|Austen of Shalford|
John's eldest son, yet another John Austen (d. 1612), was also a merchant but on a larger stage. He was a freeman of the city of London and a member of the Haberdashers' company, but his chief activities were as an overseas merchant, trading with the Mediterranean and the Levant. He spent much of his early adulthood abroad, living in Venice, which remained at that time the chief centre for trade with the Near East. When he returned to England he lived in London until his retirement from business in about 1598. Both John and his brother George had for some years being converting their profits into landed property by buying small parcels of land around Guildford, and in 1599 they joined forces to jointly purchase the rectory manor of Shalford. John then settled down to the management of their estates, while George - who remained active in business and public affairs - oversaw the building of a new house on their property at Shalford. Although the two men held equal moieties of the Shalford property, the deal was probably from the beginning that John, who was childless, would bequeath his estate to George's eldest son and heir. This was supposed to be the son of George's first marriage, Samuel Austen (1578-1607), but after he died in the lifetime of his father and uncle, it was the eldest surviving son of George's second marriage, John Austen (1588-1660) who came into a double inheritance from his father and uncle.
This John may have followed his uncle into a career as a London merchant venturer, and evidently had some involvement with the newly-founded East India Company, but from the early 1620s he established himself as a landed gentleman. His views and religious opinions were Puritan, and during the Civil War he was an active supporter of the Parliamentarian cause and served with Lord Onslow's Surrey Militia in both England and Ireland. His elder son died during the Commonwealth and he was succeeded at his death by his second son, George Austen (1632-c.1671), of whose abilities and discretion his will suggests he had a rather low opinion. George was married twice and produced four sons, of whom the three eldest went on to inherit the Shalford estate in turn. It is not quite clear when George died, but his eldest son John Austen (1654-1702) was evidently dealing with estate matters by 1672, even though he would then still have been a minor. John married in 1686 but produced no children, and when he died in 1702 he was succeeded by his brother Robert Austen (1657-1718), who was Colonel of the Surrey militia but like his brother produced no children. At his death, therefore, the estate passed to his half-brother, George Austen (1664-1728), of whom almost nothing seems to be recorded. We know only that he disinherited his eldest son, John Austen, whom he thought was a spendthrift, 'given to riotous living, chambering and wantonness', in favour of his younger son, Robert Austen (c.1700-59). Robert was a bachelor who lived at Shalford with his sister Elizabeth until her death in 1744. Elizabeth, who was also unmarried, had a companion called Joan Street (1702-69). After Elizabeth's death, she remained at Shalford and played an increasing part in the management of the estate for Robert, who finally married her in 1751. Robert was probably responsible for a significant remodelling of the entrance front at Shalford, producing a regular two-storey eight-bay elevation with a central porch and a panelled parapet, recorded in an 18th century sketch.
When Robert Austen died in 1759 he had no close relatives to inherit Shalford, and after leaving Joan a life interest in the property he selected as his heirs her two nephews, Henry and Robert Stoffold, on condition that they took the name of Austen. It has been suggested in the past that the two boys were in fact the illegitimate children of Robert and Joan, but there is a good deal of evidence to suggest that this is not true. Failing that, their adoption as Robert's heirs has been cited as an example of the influence Joan came to wield over her husband, since they were her kin, not his. However, it now appears that they probably did have Austen blood in their veins after all. Their father, William Stoffold alias Stovold, was born in 1704, and was the son of another William Stovold, who lived at Elstead (Surrey) and married 'Sarah Astin' of Thursley at Farnham in 1703. Since the name Austen is commonly rendered Astin in contemporary sources, it seems more than likely that she was a descendant of one of the many sons of George Austen (d. 1621), although I have not been able to trace the precise relationship.
When Henry and Robert came into their inheritance on Joan Austen's death in 1769, they agreed to divide the property between them. Henry Austen (as he became in 1760), the elder brother, took Shalford House and the adjacent estate. Robert Austen, who was a lawyer in London, received the outlying parts of the estate and purchased additional properties in the area as opportunities arose. Henry Austen (1735-86) was unmarried and so when he died the estate was reunited in the ownership of his brother. It was Robert Austen (1739-97) who again altered the house at Shalford, adding an extra storey and creating a fashionable new drawing room with a music room above it. Robert was noted as a connoisseur of art and a numismatist, and he wanted his coin collection to remain at Shalford as an heirloom, but his son obtained parliamentary authority for its sale to the Bank of England, where it formed the nucleus of a collection that was later passed on to the British Museum.
If Robert Austen's life was outwardly successful, his domestic relationships were less harmonious. He married Frances Annesley Gregory, the daughter of a London surgeon, and the couple had eight children, of whom only three survived to adulthood. In the 1790s, his wife became a Methodist and he found her religious enthusiasm so unsettling that he sought legal advice on whether it constituted grounds for a separation. In the event, he died before he could bring this about, and she went on to marry again, become a Roman Catholic and separate from her second husband, before returning to the Church of England in old age (she died in 1845 at the age of 94).
When Robert died in 1797 his only son and heir was a boy of twelve. Shalford House was let during his minority and although Henry Edmund Austen (1785-1871) and his half-French first wife lived there from 1808 until 1821, after that the family spent increasing amounts of time in France, and Shalford was again let. A Whig by inclination, Henry was an active supporter of parliamentary reform, and although he was himself never an MP, his support was valued sufficiently for him to be knighted and made a Gentleman of the Bedchamber in 1832. One wonders how he helped the cause, as there was even consideration of giving him a peerage, although this proposal was dropped, partly because of opposition from Sir Henry's eldest son, who would have been in line to inherit the title, who did not consider that the resources of the estate would support the dignity of a title.
