British clergyman, father of Jane Austen. George Austen was born in Tonbridge in Kent, one of four children of William Austen, a surgeon, and Rebecca (nee Hampson.) Both parents died before George was nine, and he was raised by his uncle, Francis Austen, a wealthy lawyer, who paid for George's education at Tonbridge School and St. John's College, Oxford. In 1755, he was ordained in Rochester Cathedral. For some years, he taught at his old school, then became the assistant chaplain at his old college until, in 1761, he was presented, by a distant cousin named Thomas Knight, with the living of Steventon in Hampshire. Later, Francis Austen added to this the neighbouring parish of Deane. On the 26th. April 1764, at St. Swithin's Church in Bath, George Austen married Cassandra Leigh (q.v.). They remained in Hampshire for thirty years, until he retired to Bath. On the 2nd. January 1805, Jane Austen wrote to her brother, Frank, who was on duty with the Royal Navy: "We have lost an excellent Father. An illness of only eight and forty hours carried him off yesterday morning between ten and eleven. His tenderness as a father, who can do justice to?"
The inscriptiion on his grave reads:
"Under this stone rests the remains of
the Revd. George Austen
Rector of Steventon and Deane in Hampshire
who departed this life
the 1st. of January 1805
aged 75 years."
Age: 73, Occupation: Clergy, Married/Single: Married, Notes: Rev, 26 Jan 1805 is the interment date
Cassandra Leigh Austen
1740–1827 (m. 1764)