Austen Family History


Austen Family Chart #1.
Last Updated July 2009

Mary Austen
Born, 1752, Lewes, Sussex
Married Thomas Woodgate, 1773.
Died 1843
Rev. Robert Austen
Born, 7 March 1709
Died 20 October 1786
Edward Austen
Anne
Mary Burgess
Born, 22 January 1710
Died 18 January 1782
John Burgess
Born, abt 1679, Ripe, Sussex
Sarah
Born, abt 1683, Ripe, Sussex
Died, before 1754

Biographical Details:

Mary Austen, 1752-1843
Source, Austen Chamberlain's "Notes on the families of Chamberlain and Harben".

Mary Austen   "Little Granny"
Born, 1752
Christened, 9 Feb 1752, St Anne's, Lewes, Sussex
Married, Thomas Woodgate, 5 February 1773, at St Anne's, Lewes, Sussex
Died, 1843, London, UK

Austen Chamberlain writes, in Notes on the families Chamberlain and Harben...

"Their daughter, Mary Austen, my great-great-grand-mother, after whom I am named, was born in 1752, and died in 1843. My cousin Fanny Martineau wrote to me some time ago:—
‘The reverent affection with which our mothers regarded her and their own mother was very impressive to us as children. I should think your father would remember being taken into Little Granny’s room now and then at Springfield Grove, Camberwell, and being lifted on to the bed to speak to her. She was 93 or 94 when she died, (actually, only 91) having been bedridden for the last few months through an accident. She used to amuse herself by repeating the Book or Psalms over and over. She knew them all by heart, only requiring the first line now and then to insure the order in which they came. I think I told you that I possess the original portrait taken in her young widow-hood. It is charming both as to subject and workmanship, being a delicately painted oil miniature.’

"And Cousin Fanny goes on to say that she will leave this miniature to me. At present I possess a photograph from the miniature, which was given to my father by Cousin Fanny. My father confirmed my Cousin Fanny’s recollections. He always spoke with great tenderness of ‘Little Granny.’

 

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Biographical Details:

Rev. Robert Austen L.L.B
Born 7 March 1709, Burwash, Sussex
Married, Mary Burgess
Died, 20 October 1786, Lewes, Sussex

It is possible that he had an earlier marriage, on 7 April 1729 (he would have been 19 years of age), "Robert Austen & Elizabeth Smith of Isfield - spinster." There is no information to support (or deny) this marriage is of the same Robert Austen - remembering that this was an age when smallpox was still prevalent and childbirth claims many women.

He appears in Alumni Cantabrigienses, A biographical list of all known students, Graduates and holders of office at the University of Cambridge, from the earliest times to 1900: Part 1 'From the earliest times to 1751' Volume 1.

The above record can be broken down to:

  1. Adm. sizar, Admitted to Jesus College on 7 March 1731-2 (the 1731-2 being a representation of the then Julian calendar date, where 25 March is the first day of the year). The sizar are "allowed free education in consideration of performing certain, at one time menial, duties." Sizars were generally the sons of poor parents, frequently the clergy.
  2. Jesus, one of the 16 colleges that makes up the University.
  3. Matric, at this time Matriculation was swearing allegiance to the University and occurs at the same time or later than admission to a college of the University.

Unfortunately, this entry does not state parentage which was customarily recorded at this College.

Appears in the online Clergy of the Church of England Database: as Robert Austen 1733-1785 (being the range of dates they have records for).

  • Appointment as Deacon of Berwick Parish, Chichester, Sussex 23 September 1733 and then as Priest 19 September 1736.
  • Appointment as Curate of Burwash 24 September 1733
  • Appointment as Curate of Salehurst Parish, Chichester, Sussex 21 May 1742
  • Appointment as Rector in Berwick Parish 9 April 1751.
  • Appointment as Vicar of Laughton 12 May 1785

 

According to the the Notes on the families of Chamberlain and Harben Rev. Robert Austen was the Master of the grammar school at Lewes, Sussex. ...