Sir Henry's first wife died in France in 1837, and six years later he married the widow of Sir Robert Pocklington of Chelsworth Hall (Suffk).
|Chelsworth Hall in the late 19th century.|
Sir Henry's heir was Robert Alfred Cloyne Austen (1808-84), who went up to Oxford in 1826, where he studied under the celebrated geologist and zoöphage, William Buckland (1784-1856), and himself became a noted geologist. Robert married in 1833 and lived at first in Devon, where some of his most notable geological work was done.
|Chilworth Manor: the front block remodelled in the mid 19th century.|
Maria Elizabeth seems to have been responsible for introducing a gene for longevity into the Godwin-Austen family. She herself lived to be ninety, despite having eighteen children in twenty-three years. Eight of her children lived into their nineties and two of her daughters became centenarians: Charlotte Godwin-Austin (later Armstrong), who died aged 104 in November 1943, is I think the longest-lived person I have recorded so far among the landed gentry families of Britain and Ireland. The heir to Shalford was Henry Haversham Godwin-Austen (1834-1923), who found fame as an explorer, cartographer, geologist and naturalist. Working for the Indian Army survey department in the 1860s and 1870s he mapped the Karakoram mountains for the first time, and K2, the second highest peak in the Himalayas, was named in his honour as Mount Godwin-Austen, although the name is now rarely used. Henry retired from the army in 1877 on the grounds of ill-health and returned to England, and although he then quickly recovered his health and continued his academic interests, he devoted increasing amounts of time to management of the Shalford estate after he inherited it in 1884. This was the period of the Agricultural Depression, however, and the estate slid inexorably into financial difficulties, which resulted in Henry's bankruptcy in 1898 and the sale of Shalford House the following year. The house was used subsequently as a school and an hotel before being demolished in the 1960s.
|Smithbrook Manor, Cranleigh: a 15th and 17th century |
house extended in 1970.
In 1948, Major Robert Godwin-Austen died leaving no children, and the estate passed to his first cousin, Robert Annesley Godwin-Austen (1885-1977), who had recently retired after a distinguished career in the colonial service. He also lived at Smithbrook Manor, but this house too was apparently sold in about 1970. He left two sons, the eldest of whom, Lt-Col. Robert Haversham Godwin-Austen (b. 1932), took over the management of the estate and lives today in a farmhouse at Shalford; he handed over the 1,300 estate to his only son, Stephen Godwin-Austen (b. 1962) in about 2000, who is the current chairman of the Surrey branch of the Country Landowners Association.
|Papplewick Hall: the house of 1781-87 restored in the 1980s |
by Dr R.B. Godwin-Austen. Image: Nick Kingsley. Some rights reserved.
Shalford House, Surrey
The house was first built around 1610 close to the parish church. It is said to be near the site of the old rectory manor-house, but the actual site was called the Timber Yard in contemporary documents. The surviving building accounts, which cover only the years from 1608 to 1610, show that it was built of stone and brick. Although the house was much altered later, some elements of its original decoration survived and were recorded before demolition.
|Shalford House: Oak Room chimneypiece, from an engraving of 1841.|
|Shalford House, before 1788 (detail of Surrey History Centre 8877/2/326)|
A more significant remodelling was probably carried out for Robert Austen (c.1700-59) after he inherited the estate in 1728, and involved the modernisation of the entrance front as an eight bay two-storey front with a central porch and a panelled parapet that partly concealed three small dormer windows. The house in this state is recorded in a grisaille drawing in the Surrey History Centre, which also records the appearance of the ancient church before it was rebuilt in 1788.
|Shalford House: entrance front shortly before demolition in 1968. Image: Surrey History Centre CC1101/3/129/11.|
|Shalford House: the curved bow window dated from the 1790s alterations; the block beyond from 1875.|
Image: Surrey History Centre CC1101/3/129/29.
|Shalford House: drawing room, shortly before demolition. Image: Historic England.|
|Shalford House: chimneypiece probably of 1795, now at Papplewick Hall (Notts). Image: Historic England.|
Austen (later Godwin-Austen) family
Austen, John (d. 1612). Elder son of John Austen (d. 1572), merchant of Guildford, and his wife Joan (d. 1582), daughter of William Snelling of East Horsley (Surrey). He was a citizen of London and a member of the Haberdasher's Guild, and spent much of his early adulthood abroad, trading in the Levant and in Venice. He was later chiefly a Merchant Adventurer, funding the trading voyages of others, and lived in London until his retirement in c.1598. MP for Guildford, 1563; Mayor of Guildford, 1566. Family tradition alleges that he married in Venice, the Contessa Giuliana Grimani, but there is no documentary evidence for this marriage, which is perhaps unlikely on legal and religious grounds: it may have been a story spun around a portrait, reputedly of the Contessa, which was in the family's possession by the 19th century. He was without issue.
He invested the profits of his activities as a merchant in buying property around Guildford and Shalford, culminating in the purchase (jointly with his brother George) of the Rectory Manor of Shalford and Bramley in 1599. They commenced building Shalford House in 1601 and it was completed in 1611. At his death his share of the estate passed to John, the eldest son of his brother George.
He was buried at Shalford, 11 February 1611/2; his will was proved 14 February 1611/2.
