We were agreeably surprised by Edward Bridges’ company… He had been, strange to tell, too late for the cricket match, too late at least to play himself, and, not being asked to dine with the players, came home. It is impossible to do justice to the hospitality of his attentions towards me; he made a point of ordering toasted cheese for supper entirely on my account. Jane Austen to Cassandra 27 August, 1805 Reverend Brook Edward Bridges was born in 1779, the son of Sir Brook William Bridges, 3rd Bt. and Fanny Fowler. He was one of thirteen children born into a family where all of the sons were named Brook (Brook, Brook William, Brook Henry, Brook Edward, Brook George, etc.) With so many younger sons in one family, it is not surprising that so many made the church their profession As a clergyman, Bridges hade lifetime holdings at Wingham, in Kent and the vicarage at Lenham as well as serving in other parishes, including his home church in Goodnestone. In 1809, he married Harriot Foote, with whom he had several children, one of whom became the 8th and last Baronet, Reverend Sir George Talbot Bridges (b. 10 May 1818, d. 27 Nov 1899). He travelled often between Ramsgate in Lenham due to his wife’s illness and need for sea air, often stopping at Goodnestone or Godmersham to spend the night. Ironically, hie wife outlived him by nearly 40 years, dying in 1864. Rev. Bridges died in Wingham in
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