"Mr. Austen resigned the mastership in 1776, when we learn from an advertisement in the Sussex Advertiser that 'the income of the School is Sixty Pounds a year, exclusive of a large house in the town of Lewes, very convenient for taking Boarders and a garden adjoining to it.’ Mrs. Austen died in 1782, Mr. Austen in 1786. They are buried in the churchyard of St. Anne’s, Lewes. Many entries in the Registers of this church are in his handwriting. In the first, dated June 25th, 1750, he signs himself as Curate. The last entry so signed is under date January 30th, 1771; but he officiated again twice in 1772 and once in 1773, in both cases describing himself as Clerk, i.e. Clerk in Holy Orders. It would seem therefore that he was Curate of St. Anne’s from about 1750 to 1771. After this date be became Vicar of Laughton a country parish about six miles from Lewes, and so continued till the date of his death, though he was then residing in Lewes."

For the period 1761 through to 1780, Robert Austen is frequently found to have witnessed all manner of legal documents. He variously signed as;

  • Robert Austen of Lewes, Sussex, gent
  • Robert Austen, clerk, L.L.B
  • Rev. Robert Austen, of Lewes, clerk
  • Robert Austen of Lewes, clerk

Among these are a series of mortgage documents for members of Harben family.

Listed, along with six others in 1774 the Rev. Robert Austen, clerk., being seven of the Trustees under and Act of Parliament of 25 Geo.II for repairing the roads from the north end of Malling Street nr. Lewes to Witch Cross and from the north end of Malling Street to the Broil Park Gate and from Offham to Witchcross.

It is mentioned in "Notes on the families of Chamberlain and Harben" that his wife may have the surname 'Morley'.  It is my assumption that the surname of founder of the Lewes Free Grammar school, Mrs Agnus Morley, was transposed at some point in earlier family research. There is no connection, however, as Mrs Agnus Morley founded the school in 1512.

On 26 March 1771 he married Thomas Paine and Elizabeth Olive at St. Michael's Church in Lewes. Thomas Paine's later writing would have some impact on the American Revolution and he was first to coin the phrase the 'United States of America'. More information on Thomas Paine can be found here.

 

In January 1780 he holds the mortgage on 54 Southover High Street and I assume he lived there. This house is still standing and frequently appears in photo's of its much more famous neighbor, 52 Southover High Street, known as "Anne of Cleaves House".

The tomb of Robert and Mary Austen appears in the photograph below, and has the following inscription:

Beneath this Tomb lie the Remains

of MARY AUSTEN who died on the 18th of

January 1782 Aged Seventy One Years

In the same place is interred also

the Body of her Husband the Rev.

ROBERT AUSTEN, Vicar of Laughton in this

COUNTY, who died on the 20th of Octr 1786,

in the Seventy Seventh Year of his Age.

 

 

St. Anne's Church, Lewes, Sussex.

Above as the Church is today, and below as it was in 1786, and further down as it was in 1780.

The children of Robert & Mary Austen:

Mary Austen, 1752

 

This is currently the end of the known Austen family line. It is highly likely that we will learn more of Robert Austen - as his many roles and functions in the Lewes community are likely to have been reported in the Sussex Weekly Advertiser which published from 1745.

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Biographical Details:

Edward Austen
Born most likely in Burwash, Sussex, England.
Married
Died

Important note: While it is highly likely that Edward Austen is the father of Robert Austen the link is not directly confirmed.

Evidence that supports the link:

  • There is a christening record of a Robert Austen on 7 March 1909 in Burwash, with parents of Edward Austen and Anne (no surname).
    • There are no other recorded Robert Austen's christened within many years in the East Sussex area (core sources of the IGI and The Weald collection of Parish records)
  • Deeds of two houses and a cottage at Burwash AMS5674/1/1 1707 - 1805
    • Edward Austen appears to have been financially independent, purchasing a house and a tallowhouse (called Guestling) in 1707. This was not his place of residence.
    • These deeds list Edward as a Mercer, and as 'Edward Austen the younger' of Burwash.
    • He and his wife (Ann) mortgage the property in 1726.
    • The property is sold by his creditors on 5 May 1732.
  • Edward Austen is bankrupt in December 1728 - London Gazette (below)
    • Robert Austen's admission to Cambridge in 1731 was as a Sizar (which were generally the sons of poor parents, frequently the clergy.)