Austen, George (c.1548-1621). Younger son of John Austen (d. 1572), merchant of Guildford, and his wife Joan (d. 1582), daughter of William Snelling of East Horsley (Surrey), born at Guildford about 1548. Wool stapler at Guildford. Admitted to Middle Temple, 1593. Town Clerk of Guildford, 1567-79; freeman, 1576; Mayor of Guildford, 1579-80, 1588-89 and Apr-Oct, 1600. MP for Haslemere, 1593 and Guildford, 1604-14; treasurer of Surrey musters, 1599; JP for Surrey, 1618-21. Apart from his influence in Guildford, where his father had also been Mayor and MP, he owed much of his public career to the patronage of Sir William More of Loseley, who he served as a book-keeper by the 1570s, and who secured his appointment as Clerk of the Peace for the county of Surrey, 1577-85 and c.1598-1617; he was also deputy to More as Chamberlain of Receipt in the Exchequer, 1591-1602, 1607-16. He was something of an antiquary, and wrote an account of the free school at Guildford (of which his father had been one of the founders) and collected and edited the scattered charters and records of Guildford Corporation. At the end of his life he assisted Archbishop Abbot (whose brother was his son-in-law) with the foundation of Trinity Hospital in Guildford. He married 1st, 16 September 1571, Ann (d. 1578), daughter of Thomas Mellersh of Nore, Godalming; 2nd, 1579 (licence 30 May) at Shalford, Jane (d. 1599), daughter of Robert Harrison of London, and heiress to her brother, and 3rd, about 1600, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Wayre of London, fishmonger, and widow of Thomas James of London, haberdasher, and had issue:
(1.1) Joan (alias Johanna) Austen (1574-97), baptised at Holy Trinity, Guildford, 22 February 1573/4; married Sir Maurice Abbott (1565-1642), kt., Lord Mayor of London and Governor of the East India Company (who m2, 1598 (licence 27 May), Margaret (d. 1630), daughter of Bartholomew Barnes), and had issue three sons and two daughters; buried at St Benet Fink, London, 17 September 1597;
(1.2) Anne Austen (1577-1629?), baptised at Holy Trinity, Guildford, 3 February 1576/7; married, 23 June 1600 at Holy Trinity, Guildford, John Wight (1574-1656) of Brabeouf, near St. Catherine's, Guildford; possibly the person of this name who was buried in the new chapel at St Saviour, Southwark, 13 September 1629;
(1.3) Samuel Austen (1578-1607), baptised at Holy Trinity, Guildford, 7 September 1578; educated at Middle Temple (admitted 1598); succeeded his father as Deputy Chamberlain of the Exchequer, 1602-07; married, 27 August 1599 at St Mary, Whitechapel (Middx), Jane Cranley (who m2, Sir George Stoughton and m3, Sir Thomas Bowyer, 1st bt. and was buried 10 April 1640 at North Mundham (Sussex)), but had no issue; lived at Tyting Farm; died in the lifetime of his father and was buried at Holy Trinity, Guildford, 12 January 1607;
(2.1) Jane Austen (b. 1583), baptised at Holy Trinity, Guildford, 10 March 1582/3; married, 14 September 1601 at St Mary, Guildford, Thomas Tuesley (1573-1638), mayor of Guildford, and had issue five sons and twelve daughters; living in 1620;
(2.2) George Austen (1586-93), baptised at Holy Trinity, Guildford, 17 April 1586; died young and was buried at Holy Trinity, Guildford, 25 July 1593;
(2.3) Emma Austen (b. 1587), baptised at Holy Trinity, Guildford, 28 May 1587; died young;
(2.4) Col. John Austen (1588-1660) (q.v.);
(2.5) Daniel Austen (1591-1615), baptised 15 March 1590/1; died unmarried and was buried at Shalford, 6 October 1615;
(2.6) Francis Austen (b. 1592), baptised 16 January 1591/2; citizen of London; married, 2 October 1617 at St. Giles Cripplegate, London, Sarah, daughter of W. Banastre of Drayton (Middx), and had issue one son; living in 1620;
(2.7) Rev. Robert Austen (1593-1663), baptised at Holy Trinity, Guildford, 29 April 1593; educated at Eton and King's College, Cambridge (admitted 1612; BA 1615/6; MA 1619; BD 1626; DD 1639); Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, 1614-28; University Reader in Rhetoric; ordained deacon and priest, 1624; chaplain to Archbishop Abbot (who was brother-in-law to his half-sister); rector of Harbledown (Kent), 1628-43; rector of Aldington (Kent), 1636; vicar of Fordingbridge (Hants), 1639; married Ann [surname unknown] and had issue; will proved 31 March 1663;
(2.8) Rev. Ralph Austen (1595-1632), baptised at Holy Trinity, Guildford, 12 October 1595; educated at Magdalen College, Oxford (demy, 1614-19; BA 1617; MA 1620; BD 1631); Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, 1619-32; University Proctor, 1630; vicar of Selborne (Hants), 1631; died unmarried; administration of goods granted at Oxford, 10 May 1632;
(2.9) George Austen (b. 1597), baptised at Holy Trinity, Guildford, 23 August 1597; citizen and merchant of London; living in 1620;
(3.1) Elizabeth Austen (b. & d. 1601), baptised at Holy Trinity, Guildford, 1 March 1600/1; died in infancy and was buried at Holy Trinity, Guildford, 12 April 1601;
(3.2) Benjamin Austen (b. 1602), baptised at Holy Trinity, Guildford, 7 February 1601/2; living in 1620;
(3.3) Susan Austen (b. 1604), baptised at Holy Trinity, Guildford, 21 June 1604; living in 1620;
(3.4) Elizabeth Austen (b. 1605), baptised at Holy Trinity, Guildford, 12 August 1605; living in 1620.
He acquired Nore Farm in Bramley (Surrey) through his first marriage, and later in 1588 purchased the manor of Smithbrook in Dunsfold (Surrey). Other purchases around Bramley, Dunsfold and Chiddingfold followed, culminating in the purchase (jointly with his brother John) of the Rectory Manor of Shalford and Bramley in 1599. They commenced building Shalford House in 1601 and it was completed in 1611. He moved to Shalford after his brother's death.
He died 1 June 1621; his will was proved 16 June 1621. His first wife was buried at Holy Trinity, Guildford, 26 September 1578; his second wife was buried at Holy Trinity, Guildford, 18 September 1599; his widow was living in 1626.
Austen, Col. John (1588-1660). Eldest surviving son of George Austen (c.1548-1621) and his second wife, Jane, daughter of Robert Harrison of London, baptised at Holy Trinity, Guildford, 1 December 1588. He seems to have had some involvement with the East India Company, and may have maintained his uncle's activities as a merchant adventurer on a reduced scale. He held Puritan views, and in the Civil War was an uncompromising Parliamentarian, serving as an officer in Lord Onslow's Surrey Militia (retiring as Col.) and seeing action in England and Ireland. He married, 1613 (settlement 17 May), Margaret, daughter of Sir Richard Lewkenor of West Dean (Sussex), and had issue:
(1) Margaret Austen (b. 1614), baptised at Shalford, 27 June 1614; married Richard Cresswell of Snox Hall, Cranleigh (Surrey) and had issue; living in 1660;
(2) Richard Austen (b. 1625), baptised at Shalford, 10 January 1624/5; educated at Middle Temple (admitted 1639) and Hart Hall, Oxford (matriculated 1640); died before 1660;
(3) Anne Austen (b. 1627), baptised at Shalford, 3 September 1627;
(4) Jane Austen (b. & d. 1630), baptised 24 March 1629/30; buried at Shalford, 9 September 1630;
(5) George Austen (1632-c.1671) (q.v.).
He inherited his uncle's moiety of the Shalford House estate in 1612 and his father's property in 1621.
He was buried at Shalford, 21 May 1660; his will was proved 5 November 1660. His wife's date of death is unknown.
