Austen, Elizabeth

BORN 22 Dec 1761, Calcutta - DIED 25 Apr 1813, London
BIRTH NAME Hancock, Eliza
GRAVE LOCATION London: St. John-at-Hampstead, Old Churchyard, Church Row, Hampstead

Eliza Hancock's mother Philadelphia was a sister of Jane Austen's father. She went to India to marry Tysoe Saul Hancock in 1753. Eliza was born in Calcutta in 1761 and perhaps she was the natural child of her godfather Warren Hastings (1732-1818). Eliza and her mother travelled back to England in 1765, her father remained in India.

After her father's death in 1775 she moved to Paris with her mother because life was cheaper in France. In 1781 she married a French army captain, Jean-François Capot de Feuillide, with whom she had a son, Hastings. Her husband was a French count. After the French revolution she returned to England with her mother in 1790. Her husband was loyal to the monarchy and died under the guillotine in 1794.

In England she married Jane Austen's brother Henry in 1797. Her son died in 1801. Eliza and Henry had no further children. Elizabeth was able to ride and she played the harp. This added to speculation that she was the model for Mary Crawford in Jane's book "Mansfield Park". After a long illness Eliza herself died in 1813 in London with Jane at her side. She was buried next to her son.

In 2002 a book by Deirdre Le Faye on her life and letters was published.

Related persons
• is cousin of Austen, Jane


The grave of Elizabeth Austen at St. John-at-Hampstead, London.

• Le Faye, Deirdre, Jane Austen's Outlandish Cousin, The British Library, London, 2002
• Le Faye, Deirdre (ed.), Jane Austen's Letters, Fourth Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011
• Wade, Christopher, Hampstead Parish Church Tomb Trail 1, The Old Churchyard, Camden History Society, London, 1986

Austen, Jane

Published: 09 Nov 2008
Last update: 25 Apr 2022