Appears in the London Gazette on 21 Dec 1728. "Whereas the acting Commissioners in a Commission of Bankrupt awarded against Edward Austen, of Burwash, in the County of Sussex, Mercer, have certified to the Right Honourable Peter Lord King, Baron of Ockham, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, that the said Edward Austen hath in all Things conformed himself according to the Directions of the several Acts of Parliament made concerning Bankrupts; This is to give Notice that his Certificate will be allowed and confirmed as the said Acts direct, unless Cause be shewn to the contrary on or before the 10th of January next."

The children of Edward & Ann Austen:

    • Anna Austen (christened, 25 July 1708, Burwash)
    • Robert Austen (christened, 7 March 1709, Burwash)
    • Maria Austen (christened, 9 July 1714, Burwash)
    • Sara Austen (christened, 7 May 1716, Burwash)

     


The following is somewhat unstructured and messy. It's the snippets of materail being gathered at the moment (June 2009) and should be sorted out soon...

It is possible that there is a connection to the following inscription in Bethersden Church (in Kent) "Sir George CHOUTE and his son Sir George Choute, Baronet who died 1721 and left his estate to his relation Edward AUSTEN Esquire." If this is a connection then it could explain how Edward moves from Burwash Sussex to Kent. And, his likely grandfather, was Richard Austen (christened 27 Oct 1639 in Burwash), with great-grandparents being Edward and Anne Austen of Burwash. (source: http://www.kentarchaeology.org.uk/Research/Libr/MIs/MIsBethersden/MIsBethersden.htm)

In the 1705 Electoral Poll all the Austen's are:

  • Edward Austen, Burwash
  • George Austen, Heyshott
  • John Austen, Arlington
  • Jonathan Austen, Hurstpierpoint
  • Nathaniel Austen, East Grinstead
  • Nicholas Austen, Heyshott
  • Sylvanus Austen, Lewes
  • Thomas Austen, Chichester
  • Thomas Austen, Ticehurst
  • William Austen, East Grinstead

 

In the 1734 Sussex list of electors all the Austen's are:

  • Clem Austen, Burwash (probably a relative - but connection not established)
  • Edward Austen, Ticehurst, Tenterden, Kent (supect this is a grandson of Edward Austen the elder)
  • John Austen, Seaford
  • Nicholas Austen, Heyshot
  • William Austen Esq., Mountfeild, Tenterden, Kent

In the 1747 East Sussex Window and House Tax Assessments, the following Austen's appear (where lights equates to the number of windows in the home):

  • Mr Clement Austen (14 lights) - Burwash
  • Thomas Austen (19 lights) - Burwash
  • William Austen, (0 lights) East Grinstead
  • Marta Austen, (0 lights) East Grinstead
  • Richard Austen, (11 lights) East Grinstead
  • William Austen jr, (9 lights) Beckley
  • William Austen, (9 lights) Beckley

 

And, other stray Austen's in Lewes:

  • Susannah Austen (1716-1790) married Thomas Mantell in Lewes about 1746.
  • Sarah Austen (25 Nov 1755 to 23 Dec 1828) and born in Peckham Kent, married Thomas Mantell, a shoemaker in Lewes - he's the son of the above Thomas Mantell.
  • Sarah Austen, christened 15 Sept 1755, Rye, Sussex, daughter of John and Susannah Austen
  • Sarah Austen, christened 18 Sept 1757, East Grinstead, Sussex, daughter of John and Sarah Austen.

A useful link is Peter Cox's list of Sussex references for Austen.