Austen, George (1632-c.1671). Only surviving son of Col. John Austen (1590-1660) and his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir Richard Lewkenor of West Dean (Sussex), baptised at Shalford, 2 May 1632. Educated at Middle Temple (admitted 1652). He married 1st, Ursula (d. c.1657), daughter of Sir Robert Anstruther, and 2nd, 1658 (post-nuptial settlement 18 June), Elizabeth (1641-1717), daughter of Henry Weston of Ockham (Surrey), and had issue:
(1.1) John Austen (1654-1702) (q.v.);
(1.2) Col. Robert Austen (1657-1718) (q.v.);
(2.1) Elizabeth Austen (b. 1659), baptised at Shalford, 13 November 1659;
(2.2) George Austen (1664-1728) (q.v.);
(2.3) Edward Austen (b. 1672), baptised at Shalford, 31 August 1672.
He inherited the Shalford House estate from his father in 1660.
He was living in 1671 but probably died soon afterwards. His first wife must have died about 1657. His widow was buried at Shalford, 3 August 1717.
Austen, John (1654-1702). Eldest son of George Austen and his first wife Ursula, daughter of Sir Robert Anstruther, baptised at Shalford, 12 December 1654. Admitted a freeman of the borough of Guildford, 1680. He married, 1686 (settlement 20 April), Mary, daughter of John Symball of Battersea (Surrey), but had no issue.
He inherited the Shalford House estate from his father.
He was buried at Shalford, 3 July 1702; his will was proved in 1705. His wife was buried at Shalford, 16 February 1693.
Austen, Col. Robert (1657-1718). Second son of George Austen and his first wife Ursula, daughter of Sir Robert Anstruther, baptised at Shalford, 27 April 1657. A Colonel of militia. A trustee of the Poyle estates. Freeman of Guildford, 1706. He married 4 May 1710 at St Peter Cornhill, London, Mary (d. 1721?), daughter of Henry Ludlow of Bramley (Surrey) but had no issue.
He inherited the Shalford House estate from his brother John in 1702.
He was buried at Shalford, 17 December 1718. His widow may be the person of this name who was buried at Bramley (Surrey), 25 July 1721.
Austen, George (1664-1728). Elder son of George Austen and his second wife Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Weston of Ockham (Surrey), baptised at St. Nicholas, Guildford, 4 September 1664. He married, 8 April 1695 at Holy Trinity, Minories, London, Sarah, daughter of Richard Roper of Gloucester, and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Austen (d. 1744); acted as housekeeper to her brother Robert, but 'preferred society and card parties to the routine of domestic duties'; died unmarried and was buried at Shalford, 28 May 1744;
(2) John Austen; said to have been a spendthrift, 'given to riotous living, chambering and wantonness' and evidently not to be trusted with the care of an estate; his father left him an annuity of £50 a year which he sold to his brother Robert shortly before his death;
(3) Robert Austen (c.1700-59) (q.v.);
(4) George Austen (1701-03), baptised at St Olave, Hart St., London, 27 July 1701; died young, 19 September 1703;
(5) George Austen (1707-30), baptised at St Olave, Hart St., London, 10 February 1707/8; died unmarried and was buried at Shalford, 23 December 1730.
He inherited the Shalford House estate from his brother Robert in 1718.
He was buried at Shalford, 15 May 1728. His widow's date of death is unknown.
Austen, Robert (c.1700-59). Second son of George Austen (d. 1728) and his wife Sarah, daughter of Robert or Richard Roper of Gloucester, born about 1700. Chairman of Surrey Quarter Sessions and Receiver General of the County of Surrey, 1742. He married, 21 November 1751 at St Gregory by St. Paul, London, Joan (1702-69), daughter of Lawrence Street of Birtley, Bramley (Surrey), who had originally been employed as companion to his sister, but had no issue (rumours that Joan's nephews, Henry and Robert Stoffold, who became Robert's heirs, were their illegitimate children, are apparently unfounded).
He inherited the Shalford House estate from his father in 1728, and probably remodelled the entrance front soon afterwards. At his death, the estate passed to his widow for life and then to her nephews, Henry and Robert Stoffold, who were required to take the name Austen.
He was buried at Shalford, 9 September 1759; his will was proved 7 September 1759. His widow was buried at Shalford, 19 February 1769; her will was proved 27 February 1769.
Stoffold alias Stovold, William (b. 1704) of Chilworth (Surrey). Son of William Stovold (d. 1734) of Elstead (Surrey) and his wife Sarah Astin [Austen?], baptised 29 April 1704. He married, 10 November 1731 at Shalford, Mary (b. 1705), daughter of Lawrence Street of Birtley, Bramley (Surrey) and sister of Joan, the wife of Robert Austen (d. 1759), and had issue:
(1) Henry Stoffold (later Austen) (1735-86) (q.v.);
(2) Robert Stoffold (later Austen) (1739-97) (q.v.).
His date of death is unknown. His wife's date of death is unknown.
Stoffold (later Austen), Henry (1735-86). Elder son of William Stoffold of Chilworth and his wife Mary, said to have been born in 1735. Said to have been educated at Guildford Grammar School and Lincoln's Inn. A Captain in the Surrey Militia. He took the name Austen in lieu of Stoffold by Act of Parliament in 1759 (33 George II, c.16). He was unmarried and without issue.
In 1759 he and his brother inherited a reversionary interest in the Shalford House estate, and they came into possession in 1769 on the death of his aunt. By a deed of arrangement in 1774, he and his brother divided the estate and Henry's portion included Shalford House. On his death, however, he was succeeded by his brother.
He died intestate, 30 November 1786 and was buried at Shalford, where he is commemorated by a monument.
