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Jane Austen – from Revolutionary Times to Waterloo 20th August

Sunday 20th August 2017

This morning’s FoSOC’s walk was part of the commemorations for the 200th Anniversary of the death of Jane Austen on 18 July 1817, She was in Southampton in 1793 for her 18th birthday and from 1806-1809, lived here with members of her family The Battle of Trafalgar 1805,(death of Nelson), the many battles of the Peninsular War (1808-1813) and the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 all took place during her lifetime.. Due to the size of the crowd (over forty) the walk was split between two FoSOC guides, Surender Sharma and Geoff Watts. One of the graves visited was the very large grave/memorial of Lt. Col. Roderick MacNeil who had connections to the Island of Barra and was badly wounded during the Peninsular War at Coruna in 1809. He later fought at the Battle of Waterloo. Lt. Col. Severus Stretton also saw action in the Peninsular War at Vitoria (Spain) on 21 June 1813. He was wounded by two musket balls, which were lodged in his body, one of which was not successfully extracted until 1870. Just behind MacNeil grave is that of the god daughter of Jane Austen – Elizabeth Matilda Austen (nee Butler Harrison) 1793-1855. The walk saw several graves from the Royal Artillery; Lt. (later Major) William Lemione, Captain (later Colonel) Thomas Gore Browne and 2nd. Lt (later Lt. Gen.) Richard Burnaby, all three of whom were at the Battle of Waterloo. Plus, the grave of the well-known last English Officer to be at the Battle of Waterloo Capt..(later Lt. Colonel) William Hewett. Lt Gen. Burnaby’s eldest daughter Eularia Elizabeth, at the age of 20 years, bought 5-6 volumes of Jane Austen’s book from a well-known book shop in Southampton called Gilberts, in each one of which she wrote her name and the date. A few years ago, the books were put up for auction by Bonhams with a guide price of £2000 - £3000. Her grave is located near to her father. Many, many thanks to both Geoff & Surender for taking us through ‘Jane Austen- Revolutionary Times to Waterloo’