Jane Austen: 

Some secrets revealed to include:
"Is this man the real Mr.Darcy of Pride and Prejudice?"  



Authors Note

Easter Egg  definitions: 

1) An artificial chocolate or hard boiled decorated egg given at Easter.

2) An unexpected or undocumented feature in a piece of  computer software or on a DVD, included as a joke or bonus, (this definition has come  to include jokes etc in art for example the recently discovered initials LV and date 1495 in the Mona Lisa or the loaves of bread  in The Last Supper also by Da Vinci,  that a musician realised could also be musical notation for a 40 second requiem.) 


Little did  I realise when I first began this with a hunch, just  how far this would go.   It has been written down pretty much as it was realised.  One piece at a time.   Rather like a detective trying to solve a crime, matching pieces of a jigsaw together, a little bit here, a little bit there and then some more from elsewhere.  The understanding of how things happened  is random and does not appear in a neat, logical, sequenced order and therefore this piece does not appear in such order.   But I never would have thought, never would have  guessed, or imagined in my wildest imaginings that answers to questions and mysteries  that have puzzled scholars and academics around the  world for over a century would be answered.   The identity of Mr. Darcy,  the locations of Northanger Abbey, Thornton Lacey, the reason Jane Austen may have written the phrase  in a letter  "sans peur et sans Reproche" why Jane Austen used the pseudonym Mrs. Ashton Dennis to name a few things and as if that were not already feast enough, that not one but some  secret hoards of "Easter Eggs"  in the form of anagram puzzles would appear 200 years after their creation by one of the world's greatest if not the greatest female novelist. Even If you know the formulas to find them they are still not always easy to figure out.   And then there was more.  Prior to 2018 only 1 pun  (see rears and vices  Mansfield Park) was known in Jane Austen's work.  I have found 3 more cleverly concealed in plain view.      

Who was the real life "Mr. Darcy" in the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen? Or rather perhaps who was the original Mr. Darcy in First Impressions as Pride and Prejudice was originally titled.  So far as I am aware nobody knows. Was there ever an original Mr. Darcy.  There are many who believe that there may have been an original person who provided inspiration at least for the character Mr. Darcy.  Names have been  tendered.  Books have been written proposing various characters as the original for Mr. Darcy.  There are bound to be  suggestions as to who such a famous character might have been, based upon the fact that  so many think there was an original Mr. Darcy.  But nobody really knows. Could he have been a complete figment of Jane Austen's imagination, or a composite of the many people she knew or was there a real life individual who provided her with the  inspiration.


Before discovering and publishing online my very recently uncovered findings I would have personally thought that  there was a real life character who provided many of the "factual" details of appearance and position in society. The opening line sounds like it could  real dialogue borrowed from life. The ball sounds like the description of a real ball. Darcy, arrogantly walking around sounds like the actions of a real individual. The marriage proposal and refusal to and by Lizzie.  Even when Lizzie and Darcy meet again by chance has the feel of some basis in reality and so on.  But probably nothing as regards plot,  character, actions, and behaviour. It would be no real surprise if an author borrowed from real life. To some extent all authors use something from real life. 

But in the last few weeks of February 2018, I may have found a candidate for Mr. Darcy not so far considered. In my opinion he is a much better candidate than others so far suggested.


I discovered his existence whilst researching the author of the manuscript that  my blog Wisden's Secret is primarily about Francis Emilius Cary Elwes, the man who I believe on the content  of the ms. I am blogging about was in part at least the creator of Wisden's Almanack.

I looked for details about his family and friends and when I initially came across this gentleman candidate, who was  Francis Emilius Cary Elwes's father I thought  or rather a little voice inside me said "he could be Mr. Darcy." His main assets in this regard as far as I could see at the time was that he was very rich and had been from a young age.


I thought no more about this until a few days ago (early 2018) when thinking what to put in an Interlude. So out of curiosity and just to make sure I looked his name up to see what could be found out about him and whether there was any possibility that he could be the original Mr. Darcy. There are three things that need to be ascertained and can be checked quickly for there to be the remotest chance of him being Mr. Darcy.


They are: 

- Was he rich ?

- Was he young?

- Was he single? 

when Jane Austen began First Impressions.


I already knew from earlier research into his son Francis that he might be rich but I quickly found out that his father died when he was young,  aged about 10 and left him a huge amount quite possibly £10,000 a year or more which he probably inherited at his coming of age 21. He was  young too, in 1795/96 he was 23/24 and he was single. 


A promising start. What else might be needed for there to be any hope of him being the original Mr. Darcy. Jane Austen gives several clues about him. For example. He was the only son, he had a sister, a sister worth £30,000, he was not a nobleman but a plain Mr. he had it in his power to gift a church living, he owned a huge estate up north and he was clever. All of these things, and more  this man I have found  had in common with Mr. Darcy.  Aside from this though, the man I have found provides many other links to the book . Particularly Ware, or Meryton as she named it, is  based as many think upon the town of Ware, a town that Jane Austen appears to know very well despite never having been there but a place where this man  and his sister,  must have known well  because that is a town close to one of the estates their father owned at Throcking and where one would imagine they spent some time.  


But I asked myself could Jane Austen have met  this man?  It is certainly not impossible but Yes! she could have met him but even if she did not actually meet him  it is highly likely that she may have heard of him and  that there were occasions when he could have been very close to Jane Austen and talking to people she knew or knew of through her father George Austen. There are 2 people closely connected to Winchester Cathedral  who George Austen absolutely must have known. She could also however have known of him for several years from another source much closer to home. 


The more I looked the closer he came .


So lets start with the name Darcy. Where did Jane Austen find that name? A figment of her  imagination perhaps? If so why Darcy, why not Smith or Jones or any other of the tens of thousands of names that exist? Authors in general take a lot of care over characters names.  Surely an unusual name like Fitzwilliam Darcy does not arrive unbidden and without some careful thought. Maybe the name did spring from carelessly from her imagination. 


But maybe not, for if you have this mans name it becomes simplicity to suggest a possibility based around a word play as to where and how  the name  Darcy originated.  Jane Austen enjoyed word games. The British library owns a set of ivory letters that used to belong to Jane Austen and with which word games could obviously be played.  I have never heard the suggestion below as being the origin as to where the name Darcy may have sprung. So this is a first timer. (Due to one persons misunderstanding I must add that when I ask where did Jane Austen find that name I am  not posing a question as to its  historical, geographical, linguistic or etymological etc origins interesting as they maybe, but its  artistic imaginative origins.)  


Suppose  for argument's sake that Jane Austen knew a man whose real name she wanted to disguise. How might she do it. Here is one way. Lets call this man Richard Cray.  What might she do to disguise it. Well she could try and frenchify it like this Richard  Le Cray, Le Cary, Le Racy, or L'Arcy.  Doesn't work. What about using De. Here we get Richard De Cray, De Cary, De Racy,  or D'Arcy. Add some magic, abracadabra, eliminate Richard  and eliminate the apostrophe and  thus, could the name of Darcy have been created  with this simple name game.


Or maybe in just playing with letters and adding a D to the Cray and looking for a name anagram the name Darcy appeared. This would be a simple  way of disguising his identity. A name game  which is of a type  Jane Austen with her enjoyment of  word games might well have liked. (See Emma /Blunders and  Dixon


Either way her original audience of  family members would have easily recognised him if there was indeed a "Mr. Darcy" and because mimicry is funny would have enjoyed her portrayal of such a man.      


Could this man have had his name disguised in such a way? Yes he could if he had the right name to start with and this man, lo and behold did. For his name was Robert Cary Elwes and in 1795  when Jane Austen began First Impressions later to become Pride and Prejudice he was a very rich,  young man with no wife.  Is Cary to Darcy and Darcy to Cary the first Easter Egg that I have found.  I think he is. 


I have checked this man's name  on the births, deaths, marriages and elsewhere etc  to find out about him and to to see if he provides other links to Pride and Prejudice.   He most surely does.   The first link that I found came from his early life and the obvious  closeness of his connections to Hertfordshire that are to be found.  There is no proof only conjecture as to how Jane Austen appears to be  so well informed about Hertfordshire despite never having been there but if she did meet Robert Cary Elwes he would be an undeniably good source.  


He was born on the 28th of July 1772.   He may well have been born in a small village called Throcking.  The small village of Throcking is  less than 15  miles away from both Hertford and Ware  in the county of Hertfordshire.  The village of Throcking  looks now as it probably was then a very rural small village with very few buildings in it apart from the manor since demolished a large now converted barn, a parsonage and church.  How promisingly auspicious.  If there is one county where I would hope to find him Robert Cary Elwes it would be Hertfordshire and if there is one  town I would wish to find him anywhere near it would be the towns of either Hertford and Ware, particularly Ware, the generally accepted most likely location for the fictional Meryton.   He certainly lived for a time at Throcking because his parents owned Throcking Manor. His parents were Cary Elwes also born in Throcking and Elizabeth Elwes born Holgate.  Throcking Hall  was a magnificent mansion built circa 1743 that reputedly cost £11,000 but was later demolished.  Cary Elwes his father  died in 1782 leaving most to Robert but also a substantial amount 30,000 pounds to Elisabeth his sister who if Robert died before the age of 21 would have inherited the lot.         

Like Darcy he has only one sister, no brothers.   His sister  Elizabeth  was born 1771 and  married  Rev. Robert Cary Barnard (see Burke's Genealogical.... )


Elizabeth his sister is of course older than Darcy's sister Georgiana but obviously Georgiana's role could not have worked as it did if she was older.  However Elizabeth his sister like Georgiana was also worth £30,000.   Her father had left her £20,000 upon reaching the age of 21 and a further £10,000 was to come to her the day she married.


Was Robert Cary Elwes  clever?  Well he appears in the list of Cambridge Alumni so I would guess yes he probably was clever. The executor account for his fathers will  seem to show that he was privately tutored by one of its executors Rev. Charles Drake Barnard (a later chaplain to the Earl of Oxford) another member of the Barnard family whose lives are weaved generationally between the Elwes family.  (He was brother of 2 of  the Senior Prebendarys at Winchester  in the late 18th century and brother also to Rev. Thomas Barnard vicar of Great Amwell 1793 see more below)  and  its reasonable I think to assume that his education was good and that he went to Cambridge because he was possibly clever.       


Throcking was not the only estate that Robert inherited.  He inherited estates at Roxby and Bigby in Lincolnshire (sizes unknown)  and Egton in Yorkshire.  Egton in particular was a huge estate covering  12,500 acres about 18 square miles and costing in 1743 about £38,000.  This estate included besides land and timber most of the houses and farms enclosed within this area.  In common with Darcy he was a substantial landowner with an estate up north.   (see below*)


* At the time of writing the above I had initially thought the estate was 6,000 acres in size. This figure was based upon the size it currently is according to its current owners.   Since then I have discovered the auction sale catalogue of the Egton estate in 1869.  This shows an estate of nearly 12,500 acres and included some valuable "Timber".   The estate sold for £155,000 and the timber was sold separately for £25,000.  This estate also included most  of the property enclosed within.  Exactly how big this estate was  in 1795/6 I do not know  but when it was bought in 1730 by Robert Elwes of Twickenham and costing  £38,000 it cannot have been small.  A very detailed catalogue of the sale by auction of the Egton Estate has survived and is held by Northampton Archives . 

Fitzwilliam Darcy although a very rich landowner was not a nobleman, just a plain Mister.  He shares this fictional quality with the actual reality of Robert Cary Elwes who was also a very rich landowner although not a nobleman, just a plain Mister.  


Along with the estates he also owned the advowson at Great Amwell a mile south of Ware and a few miles further from Hertford.  This had been the gift of his family for some 200 years and is relevant because Darcy also had the gift of a church living in his power.  This living had been promised to Wickham the son of Darcy's land steward.    Interestingly, the advowson of Great Amwell  was given to  Thomas Barnard in 1793.   He was a member of the Barnard family that Elwes must have known and that his family had close links to because of being "Gentry" in the same place.   One of the Barnards was a joint executor of the will of Robert Cary Elwes's father and may have been a land steward for some/all the estates held in Lincolnshire by him.  


Robert Cary Elwes therefore certainly could  have provided some of the detail about Hertford/Ware.  If Jane Austen  met Robert Cary Elwes it would I think have been on very few occasions but he obviously must have had some knowledge about Hertford/Ware.  


Another possibility  for providing Jane Austen with her knowledge of Hertford/Ware was Robert Cary Elwes's sister Elizabeth who was married to the Reverend Robert Cary Barnard Rector of Withersfield.   Robert Cary Barnard was from the same  branch of the Barnard family .

Robert Cary Elwes's sister's  husband had relatives that Jane Austen's father must have known.  He must have known them because in a professional sense they were next door neighbours.  His parish was Steventon and it came within the diocese of Winchester.  The relatives that Jane Austen's father must have known  are the Reverend Robert Barnard Senior Prebendary at Winchester,  Reverend John Gilbert Barnard also a senior Prebendary  at Winchester died 1791, and also perhaps the Reverend Thomas Barnard of  Great Amwell Hertfordshire.  The Reverend Thomas Barnard became vicar of the Advowson that was in the power of Robert Cary Elwes to gift  ie. Great Amwell in 1793.


Steventon where Jane Austen's father Rector, being in the diocese of Winchester the first two in particular must surely have been known to Jane Austen's father George.  Its surely not impossible that other members of the Austen family knew of the 2 Senior Prebendaries named Barnards.   Would the  Austens or at least Jane Austen's father never have called in to see The Reverend Robert Barnard and his wife the Hon. Louisa Peyto  daughter of  John Peyto 6th Baron Willoughby de Broke (Is this where the character name John Willoughby of Sense and Sensibilty came?).  I think it a possibility.  Whilst there, is there not a strong possibility that on occasions Elizabeth Barnard nee Elwes married to Reverend Robert Cary  Barnard was there seeing his cousin the senior Prebendary.  Perhaps even, as the Barnard family were closely connected to the Elwes family, is it not also a possibility that Robert Cary Elwes was at some point also there. And even if not present, conversation between people who know each other could easily have extended to enquiries about family members etc.  


There must have been times when the Austens went to Winchester. To begin, George Austen had an account at a local bookshop. Some contact with Winchester must have occurred because the Cathedral's assistant organist George Chard used to ride frequently to Steventon to give piano lessons.  Jane Austen had friends apparently who used to live in Cathedral Close. "Trade" gossip between Jane's father and the Barnards could easily have brought Robert Cary Elwes and his youthful fortune to Jane Austen's attention. There is no proof apparently but she may well  have danced in the Assembly rooms in  Winchester. * (See  the entry for Winchester Races at Worthy Down)  

So I think it worth looking again at the opening chapters and the  introduction and imminent arrival  of a young, rich and single young man and that there may well be some loose basis in reality that these chapters are based upon.     


With this in mind  I think  there must have been a strong  possibility that Jane Austen not only knew of Elisabeth Barnard and or Robert Cary Elwes but may have met them on occasion.  A visit to Elizabeth's husband Reverend Robert Cary Barnard's  relatives perhaps and from there met Jane Austen, talked of Hertford or Ware towns both Robert and Elizabeth  knew well and perhaps even about her brother Robert  who the Austens may have known of  from another source already. 


In Pride and Prejudice Wickham's father had been a steward of Darcy's late father.  Given that the Barnards came from Bigby in Lincolnshire and given that Elwes senior owned a large estate in Bigby as well as  nearby  Roxby and that this land had been owned by an Elwes for a century and given that Elwes's father died when he was very young is it possible that the man who looked after it was a member of the Barnard family and that the figure of 10,000 a year was  a figure based upon  a real known amount.  Quite probably, Charles Drake Barnard a member of the Barnard family and  one of the executors of Cary Elwes's will would have had a very sound knowledge of Robert caruy elwews's financial standing.   In the brief financial accounts of the executor considerable sums are paid to Charles Drake Barnard.  These sums cannot be for nothing . 

