As many people will know, 2013 was the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’.
While living in Chawton (a village next to the market town of Alton) Jane wrote to her sister Cassandra ‘I want to tell you that I have got my own darling Child from London;- on Wednesday I received one Copy, sent down by Falknor’. The ‘darling Child’ was, of course, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and Falknor was Richard Faulkner of Collyers Coaching Establishment here in Alton.
Jane Austen often walked the short distance from Chawton to Alton and, in February 1811, she visited Mr Newnham, the apothecary and surgeon, with Miss Beckford (the sister-in-law of Mr Middleton, who had a 5-year lease on Chawton House). On returning home, Jane wrote the following:
‘Lines to Maria Beckford’
‘I’ve a pain in my head
Said the suffering Beckford,
To her Doctor so dread,
Oh! What shall I take for’t?
Said her Doctor so dread
Whose name it was Newnham
For this pain in your head
Ah! what can you do Ma’am?…’
Jane’s doctor was Dr William Curtis – the father of the Dr William Curtis after whom Alton’s Curtis Museum is named.
So, if your ancestors lived or came to Alton or the surrounding villages – did they see Jane or her family? Did they consult Mr Newnham? If you too can visit our area then you can step back into the time of your ancestors by seeing the Curtis Museum and Watercress Line in Alton, Jane Austen’s House and Chawton House in Chawton and Gilbert White’s House in Selborne.
If you think that we can help you with your research then do get in touch – Alton Group, c/o email@example.com.
Old Alresford village booklet now available
Old Alresford, (VB100) is located midway between Alton and Winchester just north of New Alresford which is on the A31. Alresford Pond is a large lake created in the 12th Century at the head of the River Arle, a tributary of the River Itchen. Several water mills have existed along the river with the restored […]
Knowle War Memorial
Knowle Hospital was open in 1852 as the Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum. The asylum was renamed Knowle Mental Hospital in c.1923 and following the 1948 introduction of the National Health Service Act, became Knowle Hospital. At the beginning of the 20th century, Knowle Hospital was home to over 1000 patients and staff and was a self […]
Free Data in the Members’ Area
For some time HGS has had the intention of making some of its large collection of Family History data available to members in the Members’ Area of our website. With the development of our website we have now been able to begin this process and the first set to be introduced is of various ‘small churchyards’ […]
RIP Private Herbert Frank French
Herbert Frank FRENCH was born on 21st April 1884 at 11 Hyde Close in Winchester, the illegitimate son of Emily. On 18th January 1908 he married Sarah Ann (Annie) BIGNELL in Meonstoke and then settled in the village to raise their daughters Emily and Ivy. Herbert was initially in the Territorial Army then when WWI […]
Can you help
We have recently been passed a copy of a photograph with a request for more information, maybe the location or the purpose. A comment with the photo says that the men were in training but didn’t say what for.