April 25 1813: Death of Eliza Austen

On April 25 1813, Elizabeth or Eliza Austen, the former Comtesse de Feuillidedies in London. Her husband Henry Austen is at her bedside. Eliza’s cousin and sister-in-law has rushed from Chawton to London when she heard that Eliza was critically ill. Jane Austen arrives in time to be at Eliza’s bedside as she dies. 

Eliza had been born in India in 1761. She returned to England with her parents when she was four years old. In 1781, she settled in France and married Comte Jean-François Capot de Feuillide, a French army Captain with a dubious title. Eliza would be known as Madame la Comtesse de Feuillide. When revolution came, the Comte was arrested, and guillotined. Eliza escaped to England where she later met and married Henry Austen, a prosperous banker and Jane’s brother. The couple had one son named Hastings who died in 1801. Eliza was fifty years old when she died in 1813.

The image above is from a photograph by J. David Grey

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