Rev. James Austen

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James Austen

Birthdate: (54)
Birthplace: Hampshire, England
Death: December 13, 1819 (54)
Hampshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. George Austen and Cassandra Austen
Husband of Mary Austen and Anne Austen, twin
Father of James Edward Austen-Leigh; Caroline Austen; Jane Anna Elizabeth Lefroy and Anna Austen
Brother of George Austen; Edward Austen Knight; Rev. Henry Thomas Austen; Cassandra Austen; Admiral of the Fleet Sir Francis William Austen, GCB and 3 others

Occupation: Reverand
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rev. James Austen

Often thought by the family to be the “literary one” (see his poem on Sense and Sensibility), one of Austen’s brothers James followed in his father’s footsteps attending Oxford university at the age of 14 in 1779. After his ordination in 1787, he and his brother Henry edited a university magazine called The Loiterer, which ran for sixty issues. (Some issues of The Loiterer are available on-line.) After his marriage, he became his father’s curate at Deane, and after his retirement, He took on the duties of the Steventon as well.

James was not Jane Austen’s favorite brother, though she did call him “good and clever”. He seems to have had a bit of melancholy about him, uncharacteristic of the other Austens. Perhaps it was turning from the excitement of Oxford to the retired life of a country Vicar. Perhaps it was seeing his literary pretensions lived out through his sister or the wealth acceded to by his younger brother. It is true that his life was not untouched by sorrow, as well. His first wife died when their daughter, Anna (1793-1872), was but two years old. Anna was the first niece and a favorite of Jane Austen’s. She also had her father’s creative streak and worked on a novel, Which is the Heroine, with the help of her aunt, until Jane Austen’s death, at which time Anna burned the work.

James married again and his second wife, Mary Lloyd, was not a favorite of Jane Austen’s, even though she was the sister of her dear friend, Martha Lloyd. James and Mary had two children, James Edward (1798-1874) and Caroline (1805-1880) who also solicited their aunt’s approval on their literary efforts. Caroline later wrote down her memories of her Aunt Jane and James Edward wrote the Memoir.

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Rev. James Austen's Timeline

1765
February 13, 1765
Hampshire, England
1793
April 15, 1793
Age 28
1793
Age 27
1798
1798
Age 32
1805
1805
Age 39
1819
December 13, 1819
Age 54
Hampshire, England
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The Loiterer