Such stewardship between the families was to cross over into the 1860's when one of the Barnards was appointed along with R.J.C Elwes (brother of Francis) to administer the account at Goslings of Francis Emilius Cary Elwes the man who wrote the ms. that forms the large part of this website blog. A  member of the Barnard family was an executor of Robert Cary Elwes's and another Barnard was a trustee for Robert Cary Elwes father. The connections between the families are of  long duration that cross generations  and at the time at least trusted.


There can be no doubt that the  Barnard family were obviously very well known to Robert Cary Elwes and its a relationship that spanned 2 generations at least . 


Jane Austen's  knowledge of the military presence of the Derby Militia in Hertfordshire must have come from someone too.  The Derby Militia were  stationed close to the estate in Throcking owned by  Robert Cary Elwes  and either he or  his sister Elizabeth could  surely have provided  knowledge of a militia in Hertfordshire.  Throcking is only a few miles away from Welwyn and the  military presence there cannot have been unknown about by people living close by. There is again no proof but it has been suggested that Jane Austen must have known about the military presence  in Hertfordshire via her brother Henry who had served in the militia.  Whilst  he could have provided knowledge about life in the militia itself it does not therefore follow that he also knew about the militia in relation to Hertfordshire.  (see Colonel Fitzwilliam and the            Militia)


The other posible source for Jane Austen to have known about and heard about Robert Cary Elwes was via the Rector of Elkstone's family.  The rectors son Tom Fowle ,who was Jane's sister Cassandra's prospective husband and a close family friend could quite easily known about Robert Cary Elwes.  Gentleman and their wives and families  for their social interaction look to other gentleman and their wives and families  and if one lives in a small village like Colesbourn  that means sometimes looking in a different village not too far away.  In the village of Elkstone only a few miles away lived the Fowle family.  People like the Fowle family would have mixed socially, sooner or later  with people like the new owners in 1789 of nearby Colesbourn Park.  It was bought by John Elwes son of the celebrated miser John Elwes supposedly the inspiration for perhaps Dickens's most famous character Scrooge and a relative also of Robert Cary Elwes.  Its difficult to  imagine that the new owner of Colesbourn Park and his doings were  unknown to the Rector of Elkstone and his son Tom, and therefore I think it quite possible that in conversation with the Fowle family, and in particular Tom, Cassandra's fiance, the fact and knowledge about Robert Cary Elwes and his youthful fortune may well have come to the attention of Jane Austen.

A note about Darcy: 

Maureen Stiller Hon. Sec of the Jane Austen Society  has proposed  to me that Darcy the  name has been  chosen precisely because, although she (Jane Austen) knew many people (you have only to read her letters,she tells me)  she DID NOT know anyone  with the surname  Darcy.  I cannot say that  this not an argument.   But "I dont know anyone called Darcy so I will call the hero of my book Mr. Darcy."  does  seem an unlikely scenario.  What  a dull way to arrive at the name of the hero.  I simply cannot believe that  an author with the inventiveness of Jane Austen chooses her hero's surname because she knew nobody with that surname.   What a stupid suggestion!     

A note about Darcy: 

Maureen Stiller Hon. Sec of the Jane Austen Society  has proposed  to me that Darcy the  name has been  chosen precisely because, although she (Jane Austen) knew many people (you have only to read her letters,she tells me)  she DID NOT know anyone  with the surname  Darcy.  I cannot say that  this not an argument.   But "I dont know anyone called Darcy so I will call the hero of my book Mr. Darcy."  does  seem an unlikely scenario.  What  a dull way to arrive at the name of the hero.  I simply cannot believe that  an author with the inventiveness of Jane Austen chooses her hero's surname because she knew nobody with that surname.   What a stupid suggestion!     

Added February 21                                                                                  


Whilst writing the March diary commentary for Wisden's Secret I came across the mention of someone the author Francis Emilius Cary Elwes knew, one Henry William Lindow.  I have just looked his name up and there maybe a connection between this man's father and Pride and Prejudice.   I am not suggesting for one minute that he has provided plot or character as for Robert Cary Elwes, but he may with clever wordplay have provided the name Bingley and some of the"concrete " detail about his life. Nor can I say whether there is any chance that she could have heard of him from any source, but that is not to say she could not have if he in fact knew Elwes.  


In real life he lived  at Lower Slaughter House, Lower Slaughter Gloucestershire.  He would have been a little younger than Bingley (coincidence/ Elwes was also a little younger in reality than Darcy about 4 years in each case) but he does have things in common with  Bingley.  He inherited at a young age, land and estates and presumably income and probably slaves.  The land was in Lancaster, St Vincents and Grenada.  He left Oxford at 17 and in July 1795 turned 18. The  name Bingley  can also be found by a word play. I t is though to be a fair a little tortuous.  My daughter succinctly describes it as "a bit of a reach."  Riddles often are though and riddles like  anagrams are something else Jane Austen  enjoyed. 

The word play 

A type of widow that rhymes with his name Bay to Bey 

The use of the letter 'g' for Grenada

Mixing the first half of his name Lin  

Stir them all up and the name Bingley appears  

His name was Henry Lindow Lindow but he was  born  Henry Lindow Rawlinson and  changed his name  in order to inherit


As with Elwes I'm not aware of any other suggestions as to who or where or how the name Bingley could have  evolved or been arrived at but this at least is something not conceived of to date.  


Added February 25th 2018


Each day a little more appears.  I can connect Robert Cary Elwes with Henry Lindow Lindow back to at least 1817 when he married Charlotte Elizabeth Barnard, the  daughter of reverend Robert Cary Barnard and his wife Elizabeth nee Elwes Barnard.  Robert Cary Elwes's name appears on the marriage settlement between them and its reasonable I think to assume Elwes and Lindow  knew each other for a time at least before this marriage in 1817; the question is for how long.  Charlotte was Robert Cary Elwes's niece 

A further coincidence:  Robert Cary Elwes's father's name was Cary Charles Elwes.  Henry Lindow Lindow's  father was brother-in-law to William Lindow and it was William Lindow's estates that Henry Lindow Lindow inherited.  Can  the use of names (Fitz)william Darcy and Charles Bingley be just a simple coincidence.  Not sure cabout that one.


Added  March  8th  2018                                                                    


How much were  Robert Cary Elwes and Mr. Darcy  worth  in today's money.  This is supposedly quite difficult to work out.  The Telegraph helps out in an article entitled "could Mr. Darcy afford a stately home today"  In the article they produce a table based upon values in 1810 close to the time when  Jane Austen produced her novels in which they suggest that £10,000 a year has a real value today of  £619,100 numerically approx. 60 -70 times as much but has  a prestige value of  £8,877,000 numerically 800-900 times as much.


For a couple of reasons I'm not sure about the credibility of the first figure of 60-70 times todays value.  In 1861,  70 years later Robert Cary Elwes's Elwes's son purchased  Number 39 Queens Gate Terrace Kensington a five storey mansion for somewhere between £6 and £8,000.  This  house if unconverted would now sell for well in excess of  (let's not exaggerate) £6 million; a figure  closer to a 1,000 times the original cost.


100 years or so  after Jane Austen was writing her novels mainly in the early 19th century,  Robert Tressell wrote "The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists"  A fictional tale of working class life as a painter and decorator much of it surely factually based.  Wages for a skilled man such as Owen were 6 pence an hour or  7 pence for special work of the sort that Owen was capable of producing.  A pound a week give or take a few shillings.  Labourers earned substantially less.   At the "real value" a painter and decorators wage would be £60 -70 a week which is clearly rubbish in today's world in the U.K.  You cant get a days labour out of a skilled man for £70 a day never mind a week's labour.  The "prestige value "at 8-900 times the value s in 1810 gives a much better comparison with reality and is much nearer what a skilled painter and decorator currently expects to earn today ie. £8-900 a week.


Either way though Robert Cary Elwes was without doubt, a very wealthy young man.  Some of his banking records survive.  They date from 1799.  There must have been others prior to 1799 and there may well have been other bank accounts  in 1799 that have not survived.  According to the only account of his that I have found  in 1799 he held a sum in cash close to £35,000.  Add to this four estates, not just the land but all the property too  and the likelihood of wealth elsewhere...   

The Lincolnshire Archives Committee Archivists Report 20 gives quite some  detail about the Elwes holdings in Lincolnshire in Roxby and Bigby.  Not as large as  Egton but not that small and built up over many years.  I dont know the exact figure of either estate nor if they also included property but I would be surprised if they did not include property holdings also. 


As a "real value"  today according to the Telegraph figures  he would be worth perhaps £2 million plus the four estates etc.  In terms of "prestige value"  perhaps a sum held in cash in excess of £25 million plus 4 estates etc.   At todays valuations of his land and property holdings his wealth would far exceed that 


By the time income from his estates is included  he surely could have been close to being the  single young man in possession of  £10, 000 a year, and therefore in need of a wife. 


Added March 8th  2018  

A Process of Elimination.


I have included this section because someone pointed out to me that there must have been many people in 1795 who had the necessary attributes and income to be Mr. Darcy.  But is that so.  I think by a process of elimination one could come close to identifying him 


Mr Darcy belonged to the landed gentry class,  a group of people who comprised perhaps one and a half per cent of the population in 1795.  The 1801 census indicates that the population of England was about 5 million people .

Some fag packet calculations 


So Landed gentry equals one and a half percent of five million which is about 75,000 people;  so to keep the sums easy call it 100,000. 

Minus 5o% because they are women = 50,000 left

Minus 90% of the remaining  males because they are

a) too young 

b)too old

c)they are already married/betrothed  = 5,000 left

Minus 80% of those who unlike Darcy are not clever  = 1000 left

Minus another say 60% those who were not only sons as Darcy was = 400 left

Minus those who were plain Mr. rather than Lord Duke etc say another 50% = 200 left

Minus those who whilst wealthy did not possess a sizeable estate say another 75 % = 50 left

Minus those who did not have it in their power to bestow a church living say another 20 % = 40 left

Minus those who only had one other sibling

Minus those who did not have anywhere near £10,000 a year

Minus those who cannot be shown to have one degree or closer connections to Jane Austen 

Minus those  whose names have no obvious relationship to the name Darcy = A number close  to one.


One  possible candidate  for the identity of Mr. Darcy.  Can anyone name better?  Perhaps there are other young men whom in 1795 the above could also be applied to but there cannot possibly be many. 


More could have been added. Knowledge about Chatsworth and the Cavendish family, (see below ) Hertford and or Ware   

Mr. Darcy has characteristics that fit the above process. So does Robert Cary Elwes.  But who else does?

Added  March 10th  2018     


It is thought that Pemberley House in Pride and Prejudice is based upon Chatsworth House and that Jane Austen's description of this place  must have come from a visit to Bakewell made in 1811, although there is no evidence that she went to Chatsworth.  It has also been suggested to me that she knew about Chatsworth through either  books or publications (plural) of the period.  The, lets call her an authoritative individual, who informed me of this offered no evidence of what these books or publications (plural or singular ) may have been. `I have asked this "authoritative voice" for the proof that this is so and or who found it and where is it described.  Unsurprisingly NO ANSWER. Its just a junk theory made up to try and best explain an anomaly.  This is another example of conjecture  unquestioned for so long that it is now related as truth or certainly related to me as truth that needs to be reviewed.   


Might  there be another way that she knew of Chatsworth House in the way for example that she appears to know a great deal about Hertfordshire despite never having been there.  I have recently read the description of Elizabeth's tour around Pemberley.  It certainly reads like a real description from life.  How was she able to do this? 


I think there is a way and it comes courtesy of Robert Cary Elwes  if she met him.  The Elwes family (Robert Cary Elwes) seem to have been associated with  Billing Hall from sometime in  1795 renting before purchasing  it in 1799. It had formerly been the property of Lord John Cavendish who died in 1796.  Lord John Cavendish was the youngest son of the 4th Duke of Devonshire and brother of the 5th.  Negotiations for the sale and purchase of Billing Hall one would imagine took place over a reasonable period of time.  Before paying for somewhere like Billing Hall  some sort of inventory must have taken place and a price arrived at and agreed upon.  Although not owning the hall until 1799 these associations between Elwes and the Cavendish family would appear to have  started by the renting of Great Billing Hall at sometime in 1795.  


In that period of time before being bought by Elwes is it not possible that Elwes may have visited perhaps even known well the owner of Chatsworth House, given that Lord John  Cavendish the previous owner of Billing Hall was the youngest son of the fourth Duke of Devonshire  a former owner of Chatsworth House and younger brother of the fifth Duke of Devonshire the current owner in 1795.  


The Great Billing Hall estate was bought by Elwes in 1799 for about £40,000. I have no problem with the possibilty of Rober Cary Elwes  knowing about Chatsworth and being given a guided tour and therefore being able to talk about Chatsworth knowledgeably.    

Added April 17th 2018 


Could Throcking be the Original siting of Longbourn. Was there a real Oakham Mount  and did this place provide the inspirational source for the naming of Netherfield Park.?


There is one major argument for saying that Throcking is not the original location for "Longbourn" and that is its distance from Hertford (Meryton) Throcking is 12 miles away from Hertford, whereas Longbourn is only a mile away from Meryton.  However just as Jane Austen disguised place names might she not also have disguised location.  Its worth noting that despite Jane Austen's precision location of one mile from Meryton nobody has found or been able to name it for certain. 


Aside from the fact that Robert Cary Elwes grew up and lived in Throcking there at least 2 good arguments for suggesting that Throcking maybe the original Longbourn.


The first argument is that Throcking is 7/8 miles away from Baldock.  Baldock was a small town that was an important staging post along the Great North Road in the late 18th century.  This is an important point because on hearing of Lydia and Wickham's elopement, ostensibly to Scotland, via London, they would have travelled along the Great North Road.  A character, based in Longbourn laments that "they must have passed within 10 miles of us


The second argument is in relation to Oakham Mount.  Mrs. Bennet advises Mr. Darcy, Lizzy and Kitty "to walk to Oakham Mount this morning.  Its a nice long walk and Mr. Darcy has never seen the view"


There is a small village  close to Throcking with superb views, apparently  all the way to Ely on a clear day,a distance of  about 20 miles.  Clicking google images brings some of these views these up.  In 1936 it provided a trig point for the ordnance Survey. To reach this point from Throcking would have been a good long walk. T he distance there and back is  about 14 miles.  Besides being a possible location for Oakham Mount it may also have provided the inspirational source for the name Netherfield Park.  According to  a Cary map of 1787 it appears to be slightly North East of Throcking.  Therfield is the name of this place and if one adds NE the abbreviation for North East to Therfield the name Netherfield results.


Added April 27th 2018


There are however 2 further possibilities that could be "Longbourn."  Both can be connected to Elwes.  The first is the village of Great Amwell.  It is a small village about a mile outside Ware just as Longbourn is a small village about a mile from Meryton.  It is at  Great Amwell that Elwes held the church living for.  The church living that was gifted to Thomas Barnard  a brother of the "Winchester Cathedral" Barnaerd brothers. Aside from this there is at least one further interesting connection to Amwell and Longbourn.  This can be found if one dissects the name Longbourn.  Long obviously meaning long and bourn.  The word bourn means a small stream.  Could Longbourn mean A Long small stream.  Possibly if one is referring to Great Amwell.  For Great Amwell has one  major claim to fame.  It is the source of what is now known as the New River.  This is an artificial waterway created in the 17th century by Sir Hugh Muddleton. Its purpose was take fresh water from the River Lea and Chadwell and Amwell Springs.  This is a distance of 28 miles. Quite a distance for a small "stream"


The second further possibilty is that Longbourn is simply a composite of Amwell and Throcking to create a third place albeit of course a non existent place.