 

Stray bits and pieces:

The Weald, on Burwash: http://theweald.org/area.asp?Pid=P80.1.1&t=3&y=7&p=0

What is a Mercer : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercer_(occupation)

 

1702 Amos Norden Covenant to Levy a Fine for £72 - ref. DYK/92 - date: 21 Apr 1702 (a) Robert Adds of Heathfield, pailmaker, and his wife Margaret, Elizabeth Walker of Warbleton, widow, Mary Hooke of Warbleton (widow of John Hooke), Amos Norden of Waldron, husbandman, and his wife Mary, Nathaniel Lulham of Gravesend, Kent butcher, and his wife Elizabeth, Thomas Austen of Burwash, tallow-chandler, and his wife Frances; (b) John Dyke of Frant, esq, Henry Woodgate of Goudhurst, gent, and William Payne of Ticehurst, brickworker; (c) Thomas Short of Wadhurst, gent
1 Tenement on land called Freebench, 4 acres land called Freebench abutting E on highway from Frant Green to Leigh Green, and W and N on lands of Thomas Baker, in Frant
2 Two pieces of arable land called Bells (5 acres) at Greengore in Westham, in occupation of John Stevens, abutting E on highway from Hankham to Langney, S on Greengore Common, W on highway from Hailsham to Bourne, and N on lands called Peacocks
3 Quarter of one acre of meadow in Ticehurst abutting N on highway from Shovergreen to Ticehurst, W on a piece of ground where there is a brick kiln, S on lands of TA, with right of way through a gate called Forestallgate
To the uses of John Dyke in respect of 1; Henry Woodgate in respect of 2; William Payne in respect of 3
Recites DYK/87
Witnesses: John Turnner, Gregory Odiarne, John Walker, Benjamin Austen, Christopher Fullagar, C. Spiller
Source: http://www.nortonfamily.net/fluvanna-sussex.htm

 

I'm guessing that Edward Austen's father was also Edward Austen (senior, of Burwash).

Childern of Edward Austen, Snr

  • Benjamin Austen (married Catherine Store, 25 April 1699)

Stray Burwash Austen's

John Austen (son of Thomas Austen, yeoman of Burwash) is apprenticed to John Strickland of Burwash, butcher / felmonger 25 December 1713.

John Austen of Burswash & Gent, marries Matha Grant of Burwash, 30 March 1719

Clement Austen of Burwash & yeoman, marries Anne Coney of Burwash, 13 March 1721

Edward Austen, Burwash & Gent, marries Sarah Nepecker of Burwash, 29 April 1723.

 

Quarter Sessions Order Book 1642 - 1649 (Sussex Records Society Vol 54)
John Henshaw bound for wounding Daniel Awsten at Lewes, Midsummer 1646
John Henshaw gent. for assault with sword and wounding Daniel Awsten at Lewes, Epiphany 1646/7
Edward Awsten at Lewes, Michaelmas 1643
Edward Awsten of Burwash at Lewes, Easter 1644
Edward Awsten of Burwash, mercer at Lewes, Midsummer 1649
Elenor of Steyning, widow at Arundel, Epiphany 1649/50
Johanna Awsten at Petworth, Michaelmas 1649
Richard Awsten of Seaford, shoemaker at Lewes, Midsummmer 1643
William Austin of Aldingbourne at Chichester, Michaelmas 1642
William Austin of Aldingbournegent at Arundel, Epiphany 1648/9

Burwash Austen's from the Calender of Sussex Marriage licences (Sussex Records Society 1907)

Notes, these are listings of licences and does not mean the marriage actully occured (although they generally did). As part of the banns process member's of the conguration were required to provide sureties that the couple would get married and I gather pay some money (not sure if its to the couple or the Church).

  • Edward Austen, Burwash, April 1685, provides sureties for John Swane & Elizabeth Read
  • Edward Austen, Burwash, November 1686, provides sureties for Anthony Cruttenden and Mary Cryer.
  • Thomas Austen, of Burwash and Frances Moor Maiden of Burwash, Ausgust 1687. Sureties provided by Edward Austen, yeoman of Burwash.
  • Benjamin Austen, bachelor of Burwash and Catherine Store, maiden of Burwash, April 1699. Sureties provided by Edward Austen of Burwash.
  • John Austen, Gentleman, of Burwash and Matha Grant of Burwash. March 1718-19
  • Clement Austen, yeoman of Burwash and Anne Coney, spinster of Burwash - March 1721-2
  • Edward Austen, Gentleman of Burwash and Sarah Nepecker of Burwash. April 1722-3

Assorted records from Access to Archives:

Edward Austen, appears many times as the "rent payable at the house of Edward Austen in Burwash" and I assume that he acted as an agent to collect rents.

