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A Chronology of Jane Austen and her Family


  • 6 b/w illus. 1 map
  • Page extent: 792 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 1.711 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 823/.7
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: PR4036 .L42 2006
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Austen, Jane,--1775-1817--Chronology
    • Austen, Jane,--1775-1817--Family

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521810647 | ISBN-10: 0521810647)

  • Published March 2006

Replaced by 9781107039278


A Chronology of Jane Austen and her Family

For more than thirty years Deirdre Le Faye, one of the world’s leading authorities on Jane Austen, has been gathering and organising every single piece of information available about the Austen family before, during and after Jane’s lifetime. She has now collected all this material together to produce a unique chronology, containing some 15,000 entries. For the first time, those interested in Jane Austen can discover where she was and what she was doing at many precise moments of her life. The entries, many taken from hitherto unexplored and unpublished documents, are presented in a clear and readable form, and each item of information is linked to its source. The volume includes family trees for the extended Austen and Knight families from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. This is a key work of reference that every scholar and reader of Austen will find fascinating and indispensable.

DEIRDRE LE FAYE is a biographer and editor of Jane Austen, and is the author of Jane Austen: A Family Record (revised edition, Cambridge, 2004).

1 Map of Southern England, showing places visited by Jane Austen.

Image not available in HTML version

A Chronology of Jane Austen and her Family


Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo

Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, UK

Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York
Information on this title:

© Deirdre Le Faye 2005

This book is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception
and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements,
no reproduction of any part may take place without
the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2005

Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN-13 978-0-521-81064-7 hardback
ISBN-10 0-521-81064 -7 hardback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this book, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.


List of illustrations page vi
List of family trees vii
Preface ix
Acknowledgements xii
List of abbreviations xiii
A Chronology of Jane Austen and her Family 1
Bibliography of printed sources 712
Bibliography of unpublished sources 721
Family trees 725
Index of personal names 757


1. Map of Southern England Frontispiece
2. Page from ‘Volume the Third’ of the Juvenilia, 1792. Courtesy of The British Library, BL Add.MS 65,381, fo. 16v page 148
3. Business ledger from John Ring of Basingstoke, 1795. Courtesy of the Hampshire Record Office, 8M62/15, fo. 101v 174
4. Fanny Knight’s pocket-book, 1805. Courtesy of Centre for Kentish Studies, U.951.F24/2 313
5. A page from the cancelled chapter of Persuasion, 1816. Courtesy of The British Library, BL Egerton MS 3038, fo. 14v 543
6. Captain Charles Austen’s pocket-book, 1817. Courtesy of private owners, photo courtesy of National Maritime Museum, AUS/109 573
7. Mary (Lloyd) Austen’s pocket-book, 1817. Courtesy of Hampshire Record Office, 23M93/62/1/8 579

Family trees

1. Austen of Horsmonden and Tonbridge, Kent page 725
2. Austen of Sevenoaks and Kippington, Kent (Francis Austen’s first marriage) 726
3. Austen, Campion, Cooke and Holcroft 727
4. Austen of Sevenoaks (Francis Austen’s second marriage) 728
5. Austen of Tonbridge, Kent, and Steventon, Hants. 729
6. Hampson, Walter, Freeman and Payne, of London, Kent and Lincolnshire 730
7. Leigh of Stoneleigh, Warwicks. and Adlestrop, Glos. and Cooke 731
8. Leigh, Leigh Perrot, Cooper 732
9. Perrot, of Northleigh, Oxon. and Scarlets, Berks. 733
10. Cholmeley of Lincolnshire and West Indies 734
11. Craven, Fowle and Lloyd of Kintbury, Berks. 735
12. Austen and Knight of Horsmonden and Godmersham, Kent 736
13. Knight of Godmersham 737
14. Edward Knight II of Chawton – first marriage 738
15. Edward Knight II of Chawton – second marriage 739
16. Knight and Bradford 740
17. William Knight, rector of Steventon 1823–73 741
18. Knight and Brabourne 742
19. Knight and Knatchbull-Hugessen 743
20. Knight and Rice of Godmersham and Dane Court 744
21. Lefroy of Ireland and Ashe, Hants. 745
22. Austen and Lefroy of Compton and Ashe 746
23. Austen-Leigh of Scarlets and Bray, Berks. 747
24. Smith of Wiltshire and Essex 748
25. Admiral Sir Francis William Austen 749
26. Austen, Purvis and Hubback 750
27. Austen and Palmer 751
28. Bramston, Chute and Hicks Beach of Hants. and Glos. 752
29. Bigg and Bigg-Wither of Manydown, Hants. 753
30. Harwood of Deane, Hants. 754
31. Bridges of Goodnestone, Kent 755
32. Brydges of Wootton Court, Kent 756