The Origin of the Name and Location of the Town of Meryton

Where is the town of Meryton.   Ware is certainly a possibility.   Which is interesting because it is possible I think to arrive at Meryton from Ware.  Here's how:  There are numerous place names  in England that end with the suffix ton. It means settlement/farmstead and goes back to Anglo-Saxon times.  Ware the town itself, as a settlement  goes back to Pre-Roman times.  Begin with the suffix ton from Meryton. In order to disguise Ware first add the suffix ton to Ware which gives Wareton.


Imagine these letters for example on a scrabble board or laid out using ivory letters from Jane Austen's box of ivory letters in that exact order with one exception that being the letter W is placed upside down. This at first glance gives the appearance of Mareton; say  Mareton quickly and there is the sound of the place Meryton, change the A for an E and the E for a Y and there is Meryton.  Plausible ?  The name Meryton is an imaginary  name that must have been created somehow.   Jane Austen liked word games; witness the set of ivory letters held by  the British Library that belonged to her.   


The world of Jane Austen is hardly overflowing with ideas that hang together as to how the name of Meryton evolved. The fictional name of Meryton evolved into existence somehow.  So why not?  I think its possible.  Jane Austen is well known to have enjoyed puzzles riddles etc.  Is this another Easter Egg                 


Added April 24th 2018    


The Name Wickham

Is this a choice of name simply pulled from the hat with careless abandon or is there a deeper underlying reason for choosing this name.  Can its creative  roots be found elsewhere.  I believe that this name can also be related to Robert Cary Elwes through his relatives within the  Barnard family.  Its very simple.  Robert Cary Elwes had relatives with the surname Barnard.  The Barnards seem to have been quite numerous and many were members of the clergy.  The Cary Elwes/ Barnard family tree that can be easily accessed via google shows that in the 1790's 2 members of the Barnard family were Senior Prebendaries at Winchester Cathedral and one who had been given the living at Great Amwell  near Ware.  (This was the living that was in the power of Robert Cary Elwes to gift and before him his father.  This could be the basis for the  living referred to as being promised  by Darcy's  father. 


Is it possible that the Prebendaries were known as Wykehamists after the founder of Winchester College, William Wykeham Bishop of Winchester.  Or was Wickham  perhaps an irreverent  generic name understood by those close to Jane Austen and used by her as a name when referring to clergy as well as being used as a surname for the character Wickham. 


The clergy frequently play parts within Jane Austen's novels could she be making a point  about the ethics and morality of some of the clergy  with her  use of the name Wickham and the  badness of character of Wickham in the book.  


Added  April 30th 2018     


It has been suggested by Maureen Stiller Hon. Sec. of the Jane Austen Society to me that the occasions when Jane Austen traveled to Winchester were few and far between and  by inference meetings may have been unlikely.  I have to say that I was a little bothered as to how often they may have met etc.  She informed me that Jane Austen's brother Edward  had inherited large estates.  Among these estates was Steventon Manor.  They were owned by Thomas Knight who died in 1794.  These estates by the terms of the will were to come to Edward Austen once Thomas Knight's wife died but by agreement were passed to him in 1798 under a very beneficial agreement to Catherine Knight.  But between 1794 when Thomas Knight died and 1798 when Edward took over the running of these estates what happened.  Could there have been attempts made to sell or rent  them. 


In 1795 it would seem that Robert Cary Elwes began renting  the estate of Great Billing from Lord John Cavendish, the Duke of Devonshire's brother and eventually he purchased Great Billing in 1799.  Clearly Elwes was in the market for an estate.  He undoubtedly had access at least to the cash.  But he was not, I think in the market for just any estate. I t had to fulfill certain requirements and needs that Elwes's main  hobby for the rest of his life demanded.  It also in all probability had to meet with Elwes's self image and perceived status as a rich landed aristocrat also demanded.  Lord John Cavendish, the owner of this estate may have been happy renting but did not wish to sell.  Further impediments to Elwes buying this estate developed when the good Lord  died in 1796 and there was an obvious delay in time for this estate to pass from one owner to the next and then to Elwes.  Great Billing in 1799 became his primary residence and was where he pursued his main interest in life. The breeding of racehorses. For which not just any estate will do.


The estate at Great Billing is beside the River Nene on what may have been a flood plain and thus would have provided good pasture.  It was  very close to Northampton racecourse and not to far away from the racecourses of  Newmarket and Warwick.   In fact Lord john cavendish actually had his own private race course 


Although he did not buy Great Billing Hall until 1799 Elwes  would appear to have been in the the market for an estate. Could Elwes have been a prospective purchaser or tenant of Steventon Manor for example  and thus appeared almost at her door. At the time of writing this is just  a theory but ...  Steventon Manor appears from the pictures a very grand place dating back to Elizabethan times  The Digweeds who were long term tenants were paying 600 plus pounds per year for 900 acres.  Surely, sufficient land for Elwes's needs.  The land around Steventon appears to have been very suitable for pasture and there are racecourses within range of  Steventon.

No Joy with this theory 

       Or maybe there was another similar estate close by that could have been for sale or rent.

       Bingley discovered Netherfield via an accidental recommendation

       More about this maybe.  

      In an estate agents blurb for the residence Ashe Park I came across the rumour that Jane Austen had written part of Pride and Prejudice in this house.  A house with a tenant Jane Austen knew.  I had hoped to find more but so far a blank 


Added May 6th  2018 


More about  names

Over the last few days I have reread Pride and Prejudice  shortly after writing about the places Meryton and Longbourn.  Whilst rereading P and P I came to the introduction of the character Mister Denny.  That's interesting I thought; take away an N and that would leave the word  Deny.  My bet I thought to myself is that  Mister Denny sooner or later is associated with denial in some form or other.  It was a good wait for  what I was looking for but it in due course it arrived.   Chapter 47 the paragraph that begins   

"Yes, but, when questioned by him (Colonel Forster) Denny DENIED knowing"    BINGO Another Easter Egg 


Along with disguising the town of Ware and the village Longbourn there is also as I have proposed earlier  disguises for the original names  Darcy and Bingley.   Leaving Darcy and Bingley aside for the moment might there be more names within P and P that are more than just randomly selected and chosen names.


I think some of the following may also be Easter Eggs, so in no special order of preference.  Some I like better or think more likely  than others.  Some on later reading are  rather less likely,  fanciful even.  My method was to put the name into Scrabble Word Finder add a question mark and see what words appeared and whether any word absolutely stood out .


1a)  The name Nicholls.   As in " as soon as Nicholls has made white soup.   Nicholls is hardly a character.  Says nothing.  Does nothing.  An irrelevant pointless edition.  Easily edited out of the text.  Unless there is a deeper hidden reason  for this individuals appearance.  I think there is another reason.  Take the letter H from the name Nicholls and the letters can be reformed to spell the name of Collins.  Mr. Collins the clergyman at Hunsford.  

1b) The name Nicholls again.   The H can also be exchanged for a U and the word scullion can be made.  The Collins  dictionary definition of a scullion is " a kitchen worker employed to do menial tasks"  Pure coincidence or intelligence at work?  For me this is another  Easter Egg and means the inclusion of a character with the name Nicholls  as a kitchen worker and nothing else becomes essential.  Later  I found many occasions when a letter could be exchanged for another and a meaningful  including Elwes.  

2) The name Gardiner.  Scrabble players will see that selection of letters as being very promising whether adding or taking away a letter. There are quite a few possibilities for making an anagram some of which could perhaps be used in connection with Gardiner for example add a W rewarding.   But a lot of words come with this grouping. 

3) The name Bourgh.  Swap the R for a T  and bought can be made, but although that word is easily made there is no relationship to the text.  


But much better because of its punning quality it is better to take away the R which leaves   the word Bough. There is a lot of bowing when Lady Catherine de Bourgh is around.  In the  Jane Austen Thesaurus the verb  bow, the noun/adjective bowing and  the adjective  bowed are used between them  65 times, and primarily  in Pride and Prejudice.  Another Easter Egg.  How easy to make that connection for her listening audience of close family members  was that.  Arguably quite difficult judging by the use of the clue word bow. 

 4)  The name Lucas.  Add an a, search for an anagram and there is casual.  And you could certainly describe Charlotte Lucas's acceptance of Collins's  hand in marriage as casual.

5) The name Hill ditto above as far as character goes but as far as deeper hidden meaning. Add C to Hill and there is the word chill.  Jane, if you remember caught a " chill " 

6)  The name Carter. Add an O and the word creator can be formed

7)  The  name Mary . Add an R to Mary and Marry is created.  Marriage, a central theme of this book; is this really just coincidence.  

8)  The name Kitty. Swap the K of Kitty for a W and there is the word witty. Wit an essential component.

The name Lydia. Take away the I and the word lady can be made. See Charlotte Lucas's choices as a lady.   


I am at a complete loss though as to Pemberley.

Are there more?

Is there a deeper message or point waiting to be fully unearthed. Or a game for her listeners (family) to her reading aloud were challenged to spot. Whatever, are the names that Jane Austen uses picked from the bag of random choice. I dont believe it.  

Is there more to be found in P and P and  does Jane Austen do this in other novels? 

 I would  be more surprised (absolutely astounded  in fact )if there were not more  to be found  somewhere within Jane Austen's work than if  there were more  to be found

Added May 11th  2018                       

Other Meaningful Names and Mansfield Park

 I was not planning to look for other names with meaningful anagrams easily made but having proposed a theory I thought perhaps I ought to check whether there were any. I felt sure there would be but! are there any ?


So starting with Emma and not trying to hard. The name Jane Fairfax.  The letter X seems the obvious letter to try removing first.  The word affair leaps out.  So I looked  at a scrabble word finder.  Type in Fairfax  and it lists all the anagrams.  For Fairfax itself there are no 7 letter anagrams and only 2  6 letter words Raffia being the other.  If however one adds a question mark to represent a blank then 3 results are returned Affaire Raffias and Affairs.  If there is one theme that all  Jane Austen's  books could be said to have had it is surely an affair principally of the heart.   But with Jane Fairfax in particular it is especially noteworthy. There is her secret affair with Frank Churchill and there is her suspected (by Emma) affair with Dixon.  Easter Eggs  created in both ways.  By the exchanging of one  letter for another or  by removing one letter 2 anagrams that relate so well to the text and in particular to Jane Fairfax can be found. 


Next up was Mansfield  Park. The name Bertram. Remove the letter M and barter is easily found . Check the scrabble word finder and it appears that there is no 7 letter word can be made from Bertram and only one other 6 letter word.  I have not read every Jane Austen novel but  wealthy men of trade  do appear and men of trade are a recurring topic. Not so good though.  In fact not good enough at all.


In isolation each name can of course be written off as a curiosity of language;  together they can be considered as  perhaps a coincidence although I would suggest a rather striking coincidence. But, when you add these 2 examples of word game play too what  has been pointed out above (Nicholls,  Denny, Bourgh, Meryton,etc)  and the easy simplicity with which the  name Darcy could have been derived from Robert Cary Elwes and more as I will explain to come;  is coincidence really  the right word.  Then  factor in the  evidence  that demonstrates  beyond doubt that Jane Austen undeniably knew and enjoyed word games and even employs them in her writing  (see Blunders/ Dixon  Emma).   

Coincidence? I don't believe it!



Sans peur et sans reproche

While reading a brief synopsis about Mansfield Park I have just noticed  that Mansfield Park is set in Northampton. According to one of Jane Austen's letters  she writes to her sister asking her to find out if Northampton is a county of hedgerows.  She goes on to say that she can get what she wants from her brother Henry and then she uses the phrase "Sans peur et sans reproche".  What one might ask has Jane Austen  to fear and why should there be a possibility of reproach.  It cannot have been written for nothing.  Her sister Cassandra, who she was writing to presumably understood  exactly what was meant by "sans peur et sans reproche" and unlike the rest of the world didn't need it to be explained. 


There appear to be few if any really  satisfactory explanations as to why Jane Austen wrote this.  What possible cause could she have had for experiencing any anxiety?      


Below is a possible explanation that  explains why Jane Austen may have experienced a little "peur et reproche" regarding her enquiries into Northamptonshire. 


If I am right to some extent about Robert Cary Elwes being the original Mr. Darcy  then this would provide a possible cause for a little  "peur et reproche "  for making any enquiries into the county of Northamptonshire on the part of Jane Austen.  The answer lies with Robert Cary Elwes the man I think may have been the original Mr Darcy.  He  bought Billing Hall an estate Great Billing a small village close to the town of Northampton in 1799 although his associations with the place appear to go back to 1795 when he may have rented it.


Mansfield Park was supposedly a newly built house Jane Austen tells us.  Billing Hall  was previously owned by Lord John Cavendish  who  had the place rebuilt in the Palladian style in 1776.  The house  sadly no longer exists today but images of what it looked like can be found by googling Billing Hall and clicking images.  Although not completely new it was a building definitely of recent vintage when Jane Austen began  writing Mansfield Park. 


Elwes spent much some of his life breeding race horses in which he had some success breeding 2 Derby winners,  although when he began breeding race horses I do not as yet know, but  he would have been  able to exercise his horses on the private race course built by Lord John Cavendish, and so its likely that he was breeding race horses from very early in the 19th century. 

    The idea therefore of the possibility of being discovered by Elwes, hunting for information about Northampton may well have caused Jane Austen a little cause for concern.  Might it not. 

    * See description for the village of Great Billing and the explanation as to why this was the village of Thornton Lacey

Added May 17th 2018        


Colonel Fitzwilliam   and the _____ Militia


The ____ Militia who were posted to Hertfordshire in Pride and Prejudice are thought  to be the Derbyshire Militia. I thought it worth a look to see if Colonel Fitzwilliam the  man in charge of the _____ Militia in Pride and Prejudice  could be identified with a real man and if that man might have links  with Colonel Fitzwilliam and  Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.


 In Pride and Prejudice in brief we learn that Colonel Fitzwilliam was a Colonel  the  youngest son of an earl,  and of good family.   


   In 1795 In charge of one regiment  of the Derbyshire Miltia was Colonel George Augustus Henry Cavendish  and he was born in 1754.  He was a Colonel from  1783 until 1811. The name Cavendish is of immediate interest because as already explained Robert Cary Elwes bought Billing Hall  and  rented initially from the Cavendish family of whom the Duke of Devonshire and owner of Chatsworth House was the best known. George Augustus Henry Cavendish was a younger son ( Colonel Fitzwilliam was  a youngest son ) His father's name  was  William Cavendish the 4th Duke of Devonshire and owner of Chatsworth House.    

Interestingly enough the prefix for the name Fitzwilliam  Fitz means son of hence in this case son of William. Coincidence?  Although George  Cavendish was not the son of an earl as Fitzwilliam was, he was the son of a duke and being the son of a duke is pretty similar in social standing but for those interested in such nuances it is of higher rank.  No matter what, as a man he would have been considered as being from a good family. 


A point to consider: The Derbyshire Militia were based for a while in Hertfordshire.  Where would Colonel Geoge Henry Augustus Cavendish have slept at night.  In a tent?  I am sure Robert Cary Elwes must have been aware of the nearby prescence of the Derby Militia.  If George Augustus Henry Cavendish  spent time a few short miles away at Throcking home of Robert Cary Elwes it would be no surprise  to me and via Robert Cary Elwes provides a way in which Jane Austen may have learnt not only about Hertfordshire, the Derbyshire Militia, and  Chatsworth but also about the real life  Colonel Fitzwilliam!!! 

