“Now that you are become an Aunt, you are a person of some consequence & must excite great Interest whatever you do. I have always maintained the importance of Aunts as much as possible…” Jane Austen to her niece, Caroline Austen October 30, 1815 Catherine Anne Hubback Catherine Anne Hubback (nee AUSTEN) was the daughter of Sir Francis William Austen (1774 -1865), Admiral of the Fleet, and niece of author Jane Austen (1775 -1817) Catherine Anne Hubback was the eighth child and fourth daughter off the eleven children born to Sir Francis Austen and his first wife, Mary Gibson. Catherine never knew her “Aunt Jane” as she died the year before Catherine Anne was born, but she grew knowing her celebrated aunt’s work through her Aunt Cassandra, Jane Austen’s sister who was a frequent visitor Catherine met John Hubback (1811 -1885) , a barrister from a North country mercantile family at her father’s house, Portsdown Lodge, near Portsmouth. They were married in 1842 and had four children. The eldest, Mary, lived only long enough to be christened in 1843. They then had three sons, John Henry (1844 -1939), Edward Thomas (1846 -1924), and Charles Austen (1847 – 1924), perpetuating the great literary family name. The couple lived at Malvern, then Wales, and later Birkenhead. In 1847 John Hubback suffered a complete mental breakdown brought on by intense overwork and was committed to Brislington House Asylum in 1850 where he was to spend the rest of his life until his death in 1885. (more…)
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