It is now more than thirty years since I started to research the life and times of Jane Austen, investigating many hitherto unnoticed manuscripts in both public and private collections. This research enabled me to compile a card index of some 15,000 documented facts concerning the Austen family and their contemporary friends and neighbours. All the most important information so gathered went into the composition of my biography Jane Austen, a Family Record, published in 1989, and also provided the basis of the biographical and topographical notes to my edition of Jane Austen’s Letters in 1995. Since 1989, ongoing research by members of the Jane Austen Society in this country, and by members of JASNA across the Atlantic, has brought to light still more facts, and this latest knowledge is incorporated in the second edition, revised and enlarged, of Family Record (2004).

   But no biography, no matter how detailed, can include every single small scrap of information about its subject’s life; and yet such scraps can add up, in a pointilliste technique, to create a picture of the background to Jane Austen’s life that is useful alike for biographers or for the particular interests of economic, social or local historians. Even though Family Record had been published, I felt reluctant to throw away the card index which had taken me so long to compile, and so decided instead to publish the contents purely as a chronology that could be used as a reference text by other writers. Original research takes up a great deal of time, not to mention the expenses of travelling to libraries, county record offices and private archival collections, and I was very lucky in being able to spend so many years journeying round England and reading through manuscripts at my leisure – a situation which in all probability no other researcher into Jane Austen’s life will ever enjoy again.


(1) Many entries come directly from unpublished documents, the manuscripts being either in county record offices or still in private collections. Call-marks are given for those MSS in record offices, preceded by a coded identification of the actual document – e.g.,

stands for:

Fanny Catherine Knight pocket-book, its call-mark at the Centre for Kentish Studies being U.951/F.24/1 [for the year 1804].

   Such identification codes are given in the list of Abbreviations, and the sources are identified in the MS Bibliography.

(2) Some Austen and Austen-Leigh family documents which were extant in the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries cannot now be found, and may have been destroyed in the bombing raids on London in the 1940s. In some cases, but unfortunately not all, R. A. Austen-Leigh made MS or typewritten notes or partial transcripts from these documents, and these later copies survive in the Austen-Leigh archive now in the Hampshire Record Office.

(3) One particular item whose loss leaves a considerable gap in Austenian studies is the ‘Memoir Album’, a volume bound by Birdsall of Northampton and containing all the correspondence and reviews concerning the first and second editions of the Revd James Edward Austen-Leigh’s Memoir of Jane Austen. This album was lent by R. A. Austen-Leigh to Dr R. W. Chapman in 1926, but what happened to it thereafter is unknown. Dr Chapman made typewritten extracts from some of the letters, and eventually passed his copies on to the National Portrait Gallery, where they form part of the Gallery’s file on the portraits, genuine or otherwise, of Jane Austen. These limited and haphazard extracts are now the only source for several facts concerning Jane Austen’s life as remembered by her collateral descendants in the 1860s–70s.

Editorial policy

(1) Letters, whether published or still in manuscript, are summarised with all salient points mentioned, and sometimes short quotations given as well, within inverted commas, if a summary would lose the flavour of the original.
(2) Pocket-book and journal entries are quoted verbatim, within inverted commas; though in some cases, if the original is very heavily abbreviated, the contractions are expanded for ease of comprehension. The entries in the pocket-books of Warren Hastings, for example, are much abbreviated as well as being written in a minuscule hand.
(3) Where financial or civic – especially taxation – records are concerned, the facts are given in running text format rather than the tabulations of the originals, although verbatim quotations may be given occasionally if this seems preferable. Where banking records are concerned, there are many variations in the spelling of the names and titles of creditors and debtors; as it is difficult to decide which is the correct spelling, these differing versions have been reproduced verbatim.
(4) Some facts concerning JA and her family are now well known and have been published in many earlier biographies and articles. For the purpose of this Chronology, the reference given for the entries may be – depending upon circumstances – either the earliest publication; or the most accurate version; or the publication most accessible to the general reader; but not each and every published reference will be given for any particular fact.
(5) Although the aim is always to include as much information as possible, nevertheless it is inevitable that some bounds have to be set and some selectivity exercised. There are sixty-three surviving pocket-books and journals written by JA’s youngest brother, Admiral Charles Austen, from 1815 until his death in 1852; but by definition there are references to his sister only in the earlier years. Similarly, JA’s niece Fanny Knight’s pocket-books run from 1804 until 1872, but only the earlier volumes are relevant to JA’s life; when aunt and niece are in each other’s company, at Godmersham or Chawton, Fanny’s daily entries are quoted in full; but when they are apart, each in their respective homes, then only those entries by Fanny which actually mention the other Austens are quoted.

