer of the sloop HMS Peterel in February 1799. In HMS Peterel he captured some 40 ships, was present at the capture of a French squadron in June 1799 and led an operation when the French brig Ligurienne was captured and two others were driven ashore off Marseille in March 1800. He also took part in the blockade of Genoa in May 1800 and, having been promoted to captain on 13 May 1800, was present at the blockade of Abu Qir in August 1800.

Austen became Flag Captain to Lord Gambier, in the second-rate HMS Neptune in August 1801 and earned a reputation for seeing to the welfare and health of his men. On the outbreak of Napoleonic Wars he was appointed to raise and organise a corps of Sea Fencibles at Ramsgate to defend a strip of the Kentish coast. He went on to be commanding officer of the fourth-rate HMS Leopard, flagship of Rear Admiral Sir Thomas Louis, in May 1804 and then took part in the blockade of Boulogne. He next became commanding officer of the third-rate HMS Canopus, a French ship of the line captured in the Battle of the Nile (as the Franklin), early in 1805. In HMS Canopus he took part in the pursuit of the French Fleet, under the command of Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve, to the West Indies and back in Summer 1805.

Austen was temporarily detached from the fleet for convoy duty in the Mediterranean and missed the Battle of Trafalgar. However, he did command HMS Canopus at the Battle of San Domingo, leading the lee line of ships into the battle, in February 1806. He went on to be commanding officer of the third-rate HMS St Albans in March 1807. On 13 July 1808, the East India Company gave Austen £420 with which to buy a piece of plate: this was a substantial gift (perhaps the equivalent of a year’s salary) in thanks for his having safely convoyed to Britain from Saint Helena seven of their Indiamen, plus one extra (voyage chartered) ship. In HMS St Albans he observed the Battle of Vimeiro from the deck of his ship in August 1808 and then embarked British troops retreating after the Battle of Corunna in January 1809.

Austen became Flag Captain to Lord Gambier, Commander-in-Chief of the Channel Squadron, in the first-rate HMS Caledonia in September 1810. He went on to be commanding officer of the third-rate HMS Elephant in the North Sea in 1811 and took part in a blockade of the Scheldt. In HMS Elephant he captured the United States privateer Swordfish in December 1812 during the War of 1812. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath on 4 June 1815.

Promoted to rear admiral on 22 July 1830, Austen was advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 28 February 1837 and promoted to vice admiral on 28 June 1838. He became Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station, with his flag in the third-rate HMS Vindictive, in December 1844. His main role was to protect British commercial interests during the Mexican–American War, which broke out in 1846, and to disrupt the activities of slave traders. Promoted to full admiral on 1 August 1848, he was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 18 May 1860 before being appointed Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom on 5 June 1862 and then Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom on 11 December 1862. He was promoted to Admiral of the Fleet on 27 April 1863.

Austen died at his home Portsdown Lodge at Widley in Hampshire on 10 August 1865 and was buried in the churchyard at St Peter and St Paul, Wymering, Portsmouth.

In July 1806 Austen married Mary Gibson (eldest daughter of John Gibson); they had eight children. Following the death of his first wife, he married Martha Lloyd (eldest daughter of the Reverend Noyes Lloyd) in July 1828; they had no children. Austen’s siblings included Jane Austen, the novelist, Cassandra Austen, the watercolor painter, and Charles Austen, a naval officer.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Edward Austen Knight
7 October 1768 – 19 November 1852

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Edward Austen Knight

Edward Austen Knight was born in Deane, Hampshire, the third of eight children born to Rev. George Austen and Cassandra Leigh. He had five brothers James (1765–1819), George (1766–1838), Henry Thomas (1771–1850), Francis William (Frank) (1774–1865), Charles John (1779–1852), and two sisters, Cassandra and Jane.

He married Elizabeth Bridges (1773–1808) on 27 December 1791, and together they had eleven children, Fanny Catherine (1793–1882) (one of Jane Austen’s favourite nieces), Edward (1794–1879), George Thomas (1795–1867), Henry (1796-1843), Reverend William (1798-1873), Elizabeth (1800-1884), Marianne (1801-1896), Charles (1803–1867), Louisa (1804-1889), Cassandra Jane (1806-1842) and Brook John (1808–1878).

When Edward was twelve years old he was presented to Thomas and Catherine Knight, who were relatives of his father and were wealthy. Thomas had given George Austen the living at Steventon in 1761. They were childless and took an interest in Edward, eventually adopting him by Thomas and Catherine in about 1783, becoming their legal heir.

The Knights paid for Edward to go on a Grand Tour when he was 18 years old, and he recorded many of his experiences in his Journals. These have been edited by Jon Hunter Spence and published by the Jane Austen Society of Australia in 2004.

When Thomas died in 1794 he left the Godmersham estate to his wife for her life, with the remainder going to Edward. She left Godmersham before her death to move to Canterbury, and gave up the estates to Edward.

Edward inherited three estates from Thomas Knight, in Steventon, Chawton and Godmersham (which included a manor at Wittersham). The libraries from these estates were used extensively by Jane Austen. When war broke out with France, Edward raised and was appointed Captain of the Godmersham and Molash Company of the East Kent Volunteers.

In 1812 due to a stipulation in Catherine Knight’s will, he changed his legal name to Knight.