Added May 23rd  2018                                         


Mrs. Reynolds the housekeeper at Pemberley


Is there I wondered an Easter Egg that can be linked to Reynolds the housekeeper at Pemberley. Reynolds in brief it will be remembered was the lady who showed Elizabeth and the Gardiners around the magnificent property of Pemberley  and gave a glowing recommendation about its owner Mr. Darcy.


It took a short while to work it out but yes there is indeed an Easter Egg to be found via the name of Reynolds.  I needed help from the internet to figure it out.  Firstly I went to  Scrabble Word Finder.  I typed in the name Reynolds to see if there were any 8 letter anagrams.  There are not.  There are a few 7 letter word anagrams but nothing of heart stopping interest.  Suppose I thought again one added a letter would there be a 9 letter anagram.  There are no  9 letter anagrams.  But there are a few 8 letter anagrams.  One of them surely cannot be coincidence.  The most striking return is made by exchanging the Y in Reynolds for a P and the word Splendor can made.   That fits rather well with the description of Pemberley.  But it gets better.  Chapter 43  The housekeeper who we are later told is a Mrs. Reynolds is showing Elizabeth around Pemberley.  I will quote the whole of the relevant sentence.  


"The rooms were lofty and handsome, and their furniture suitable to the fortune of their proprietor, but Elizabeth saw, with admiration of his taste, that it was neither gaudy or uselessly fine; with less of SPLENDOR, and more real elegance than Rosings"

Just how clever is that!!!  Reynolds - exchange the Y for a P and create another Easter Egg SPLENDOR. 


A note about the spelling of SPLENDOR.   This no accident.  Jane Austen was well aware of the different spellings for splendor.  See  for example Chapter 9 Volume 2 1st paragraph  where she spells it SPLENDOUR.  According to the Jane Austen Thesaurus Jane Austen uses the word Splendor spelt with the OR ending  just once and Splendour with the OUR ending seven times.  The words splendor and splendour have the same meaning.  Why else would Jane Austen  use the OR ending for Spendor on just the one occasion for the same word.  One utterly essential reason for using the OR ending for Splendor is because that is the only way that the  Easter Egg that exchanges the letter P in Splendor for a Y and thereby creates the name Reynolds can be made.    


Jane Austen is well known to have liked riddles, conundrums, word play anagrams etc.  She shows this in her novel Emma in making the word Dixon.  She says as much in a letter to Cassandra when describing the amusements that keeps them occupied "riddles and conundrums".    So when names such as  Denny, Nicholls, Bourgh, Meryton, as for example described earlier, not to mention others not listed and still more  predicted to be found (I know there are more)   and Reynolds  (see above) appear to be  more than just the name of a character but part of an ingenious yet simple  underlying word puzzle.  Can it really be speculation to say that they are there by anything else other than the deliberate design and skill of Jane Austen to create "Easter Eggs" as against a number of accidental, collectively fortuitous  turns of phrase.    


It should also be remembered that this discovery of hidden underlying meanings or "Easter Eggs" that I think I have found has been brought to light initially by the proposal that I made for the simple but effective concealment of the identity of Robert Cary Elwes. Namely add a D to the name Cary and the anagram name that results is Darcy or vice versa by removing the D from Darcy the name Cary can be made.   


Added November 19th 2018  


I have just realised another,  I think important subtlety about the word Splendor. 


It should be remembered that Jane Austen initially is writing her stories to be read by her to a small number of people  family and friends to listen to. So when she writes "with less of Splendor" is she not giving her listeners an extra audio cryptic crossword style clue, who upon hearing the word Splendor would be thinking of this word with the OUR ending.  Less of Splendour; remove the U giving "less of Splendour " then find the anagram.   

Added May 29th 2018     

Yet more meaningful names and Mansfield Park


I had not expected to write  much more on the subject of meaningful names but six more names I feel are deserving of mention. The names that strike me as worth a second look and that might produce a meaningful angram are usually characters with none  or little dialogue and who appear fleetingly. With these characters one can easily question the point of their existence. They appear to serve no real purpose.  But if Jane Austen is incorporating word play in her novels as I think she is then of course they are indispensable from that viewpoint.  


I have found two more  from Pride and Prejudice and four more  from Mansfield Park.  Nor I hadn't expected to read Mansfield Park again but on discovering that Jane Austen had written in a letter "sans Peur et sans Reproche" in relation to asking questions about Northamptonshire and that Robert Cary Elwes lived close to Northampton I thought I would see if there was anything else that could possibly connect Robert Cary Elwes to Jane Austen  The two from P and P  have come by further playing around with the Scrabble Word Finder whilst three from Mansfield I have found for myself but the other has been found with the help of Scrabble Word Finder.  From Pride and Prejudice come Miss Grantley and Dawson and from Mansfield Park come Baddeley,  Sewell, Rebecca and Maddison. They are all created in one of the ways described  before ie. add a letter, take away a letter or change a letter and then make an anagram plus there is one straightforward anagram.  


Grantley.  There are no eight-letter anagrams to be made from the name Grantley. The text in P and P reads "I think it infinitely superior  than Miss Grantley's ."  There was no real need to use an apostrophe s. Jane Austen could have written "any by Miss Grantley" for example. Although the 's is essential if I am correct in saying that an anagram word play is going on for Grantleys can be arranged to make Strangely. However whilkst the word strangely can be made I'm not sure how it could relate to the text in any way   

Dawson. The text to note here is "as long as Dawson does not object to the Barouche box." There are no six-letter words to be made from the name Dawson, however if one swaps the D for a G the Easter Egg  that can be made related to a Barouche box  is the word wagons. A barouche box being a type of wheeled carriage and therefore a type of  wagon     


Baddeley. If the B is removed then the easily made  Easter Egg delayed can be made. The text containing Baddeley to note here is "suppose you hurry Baddeley a little tonight, he seems a little behind tonight."  Given the context  in this instance in which the name Baddeley appears, is delay, could  this not be deliberate. 


Sewell's as in Sewell's farm. This is the passage where Henry Crawford is giving his account of coming upon the village of Thornton Lacey. The text reads "but which way did you turn after passing Sewell's farm"  Remove one of the l's from the name  Sewell's Farm and it could become Elwes's farm.  


Baddeley, Dawson, and Sewell.  Each with nothing to say or do.  None with any influence on the plot.  Why are they there.  As Easter Eggs there is a point.  


Are  the 3 names  above another  small clutch of "Easter Eggs"


The name Sewell is highly significant because Robert Cary Elwes lived in a place near Northampton called Great Billing Hall, Great Billing. Could "Sewell's Farm" be Great Billing Hall.  Could Great Billing in the very loosest of senses be Thornton Lacey.  Is this why Jane Austen in her letter wrote "sans peur et sans Reproche".  Concern about the possibilty of encountering  Robert Cary Elwes.  This would provide a plausible explanation for Jane Austen to write "sans peur et sans reproche".  A plausible  explanation  that nobody else, has so far managed.   
























 Above and below are pictures of Great Billing church the area around Great  Billing church and the parsonage . For a small village as Great Billing was 200 years ago it is  in common with  Thornton Lacey a good sized church for such a small place. As one can see the rooftops of the nearby houses are considerably lower than the church which stands at the top of a hill. Somewhere behind the church is where Great Billing Hall (Sewell's Farm?) once stood. Most if not all the buildings behind the church in this view are of recent construction as is much of the nearby surrounding area although 200 years ago it was countryside farmland and part of Elwes's estate. Too the right of the church beyond the churchyard and lower down the hill in a street called Church Walk is  "the Old Vicarage " which dates back to the mid to late 17th century and is perhaps 150 - 200 yards from the church as the crow flies. Crawford describes the church in Thornton Lacey as "within a stone's throw of the said knoll and church"   (see roadside photograph below) Close to the Old Vicarage and around the corner also in Church Walk is the  Chantry and  Priors Piece and on the opposite side are workers cottages which date from many years earlier  No "gentleman's house" seem to be nearby other than Great Billing Hall  where Robert Cary Elwes lived. At the bottom of the hill is Ecton Brook which could be, as Crawford recounts, the  " small stream to be forded"   .             














































Rebecca is a little unusual for a servant in that she is referred to by her Christian name.  Rebecca is a relatively uncommon name also.  All the other servants that I have come across so far have been referred to by their surnames.  It maybe that in other Jane Austen novels other servants are also referred to by their Christian names, but at the moment I am not aware of that.  I would imagine that calling servants by their Christian names was highly unusual and for Jane Austen to do so is an indication that there maybe more to the name than "its just a name she choses to use " it has purpose to.   The reason for the use of a Christian name I think is because of the anagram that can be made by changing 1 letter  of Rebecca.  The anagram that can be made is an adjective and definitely applicable to Jane Austen herself  and I suspect was also chosen because its not such an easy anagram to spot thus being an attractive choice.   However it does mean using a Christian name for a servant.  If you change an E for an I  it is possible to make the word ACERBIC




Maddison was Henry Crawford's land agent.  The surname Maddison  makes the straightforward anagram of the  word diamonds.   Diamonds are of course the hardest of substances.   The text relating to Maddison and the clue (underlined)  within the text is as follows " Maddison is a clever fellow; I do not wish to displace him - provided he does not try to displace me; but it would be simple to be duped by a man who has no right of  creditor to dupe me - and worse than simple to let him give me a HARD  hearted, griping fellow for a tenant instead of an honest man, to whom I have given half a promise already."  Maddison the character appears twice in Mansfield Park.  The appearance of Maddison in the above quoted text is his second appearance. His first appearance comes  a little earlier in the same paragraph.   

Added June 27th  2018 


Persuasion and Northanger Abbey


I had not  expected to read Persuasion again either.  Not that there is anything wrong with re-reading Persuasion.  It's a great book.  But I had to re-read it again from a study point of view rather than pure enjoyment.  Checking as I read whether there are any more  examples of anagrammatic word play similar to those described already, in  Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park .  I felt sure that there would be some.  In fact I have earlier predicted that some would be found.  


So I have now read the book  through again and sure enough there are  more Easter Eggs based around characters names.  I will only list six of these names although I am sure there are more.  These six can be  related in some way to the text.  Of the 6 possibilities  I feel absolutely sure of 1 of them and that is Baldwin 


Names omitted include Brand as in  Admiral Brand.   The changing of a letter or addition of a letter creates too many possibilities (brandy, brain , brawn , bread, broad, etc) and in my initial perusal, if there is any text to relate it to then I have missed it.   


Most of the names listed here as in both Mansfield Park and Pride and Prejudice make but fleeting appearances and similarly it seems to me in many ways are entirely superfluous to the plot.  They add nothing.  Why are they there? is a reasonable question to ask.   There would be no loss should they have been edited out.   Unless of course the reason they are there is because they provide an Easter Egg to be found by the small audience of family members who heard her read and for whose enjoyment they were initially created . 


Surnames of interest


In this case Walter Elliot rather than Anne Elizabeth or William. Swap an L for a T.  The anagram to make is TOILET  as in "taking care with one's personal appearance" and personal appearance was as Jane Austen makes clear of undeniable interest to Walter Elliot.



Admiral Croft and his wife.   Not too many anagrams to be made by the addition, subtraction, or substitution of a letter  from Croft.  The most appropriate perhaps for an admiral especially one met with outside a shop selling pictures of boats, (was that scene a clue for those listening to Jane Austen read aloud  who hadn't got it yet ) is CRAFT   



The anagram to be found by substituting W for a G is BALDING.   There is a brief description of Admiral Baldwin a friend of Admiral Croft.  Jane Austen's portayal of him is as a man with "nine grey hairs of a side, and nothing but a dab of powder on top"  One might well wonder exactly what is the point of introducing and describing Admiral Baldwin and aspects of his physical appearance.   His character adds just about nothing to the plot or its development.  He says nothing, does nothing, appears and then disappears.  He could just as easily be edited out, except, once one considers/realises he is crucially important  as a vehicle for another of Jane Austen's Easter Eggs.  



Add an E to this name and the word BREEDING can be made.  Breeding:  was  important theme  not just in Persuasion but one to be found in all the books by Jane Austen that I have read so far.  It was also very important to all those within Jane Austen's circle. In terms of plot, narrative, characterisation what does Brigden bring to the book  one can  say pretty much the same for Captain Brigden as for Admiral Baldwin.  Each says nothing, does nothing  absolutely nothing.  Nothing would be lost by Brigden like Admiral Baldwin  being edited out unless of course Brigden like Baldwin is another Easter Egg.  I'm not at all sure about this one     



A number of 8 and 9 letter words can be made from this name.   But one word in relation to Lisbon stands out.  Lady Mary Grierson it will be remembered was in Lisbon.  Frederick had he stayed a week longer in Lisbon would have been asked to bring  Lady Mary Grierson and her daughter  home.  The word that stands out and can be found by replacing the E for an A is  the word GARRISON.   During the Napoleonic Wars in  1809 the British army were fighting in Spain and Portugal.  At this time there was a garrison in Lisbon under British command.  What does Lady Grierson bring to the book.  Precious little it seems to me.  The same can be said for Lady Mary Grierson as for Admiral Baldwin  unless of course here is another Easter Egg. 



I have not found too many place names apart from "Sewell's Farm"that can be harnessed to create meaningful anagrams (Easter Eggs) in any other books.  But Winthrop seems a possible to me.  A place well known to Jane Austen and family can be found by substituting the P of Winthrop and replacing it with a g and thus making WORTHING.  


I have decided to include one example of anagrammatic word play from Northanger Abbey in this piece and that is Tilney.  Tilney.  There are five Tilneys in Northanger Abbey.  The General, Frederick, Henry, Eleanor, and lastly the Generals wife Mrs. Tilney.  The first four all have extensive parts to play throughout the book.  Mrs Tilney however doesn't because she is long dead and obviously can't.  She says absolutely nothing, she is a memory, but crucially, she has importance.  If the Y in Tilney is exchanged for an S the word SILENT can be made.  Or to put it another way Exchange the Y for an S and another Easter Egg can be made.  HMMM.


Added July 3rd 2018

Emma and more Easter Eggs


Aside from Jane Fairfax as detailed very briefly earlier there are unsurprisingly more Easter Eggs  to be found in Emma.  Jane Austen would sometimes write in code.  A letter, for example to her 8 year old niece begins, "Ym raed yssac...." Along with the Easter Eggs  explained so far I think I may have found an example of such  code in her work.  It concerns the name and title of her book Emma.   I checked the Scrabble Word Finder for Emma plus a question mark but found nothing of compelling interest.  I did not like the most obviously connective  anagram made by switching E for I and making  MAIM.  But while reading Emma I was struck by Jane Austen's usage of French, for which apparently she had a good level of  understanding.  What about exchanging an M for an I and leaving EIMA.   Not much there but much better is to exchange the other M for an I leaving  EMIA!?

AIME backwards!!! 

AIME as in Je t'aime I love you 

AIME  means in English Love.

Without love there would be no Jane Austen books.

Love so essential  to every book I have read by her so far.  


How many different examples of love are there in Emma.  It's what the book is all about  

LOVE  AIME  EMIA EMMA  Why not?     Personally I love the simplicity of its cleverness.  A giant Easter Egg hidden for 200 years! Amazing!  


Is that all.  No.  If you exchange the 2 Ms for 2 Ns you can make the name Anne

Many people think that in spirit if not actuality there is an autobiographical element to Persuasion.  With that in mind and "Easter Eggs" its interesting to note that if one swaps an N for a J in the name Anne then the name JANE can be made.

There is a little more to be said about EMMA later 


The earlier names are  ones I think least likely  

Taylor - Royalty

Otway - Today

Cole - Love

Miss Bates - (Mis) Takes

Partridge - Departing

Serle the butler. There are other possibilities perhaps for this name than my suggestion but I would like to point out that by removing the R and replacing with a W gives the name ELWES !!!  Elwes from gentleman, to farmer, to kitchen hand who chops up carcasses. 

