Elizabeth ("Eliza") Austen

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Elizabeth ("Eliza") Austen's Geni Profile

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Elizabeth ("Eliza") Austen (Hancock)

Death: 1813 (47-56)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Tysoe Saul Hancock and Philadelphia Austen
Wife of Jean-François Capot, comte de Feuillide and Rev. Henry Thomas Austen
Mother of Hastings Louis Eugene Capot de Feuillide

Managed by: Oliver Marcus Stedall
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth ("Eliza") Austen


Eliza, Comtesse de Feuillide (née Hancock; 22 December 1761 – 25 April 1813) was the cousin, and later sister-in-law, of novelist Jane Austen. She is believed to have been inspirational for a number of Austen's works, such as Love and Freindship, Henry and Eliza, Lady Susan and Mansfield Park. She may have also been the model from whom the character of Mary Crawford is derived.


Eliza was born in India into an English gentry family. She was fourteen years older than her first cousin Jane Austen. She was the daughter of George Austen’s sister Philadelphia, who had gone to India to marry Tysoe Saul Hancock in 1753, and has been believed by some to be the natural child of her godfather Warren Hastings, later to be the first Governor-General of Bengal. This belief was due to rumours circulated at the time by Jenny Strachey, and many elements show that Eliza was indeed the daughter of Tysoe Hancock. She moved to England with her parents, in 1765. In 1779 she settled in France and two years later she married a wealthy French Army Captain, Jean-François Capot de Feuillide, who was a count ("comte"). Eliza thus became Comtesse de Feuillide. She came back to England with her mother in 1790, after the beginning of the French Revolution. Her husband, who was loyal to the French monarchy, was arrested for conspiracy against the Republic and guillotined in 1794.

Her first cousin Henry Thomas Austen, brother of Jane Austen, then courted Eliza, and married her in December 1797; they had no children. Eliza's only son, Hastings (named after Warren Hastings), died in 1801.

Eliza died in April 1813, with Jane Austen at her bedside. Eliza and Austen had been quite close ever since she arrived in England. She is buried in the cemetery of St John-at-Hampstead in North London.

Eliza in Austen's works


Film reference

Lucy Cohu plays Eliza de Feuillide in the 2007 film Becoming Jane, starring Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen.

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Elizabeth ("Eliza") Austen's Timeline

Age 52
Probably the natural daughter of Warren Hastings, her godfather