Stoffold (later Austen), Robert (1739-97). Younger son of William Stoffold of Chilworth and his wife Mary, said to have been born 20 May 1739. Educated at Guildford Grammar School? after which he was articled to John Martyr of Guildford, solicitor, 1757, before continuing his education at the Middle Temple (admitted 1763) and Lincoln's Inn (admitted 1767). Solicitor; Clerk of the Papers in the Court of Kings Bench. He took the name Austen in lieu of Stoffold by Act of Parliament in 1759. He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, principally on the grounds of his reputation as a coin collector and numismatist; his will directed that his coin collection should be treated as an heirloom, but his son obtained an Act of Parliament in 1812 allowing him to sell it to the Bank of England. He was a lifelong friend of the Surrey antiquary, William Bray (1736-1832), who was his fellow pupil in John Martyr's office, and whose diaries contain many references to him. He rebuilt Shalford church in 1788. DL for Surrey, 1788. He married, 10 March 1772 at St. Dionis Backchurch, London, Frances Annesley, daughter and heiress of John Wentworth Nazienzen Gregory, surgeon of London, (from whom he sought a separation after she became a Methodist), and had issue:
(1) Frances Allen Austen (1773-1808), born 21 February and baptised at St Andrew, Holborn (Middx), 19 March 1773; married, 9 July 1800 at St George the Martyr, Queen Square, Bloomsbury (Middx), John Sherman Bedford (1771-1807) of Serjeant's Inn, later judge of the Vice-Admiralty Court in Barbados, son of John Bedford of Reigate (Surrey), and had issue two sons and one daughter; died at sea, 23 March 1808 while returning to England from Barbados; she was presumably buried at sea but is commemorated by a memorial in Shalford church;
(2) Robert Henry Austen (1774-78), born 30 September and baptised at St Andrew, Holborn, 31 October 1774; died young and was buried at St. Andrew, Holborn, 9 December 1778;
(3) Robert Austen (b. & d. 1780), born 7 August and baptised at St Andrew, Holborn, 28 August 1780; died in infancy and was buried at St. Andrew, Holborn, 13 October 1780;
(4) Henrietta Austen (1782-84), baptised at St Andrew, Holborn, 18 October 1782; died in infancy and was buried at Shalford, 26 July 1784;
(5) Elizabeth Smith Austen (1783-1845), baptised at St Andrew, Holborn, 20 February 1784; lived with her mother and died unmarried in Cheltenham, 14 February 1845;
(6) Sir Henry Edmund Austen (1785-1871), kt. (q.v.);
(7) Caroline Austen (1788-93), baptised at St Andrew, Holborn, 4 November 1788; died young and was buried at St Andrew, Holborn, 19 January 1793;
(8) Robert Alfred Austen (b. 1790), baptised at St Andrew, Holborn, 20 April 1790; probably died in infancy.
In 1759 he and his brother inherited a reversionary interest in the Shalford House estate, and they came into possession in 1769 on the death of his aunt. By a deed of arrangement in 1774, he and his brother divided the estate but on his brother's death in 1786 Robert came into possession of the whole property; he continued to live mainly in London, where he had a house in Great James Street. In 1779 he purchased the demesne of the manor of Shalford from the Earl of Onslow, and in 1790 the manor of Braboeuf. His last land purchase, completed after his death, was of Tyting Farm. He was responsible for the remodelling of Shalford House in c.1793-95.
He died 3 November 1797 and was buried at Shalford, where he is commemorated by a monument by John Bacon; his will was proved 6 December 1797. His widow married 2nd, 22 July 1802 at St Luke, Finsbury (Middx) (later sep.), James Crompton; she later became a Roman Catholic before reverting to the Church of England; she lived latterly at Teignmouth (Devon) but died suddenly in Cheltenham in 1845, aged 94; her will was proved 20 March 1845.
Austen, Sir Henry Edmund (1785-1871), kt. Only surviving son of Robert Stoffold (later Austen) (1739-97) and his wife Frances Annesley, daughter and heiress of John Wentworth Nazienzen Gregory, born 20 May 1785. Educated at Harrow and Oriel College, Oxford (matriculated 1803; created MA 1807). In 1810 he secured a private Act of Parliament allowing his trustees to sell his father's coin collection and fell timber on the Shalford estate. JP and DL for Surrey; High Sheriff of Surrey, 1810; A Gentleman of the Privy Chamber, 1830-71. A Whig by tradition and inclination, he was a warm supporter of parliamentary reform, and his support was rewarded by a knighthood in 1832; a proposal to revive the barony of Haversham in his favour was abandoned because it was felt the family did not have the resources to support the dignity of a peerage. Gentleman of the Bedchamber to King William IV and Queen Victoria, 1832-71. He again rebuilt the parish church at Shalford in 1846. In later life he developed antiquarian interests and wrote a history of Chelsworth (Suffk). He married 1st, 21 October 1805 at St Leonard Shoreditch (Middx), without the consent of his guardians, Anne Amelia (c.1783-1837), only daughter of Capt. Robert Spearman Bate HEICS and 2nd, 25 January 1843 at All Souls, Langham Place, Marylebone (Middx), Catherine Frances (1780-1856), daughter of John Blagrave and widow of Sir Robert Pocklington of Chelsworth Hall, and had issue:
(1.1) Henry Austen (b. & d. 1806), born at Broadstairs (Kent); died in infancy; possibly the child of that name buried at St Peter, Thanet (Kent), 2 September 1806;
(1.2) Robert Alfred Cloyne Austen (later Godwin-Austen) (1808-84) (q.v.);
(1.3) Lt-Col. Henry Edmund Austen (1809-68), born 4 March 1809 and baptised at Shalford, 4 June 1810; an officer in the army (Ensign, 1832; Lt., 1833; Capt., 1836; retired as Lt-Col., 1856); adjutant to 1st Surrey Militia, 1846-54; Sub-Inspector of Militia 1854-56; married, 4 March 1845 at Holbrooke (Suffk), Elizabeth Mary, second daughter of John Reade of Holbrooke House, and had issue two sons and one daughter; died at St Brelade (Jersey), 27 August 1868; administration of his goods granted to his widow, 2 November 1868 (effects under £1,000);
(1.4) Amelia Austen (1810-81), born 29 March and baptised at Shalford, 22 April 1810; married, 24 May 1832 at All Souls, Langham Place, Marylebone (Middx), James Brabazon (1810-73) of Mornington House (Meath) and had issue one son and three daughters; died 6 December 1881; will proved at Dublin, 18 May 1882 (effects in England, £180);
(1.5) Georgiana Frances Austen (1811-12); baptised at Shalford, 15 December 1811; died in infancy and was buried at Shalford, 29 December 1812;
(1.6) Frederick Lewis Austen (1813-68), born 16 October and baptised at Shalford, 21 November 1813; articled clerk to Henry Milnes of Leominster (Herefs), 1830; solicitor with Hopton, Forbes & Co., who acted for his father; married, 28 July 1846 at All Souls, Langham Place, Marylebone (Middx), Sarah, youngest daughter of John Ponton of Uddens House (Dorset) and had issue two daughters; died at Brighton, 16 December 1868;
(1.7) Cmdr. Algernon Stewart Austen (1815-83), born in Edinburgh, 3 August 1815; educated at Versailles and Royal Naval College, Portsmouth; in the Royal Navy from 1830-47 (Lt., 1841; Cmdr., 1864); worked subsequently as a ship insurance broker in London and was bankrupted in 1858, though this was annulled shortly afterwards; married, 28 January 1847 at Valparaiso (Chile), Louise Ellen (d. 1905), eldest daughter of Frederick William Schwager of Valparaiso, and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 1883;
(1.8) John Wentworth Austen (1820-78), born 5 July and baptised at Shalford, 1 October 1820; as a child, lived for a time with General & Mrs. Mackay, who wished to adopt him, but later returned to his family at his father's request; an officer in the army, 1839-46 (Ensign, 1839; Lt., 1841); worked subsequently as a commission agent at Brighton and was bankrupted, 1867 but discharged later the same year; married, 8 July 1843, Eliza Anne (d. 1872), only daughter of Lt-Gen. Philpot and had issue one daughter; died 14 July 1878; administration of goods granted 25 August 1880 (effects under £500);
(1.9) Maj-Gen. Albert George Austen (1822-73), born at Versailles, 9 September 1822; an officer in the Royal Artillery (2nd Lt., 1841; Lt., 1844; Capt., 1854; Maj., 1858; Lt-Col., 1861; Col., 1866; Maj-Gen., 1868; retired, 1868), who served in the Crimea and India, including the suppression of the Indian Mutiny; died unmarried in London, 8 December, and was buried at Shalford, 13 December 1873; will proved 2 January 1874 (effects under £20,000).