Dixon - Doing   Jane Austen uses this word on 222 occasions according to the Jane Austen Thesauras.  Or what about Doxie (a mistress)  

Fairfax - Affair    This Easter Egg strikes me as being especially probable.

 Fairfax - Affairs  Jane Fairfax is thought by Emma to be conducting a secret affair with Dixon ie. is his mistress    

Firstly,because, the word affair and its meanings depending on context and  judging by its frequency of use is an important concept to Jane Austen.  The word affair is a noun and   according to the Jane Austen Thesaurus is used on 78 occasions.        


Secondly, because, Jane Fairfax was conducting  a secret affair with Frank Churchill.


Thirdly, because she was thought, mistakenly by Emma to be conducting an affair with Mr. Dixon.  The word affair according to the Jane Austen Thesaurus is used on 78 occasions. 


Fourthly, is the fact that the name Fairfax can by exchanging one letter for another make the word Affairs or by deleting a letter the word affair can be made.  2 Easter eggs from 1 name   


Below is an especially relevant quote:

Emma spends a certain amount of time mistakenly speculating whether Jane Fairfax is having an affair with  Frank Dixon.  Mrs Weston is speaking with Emma re Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax  and says to Emma "and do you really believe the affair to have been carrying on with such perfect secrecy? A The Campbells the Dixons did none of them know of the engagement?"  Emma could not speak the name of Dixon without a blush.    


Its so simple to miss, so simple to see.  


Elton - Alone   see Emma Part 1 Chapter 3   ..."Mr. Elton, a young man living alone" 

York Tan - Outrank  Although a word never  used by Jane Austen the noun Rank was used according to the Jane austen Thesaurus on 43 ocassions 

Gilberts - Trebling "You and Miss Smith and Miss Fairfax , will be three and the two Miss Coxes will be five," had been repeated many times over. "And there will be the two Gilberts young Cox my father and myself besides Mr. Knightley. Yes, that will be quite enough for pleasure. You and Miss Smith, and Miss Fairfax, will be three, and the two Miss Coxes five; and for five couple there will be plenty of room. "     

Weston - Bestow The verb bestow was used by Jane Austen according to the Jane Austen Thesaurus on 29 occasions whilst bestowed was used 33 occasions. 


Astely Lastly given its position at the end of the book maybe more than just a visit to Astely's theatre ( Such very appropriate placement within the text)


Some of these are perhaps accidental or maybe red herrings in that they whilst they do make an easy to discover Easter Egg of some sort its not easy to relate them to the text in any way,  for example Otway. 


I must also add a further possible word that can be found  in Pride and Prejudice by exchanging an  R for an E from  the name  Gardiner. The word regained can be made. Following Lizzies rejection of Darcy's humiliating proposal  or  Love / Paradise / (Pemberley) lost and then from  chapter 24 Lizzie in company with Mrs Gardiner meets Darcy and everything turns out well or to put it another way  Love / Paradise / (Pemberley)  REGAINED.  



As a well educated and well-read individual, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that Jane Austen had read and or knew of Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained by John Milton.   

Added July 13th  2018       


More about Emma


Jane Austen, as is quite well known enjoyed riddles, conundrums, codes, ciphers, anagrams, etc. She writes as much in Emma.  A  book with references to codes, ciphers, riddles, conundrums, anagrams and maybe more throughout it.   Whilst reading through a second time looking for  Easter Eggs that I may have missed it was with some surprise that I realised the possibilty of another level of "larger" of Easter Eggs to be made.  Initially, I had thought it a little unusual that all Chapters began with the first 2 words in capital letters but like most thought no more of it.  It maybe, that it is just modern editions that begin like this but I think that unlikely.  More likely, I thought was surely that they follow the same textual idiosyncracies as the original first edition.  But that is not quite so.  Almost, but not quite.  




The first chapter beginning that I  noticed was Chapter 16  "THE HAIR." In that first paragraph Emma has had her hair curled and is sitting down thinking about Harriet. "The hair curled, and the maid sent away, and Emma sat down to think and be miserable . It was a wretched business, indeed! Such an overthrow of everything she had been wishing for! Such a development of everything most unwelcome! Such a blow for Harriet! " Another example  I thought, if you exchange the H for an R from the word THE the name Harriet is an anagram (Easter Egg) that can be made from the words the and hair.  Interestingly also in this paragraph;  there are 4 exclamation marks the last one coming after the name Harriet!   


Is that simply one of the fascinating coincidental anomalies that occur from time to time in the English language or was that deliberate.  Deliberate.  I t must be!  Surely!  Given what I have written over the last 25 pages.  Given what I think I have already found.  It can't not be deliberate can it? What about if other chapter beginnings the 1st two words could be rearranged similarly 


Were there other chapter beginnings with the first 2 words printed in capital letters that could by exchanging one letter create an anagram relevant to the text.  In the edition I am reading the first 2 words of every chapter are written in capital letters.


Working backwards for some reason the next 2 word beginning  I could work out easily without the scrabble word finder was  Chapter 17 book 3 MRS. WESTONS.   Exchange the E for an O and the word SNOWSTORMS can be made.  There is the departure from Randalls in a  (modest ) snowstorm.    


Are there more. I wrote down every chapter beginning and put each one through the scrabble word finder to see if anything of interest would appear using the same methodology of exchanging one letter and thus being able to create a meaningful textually relevant anagram.    For some there was nothing that I found to, shall we say  excite. But others were of  interest.        


The chapters beginning MR. ELTON  and MRS. ELTON by exchanging the L for a T give TORMENT and TORMENTS or possibly  SNOWMELT by exchanging the L for a W in the case of the latter example, or from the chapter beginning  EMMA DID  comes ADMIRED. Admired was an adjective  used by Jane Austen according to the Jane Austen Thesaurus 58 times. When used as a verb, admire was used on 68 occasions.   These are examples of possible chapter headings that might contain an Easter Egg  


But the one worthy of special mention comes from Book 1 Chapter 14 SOME CHANGE.   


SOME CHANGE          


One can read this paragraph beginning "SOME CHANGE " simply in relation to the text that follows.  Or it could be read as a pointer that there were "Things" that changed ie. names such as Mr. Elton or maybe it could also be a pointer that some chapter headings changed as above.   By substituting one letter for another letter in this case the letter G for an L, the 2 words "SOME CHANGE"   make  (I think ) a stunningly  interesting anagram (Easter Egg)  in this context.  CHAMELEONS can be made!!!  How good is that?    AN ACCIDENT!     A COINCIDENCE!   I THINK NOT!  


The first 2 words of each chapter in the first edition of Emma are all in capital letters, with one exception.  That is in chapter 1 where the first 2 words are  Emma Wodehouse.  In the first edition of Emma, Volume one, Chapter one, has only Emma in capital letters.   Now why would that be?  A mistake or deliberate.  My Folio Society  edition has the name Emma Wodehouse in capital letters.  I presume a later editor has thought a mistake in the printing has been made and has changed it so that  both Emma and Wodehouse  are printed in capital letters.  I would have thought that Jane Austen, when she saw the proofs would have turned automatically to the first page to the first page  and if printing only Emma in capital letters  was  a mistake might have commented about such an error or made sure it was changed.  She expresses only satisfaction with what she sees.  Satisfaction because that was exactly what she wanted. 


With regard to Emma, Jane Austen wrote in a letter to her sister  that " I do not write for such dull Elves as have not a great deal of Ingenuity  themselves." Could the discovery of "Easter Eggs" be what she really means. 


Even with the best will in the world I cannot for a moment believe or think that a proportion at least  of  these examples of anagrammatic word play (Easter Eggs) are anything other than the creations of Jane Austen.  And as for the suggestion courtesy of Maureen Stiller Hon. Sec. of the JAS. that they are the creations of my ingenuity.  Ridiculous. 



In my minds eye I can see Jane Austen sitting at the table writing and as she pauses from writing  she puts her head up and  laughs (quietly) out loud.    


I thought that  REYNOLDS / SPLENDOR   was clever but both "EMMA / AIME" and "SOME CHANGE / CHAMELEONS  " are even better? 

       As my friend Vince puts it "for 200 years Jane Austen has been having a right laugh Ha ha Ha." 

*  I have realised that some of the names in these  lists  of names from which meaningful anagrams can be made is maybe a little optimistic in its findings to say the least. There is a later recap about names that discards any name I do not feel sure about.  But there are many that seem absolute certainties.  


Winchester Races at Worthy Down 


Two  further possibilities as to why Robert Cary Elwes may have been anywhere near Jane Austen  in 1795/6 besides visiting his relatives in Winchester have emerged.


Firstly Elwes was to become a race horse breeder who purchased Great Billing Hall from the Duke of Devonshire's brother's estate;  an estate with its own private race course.  Elwes purchased this estate in 1799 having been associated with it since 1795.


At Worthy Down near Winchester horse racing was held.  Horse racing here was a major social event at the end of the 18th century to  which the great and the good would attend from far away so it is not impossible that a man with all the time and money he needed in which to do as he pleased, and with an interest in horse racing should be there.  Besides which he had strong family connections living within Winchester itself who if he did not already know about Worthy Down could have told him and would have provided a further good reason to visit.  


  * A newspaper article from 1794 gives a brief account of the social side of the occasion with the following quoted text 

    " The company was numerous and splendid - On Tuesday evening there was a concert at St. John's House. The theatre was opened as usual and was brilliantly attended on Wednesday evening, when the performances were by the desire of W. Chute Esq.the steward of the races - The stewards ball and supper on Thursday evening at St. John's House, were attended by all the beauty and fashion in this city and neighbourhood"

       *Special thanks for the above newspaper report to John Slusar owner of the Greyhoundderby website  who made me aware of the existence of this  report through his interest in horse racing and among other things horse racing courses, including the one at  Worthy Down Winchester * 


Point No. 1

St. John's House Winchester is a grade II listed building with an 18th century first floor Regency Assembly Room.


Point No.2

The Chute family were undoubtedly known to the Austen family through James Austin who was the vicar of Sherbonne St.John just outside of which  the Chutes lived in a magnificent country house known as the Vyne.


Point No. 3

Although there is no account of the entertainment associated with the Winchester races in the years 1795/6 its highly probable that there very similar entertainments in these years, and that there was a stewards ball, whether the steward was W. Chute is not at this moment known but I can find no reason so far for him not to have been the steward of the races in 1795/6 at Worthy Down Winchester .  


Point No. 4 

If  W. Chute Esq. were still the steward at the Worthy Down races 1795/6 and at the time of writing it appears he was; and  given that the Austen family and the Chute family who must have known each other fairly well through  at least James Austen Jane's brother because  W. Chute owned "The Vyne" in Sherbonne St. John and James Austen was the vicar of Sherbonne  St. John courtesy of W. Chute.  Would it be a surprise if  Jane Austen were an invited guest at the stewards  ball in 1795/6.   Close Friends and acquaintances of the steward would be likely to be invited.   Young attractive ladies are always needed at such events and I would be more surprised if she did not get an invite than if she did, and if so could this be the ball that provides the basis for the ball at Meryton were Elizabeth first encountered Darcy and Jane Austen writing that everyone agreed that he (Darcy)  "was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world and everybody there hoped he would never come there again" The dating of the ball at Meryton it needs to be noted is not the same because the ball at St. John's House takes place in July whereas the ball at Meryton takes place Octoberish.


Maureen Stiller Hon. Sec of the JAS. has informed me that Jane Austen rarely went to Winchester, Balls or otherwise but if there were one good reason for Jane Austen being in Winchester and moreover at a  ball in Winchester then  the stewards ball organised by W. Chute after the racing at Worthy Down is it.  Isn't it?


Similarly if Robert Cary Elwes did travel to Worthy Down for the racing and there were a ball in Winchester to be attended by Robert Cary Elwes then the stewards ball after the racing at Worthy Down is likely and thus could the 2 have met.  Could they not? 


Yes its conjecture.  But its plausible conjecture with some srtuctural factual support that provides answers as to how come and where Jane Austen could have met the man who might be the man with  definite similarities and commonalities with Darcy of Pride and Prejudice.  It explains how a man nobody had seen before or knew of, could have appeared from nowhere so to speak in a manner not dissimilar to the appearance of Darcy a man nobody had seen before.   

Added July 30th 2018        


The further reason for Robert Cary Elwes to be in Winchester besides horse racing and relatives relates to the death of his father and a Doctor John Berkenhout of Winchester.  Whether or not the Austen family knew of him or not I do not know although in his day he would have been a well known figure.  A clever knowledgeable man and published author see Oxford DNB entry.  But Robert Cary Elwes certainly knew of him.


Held in Northampton archives is an executors account book by one Francis Grojan who was the trustee for the will of Cary Elwes, Robert Cary Elwes's father.  It details the income and expenses for the estate of Cary Elwes until Robert Cary Elwes reached the age of 21. 


There is an expense of 200 pounds for 17 days (the last 17 days in the life of Cary Elwes )  of medical care  payable to John Berkenhout of Winchester.  Berkennhout would therefore in all probability have been the last or one of the last people to have seen Robert Cary Elwes's father alive.


John Berkenhout's Wikipedia entry shows him as dying in 1791 so if Elwes did try to visit him it would have been in vain.   

Added  28  August  2018


Horse Racing Newmarket  Mansfield Park


I had suggested that the B____ races could be Banbury.  John Slusar of the greyhoundderby website has told me that there was no horse racing at Banbury between 1809 and 1813, therefore B_____ races is unlikely to be Banbury.  For the same reason this includes nearby Brackley also.  There was horse racing at Bedford during this period.

     However he did inform of an interesting fact with regard to Robert Cary Elwes and horse racing at Newmarket. Newmarket was the race course that Tom Bertram had his accident and thus a race course that Jane Austen knew something of at least in order to include it in Mansfield Park.   In 1812 Robert Cary Elwes raced  and won with a horse  by the name of Master George at Newmarket. The Racing Calendar for 1815 lists the previous winners of races in 1812. The entry reads Master George, Mr. Elwes's 225 gns and 50 gns at Newmarket

              In the Sporting Intelligence section of the London Chronicle for 1812 is an article about the third October meeting at Newmarket in 1812 on Wednesday 28 October It reads  " Mr. Elwes's c. Master George 8st. 7lb. beat Lord Lowther's brother to Buttercup 8st 4lb. A. F. 50 gs.  five - 4 on Master George.

     Jane Austen wrote the book Mansfield Park between the years of 1812 and 1814 at Chawton Cottage.


Added   28  August  2018

Devon,  Jane Austen, and ?   


We know  that Jane Austen visited the county of Devon  in 1802/3 and stayed at amongst other places Sidmouth, Dawlish and Teignmouth.  We also know that a visit to this area had been planned by the Austens since 1801 and was known by Jane and her sister as the "Dawlish Scheme"  We also know that she met someone and that whoever it was she met sparked a slight rift between her and her sister.  "A man of the church?  Who could she have met.?  A closely guarded secret.  Nobody knows.  A theory, a suggestion  or two but no-one really knows.


In moments of dreamy speculation I wondered if it could possibly be Robert Cary Elwes.  Spreading himself far and wide you may think.  Could he have had any connection with that area of Devon.  A huge estate in Yorkshire, estates in Lincolnshire, the estate of Great Billing in Northampton and until the end of the 18th century at least in Throcking Hertfordshire.  A wild goose chase up a blind alley leading to a dead end.  I thought there was however a glimmer of light  to be seen far away near the dead end so to speak.


