Rev. George Austen
Who was he?
(1731–1805) was the father of Jane Austen
Why was he in Bath?
George Austen and his wife, Cassandra
(1739–1827), were members of substantial gentry families. George was
descended from a family of woollen manufacturers which had risen
through the professions to the lower ranks of the landed gentry.
Cassandra was a member of the prominent Leigh family; they married on
26 April 1764 at Walcot Church in Bath. From 1765 until 1801 George
Austen served as the rector of the
Anglican parishes at Steventon, Hampshire.
In December 1800, Rev. Austen unexpectedly announced his decision to
retire from the ministry, leave Steventon, and move the family to Bath,
where they lived at 4 Sydney Place until 1826?, and then at 3 Green
Park Buildings East
George Austen died on 21 January 1805. He was buried in the crypt of
the rebuilt (1772-90) church of St Swithin's, where there now exists
this modern memorial alongside his tombstone (next to the memorial to Fanny Burney
The inscription on the tombstone reads:
"Under this stone
rest the remains of the Revd. George Austen, Rector of Steventon and
Dean in Hampshire he departed this life the 21st January 1805 Aged 73
The text reads
"The Revd George Austen (1731 - 1805), Rector of Steventon in
Hampshire, married Cassandra Leigh (1730-1827) at the medieval church
of St Swithin's Walcot, on 28 April 1764.
Their seventh child was the novelist Jane Austen (1775-1817), author
of Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.
With her parents and sister Cassandra, Jane Austen came to live in
Bath in 1801, at 4 Sydney Place until 1804, and then at 3 Green Park
Buildings East, where George Austen died on 21 January 1805. He was
buried in the crypt of the rebuilt (1772-90) Church of St
Swithin's. His tombstone was removed to the present site in
1968. In 2000 it was remounted and this plaque erected by the Jane
Austen Society, with help from the Bath and Bristol branch and the Jane
Austen Societies of North America and of Australia."
Location map of St.Swithin's churchyard:
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