He inherited the Shalford House estate from his father in 1797 and came of age in 1806; the house was let during his minority and he did not move in until 1808 (the tenants included, rather briefly, the Comte d'Artois, afterwards King Charles X of France). For some years after 1821 he and his wife lived chiefly in France, and let Shalford House. During his second marriage he lived at Chelsworth Hall and Shalford was again let. After his second wife died he lived mainly in London, at his club or in an hotel; Shalford was let to tenants including Mr & Mrs W. Cannop.
He died at Cheltenham, 1 December and was buried at Shalford, 8 December 1871; his will was proved 5 January 1872 (effects under £16,000). His first wife died at Dieppe (France), 5 September and was buried at Shalford, 13 September 1837. His second wife died after a long illness, 27 December 1856; her will was proved 23 March 1857.
|R.A.C. Godwin-Austen (1808-84)|
(1) Lt-Col. Henry Haversham Austen (later Godwin-Austen) (1834-1923) (q.v.);
(2) Giuliana Maria Elizabeth Austen (later Godwin-Austen) (1835-1928), born 28 July 1835; married, 20 September 1857 at Chilworth (Surrey), Lt-Col. George Henry Pocklington (1833-1908) of Chelsworth Hall (Suffk) - which they rebuilt c.1900 - and had issue one son; died 10 June 1928 aged 92; will proved 8 August 1928 (estate £1,307);
(3) Sophia Harriette Austen (later Godwin-Austen) (1836-1921), born 20 July 1836; married, 3 July 1873 at Chilworth, as his second wife, Sir George John Routledge Hewett (1818-76), 3rd bt., and had issue two sons; died 31 December 1921 and was buried at Shalford, 4 January 1922; will proved 20 April 1922 (estate £3,841);
(4) Helena Frances Austen (1837-39), born 6 September 1837; died in infancy, 17 July and was buried at Shalford, 22 July 1839;
(5) Charlotte Priscilla Austen (later Godwin-Austen) (1838-1943), born 25 December 1838; married, 28 June 1866 at Shalford, Maj. William Bruce Armstrong (1830-1906) of Pirbright Manor (Surrey), but had no issue; died 1 November 1943, aged 104; will proved 17 April 1944 (estate £20,093);
(6) Augusta Victoria Austen (later Godwin-Austen) (1840-1942), born 18 February and baptised at Shalford, 26 February 1840; married, 22 October 1873 at Shalford, William Bryan Lushington (1824-88), barrister-at-law, second son of Rt. Hon. Stephen Lushington, Judge of the Admiralty and had issue one son; died 6 April 1942, aged 102; will proved 29 October 1942 (estate £6,701);
(7) Beatrice Austen (later Godwin-Austen) (1841-1933), born 16 April and baptised at Merrow (Surrey), 7 July 1841; died unmarried, 27 July 1933, aged 92; will proved 16 November 1933 (estate £3,286);
(8) Caroline Amelia Austen (later Godwin-Austen) (1842-1922), born 11 August and baptised at Merrow, 22 August 1842; married, 22 October 1873 at Shalford, Francis Westby Bagshawe (d. 1896) of Oakes-in-Norton and Wormhill Hall (Derbys) and had issue two daughters; died in Cairo (Egypt), 3 March 1922 and was buried there the following day; will proved 25 May 1922 (estate £3,795);
(9) Lt-Col. Alfred Godwin Austen (later Godwin-Austen) (1844-1939) (q.v.);
(10) Alice Mary Austen (later Godwin-Austen) (1845-1937), born 17 June 1845; died unmarried, 22 October 1937, aged 92; will proved 7 January 1938 (estate £5,896);
(11) Elfrida Austen (later Godwin-Austen) (1846-1924), born 16 August 1846; died unmarried, 11 December 1924; administration granted to her sister Alice, 29 April 1925 (estate £4,394) and later to her brother Harold, 2 May 1938;
(12) Robert Alfred Austen (later Godwin-Austen) (1847-67), born 4 March 1847; died of tetanus after being accidentally shot by his brother Edward, 4 August 1867;
(13) Emily Austen (later Godwin-Austen) (1849-1947), born 4 November 1849; married, 29 April 1880, Charles Durant Hodgson (1850-1920), brewer, builder of The Hallams, Wonersh (Surrey), and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 26 December 1947, aged 98; will proved 20 March 1948 (estate £13,007);
(14) Edward George Austen (later Godwin-Austen) (1851-1934), born 1 January and baptised at Chilworth, 19 October 1851; an officer in 2nd Surrey Militia (Lt., 1869; Capt. 1871); emigrated to California (USA); married, 2 January 1883, Olive Constance, daughter of Henry Buckley; died 28 March 1934; administration of goods granted 2 September 1938 (effects in England £1,578);
(15) Arthur Austen (b. & d. 1852), born 14 June and baptised at Shalford, 15 June 1852; died in infancy, 16 June and was buried at Chilworth, 19 June 1852;
(16) Frederick Austen (later Godwin-Austen) (1853-79), born 3 August and baptised at Chilworth, 17 August 1853; an officer in 24th Regt. (Lt., 1875); died unmarried when he was killed at the Battle of Isandlwana in the Zulu War, 22 January 1879;
(17) Edmund Chads Godwin-Austen (1854-1933), born 28 November 1854 and baptised at Chilworth, 7 November 1855; emigrated to New Zealand and in 1883 to USA, where he became a grocer and hotel proprietor in Denver, Colorado; married, 1877 in New Zealand, Elizabeth Annie Warnes (1855-1955) and had issue two sons and one daughter; died at Channing, Texas (USA), 25 January 1932; administration of goods granted 11 July 1938 (effects in England £273);
(18) Harold Godwin-Austen (1856-1943), born 21 February and baptised at Chilworth, 23 May 1856; Indian civil servant; married, 5 October 1886, Margaret Bloomfield (c.1859-1938), daughter of Rev. W. Maule, and had issue one son (died young); died 28 March 1943; will proved 28 June 1943 (estate £11,246).