This glimmer  of light came initially via Robert Cary Elwes's youngest son Francis Emilius Cary Elwes.  Francis Emilius Cary Elwes was the author and creator of the manuscript written in 1863 which forms the major part of my  website blog Wisdenssecret.com.  This manuscript contains a day to day diary for 1863 from January 1st until late September 1863. In the early part of May  he records a duty visit paid to his mother at a place called Walland Cary that lasted a week.  Walland Cary was an estate belonging to his mother  near Clovelly in North Devon. 


Another gleam  of light came  through his brother, Richard James Cary Elwes, whose genealogical records show him as being born on the 18th September at Walland Cary.


Still brighter  light shone with knowing that Robert Cary Elwes's grand mother went by the maiden name of Martha Cary. It seems as if this estate was inherited by Robert Cary Elwes via his grandmother.  


The full light of realisation dawned once I looked a little deeper into the origins of the  name Cary.  A name that is used as a Christian name, a  surname and gives itself to an estate name  indicates deeper origins.  And so it proves.  The name Cary is a family name with possible origins in Ireland, Somerset, 2 places in Devon and as far back as  at least the 12th century.


The first origin in Devon  is around Clovell.  Members of the  Cary family owned estates around Clovelly.  In the local church there are tombs of long dead members of the Cary family to include one, who, along with hundreds of others was executed after the Battle of Tewksbury despite seeking sanctuary in Tewksbury Cathedral.  The Cary family owned this pretty village from the 14th century until the 18th century.


The second branch is based in South Devon.  They owned the Cockington Court estate in the village of Cockington also from the 14th century until the 17th century.  There is a pub in nearby Babbacombe called the Cary Arms.  During the 17th century its then owner, Henry Cary supported the wrong side in the English Civil War and was forced to sell Cockington Court  to pay fines.  Its what often happens to losers in war.  Henry may have lost his money or property  but he did at least keep his head.


In 1662 Sir George Cary a  distant relative of Robert Cary Elwes bought Torre Abbey and this abbey remained within the Cary family until 1930.


How coincidental:  Fitzwilliam Darcy has the same name for his given  Christian name as his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam has for his surname.  There are many Christian names that can be used as either Christian name or surname.  The use of Fitzwilliam as a Christian name though is very rare.  I cant imagine it is common practice to use a family surname as a Christian name in a different branch of the family who bear a different surname but it does happen.  


An example of it happening is  to be found in the Cary family.  The surname Cary has its traceable roots way back to the 12th century and amongst other places in the late 18th /early 19th century can be  found belonging to George Cary of Torre Abbey.  The Elwes name is a branch of the Cary family.  Robert Cary Elwes's grandmother was a Cary.  Robert Cary Elwes's  father, a nearer  cousin still, had as his first given Christian name Cary.


Now that  is an interesting coincidence is it not?  


Another interesting coincidence to note is that the real Colonel of the Derby Militia had as his Christian name  George as does Robert Cary Elwes's cousin George Cary.          

         Yet  another interesting coincidence is that George Cavendish like George Cary held the rank of Colonel during the Napoleonic Wars.      

          One more coincidence for luck.  The Christian name of  George Cary's father like the Christian name of George Cavendish's father was.... William.     

         Whilst looking through the Elwes family archives at Northampton Archives  I  remember coming across material relating to George Cary.  Which George Cary and exactly what the material was I do not know.  I did not bother looking through it because I did not realise the possibility then of finding anything of interesting relevance.  However the very fact that Cary material is to be found within this archive  does show that the two branches must have had some sort of interaction.  In 2019 I will look again at this archive material.     


Firstly: Could Torre Abbey be the original siting of Northanger Abbey?


Jane Austen gives some  short descriptions of various aspects of Northanger Abbey in the book Northanger Abbey.  Parts of the  location, the layout of the buildings and the gardens of Torre Abbey are it seems highly reminiscent of the fictional Northanger Abbey.  Although Northanger Abbey is not beside the sea, does not have a magnificent medieval barn nor a converted chapel  (to have described such recognisable individualistic features  would perhaps have given away its location whereas omitting its proximity to the sea and the possession of a barn and chapel makes discovering its location rather more problematic)   Add also a billiard room and fine library neither of which were possessed by Torre Abbey and the disguise is complete. Jane Austen describes the ground to the North and East of the Abbey but not to the south which is where the sea is  in relation to Torre Abbey.  



Although formerly a monastery rather than a convent before the Reformation Torre Abbey was a very wealthy order like Northanger Abbey.  Long before in the mid 17th century Torre Abbey similarly to the Tilney family and Northanger Abbey became the property of the Cary family some time after the Dissolution and in the early 1800's had been in their hands  of the Cary family for nearly 150 years.


Jane Austen writes of Northanger Abbey  "of a large portion of the ancient building still making a part of the present dwelling although the rest was decayed, or of its standing low in a valley, sheltered from the north and east by rising woods of oak"  could just as easily have been written of Torre Abbey.   From what remains of the gardens of Torre Abbey it would also appear that these to would  have been as impressively  substantial and noteworthy just as they were in Northanger Abbey.   


Secondly: Torre Abbey is just over 8 miles from Teignmouth whilst Dawlish only a few miles further away at 12 miles. Well within range of a day trip even from Dawlish.  A days walk.  An easy trip for Jane Austen to have made in 1802/3 when she is known to have been staying in Teignmouth in lodgings  known as "Great Bella Vista" Its a bit further away from Dawlish but still easily close enough for a day trip in a carriage.

Thirdly: Is there any possibility that the unnamed mystery individual encountered  during the Austen's stay in Devon   could possibly be Robert Cary Elwes.  That the surprise encounter leading to red faces, beating heart, joint embarrassment between Darcy and Lizzy  is a loose account of a meeting between Jane Austen and Robert Cary Elwes  6 years later when time and life may have altered him.  Who knows?  Its very speculative of course and there is no evidence to confirm that they met but.....  


Fourthly:  Who was the "churchman" that Jane Austen was reputed to have loved?  Could he have been a secret  coded reference relating to Torre Abbey?  A humorous reference by those who knew.  Maybe, maybe not.


Torre Abbey does have similarities strong to Northanger Abbey.  Northanger Abbey was sold to a publisher by the name of Crosby in 1803.  It may have been finished as early as 1799 although there is the probability that it underwent some later revisions.  In 1809 Jane Austen writes a letter to the publisher who had made no effort to publish the work a revised edition.   The description of Northanger Abbey is towards the latter half of the book.  Whether 1799 was the actual date the novel was originally finished or whether nearer 1803 when sold for publishing is not really known; nor is the extent of any revising prior to the letter to the publisher in 1809.  So it is definitely not impossible  for her to have known about Torre Abbey and written something in relation to it.  To me at least the descriptions of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen do read  like the descriptions of a real place that either Jane Austen and or someone she knows has visited and described.  They have detail within that sounds based on reality ie  Rumford fireplaces.


Rumford fireplaces were invented by Count Benjamin Thompson Rumford and in 1802/3 were a very recent invention which quickly became very popular for the obvious reasons that they were far more efficient in giving out heat, all the smoke went up the chimney and last but not least for the same amount of heat they consumed a lot less wood.   He wrote 2 papers on the subject one in 1796 and one in 1798.   A particularly noticeable quality of a Rumford would be their decrease in size and style when compared with the enormous fireplaces and surrounds that would, previous to their installation have been in place.  


Their shape was very distinctive and the fireplace in the dining room at Torre Abbey   ( see Below There are online images of the dining room at Torre Abbey.  Its not a small room and is very like a Rumford design.   Originally the fireplace would have been faced with plain marble slabs.  Although the encaustic tiles are late Victorian or later these could have been added much later.


There are two principal features that distinguish a Rumford fireplace.  One is the fireplace as described above, the other is the chimney.  The chimney was designed and shaped so as to facilitate the efficient and speedy removal of smoke up the chimney.  Unfortunately the chimneys are now all blocked up and so it is at the moment not possible to discern the shape of the chimney and show whether it is indeed a Rumford fireplace or not.


Today there are only 4 fireplaces left that are visible.  The chimneys of all 4 are blocked.  200 years ago, a place the size of Torre Abbey must have had many more fireplaces than just 4.  The rest today are now all removed, bricked up etc.  


It's not impossible that some 21st century imaging maybe able to give an idea of the profile of the chimney but firstly this is not cheap and secondly will require the permission of Torre Abbey management.

To the left is a photograph of the fireplace in the dining room at Torre Abbey.  It is very much like a "Rumford "fireplace  For such a large room this appears to be a very small fireplace and whilst the fire surround is not unattractive it is a much smaller and less ornate fire surround than might be expected in such a large main room.   

Doctor Michael Rhodes is the author of a book about Torre Abbey entitled  "Devons Torre Abbey Faith Politics and Grand Designs" Doctor Michael Rhodes is a former Head of Museum services for Torbay Council.  I contacted him about the possibilities that Northanger Abbey and its similarities if any with Torre Abbey.  He has duly read the relevant text from Northanger Abbey and has this to say.  From the description of Northanger Abbey it is certainly plausible that Jane Austen visited the abbey.  The owner of the house  at the start of the 19th century George Cary did have visitors some of whom would be shown around parts of the abbey.  So given that in 1802 Jane Austen was nearby in Teignmouth and Dawlish its not impossible that she and her sister visited Torre Abbey and did get to see inside.  In some of her books Jane Austen does describe visits made by various characters to places of interest that relate to the book ie. Pemberley so  the practice of visiting country piles like Torre Abbey was a practice  with which she was familiar and no doubt, sooner or later, somewhere or other, experiences.


He goes on to say that whilst there are definite similarities there are also some dissimmilarities most notably the view of the sea to the south from balcony windows, the absence of a magnificent medieval barn, no description of the fine private chapel, the inclusion of a billiard room and well stocked library.  These highly distinctive points are significant.  However if Jane Austen had mentioned the splendid views of the sea to the south from the balconies, the magnificent medieval barn and the very fine private chapel then her description would have been highly recognisable as Torre Abbey By omitting these features and adding a non- existent billiard room and well stocked library an abbey not immediately like Torre Abbey is easily and simply created.   He also lists the similarities as he sees them between Torre Abbey and Northanger Abbey. He Says

"You will find information about the phases of building works in my book on Torre Abbey, which is available for a song on Amazon.   If you can obtain this, you will see that the South East wing and East side of the Abbey were subject to a series of alterations and improvements during the late 18th century, the most major of which occurred between 1803 and 1809 (so would pre-date the publication of Jane Austen's novel.  There is however evidence that Jane Austen did do some revision a few years prior to eventual publication).   The book also describes how Torquay started to become a tourist resort from the late 18th century, and how genteel visitors would call upon the Cary family, and might be shown the principal rooms.

1.  There is no evidence of a pinery at the period you are interested in, though they could have had one.
2.  The main staircase dates from 1741-3 and does indeed have carved oak ornaments.
3.  The drawing room was very large and had folding doors (removed in 1930, though I have a photo of them prior to this).  It dates from the Napoleonic period, though I suspect its post 1803.
4.  Its hard to imagine a visitor who would not have mentioned the sea views and the balconies off the 1st floor drawing room.

I have refreshed my memory of Northanger Abbey by re-reading sections of text.  I think it is certainly plausible that Jane Austen visited Torre Abbey and was inspired by what she saw.  The Abbey in her book is nevertheless definitely not a description of Torre Abbey:

Points of similarity
* Long damp passages
* Narrow cells
* ruined chapel
* contemporary furniture
* Chapel of St. Anthony 2 miles away is reminiscent of St. Mary's Chapel 2 miles away from Torre Abbey
* Large modern Gothic windows
* Rooms look onto quadrangle of former cloister
* The Abbey had a collection of old deeds and papers (now in the Devon Records Office)
* It had a small hot house
* It had a grove of Scots firs
* A library (though the Cary's did not read much, and their library was that of the Catholic parish priest)
* Family portraits
* Real drawing room, as compared to the 1st floor drawing room with folding doors, could refer to the ballroom (now Mayor's Parlour)"

*  There were shutters in the bedrooms, as there were in most similar properties in the late 18th to early 19th centuries.
* There was a sizable kitchen garden, as was the case in most properties of similar size.
* There was a construction of some kind in the garden immediately behind the abbey, in the former cloister area.  No pictures survive to say anything about its size or construction.  The family used it to take breakfast in the summer months.
* If the kitchen was modernised in the late 18th century, all traces of the improvements have been obliterated by the more extensive improvements of the late Victorian period.  The only features that might survive from this era are the octagonal wooden pillars that propped the sagging floor of the 18th century sitting room above, though its perhaps more likely that they date to the early 1800s."


Northanger Abbey does contain one further very interesting passage that could relate to Torre Abbey.  I quote from the first edition "The elegance of the breakfast set forced itself on Catherine's notice when they were seated at table; and, luckily it had been the General's choice.  He was  enchanted by the approbation of his taste, confessed it to be neat and simple, thought it right to encourage the manufacture of his country, to his uncritical palate, and for his part,  the tea was as well flavoured from the clay of Staffordshire as Dresden or Seve.  But this was quite an old set purchased two years ago."


Firstly and most obviously the french porcelain  manufacturer Sevres  has been spelt incorrectly.  In the first edition it is spelt Seve instead of Sevres.  Why should that be?  One reason I think could be because she did not know how it was spelt and her spelling was based upon another's incorrect pronunciation.  Another reason could be that she was copying the spelling of another. 


Could this other pronunciation for example have been by the owner in 1802-3 of Torre Abbey George Cary  when Jane Austen wrote Northanger Abbey.  He was familiar with France having received a Catholic education  at the English Secular College  in Duoai.  Or could this incorrect spelling have come via one of her two brothers Charles and Francis (see next section below)    George Cary  was  familiar with some at least of the finest English bone china dinner services having commissioned one with the family emblem, from Chamberlains of Worcester.  In Doctor Michael Rhodes book about Torre Abbey there is an illustration of a soup tureen, with its cover, plate and ladle from this superlative service.  The dating of this set is 1786 - 1810.  Whether this dating is because of the imprecision of the dating marks or whether its manufacture was spread out over this period I do not know.     



In the very early years of the first half of the 19th century Torquay was a very small area with just 40 or so houses and 2 inns.  But visitors had started to arrive for summer holidays partly at least because of the bather friendly conditions and Jane Austen enjoyed the seaside and its bathing  pleasures.  Why should she not have visited the area close to Torre Abbey in 1802/3.   Nor was it  unusual for visitors to call at Torre Abbey because it was the principal house in the area. Why also might she not have called here.  2 ladies of genteel birth and upbringing with the naval connections of 2  brothers.

       Whilst reading Doctor Michael Rhodes's book about Torre Abbey  I have been struck by the possibilty, nay probability that Jane Austen may have known about the existence of Torre Abbey for a period of months perhaps even years.   Her knowledge  if she did indeed know about Torre Abbey could have come from either of her brothers, Francis and Charles.  Francis, who we know wrote many letters to their  sisters detailing their activities in the navy.  As  officers in the navy they must have spent some time on board one ship or another  in the English Channel.  In times of very stormy weather ships would if possible take shelter.  One place where shelter was superb and which  each brother must have been aware of at least  was Tor Bay, a large natural harbour  situated on an easterly facing coast and thus largely protected  from the westerly storms.  Overlooking Tor Bay is Torre Abbey.  Its owner in the late 18th early 19th century was George Cary.  A man known to offer hospitality to naval officers.  Indeed Admiral John Jervis  Earl St Vincent*  is known to have spent a winter in early 1801 recuperating there.  It is  well documented that George  Cary dispensed considerable time and hospitality to naval officers, to the extent that Torre Abbey was nicknamed "the George Inn"  It is, I think  inconceivable that  officers as intelligent as the  Austens  undoubtedly were, who had spent time as  officers in the navy up and down the Channel for many years , could not  or did not know of the shelter that Tor Bay provided and further I suggest did not make some use of it at some time and if they did shelter or visit Tor Bay I think it unlikely that neither brother  never went ashore.