The rectory at Steventon, where the Austen family had spent their time growing up, and Jane is said to have written the first drafts of several of her books, was severely damaged by flooding and was knocked down by Edward in about 1823, and a new rectory was built by Edward for his son, William Knight, who had taken on the living.

Edward made several improvements to Chawton House, including planting a walled garden, and forming new parkland to take advantage of the views from the house. (Chawton House at present has been purchased by the founders of Cisco and turned into a center for the study of Early English Women’s Writing. It is a short walk down the lane from the Cottage where Jane lived from 1809 on courtesy of Edward.)

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Cassandra Austen
January 9 1773 to March 22 1845

Devotees of the Regency Era often are fans of Jane Austen and her works as well. But I would hazard that Jane would not be Jane without her Cassandra. Her dearest sister and the woman who destroyed a great deal of Jane’s correspondence so those who are ever in search of the truth, will be unable to know for certain, thus creating controversy and growing the Austen legends.

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Cassandra was the older of the two girls, and amongst six other boys, they formed their own bond. Despite destroying much of their correspondence over 100 letters still exist from Jane to her older sister. Though attempts to educate the sisters outside of the house were tried, inevitably the girls ended up back at the rectory of their father George. First sickness drove them back home, and then the finances of their parents. The Austen were not amongst the first water but rather the backwater of society. Though of the gentry, George was a country parson.

When Jane wrote her satirical The History of England it was Cassandra who illustrated it, but the figures looked more like Austen family members then they did of actual royalty whom they were meant to portray. Cassandra did become engaged to one Thomas Fowle, but he died of yellow fever in 1797 on expedition to the Caribbean. She did inherit some money from Fowle, and thus got a little financial independence, but never married like Jane.

Cassandra moved with Jane and her mother to the Chawton house of their brother Edward’s estate. After Jane died in 1817, she lived alone until she died there in March of 1845 at the age of 72.

Previous Notables (Click to see the Blog):

George III George IV Georgiana Cavendish
William IV Lady Hester Stanhope Lady Caroline Lamb
Princess Charlotte Queen Charlotte Charles James Fox
Queen Adelaide Dorothea Jordan Jane Austen
Maria Fitzherbert Lord Byron John Keats
Princess Caroline Percy Bysshe Shelley


There will be many other notables coming, a full and changing list can be found here on the blog as I keep adding to it. The list so far is:

William Wilberforce
Thomas Clarkson
Hannah More
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Edmund Kean
John Phillip Kemble
John Burgoyne
Harriet Mellon
Mary Robinson
Wellington (the Military man)
Moore
Nelson
Howe
St. Vincent
Packenham
General Banastre Tarleton
Henry Paget
Stapleton Cotton
Thomas Picton
Constable
Lawrence
Cruikshank
Gillray
Reynolds
Rowlandson
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Sir Marc Brunel
Marquis of Stafford George Leveson-Gower
George Stephenson
William Huskisson
Robert Stephenson
Fanny Kemble
Mary Shelley
Ann Radcliffe
Paul III Anton, Prince Esterházy
Charles Arbuthnot
Thomas Egerton, 2nd Earl of Wilton
Henry Herbert Southey
John Nash
Thomas Hope
William Beechey
Beau Brummell
William Arden, 2nd Baron Alvanley
Henry Mildmay
Henry Pierrepoint
Scrope Davies
Henry Holland
Sir Walter Scott
Lord Elgin
Jeffery Wyatville
Duke of Argyll, George William Campbell (1766-1839)
Lord Barrymore, Richard Barry (1769-1794)
Lord Bedford, Francis Russell (1765-1802)
Mr. G. Dawson Damer (1788-1856)
Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish (1748-1811)
Lord Foley, Thomas Foley (1780-1833)
Colonel George Hanger (c.1751-1824)
Lord Hertford, Francis Seymour-Ingram (1743-1822)
Lord Yarmouth, Francis Charles Seymour-Ingram (1777-1842)
Edward “Golden Ball” Hughes (1798-1863)
Earl of Jersey, George Bussey Villiers (1735-1805)
Sir John , John Lade (1759-1838)
Duke of Norfolk, Charles Howard (1746-1815)
Duke of York , Frederick Augustus Hanover (1763-1827)
Louis Philippe Joseph, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1785 as Duc d’ Orleans (1747-1793)
Louis Philippe, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1793 as Duc d’ Orleans (1773-1850)
Captain John (Jack) Willett Payne (1752-1803)
Viscount Petersham, Charles Stanhope(1780-1851)
Duke of Queensberry, William Douglas (1724-1810)
Duke of Rutland, John Henry Manners(1778-1857)
Lord Sefton, William Philip Molyneux (1772-1838)
Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour (1759-1801)
Sir Lumley St. George Skeffington Baronet (1771 – 1850)
Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1766-1835)
Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1792-1853)
Hon. Frederick Gerald aka “Poodle” Byng
Edward Pellew
Thomas Cochrane
Warren Hastings
Edmund Burke

Patronesses of Almacks
        Emily Lamb, Lady Cowper
        Amelia Stewart, Viscountess Castlereagh
        Sarah Villiers, Countess of Jersey
        Maria Molyneux, Countess of Sefton
        Mrs. Drummond Burrell
        Dorothea Lieven, Countess de Lieven, wife of the Russian Ambassador
        Countess Esterhazy, wife of the Austrian Ambassador

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