He lived at Ogwell House (Devon) from 1834-38 and then at Gosden House, Merrow House and from 1846 at Chilworth Manor, where he remained until he inherited Shalford House from his father in 1871. He may have been responsible for alterations to Chilworth Manor made in the mid 19th century and certainly made alterations to Shalford House in 1875.
He died at Shalford House, 25 November 1884 and was buried at Shalford, 1 December 1884; his will was proved 21 March 1885 (effects £10,058). His widow died 12 January 1904 aged 90 and was buried at Shalford; her will was proved 9 May 1904 (estate £3,887).
|H,H. Godwin-Austen (1834-1923)|
(2.2) Robert Arthur Godwin-Austen (1863-1948) (q.v.).
He inherited Shalford House from his father in 1884, but his trustees in bankruptcy sold it and the contents in 1899; he lived at Nore House on the estate before inheriting and returned there after Shalford House was sold. At his death he left the estate to trustees for his only surviving son.
He died 2 December 1923; will proved 29 October 1924 (estate £90). His first wife probably died in late 1860. His second wife died in Calcutta, about 1870, and was commemorated by a brass at Shalford (which states, apparently incorrectly, that she died in 1869). His third wife died 21 July 1913; her will was proved 13 November 1913 (estate £2,048).
Godwin-Austin, Maj. Robert Arthur (1863-1948). Only surviving son of Henry Haversham Godwin-Austin (1834-1923) and his second wife, Pauline Georgiana, daughter of Lt-Col. Arthur Wellesley Chicheley Plowden, born at Srinagar, Kashmir (India), 14 September 1863. Educated at Wellington College and RMC Sandhurst; an officer in the army, (Lt., 1883; Capt., 1890; Maj., 1899; resigned his commission before 1905); served in India, Crete, and Boer War and was recalled to serve with training battalions in the First World War, 1914-18. He married, 14 September 1897 at Kilbarron (Donegal), Elizabeth Augusta Mary (1876-1942), daughter of Richard Alfred Hamilton of Fortwilliam (Fermanagh) and Rockfield (Donegal), but had no issue.
His father's trustees administered the residue of the Shalford estate on his behalf from 1923 onwards, and he lived at Smithbrook Manor, Cranleigh on the estate.
He died 27 October 1948; administration of goods granted to his cousin, 30 March 1949 (effects Nil). His wife died 29 June 1942; her will was proved 14 September 1942 (estate £674).
Godwin (later Godwin-Austen), Alfred Godwin (1844-1939). Second son of Robert Alfred Cloyne Austen (later Godwin-Austen) (1808-84) and his wife Maria Elizabeth, daughter of Maj-Gen. Henry T. Godwin, born 16 March 1844. Educated at Guildford Royal Grammar School and RMC Sandhurst. He took the additional surname of Godwin by royal licence in 1854. An officer in the 24th Regt. (ensign, 1862; Lt., 1867; Capt., 1874; Maj., 1881; Lt-Col. on retirement, 1885); served in Zulu War, 1877-78 and was mentioned in despatches twice. He married, 6 June 1883 at St George, Hanover Square, London, Sara Matilda (k/a Lily) (d. 1942), daughter of John W. Orred of Ashwicke Hall, Marshfield (Glos) and had issue:
(1) Elfrida Marcia Godwin-Austen (1884-1943), born Apr-Jun 1884; certificated masseuse, 1916; married, 25 March 1920 at Gatton (Surrey), Maj. Roland Henry Marsh (1879-1931), son of Col. Jeremy Taylor Marsh of Gatton, and had issue one son; died 13 September 1943; will proved 5 February 1944 (estate £2,984);
(2) Robert Annesley Godwin-Austen (1885-1977) (q.v.);
(3) John Roland Godwin-Austen (b. & d. 1887), baptised at Frensham (Surrey), 9 February 1887; died in infancy and was buried at Frensham, 24 December 1887;
(4) Gen. Sir Alfred Reade Godwin-Austen (1889-1963), born 17 April 1889; educated at St. Lawrence College, Ramsgate (Kent) and RMC Sandhurst; an officer in the army (2nd Lt., 1909; Lt., 1912; Capt., 1915; Major, 1917; Lt-Col., 1929; Col., 1932; Maj-Gen., 1938; Gen., 1947); he served in the First and Second World Wars and had a long career not without controversy; Commandant of Staff College, Camberley, 1942; Director of Tactical Investigation, War Office, 1942-43; Vice Quartermaster General, 1943-45; Quartermaster General in India, 1945; Principal Administrative Officer, Indian Command, 1945-46; retired 1947; appointed OBE 1918; CB 1941; KCSI 1946; Chairman of South-West Division, National Coal Board, 1946-48; Hon. Col. of South Wales Borderers, 1950-54; lived at Ladye Place, Hurley (Berks); died unmarried, 20 March 1963; will proved 16 May 1963 (estate £31,224);
(5) Cicely Maria Godwin-Austen (1893-1977), born 8 February and baptised at Worplesdon (Surrey), 29 March 1893; lived at Hedley Down, Haslemere (Surrey); died unmarried, 2 May 1977; will proved 11 October 1977 (estate £57,565).