       Many of  Francis's  log books survive from his earliest days  as a midshipman, then as a lieutenant and later as captain.  Log books of course only record day to day events on board ship.  So in all probability I can only expect to find positional   entries recording mooring/sheltering in Tor Bay.  Written entries recording what occurred on land at Torre Abbey cannot really be expected unless they relate perhaps to Admiral John Jervis Earl St. Vincent and the time during which he was recuperating and had an office in Torre Abbey.  These log books are available to view.  At some time in 2019/20 I will be examining these looking for entries that relate to Tor Bay, and if there are any I shall give further details. 

*If one were looking for a model on whom  General Tilney could have been based Admiral John Jervis Earl St. Vimcent  might be worth considering.  

      George Cary the owner of Torre Abbey during the period 1792 - 1805 was not a general as  was the owner of Northanger Abbey General Tilney.   But he did have militaristic leanings.  Apparently so Doctor Michael Rhodes says he raised a corps of volunteers and liked nothing better than marching practice and pretend battles after which he invited the officers back for dinner.  He quickly achieved the rank of Colonel but as a Roman Catholic was forbidden from becoming a professional soldier and holding a commission and upwards to becoming a senior officer.  The Napoleonic wars were taking place whilst he was the owner of Torre Abbey and as part of the defense for  the Tor Bay area, in 1803 his corps became a part of the Haytor Regiment.  From 1803 an area known as Berry Head was garrisoned by  a detachment of the Haytor Regiment under Colonel Cary of Tor Bay.      

      I have never heard of Torre Abbey as being a possibility for being the original location for Northanger Abbey.  There were of course many abbeys in Britain in medieval times.  But following the dissolution of the monasteries  many were allowed to go to rack and ruin.  

      It seems to me though that a systematic  search ought to have unearthed the possibility of Torre Abbey as being the original model.  A systematic search based upon say a 20 mile radius of anywhere Jane Austen is known to have visited would have  eliminated many candidates.  None in Scotland and the north of England.  None in the East  of England above Kent.  None in Northern Ireland only a few possibilities in Wales and then the ones  outside a 20 mile radius of anywhere Jane Austen is known to have spent time.   Of these remaining discard any that are ruins and  any with many owners and there simply cannot be that many abbeys left that could be candidates to be the original location. 

       Of those left Torre Abbey must surely  be a prime suspect when considering where the original  model  for Northanger Abbey could in reality have been and therefore worthy of some further attention.  Its close proximity to where Jane Austen is known to have spent 2 summers whilst writing?  Northanger Abbey in nearby Teignmouth and Dawlish demands to be researched.   How could an abbey as  substantial  as Torre Abbey was, be ignored.  A little further investigation would have revealed  the commonality of its  ownership by the same family for 150 years or so.   A little more detective work would have discovered the certain  knowledge of Torbay as a safe sheltered anchorage in stormy weather and thereby Torre Abbey by her two brothers Francis and Charles, officers in the Navy.  Both of whom regularly wrote letters to their sisters in some detail,  giving substantial details about their lives and events in their lives.   Some, if not all of Francis Austen's log books still exist.  These probably do not mention going ashore for say dinner in etc in Torre Abbey but as minimum they will include a ships daily positions.   It seems quite likely, probable even, that surviving logbooks will show the ship  Francis Austen was an officer aboard mooring in Torbay at some time between when he first became a midshipman in 1795 and when Northanger Abbey was published.

       Francis Austen and Admiral John Jervis were to some extent at least, known to each other from as  early a date as sometime in 1799. Francis Austen  was appointed commander of the ship Peterel on 3rd February 1799 and at a later date in 1799 is known to have delivered despatches from John Jervis  also known as the Earl St. Vincent whilst  at Gibraltar. They were for Rear-Admiral Nelson and he  arrived with them in May 1799 at Palermo.

        A description that came via Francis for example may well not have included a note about the view of the sea.  It was a view to him that he saw every day and therefore perhaps not really worthy of comment.  Another point to note  is the precise orientation of the description of the abbey sheltered by oak trees to the North and East.  A naval officer quite probably carried a compass with him at all times and therefore was easily able to state whether something was to the North or East whereas the majority of people would say behind or in front or to the left or to the right.   Locations as possible original source settings for many of the places described by Jane Austen surface regularly.  I'm amazed to find that nobody seems to have suggested Torre Abbey as the original source for Northanger Abbey.    

      Northanger Abbey underwent later revisions before its later posthumous publication.   So there is a possibility that  later detail about Torre Abbey may have been added later also.    

       At the time of writing late 2018 I have yet to examine these logbooks but hope to in 2019/2020 


Added February 12 2019 


*Mansfield Park is a novel set in Northamptonshire.  Although Jane Austen never went there she may have had  descriptive assistance from either Martha Lloyd who she requests not to renew her enquiries about Northampton  obliged as she (Jane Austen) is for them, because she can get what she wants from her brother Henry. 


Hertfordshire was another place that although she herself never went to she has written about.   Supposedly, so I have been told,  she was informed about Hertfordshire  by  some long removed  relatives and about the presence of the Derby Militia in Hertfordshire by her brother Henry.  This information has been presented to me as fact by Maureen Stiller hon.sec. JAS.  along with the "fact" that she learned about Chatsworth House via books and publications that were available at the time.  Unhelpfully, when I have requested the source/s for these "facts" and where they are to be found so that I may see that they are neither theory, supposition or  conjecture, total silence is the only answer I receive.


There are many other examples to be found in her work of her information coming from sources  outside of her own actual experience.   Much  of her knowledge of naval affairs for example is surely from either one or both of her brothers Francis and  Charles. 


To me Jane Austen's descriptions of Northanger Abbey sounds as if they may have  some factual basis.  Torre Abbey does seem to have strong similarities.  Possibly she went there 1802/3 when her and her sister were staying nearby  in Dawlish and Teignmouth.  But if not  one or both of her brothers could easily have provided enough detail from their own knowledge IF the ships they were officers on ever  moored in Torbay.   Both brothers were officers in the Channrel Fleet.  Its not credible to propose that neither had any idea about Torre Abbey.  But if not then they both must have known naval officers who did know  about Torre Abbey 


Maybe Torre Abbey is not the original inspiration  for Northanger Abbey.   But it has strong claims to be the original inspirational source that most if not all others do not have. 


*Mansfield Park 

      In particular the village of Thornton Lacey passed through by Henry Crawford.

        I think it possible if anyone had looked to see if there was any possibility of a village based upon Thornton Lacey being anywhere in the vicinity of Northampton they would have happened across Great Billing 

     The basic description of finding Thornton Lacey is to ford a stream and upon a small knoll (or hill )  is a church, a stone's throw away from which is an old parsonage (at least 50 and preferably one would think close to a hundred years old ) Sewell's farm is also nearby but there appears to be no gentleman's or half gentleman's residence.

      Could there have been an original for Thornton Lacey to be based upon.  Beginning with the assumption that there really was a village that Thornton Lacey is based upon.   Northamptonshire was a county with over 280 villages.  Take a pin and place it wherever the odds of being right are 280 to 1.   Using logic can this number be reduced.   If there really was a village that inspired Jane Austen then a  good map to consult would be John Speede's map of Northamptonshire.   

      Although originally produced in the early 17th century it went through many editions and printings and provided the templates for most of the county maps of England for the next 100/150 years.  Speede maps are very attractive to look at.   Nowadays they are usually found coloured although  colouring varies with the skill of the colourist.  The town insets provide attractive detail.  However they are not accurate.  Their inaccuracy is part of their charm of course and it was the combination of their inaccuracy and the need for accurate maps during the Napoleonic wars that led to the creation of the Ordnance Survey maps.  These first Ordnance survey maps  in their original undissected form are at the very least to those who know them minor masterpieces of cartography.   

      There are not many features denoted on Speede maps but one feature of especial interest is that churches are noted.  And where a church is noted on a 17th / 18th century map seems a good place to find an old parsonage.

     So, I would propose  firstly that if a circle with a radius of 10 perhaps 15 perhaps even 20 miles  was drawn around the centre of the town of old Northampton and that every village  with a church to be noted.

       Secondly, I would propose that each village be checked with an early 19th century  6 inch to one mile map of the relevant area. These maps show a lot of detail. Contours, streams, churches, and parsonages are all clearly marked. 

To see if:

a) there was a church  on a hill 

b) if there was an old parsonage nearby, preferably close to a stone's throw away 

c) is there a stream to be forded from any direction 

d) check for any building that could be Sewell's farm

      How many villages could be eliminated because the church is not on a hill or there is no  parsonage either old in the early 18th century or nearby, or no stream to be forded I do not know; but for absolute sure  some perhaps most could be eliminated.  Many more would not be worthy of consideration either because they are too far away. 

       Sewell's farm is an odd one as is no gentleman's or half gentleman's house.  Most English villages in the 18th century with a church and an old parsonage could be expected to have had at least  one  residence that was  owned and occupied by a gentleman.  So why would Jane Austen write that.  Answer I think is that she does not mean that in the literal sense.   Those who knew her  I think would have recognised a two handed insult to Elwes; firstly in describing his residence as a farm and therefore by extension himself as a farmer, and secondly in him not being recognised as a true gentleman. 

      A close examination of the remaining villages would obviously include Great Billing because a church is marked there on the Speede map, and if one looked  through the various county histories of Northampton for example the Victoria County History of Northampton at the village of Great Billing then  Great Billing Hall, its  ownership by a son of the Duke of Devonshire  owner of Chatsworth  House  and  by the Elwes family from the last years of the 18th century. A bell should be heard ringing in the distance.  The long suspected location of  Pemberley being Chatsworth ought to have demanded a closer look at Great Billing  and its owners.  If a closer look at Great Billing had been undertaken an old parsonage would also have been located and the close proximity of Great Billing Hall to the church would also have been found. 

     Those who enjoy crossword puzzles  may have noticed that the addition of an L to the name Elwes and the name Sewell  be made.  Similar for the name Cary. Add a D and the name Darcy can be made. Further research through the Northampton Archives would have revealed the history of Great Billing Hall  rebuilt in  the latter quarter of the 18th century and its initial rental in 1795 and ownership in 1799 by Robert Cary Elwes and much much more. 

Not all roads lead to Rome but there is more than one way that leads to 

     Robert Cary Elwes gentleman, who in 1795 was indeed a young ,rich, and single man etc. 

     Many months after writing the above I came across the fragment of a novel "The Watsons" for the first time.  Those who know this short extract will probably have heard the faint tinkle of another bell at the sight of the  Christian name Robert.   The significance for significance there is of the name Robert is explained a little further on.  

Added 12th September  2018

Are There Any  Easter Eggs to be Found in Jane Austen's early work as a teenager

      Darcy was the first Easter egg that I thought I may have found.  But whilst it was the first I had found was it the first to be laid.  Could there be more Easter Eggs in her earlier writings I wondered.  I have no idea what her earlier writings were like; how good or bad they were, I've never read them.  But I hoped to find one little Easter Egg.  One would be enough.

       I came across not one but two worthy of pondering.  They were  in the first letter from Miss Margaret Lesley to Miss Charlotte Luttrell.  I quote. 

       " MY brother has just left us."Matilda" (said he at parting) "you and Margaret will, I am  certain, take all the care of my dear little one, that she might have received from an indulgent, an affectionate, an amiable, Mother.  " tears rolled down his cheeks as he spoke these words -  the remembrance of her, who had so wantonly disgraced the Maternal character and so openly violated the conjugal Duties, prevented him adding anything further; he embraced his sweet Child  and after saluting Matilda and Me, hastily broke from us and seating himself in his Chaise, pursued the road to Aberdeen.  "Never was there a better young man! Ah! how little did he deserve the misfortunes he had experienced in the married state. So good a husband to so bad a wife! for you know, my dear Charlotte, that the Worthless Louisa left him, her Child and reputation a few weeks ago in company  with Danvers and dishonour."

        Matilda placed in the Scrabble Word Finder with a question marks produces a few results.  One in particular has relevance to the quote above.  Exchange the D for an R and the word  MARITAL can be made.   

        Danvers placed in the Scrabble Word Finder with a question mark produces a lot of returns.  But one too interesting not to point out  amongst its returns, not to mention thought provoking and perhaps amusing result can be created by exchanging the D in Danvers for a T and the word  SERVANT can be made.   I did not see that coming.  Sex outside of marriage between  the well bred woman and a servant whilst not  documented very much, could have  happened and why would it not happen.  And of course there would be a great shame that came with being caught.    

         There is much rumour and fact about below stairs pregnancies, relationships, etc between servant girls and the like and masters and sons of masters, but what about the other way round.  Lady Chatterley 150 years earlier.  Difficult to believe that such a thing never happened or if it did  that nobody knew and that nobody talked.  Kept quiet; Yes, I have no doubt of that, nobody is going to broadcast that sort of shame abroad.  But to say it never ever happened is something I dont believe for a second.

          In early 2019 I looked a little more into Jane Austen's  writing for jokey, bawdy humour.  It would seem that  including shocking and salacious material with an amusing risque twist is not unusual for Jane Austen and if I'm right about the above seems to have started early in life. 



        A further Easter Egg maybe contained in the village of Woodston the small village in which Catherine is taken by General Tilney to the parsonage  that is the accomadation that comes with  Henry Tilney's living.  If the D of Woodston is changed for an L the name Woolston is made.  About a 3 hour drive away from Teignmouth and significantly less from Torre Abbey and  less than 20 miles  is the hamlet of Woolston Green.  It appears to have had no church or parsonage in it but it does, by exchanging the L for a D  lend itself to the easy creation of another Easter Egg.  I have tried to find out whether the Cary family owned  land or had the gift of a living anywhere near but with no success.  The Cary's were a Catholic family so quite possibly they did not have the gift of a living in their hands  Dr. Michael Rhodes suggested that finding out by going through all the documents and records would be the task of 2 Ph.D's.  


      There is however one other place by the name of Woolston that I feel sure Jane Austen knew about.  It is close (2 and a half miles) to Castle Square in Southampton where she lived for a few years.  It must have been visible across the river Itchen too.  It  involves a ferry ride across the river Itchen to reach it though.   It would appear from a quick look at the contours on an ordnance survey map of the area and as expected considering its closeness to the sea  to be rather flat, as was Woodston according to General Tilney's apology for its flatness.  It would, had she chosen to go on the Itchen ferry have been easily accessible to Jane Austen.  However if she ever went there it does not appear as if Woolston in the early 19th century was anything more than a hamlet. 

         A church known as Pear Tree Church was built at Pear Tree Green in 1618.  It adjoins the parish of Woolston. Whether a modern parsonage was built anywhere close to the year 1800 I do not know.  The same can be said as to whether there was a view of a  pretty cottage from the parsonage.    

        A biography of Jane Austen by Paula Byrne entitled The Real Jane Austen A Life in Small Things has this to say about time spent in Southampton and where she went and what she did "The Austens made family excursions by ferryboat on the River Itchen.  They saw naval sites and the Gothic ruins of Netley Abbey.  Jane continued her long walks surrounding the town beside Southampton Water  and and along the banks of the Itchen and Test rivers."  The Itchen ferry carried goods and people from Southampton to Woolston  to  Netley Abbey is 2.2 miles from Woolston.   I do not where Paula Byrne sourced this information but assuming this is the case and I'm sure she is not mistaken when she writes this and if this is so Jane Austen must have known about the village of Woolston.   