I hope that this uniquely detailed chronology will be of the greatest use to all future biographers, literary critics and historians, providing as it does accurate documented facts gathered from a wide variety of sources.

Portishead, 2004


During the years in which I was researching Jane Austen’s life and finding the information now published here, I was helped in various ways by many kind friends and correspondents, and wish to give my most grateful thanks first to these personal contacts: the great-grandsons of Admiral Francis Austen, and Miss Belinda Austen; Joan Austen-Leigh (Mrs Denis Mason Hurley); Mr Jack Ayres; Ms Liz-Anne Bawden; Miss Jean Bowden; Mr and Mrs Joseph Bown; Lord Brabourne; Mr Andrew Bradford; Miss Mary Burkett, OBE; Dr Clive Caplan; Mr Tom Carpenter and his staff at Jane Austen’s House Museum; Sir Frederick Cholmeley, Bt.; Mr G. C. R. Clay; Dr Kenneth Cliff; Mrs Irene Collins; Mr T. A. B. Corley; Mr David A. Cross; Prof. Peter Davison; Miss Elizabeth Einberg; Mr David Gilson; Mr John Hart; Miss Carol Hartley; Mr and Mrs David Hopkinson; Mrs Violet Hunt; Mrs Jane Hurst; the Impey and Fowle families; Revd W. A. W. Jarvis; Mr Henry Jenkyns; Miss Diana Joll; Dr Brian Keith-Lucas; Mr and Mrs Richard Knight; Miss Helen Lefroy; Mrs M. Martin; Mr John Murray; Mrs Susanne Notman; Mr Anthony Peel; Sir Jonathan Portal, Bt.; Dr Vera Quin; Miss Susan Radcliffe; Mr Henry Rice; Mrs Margaret Sawtell; Mr David Selwyn; Mr R. J. Smith; Prof. Joan Stevens; Mr Patrick Stokes; Streatham Local History Society; Mr George Holbert Tucker; Mrs Valdes-Scott; Mr Robin Vick; Mr Chris Viveash; Prof. Sir David Waldron Smithers; Miss Janet Wallace; Mr George Ward; Dr Brian Willan; Mrs Margaret Wilson.

   The archivists and staff of the following reference libraries, record offices and private institutions have all provided me with information, either by correspondence or during my visits to their establishments, and I am glad to acknowledge their help and efficiency: All Souls College, Oxford; Bank of England; Bath City Archives and Bath Central Library; Berkshire Record Office; Bodleian Library; The British Library; London Borough of Camden; Canterbury Cathedral, City and Diocesan Record Office; Chelsea Reference Library; the Church Commissioners; Drummonds Bank (Royal Bank of Scotland); Dublin Castle; East Sussex Record Office; Guildford Central Library; Guildhall Library, London; Hampshire County Museums Service; Hampshire Record Office; Hoare’s Bank; Huntington Library, California; Jane Austen Memorial Trust; Kensington Central Library; Centre for Kentish Studies; Lincolnshire Record Office; Lloyds Bank; National Army Museum; National Library of Scotland; National Maritime Museum; National Portrait Gallery; National Trust, at The Vyne; Northamptonshire Record Office; Oxfordshire Record Office; Pierpont Morgan Library, New York; Princeton University Library, Princeton New Jersey; Public Record Office (now National Archives); Royal Library, Windsor; Shakespeare Birthplace Trust; Southampton City Record Office; Surrey Record Office; Victoria & Albert Museum Library; Wells Cathedral; City of Westminster Archives Centre; Winchester Cathedral Library; Winchester College.


(for full details of published or unpublished works, see respective bibliographies)