He lived at Gridley Manor near Woking after retiring from the army, and later at Surbiton (Surrey).
He died 11 December 1939, aged 95; his will was proved 16 March 1940 (estate £3,628). His widow died 30 November 1942; her will was proved 27 February 1943 (estate £902).
Godwin-Austen, Robert Annesley (1885-1977). Elder surviving son of Alfred Godwin Godwin-Austen (1844-1939) and his wife Sara Matilda, daughter of J.W. Orred of Ashwicke Hall, Marshfield (Glos), born 31 May 1885. Educated at St. Lawrence College, Ramsgate. Surveyor in the Colonial Service, Canada, 1910-14, Persia, 1921-22, South Africa, 1922-24; Director of Surveys, Cyprus, 1931-45. He married, 15 August 1931, Kathleen Beryl (1901-95), only daughter of Arthur Odling of Belsize Park, London NW, and had issue:
(1) Robert Haversham Godwin-Austen (b. 1932) (q.v.);
(2) Richard Bertram Godwin-Austen (1935-2017) of Papplewick Hall (Notts), born 4 October 1935; educated at Charterhouse and St. Thomas's Hospital, London (MD 1968); MRCP 1963; FRCP 1976; registrar, Institute of Neurology, London, 1967-70; consultant neurologist at Derby Royal Infirmary and Nottingham Hospital, 1970-98; President of of the Association of British Neurologists; Vice-President of European Federation of Neurological Societies; Secretary & Treasurer of World Federation of Neurology; member of the Advisory Panel of the Parkinson's Disease Society; High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, 1994-95; author of Seizing Opportunities: reminiscences of a physician, 2008; married 1st, 12 August 1961, Jennifer Jane (d. 1996), second daughter of Louis Sigismund Himely of Holne Brake, Bovey Tracey (Devon) and had issue one son and one daughter; married 2nd, August 1997, Dr. Sally Shearman of Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA); died 3 December 2017.
He inherited the family estate from his cousin in 1948 and lived at Smithbrook Manor, Cranleigh (Surrey).
He died 30 November 1977, aged 92; his will was proved 6 March 1978 (estate £99,492). His widow died 3 July 1995; her will was proved 13 November 1995 (estate £309,274).
Godwin-Austen, Lt-Col. Robert Haversham (k/a Robin) (b. 1932). Elder son of Robert Annesley Godwin-Austen (1885-1977) and his wife Kathleen Beryl, only daughter of Arthur Odling of Belsize Park, London NW, born 15 May 1932. Educated at Radley College and Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst; an officer in the South Wales Borderers/Royal Regiment of Wales (2nd Lt., 1953; Lt., 1955; Capt., 1959; Maj., 1966; Lt-Col., 1971; retired, 1978); mentioned in despatches, 1957, 1975. Chairman of Surrey branch of Country Landowners Assoc., 1995-98; DL 1996. He married, 6 June 1959, Katharine Eliot (1938-2015), younger daughter of Eliot Kingsmill Power of Ardeley, Pirbright (Surrey) and had issue:
(1) Claire Rosalind Godwin-Austen (b. 1960), born 4 October 1960; married, 1988, John N. Wilson and had issue one son and two daughters;
(2) Stephen Robert Godwin-Austen (b. 1962), born 21 July 1962; publisher, until he took over management of the family estate of 1300 acres near Cranleigh (Surrey), c.2000; Chairman of Surrey branch of Country Landowners Assoc., 2015-date;
(3) Diana Katharine Godwin-Austen (b. 1965), born 30 May 1965; married, Jul-Sep 1997, Alexander J.R. Cullen and had issue two sons and two daughters;
(4) Susan Frances Godwin-Austen (b. 1969), born 2 January 1969.
He inherited the family estate from his father in 1977, and handed it over to his son c.2000. He lives at Shalford.
Now living. His wife died 18 May 2015; her will was proved 13 August 2015.
Burke's Landed Gentry, 1972, pp. 32-33; I. Nairn & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Surrey, 2nd edn., 1971, p. 452; P. Bagnall & S. Beck, Ferguson's Gang, 2015; Surrey Advertiser, 20 January 1917, letter from H.H. Godwin-Austen; ODNB entries on Robert Alfred Cloyne Godwin-Austen and Henry Haversham Godwin-Austen;
http://austenfamilies.weebly.com/contents.html; http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1558-1603/member/austen-john-1572; http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1558-1603/member/austen-george-1548-1621;
Location of archives
Godwin-Austen family of Shalford: deeds, maps, manorial and estate records and family papers, 1305-1864 [Surrey History Centre G43, G111, 1514, 7334]; account books, 17th-18th cents [Bodleian Library, MS. Top. Surrey e.4]
Godwin-Austen, Henry Haversham (1834-1923), naturalist: correspondence and papers [Natural History Museum Library]; travel journals and papers, 1864-73 and correspondence, 1859-1918 [Royal Geographical Society]
Coat of arms
Godwin-Austen of Shalford and Pirbright: Quarterly, 1st & 4th, azure, a chevron argent between three Cornish choughs or, the chevron charged for distinction with a sprig of broom, proper (for Austen); 2nd & 3rd, gules, two lions passant per pale or and argent, a canton of the second charged with three annulets of the first (for Godwin).
Can you help?
Here are a few notes about information and images which would help to improve the account above. If you can help with any of these or with other additions or corrections, please use the contact form in the sidebar to get in touch.
- Does anyone know the whereabouts of the watercolour of Shalford House c.1770 showing it before the late 18th century alterations?
- Can anyone supply portraits or photographs of members of this family whose names appear in bold above, and who aren't already illustrated?
- I should be very pleased to hear from anyone who can supply additional genealogical or career information about the people named or correct errors in this account.
Revision and acknowledgements
This post was first published 30 March 2017 and was updated 19 April and 11 December 2017, 11 February and 15 March 2023. I am grateful to Duncan Mirylees of Surrey History Centre for his assistance with illustrations for this account and to Simon Parkes for additional information.