Assignment of mortgage for £215 at 5% amsnn/AMS6779/1/55 25 Mar 1724. Notes that Edward Austen of Burwash, mercer, and George Swane of Burwash, yeoman (the executors of EA's father Edward Austen of Burwash, mercer)...

Conveyance (feoffment) for £120 SRL/2/9/4 4 Nov 1728. Notes that Thomas Ticehurst and his brother John Ticehurst of Burwash, yeoman to Henry Weston of Fletching, miller
Three pieces of land (6a) near the lands belonging to Fletching Mill
Formerly the property of Constance, wife of Edward Austen of Burwash, by descent ot their son Thomas Austen, all deceased, and lately to their grandson Edward Austen of Tenterden in Kent, yeoman

Inventory of the goods of Thomas Dyke of Burwash, gent, deceased, taken by John Polhill of Burwash, gent, and Edward Austen of Burwash AMS/5541/1 5 May 1693

Covenant to Levy a Fine for £72 DYK/92 21 Apr 1702. Notes that (a) Robert Adds of Heathfield, pailmaker, and his wife Margaret, Elizabeth Walker of Warbleton, widow, Mary Hooke of Warbleton (widow of John Hooke), Amos Norden of Waldron, husbandman, and his wife Mary, Nathaniel Lulham of Gravesend, Kent butcher, and his wife Elizabeth, Thomas Austen of Burwash, tallow-chandler, and his wife Frances; (b) John Dyke of Frant, esq, Henry Woodgate of Goudhurst, gent, and William Payne of Ticehurst, brickworker; (c) Thomas Short of Wadhurst, gent
1 Tenement on land called Freebench, 4 acres land called Freebench abutting E on highway from Frant Green to Leigh Green, and W and N on lands of Thomas Baker, in Frant
2 Two pieces of arable land called Bells (5 acres) at Greengore in Westham, in occupation of John Stevens, abutting E on highway from Hankham to Langney, S on Greengore Common, W on highway from Hailsham to Bourne, and N on lands called Peacocks
3 Quarter of one acre of meadow in Ticehurst abutting N on highway from Shovergreen to Ticehurst, W on a piece of ground where there is a brick kiln, S on lands of TA, with right of way through a gate called Forestallgate
To the uses of John Dyke in respect of 1; Henry Woodgate in respect of 2; William Payne in respect of 3
Recites DYK/87
Witnesses: John Turnner, Gregory Odiarne, John Walker, Benjamin Austen, Christopher Fullagar, C. Spiller

Deed to lead the uses of a Fine (Copy) WHL/76 6 April 1714. Mentions: Benjamin Austen of Burwash, mercer

Premises in Westham and Hailsham SAU/1018-1041 1664-1722. Mentions: Benjamin Austen of Burwash, mercer (appears connected to 1702)

PCC inventory of Richard Alfray of Battle, gent, appraised by Edward Austen of Burwash, mercer, DUN 49/42 1 Jun 1698

Deeds of a leasehold almshouse PAR430/37/1 1705-1834. The papers in this section relate to a case brought by the parish and probably heard at the Sussex Assizes by nisi prius in about 1707. The action was brought against William Blackman, who had claimed ownership of a leasehold cottage of which the parish had been in possession since the 1650s. The parish responded by obtaining a lease from Sir Thomas Pelham (PAR430/37/1/1) and gathering evidence from the overseers' account books, from former parish officers and from Edward Austen of Burwash, the steward of the Pelham estates. The building in dispute in 1707 was probably that referred to as 'near the marlpits', in the north of the parish, in the insurance policy of 1834 (PAR430/37/1/7).