A Austen
AAS Almost Another Sister; Margaret Wilson
AL Austen-Leigh
Alum Cantab Alumni Cantabrigienses; J. A. Venn
Alum Oxon Alumni Oxonienses; J. Foster
AMT Austen Maunde & Tilson
AP Austen Papers; R. A. Austen-Leigh
B&M Baigent & Millard
BC Bath Chronicle newspaper
BibJA A Bibliography of Jane Austen; David Gilson
BL British Library
BLOIOC British Library, Oriental & India Office Collection
BoE Bank of England
BPM British Portrait Miniatures; Daphne Foskett
Carm Dom Carmina Domestica; Anne Lefroy
CEA Cassandra Elizabeth Austen
CinC Commander in Chief
CJA Charles John Austen
CKS Centre for Kentish Studies, Maidstone
CMCA Rems Reminiscences of JA’s Niece Caroline Austen; Deirdre Le Faye
CMO Chawton Manor and its Owners; W. Austen-Leigh and M. G. Knight
CP James The Complete Poems of James Austen; David Selwyn
Crit Bib JA – A Critical Bibliography; R. W. Chapman
cv curriculum vitae
CS Sir Charles Smith
DPLP Passages from the Diaries of Mrs Philip Lybbe Powys; Climenson
E Emma; Jane Austen
EAK Edward Austen [Knight]
EdeF Eliza de Feuillide
EKII Edward Knight junior
FamRec Jane Austen, a Family Record; Deirdre Le Faye
FCK Fanny Catherine Knight
FCL Fanny Caroline Lefroy
FCL FamHist Fanny Caroline Lefroy’s MS Family History
FKD Fanny Knight’s Diaries; Deirdre Le Faye
FMW’s Rems Fanny Maria Walter’s MS Reminiscences
FP JA – Facts and Problems; R. W. Chapman
FPA Fanny Palmer Austen
FS Female Spectator
FWA Francis William Austen
Mr GA Revd George Austen
Mrs GA Mrs George Austen
GM Gentleman’s Magazine
Hants Rep The Annual Hampshire Repository
HC Hampshire Chronicle newspaper
HEIC Honourable East India Company
HEP Harriet Ebel Palmer
HistWither History of the Wither Family; R. F. Bigg-Wither
HTA Henry Thomas Austen
IGI International Genealogical Index
Index Eccles Index Ecclesiasticus 1800–1840; J. Foster
JA Jane Austen
JABath Jane Austen and Bath; Emma Austen-Leigh
JASoton Jane Austen and Southampton; R. A. Austen-Leigh
JAStev Jane Austen and Steventon; Emma Austen-Leigh
JACAI Jane Austen, Collected Articles & Introductions; D. J. Gilson
JACPVAF Jane Austen – Collected Poems & Verse of the Austen Family; David Selwyn
JALM Jane Austen’s Literary Manuscripts; B. C. Southam
JAMT Jane Austen Memorial Trust
JAOC Jane Austen’s ‘Outlandish Cousin’; Deirdre Le Faye
JA Society The Jane Austen Society, UK
JASNA The Jane Austen Society of North America
JEAL James Edward Austen-Leigh
Mrs JEAL Mrs J. E. Austen-Leigh [née Emma Smith]
Mr JLP Mr James Leigh Perrot
Mrs JLP Mrs Jane Leigh Perrot
jnl journal
Jnr Junior
JnlsHoL Journals of the House of Lords
KF The Kintbury Family; G. Sawtell
KG Kentish Gazette newspaper
KGG A Kent Girl-Graduate; Margaret Wilson
LCR Lady Chandos’s Register; C. H. Collins Baker
Letters Jane Austen’s Letters; Deirdre Le Faye
LG Landed Gentry; Burke
LGI Landed Gentry of Ireland; Burke
Life Jane Austen, Her Life and Letters; William and R. A. Austen-Leigh
LM Lady’s Magazine
MAAL Mary Augusta Austen-Leigh
Memoir Memoir of Jane Austen; James Edward Austen-Leigh
MI Memorial Inscription
MLA Mary Lloyd Austen
MP Mansfield Park; Jane Austen
MS manuscript
MschP The Manuscript Chapters of ‘Persuasion’; R. W. Chapman
MW Minor Works; Jane Austen
N&Q Notes and Queries
NA Northanger Abbey; Jane Austen
N/L Newsletter
NPG National Portrait Gallery, London
OFH Old Family History; Agnes E. Leigh
P Persuasion; Jane Austen
P&B Peerage & Baronetage; Burke
P&P Pride and Prejudice; Jane Austen
pb pocket-book
pc personal communication
ped. pedigree
pr parish register
PAJA Personal Aspects of Jane Austen; Mary Augusta Austen-Leigh
PedA Pedigree of Austen; R. A. Austen-Leigh
PH Pym Hales
Mrs PH Mrs Philadelphia Hancock
PJ Powys Journal; S. P. Marks
PML Pierpont Morgan Library, New York
PRO Public Record Office, London (now National Archives)
PROB. Probate Office
Ps Persuasions; JASNA
PULC Princeton University Library Chronicle
RAAL Richard Arthur Austen-Leigh
Report(s) Report(s) of the Jane Austen Society
RES Review of English Studies
RO Record Office
S&S Sense and Sensibility; Jane Austen
SB JA’s Sailor Brothers; J. H. and E. C. Hubback
TBC The Book Collector
TCS Two Centuries of Silhouettes; P. Hickman
TKII Thomas Knight II
TLS Times Literary Supplement
TSH Tysoe Saul Hancock
VH Vine Hunt; James Edward Austen-Leigh
WH Warren Hastings
WHW William Hampson Watter
ww widow
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