Jane Austen
image: Wikipedia Commons/University of Texas

Jane Austen (1775-1817) was a novelist and in 2008 scenes for Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (1811) were filmed for the TV series at Loseley House

And there is a connection with Jane Austen (1775-1817). Jane’s beloved friend, Mrs Anne Lefroy, ‘Madame Lefroy’ née Brydges (1749-1804) married Isaac Peter George Lefroy (1745-1806) in 1778. Known as ‘George’ Lefroy he was Rector of Ashe in Hampshire, the living the gift of the family. But he was also Rector of Compton from 1777, the living gifted by Edward Fulham. The Letters of Mrs Lefroy Jane Austen’s Beloved Friend is based on letters from 29th September 1800 to 7th December 1804 mainly to her son Edward and of George Lefroy’s journeys between Ashe and Compton. Madame Lefroy died on the 16th December 1804 which was also Jane Austen’s 29th birthday. She fell from a horse at Ashe and died aged 56. Jane Austen four years later wrote a poem “To the Memory of Mrs. Lefroy who died Dec:r 16 — my Birthday”.

George Lefroy died on the 13th January 1806. He was succeeded at both Ashe and Compton by his son, John Henry George Lefroy (1782-1823). He was Rector of Compton from 1806-1823, instituted on the 15th May 1806. He was presented by Jemima Brydges (1728-1809) of Canterbury, George Lefroy’s mother-in-law. Jane More Molyneux who died in 1802 had already bequeathed the living to Edward Brydges (1712-1780) of Wootton in Kent, and after his death, his wife, Jemima, inherited the right to appoint once to the living of Compton. John Henry George Lefroy married Sophia Cottrell on the 22nd July 1806.

Jane Austen, in A Chronology of Jane Austen and Her Family: 1700-2000 by Deirdre Le Faye (2006) taken from Bellas Manuscripts, writes December 13, 1823 Saturday Ashe:

“Anna and Ben and their family take up residence here;
Revd. George Molyneux becomes incumbent of Compton.”

Anna, niece of Jane Austen, daughter of her brother, James Austen, was married to Benjamin Lefroy (1791-1829). In 1823 he became Rector of Ashe after the death of his brother, John Henry George Lefroy, until he died in 1829.

In 1823 a new Rector of Compton, Revd. George More-Molyneux (1797-1872), was appointed who remained there for over 50 years until he died in 1872. The Advowson had reverted to the Loseley Estate owner and James More-Molyneux presented it to his younger brother, George More-Molyneux. Revd. George More-Molyneux (1797-1872) was not recognised as a More-Molyneux as he had been born before the marriage of James More-Molyneux and Ann Merriott in 1803. As James ‘Freeman’ he was born to Jane Freeman and Thomas More-Molyneux who did not marry, and in 1802 Thomas took the name of More-Molyneux under the terms of the will of Jane More-Molyneux to inherit Loseley.

Revd. George Molyneux was father of Margaret Jane Phyllis More-Molyneux who married Henry Andrew Sarel in 1867. Their son, Henry Walter Molyneux Sarel (1873-1941) was one of the architects who worked with Gertrude Jekyll.

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