Mortgage for £215 at 5% amsnn/AMS6779/1/54 22 May 1717. Constance Wall of Burwash, spinster, to Edward Austen the elder of Burwash, mercer
three pieces of freehold land called The Ten Acres, The Lower Delf Field and The Upper Delfe (30a) and pieces of woodland, rough ground and pasture called Nether Goodsoale Wood and Nether Goodsoale Field (26a, formerly part of Goodsoale Farm) in Burwash, occupied by William Dann W: Edward Austen the younger, William Shadwell endorsed: receipts for interest, some paid at Battle Market, 1718-1722; from 1718 the interest paid by Joseph Weller [whom CW married at Mountfield on 18 Jul 1717]; memorandum of reduction of interest-rate to 4%, 22 May 1720

Revocation of trust for the foundation of a school at Burwash amsnn/AMS6779/1/56 26 Mar 1728. Constance Weller, wife of Joseph Weller of Dallington, gent
annuity of £10 charged on a messuage called Goodsoale with barns, stables, stalls, lodges and buildings, three pieces of freehold land called The Ten Acres, The Lower Delf Field and The Upper Delfe (30a), pieces of woodland, rough ground and pasture called Nether Goodsoale Wood and Nether Goodsoale Field (26a, formerly part of Goodsoale Farm) and a messuage called Gutsell with parcels called the site of the house with the yard and land-way, the orchard, Lower Furlong, the spring below the Lower Furlong, Upper Furlong and the shaw, The Green Croft Spring, The Green Croft, Black Leaze, The Great Field, The Skinges, The High Field, The Hasters Coppice, The Purrfield, The High Wood, The Nether Field, The Pet Croft, The Old Marling, The Old Meeting Spring, The Balfield Spring, The Seven Acres and the shaw (125a), all in Burwash, occupied in 1717 by William Dann recites: settlement of above property on the marriage of Joseph Weller and Constance Wall of Burwash, spinster (Thomas Barton of Heathfield, gent, and Edward Austen the younger of Burwash, mercer, trustees), 16 Jul 1717, which settlement contained a clause, revocable by CW, that JW's heirs, after the deaths of JW and CW, should appoint as a school master or mistress to teach the children of the inhabitants 'a person who should be a protestant and well affected to his majesty king George... and the then happy constitution of this kingdom, and of a sober and virtuous life' at a salary of £10; purchase of the property, discharged from the rentcharge of £10, by William Constable of Burwash, gent W: Hannah Weller, James Noakes, William Shadwell.

Note of the free and copyhold tenements held of Burwash and Burghurst manors AMS5744/164 1715. With quitrents, receipts by Edward Austen for compositions for heriots seised for the manors of Burwash, Burghurst and Woodknowle, 28 Sept 1715 and by George Fothergill for [Robertsbridge] manor, 30 Sept 1715.

Copy surrender AMS6031/4/1 29 Jun 1748. By Clement Austen (the youngest son of Thomas and Frances Austen), John Vandyke and his wife Ann, and Elizabeth Austen (the daughter and and only child of Clement Austen and his first wife Ann Coney), the admission of John Carter of Burwash, innholder and his surrender to the use of his will of two customary tenements late Fosters, a customary tenement called Great Knowles and a customary tenement called Ryegreen all in Burwash held of the Manor of Brightling Prebend.

Enfranchisement for £5 7s 6d AMS5744/30 29 Sept 1708. Witnesses, N Pelham, T Pelham, Edward Austen junior, Thomas Alderton

Mortgage ASH/4501/1140 23 Jun 1701. Witnesses:- Edw. Austen and Edw. Austen junr

Copy of an indictment against Edward Austen of Bexhill (co. Sussex) for stealing wheat at Burwash (co. Sussex) QM/SB/1326 12 July 1597

 

 

 

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Biographical Details:

Mary Burgess
Born 22 January 1710 - Ripe, Sussex, England.
Married, Rev. Robert Austen
Died, 18 January 1782, Lewes, Sussex

Little is yet known about Mary.