Jane Austen and the Thames Valley Connection

Reading Branch meeting 28th May 2020, conducted on Zoom Speaker: Joy Pibworth Joy outlined the family background of Jane’s life and the places where those people lived. She painted a picture of her parent’s lives and those of her close relatives. They involved places as far away as America, Russia as well as Oxford, Tonbridge and Bristol in the U.K. There were stories of Fishing Fleet (female passage to India to seek marriage) and the scandal of trials for stealing lace which resulted in acquittal.  One of her ancestors, Sir Thomas White, who was born in Reading in 1492 was a clothier and educated at Reading School, he served an apprenticeship to a wool merchant and went on to found St John ’s Baptists College. Jane’s father George was raised by his uncle Francis, and her mother Cassandra (nee Leigh) was the daughter of a Rector. They were married in 1764 in Bath and raised eight children including Jane who was the second…

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