Click here to enter my other blog: Jane Austen's World.

Saturday, March 24

Landed Gentry

Men who inherit the responsiblities of the landed gentry, like Edward Austen Knight, depicted above, (or a Mr. Bingley or Mr. Darcy), are mainly preoccupied in preserving their inheritance for their heirs. This requires continuous oversight on their part, and day-to-day adminstration of servants and farm workers, usually with the help of a land steward or bailiff.

A landholder's duties include improvements on the manor house, estate lands, farms, cottages and other buildings and keeping them in good repair, collecting rents, draining land or damming streams and rivers, and deriving income from livestock or timber, or selling off portions of land if needed (though this was seldom done.)

The Chawton Estate

Note: Jane's third eldest brother, Edward, had been adopted as a boy by rich relations with no children of their own. He took their name of Knight and in time inherited three large landed estates: Chawton and Steventon in Hampshire and Godmersham Park in Kent. Jane and Cassandra often visited Edward and his large family in Kent and enjoyed the social life of the Knights and their wealthy neighbours in beautiful mansions and houses. (From the Alliance of Literary Societies. Please click on bold words above.)

No comments: