Steventon in 1816: The birthplace of our dear Jane and I
I do believe that some acquaintances of myself and Jane would quite enjoy some stories about the pleasantries of our town today, as well as the stories of myself and our dear Jane about the sweet, pretty town that was once our home. I have collected them here for you to enjoy!
Steventon: A pretty rural town
Steventon holds a dear place in my sister’s heart. She much enjoys country life, and Steventon has held hers for many years. Oh how she wishes to return again!
To begin, a bit about our county of Hampshire. It is considered one of the most agreeable areas in all of England. The surface is formed of gently rising hills, as well as fruitful vales and plains. These are most perfect for an evening walk.
The county of Hampshire grows healthy corn, wheat, and hops. Cattle and sheep are often wandering the hills. The number of sheep in the country is quite large, some say almost 350,000!
Jane enjoys the many trees around Steventon, as does our brother for their use in his majesty’s ships. The trees and timber of Hampshire are quite strong. The navy finds them to be quite attractive, and harvests the wood for ships.
To assist you in understanding our part of England, here is a map from not too far past, drawn in 1797:
As well, here is a closer view of our town of Steventon:
A journey of 10 miles is where one would find the wondrous Vyne. It is the most fantastic of homes. Both my dear sister Jane and I attend many dances at The Vyne, near to the town of Basingstoke.
The rooms are quite well appointed, and it is a wonderful place to spend an evening:
Myself and my sister Jane were born in the Steventon Rectory. It is a large home that our family has settled quite nicely. It is well appointed and of fair size for all in the family, as well as a few servants. Our father Reverend Austen also has chosen to host several boys in the rectory, for education as they study for entry to Oxford.
St Nicholas Church
Our church is almost 500 years old. It is dedicated to St Nicholas, we feel his presence in the house of the Lord. Father George spends many an hour here most days, we he does God’s work to share His word:
It is of interest to see this simple entry from the Parish Register, marking the glorious day — December 17th 1775 — that my dear sister Jane was baptised and promised to God:
It reads, as written in my father’s hand:
“Jane Daughter of the Revd Mr George Austen Rector of this Parish, & Cassandra his wife was Privately Baptizd Decr 17th 1775 Rec’d into the Church April 5th 1776”