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Rev. George Austen

Who was he?

George Austen (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):

Location of George Austen memorial
Rev. George Austen's memorial in St. Swithin's churchyard
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 years"

Rev. George Austen's memorial plaque

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:Jane Austen location map



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