Pride and Prejudice: A little more that connects Darcy to Robert Cary Elwes          


I have reread again Pride and Prejudice looking for clues and connections that I may have missed.  The main one that I have missed is the one where Caroline Bingley  is invited by Darcy to make further suggestions for Darcy's domestic felicity.  She replies to his question "Oh,yes.  Do let the portraits of your uncle and aunt Philips be placed in the gallery at Pemberley.  Put them next to your great uncle the judge.  They are in the same profession only different lines."  

In Pride and Prejudice Uncle Philips was an attorney and in the same profession as a great uncle of Robert Cary Elwes for Robert Cary Elwes had a great uncle who was a magistrate of some fame.  This particular relative inherited not one but two fortunes at a young age and was one of the wealthiest men in England.  He was considered to be the finest horseman in Europe.  Part of his life was spent as a magistrate of some repute, locally at least, to whose judgement people with disputes would come from far and wide to settle.  This led to him becoming an M.P. during which time he joined no party and voted as his conscience directed.  He was reputed  to be impossible to bribe.  There is a  biography  of him by Edward Topham, which went through many printings in 1790.  It was entitled The Life of Mr. Elwes the celebrated miser.  (the inspiration for Scrooge)  There is a frontispiece illustration to this book of John Elwes of which if one googles "John Elwes miser"  an example can be seen. 

I can trace few momentoes of Robert Cary Elwes's existence.  No letters, no anecdotes, no journals, nothing.  He or others appears to have either destroyed all  correspondence between others and himself, or there was none; and for a man in his position  there must have been some.  Its almost but not quite as if he did not exist.  Northampton Archives hold a considerable amount of Elwes family material and it is almost devoid  of anything to do with him.  But he has left some written evidence. This is to be found in his banking records with the bankers Goslings currently held by Barclay Archives Group.  At the end of each year he signs off the account record for that year.  (see illustrations below) At some time in the future I hope to be able to have his handwriting analysed to see if it can be shown to corroborate  any aspects of Elwes's character with what we are told about Darcy. 

     Some things about his handwriting are easy to discern.  For example, Elwes in common with Darcy does not write at great speed.  He has I would suggest like Darcy even hand writing.  His signature with the enlarged R and C  and the 2 full stops I am sure will reveal further commonalities, but no further comment from me for now.  At sometime in 2019/2020  I hope to have his handwriting analysed.

Added 29 October 2018  

Longbourn "Hertfordshire" to Gracechurch Street London  24 miles 

In chapter 27 of Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen informs us that Gracechurch Street in London is exactly 24 miles from the village of Longbourn itself a mile outside the town of Meryton.

The village of Amwell is one mile to the south of Ware.


If Amwell is the original location of Longbourn then it would need to be 24 miles from London.  

Suppose that Amwell and Ware are  the real locations for Longbourn and Meryton.  In order to disguise its exact  location might Jane Austen have situated Longbourn  one mile the other side of Meryton. If this were the case  then the distance to Gracechurch Street from Longbourn would be 24 miles.

To the left is a  photograph of an old milestone just outside the town of Ware and in the village of Amwell. It clearly pertains to the parish of Amwell. A traveller heading north would see that one mile away was the town of Ware and had he/she come from London had travelled 20 miles and vice versa.

The reason for Gracechurch Street  being 24 miles away is explained thus the distance of milestones along the route from London to Ware was calculated from the  starting point of Hicks's Hall in St John 's Street Clerkenwell. 


Hicks's  Hall according to a hand coloured map I have entitled The Pedestrian's Companion 15 miles round London published by  M.J. Godwin 1822 states that the road to Enfield and thus to Ware is measured from  Hicks's  Hall. Hicks's  Hall no longer exists and has not existed for well over 200 years  but road measurements were traditionally taken from where the front of the building originally stood. If one was travelling from one mile north of Ware to London that would make a distance of 22 miles. (See illustrations below)


The distance from  Hick's Hall to Gracechurch Street was 1. 8 miles. Add the 2 distances together and the distance of 24 miles from Gracechurch Street London to "Longbourn" (Amwell) one mile north of "Meryton" (Ware) is arrived at.     

The illustration to the left is of a rare hand coloured map of the area 15 miles around London entitled The Pedestrians Companion pub. 1822 by M. J. Godwin approx 600mm by 580mm 

The illustration below to the middle left shows the town of Enfield. Enfield is a town on the  main route to Ware in 1822. This was the main road to Ware and went back centuries.  

The illustration to the middle right shows the distance among other places in Middlesex to Enfield  from London.

The illustration at the bottom of the page  shows part of (The list of Places from which the Principal roads are Measured. Roads to Enfield and thence to Ware are measured from Hicks Hall.

Milestones like the one illustrated above, along the way are also measured from their respective starting positions in London in this case Hicks Hall and in the above illustration of the milestone at Amwell 


A Recap about Easter Eggs


1)   Jane Austen owned a set of ivory letters now in the British Museum and undoubtedly she would have played a common parlour game/s that revolved around the creation and discovery of anagrams.  

2)   She writes about a game involving  anagrams in Emma (See blunders and Dixon) and she also enjoyed puzzles

3)   The possibility therefore of Jane Austen making use of  names  to create Easter Eggs (anagrams) is certainly a feasible concept.

4)  I feel sure also that she easily had sufficient ability as a writer and was smart enough as an individual to have had the idea to incorporate "Easter Eggs"  within the texts.  

5)  Puzzles and riddles and codes all provided her with amusement.  Should it be a surprise to encounter anything of this nature  in her work.  The surprise I think is not to find them not that they are there. 


I have said before that I think I have found 4 methods  by which  Jane Austen inserted Easter Egg anagrams  into her work  by using names. They are    

1)  By adding a letter to a name that she knew ie D to Cary to create Darcy.

2)  By a straightforward anagram ie. Maddison to Diamonds 

3)  By exchanging a letter from a name to create a word that relates to the text in some way or to the context of the paragraph in which it appears ie. Baldwin: exchange the letter W for a G and the word Balding can be made (see description of Baldwin in Persuasion)  Below is a list of the names and the anagrams that can be made  using this method in which  I think it is most  difficult to dispute that these are the deliberate creative  intentions of Jane Austen. 

4)  By deleting a letter to create a word that relates to the text or context of the paragraph in which it appears. ie.  Baddeley: By deleting the letter B the word Delayed can be made which relates to the context of the paragraph in which the name Baddeley first appears namely Delay.    


But after reflection I have realised that perhaps in reality there are only 2 methods that should be considered.


Method 1 only exists for Cary To Darcy and Elwes to Sewell  and should really be part of method 4. By removing the D from Darcy the name Cary can be made and the L from Sewell (as in Sewell's farm) the name Elwes can be made. Of relevance of course only if Jane Austen knew or knew of Robert Cary Elwes 


Method 2  only exists for Maddison.   Maddison so far as I can tell is the only straightforward anagram from a name to a word that I have found.  Although it relates to the context of the paragraph in which it appears and although I feel  certain that Jane Austen knew perfectly well that by using the name Maddison the anagram diamonds could be found, and that this was indeed her intention,  because this is the only exact anagram from a name to a word that I have found I need to accept the possibility that this is just a chance occurrence.  I would make the point though that it is not that easy to make words from  7 or 8 letter names.


Which leaves methods 3 and 4.


Some of the names/ anagrams that I have listed initially are quite possibly wrong. Maybe I have come to the wrong answers just like her earliest audience. But some of the names/anagrams  cannot be written off so easily.  Listed below are some of the most significant and most probable examples for both methods. 


Method 1: exchanging one letter for another and creating an anagram that relates to the text in general  or context of the passage in which it appears.

Reynolds / Splendor

Baldwin / Balding

Nicholls / Scullion 

Elton / Alone 

Fairfax /  Affairs  or possibly Affaire

Gilberts / Trebling

Some Change / Chameleons 

The Hair / Harriet

Matilda / Marital

Danvers / Servant  

Serle   The cook by the name of Serle should be included too. Exchange the R in Serle for a W and the name Elwes can be made.  From gentleman Darcy/ Cary  to farmer Sewell/ Elwes to   the servant class that a cook belongs to  in Serle/ Elwes. Is the choice of the name Serle really just an accident to which  no deeper hidden meaning should be ascribed?    


Method 2: removal of 1 letter and creating an anagram that relates to the text in general or context of the passage in which it appears.

Fairfax / Affair

Denny /Deny

Baddeley / Delayed 

Nicholls / Collins

Bourgh / Bough ??? Bow

Darcy and Sewell  / Cary and Elwes

With both methods as outlined  earlier an anagram either by exchanging one  letter from a name for another letter, or by removing one letter from a name, an anagram can be made which in some way connects to the text in general or the context of the passage in which it appears.  For the names Nicholls and Fairfax an anagram that relates to the text can be found using either method.   There is no possibility that anyone other than Jane Austen wrote these texts and so therefore    

There are 3 possibilities


Option A)   

I have found not one but 2 incredible series of random coincidences whereby the names of an author's characters can be utilised to make anagrams in 2 different ways ie.  The exchange of one letter for another or the removal of one letter to create an anagram  that also pertains to the text or context of the passage in which they occur.  How likely is that to have happened purely by chance in multiple instances !!!!!?????????


For this to be the case  it must be possible to find replicated in exactly the same 2 ways not I stress different ways, sooner or later in many another  author's work,  from their  earliest examples of writing until their  latest examples  and for  a multitude of  authors across all world literature. How likely is that !!!!!??????????? 


Look for example at Mr. Elton and the anagram that can be made by exchanging the T of Elton for an A.  The phrase in Emma that reads "Mr. Elton, a young man living alone."  Looked at in isolation  it is perhaps only natural to assume or think or suggest that this is just a coincidence of language that could happen anytime, anywhere any place.  An interesting anomaly but nothing more than a simple random  occurrence.  I accept that.   


But how often does an anagram that can be created in this way need to be found before it  ceases to be a simple random event.  That the repeated methodology and pattern  becomes recognised as the deliberate design of its author.  3 times should be enough to establish  random event or deliberate pattern 


Consider Reynolds and Splendor and the relevant quote below.

"The rooms were lofty and handsome, and their furniture suitable to the fortune of their proprietor, but Elizabeth saw, with admiration of his taste, that it was neither gaudy or uselessly fine; with less of SPLENDOR, and more real elegance than Rosings"


By exchanging the Y of Reynolds for a  P  the word  Splendor can be made.  But it is not just this exchange of letters that needs to be considered.


Two points to consider:  Jane Austen initially wrote her stories to be read aloud to a small family audience who I think would have known that there were 2 types anagrams to be found if they cold find them.  In reading aloud her audience would most probably have spelt Splendor in their minds with the OUR ending, and the phrase that reads "less of Splendor" and use of the word less was  a clue telling them that a letter had to be removed from their way of spelling Splendour before the exchange of letters that created the anagram Reynolds to Splendor could be made.


Jane Austen uses the word Splendour with  the OUR ending on 7 occasions but only once and of necessity with the Or ending in the above example.  I say this is the deliberate design of Jane Austen.  Its clever, its simple and it requires a certain ingenuity to figure it out.  Jane Austen wrote about Pride and Prejudice that "I do not write for such dull elves as have not a great deal of ingenuity themselves."   A later editor in one edition of Jane Austen's works has seen fit to "correct" the spelling of Splendor to Splendour.


Reynolds/ Splendor seems pretty clever to me. 


I struggle with the concept that the 2 anagrams shown above  which can be created in this way and with one  which is quite as good as Reynolds /Splendor can possibly be the pure coincidence of 2 random occurrences.



So here are 2 more.

Fairfax and Nicholls.


These 2 are especially interesting because by  using each method an anagram can be found that relates in some way to the texts in which they appear.  


Jane Fairfax is having a secret affair with Frank Churchill.  If the X from Fairfax is removed then the anagram affair can be made.

Later we learn that Emma erroneously suspects her of having an affair with Dixon.  2 secret affairs.  By exchanging the X for an S the anagram affairs can be found.  


"As soon as Nicholls has finished making white soup enough I shall send round my cards" Bingley tells his sister.  If the letter H is  exchanged for a U  the word scullion can be made.   Scullion is a word  meaning kitchen servant;  now little used, but in 18/19th century England  a common enough term and any household of any worth would have had a scullery maid.   The removal of the H from the name Nicholls  allows the name Collins as in the character Mr. Collins to be made.


Can the above plus several more not described all really be just the happenings of chance. 


If unconvinced look at and consider carefully  Baldwin / Balding,  look at and consider carefully  Some Change / Chameleons, look at and consider carefully  Denny / Deny, look at and consider carefully Baddeley / Delayed,  look at and consider carefully Gilberts / Trebling, Look at and carefully consider Bourgh /Bough/Bow, look at  and consider carefully Matilda / Marital, look at and consider carefully  Danvers/Servant,  and  more. 


The words Blunder and Dixon and perhaps Pardon, the last word supposedly suggested by Jane Austen as the third word that the letters swept away by Jane Fairfax and which the reader does not get to learn.   Frank Churchill suggests that Jane Fairfax is having a secret affair with Dixon.   Emma suspects Jane Fairfax of having an affair with Dixon. 


The Scrabble Word Finder gives several words that can be made from blunder plus a question mark.  Two likely ones both formed by exchanging the N for an O are Doubler or perhaps  but less likely Bounder.   Dixon though provides a much more appropriate anagram.   Exchange the  N again this time for an E and one very striking word under the circumstances that can be made  is Doxie, the meaning of which is mistress or prostitute.  Finally Pardon.  Here again  from the words that can be made there is one strikingly apprpriate word to be made given that both Jane Fairfax's parents are dead.  Exchange the letter D for an H and the word Orphan can be made.  

Emma Chapter 20 which begins "Jane Fairfax was an orphan..." maybe worth a second deeper look and if the text has anything to do with it the anagram to be made from Blunder is Doubler        

Would anyone argue that Jane Austen  would not have had wit  enough to think of these, nor be a smart writer  enough to weave them so seamlessly into the narrative, chose names and actions to fit the scenes?    Of course she was.  


"I do not write for dull Elves As have not a great deal of  Ingenuity in themselves." wrote Jane Austen.   She wrote that for a reason.


Further to these anagrams.   It does not seem far fetched if I am right to propose  that  with this penchant for clever anagrams that Meryton has been created in a way not dissimilar to the way I suggest earlier. 


I have not read everything by Jane Austen.    To say the least  it  is possible that there are  "Easter Eggs" that I have missed. It  may well be that there are other "Easter Egggs " to be found elsewhere.  How do these Easter eggs appear 


I say        

that these anagrams from names that can be created using one of the 2 methods as described above are indeed Easter Eggs inserted by Jane Austen.   

but if not created by Jane Austen then they must have come into existence some other way that I cannot imagine  

Added January 12 2019


 It has just occurred to me that that there is/maybe a serendipitous second Easter Egg within the name Darcy.   An Easter Egg it maybe remembered I have suggested can be formed from the name Darcy by subtracting the letter D and the name Cary (Elwes's middle name) can be made from the letters that remain.  But there is I think another one.  Take away the letter D again and the letters that remain, in their order of appearance are, A R C Y.   If these letters are pronounced as a word then the letter sounds for  R and  C are made, which are of course the initial letters for Robert Cary Elwes's Christian names.  


I have spent much of 2018 looking for resemblances and commonalities between Mr. Darcy of Pride and Prejudice according to the snippets of detail provided by Jane Austen and the real life individual Robert Cary Ewes.  I have posed the question to myself  "In what way is the fictional man and the real man similar  similar enough that Elwes may have been the original for Mr. Darcy."


It seems to me that they have a lot in common, far more than mere chance could have provided.   Far more than all the other candidates for the real Mr. Darcy can muster, put together.  So many small, yet precise details about Mr. Darcy apply to Robert Cary Elwes.   He was a plain Mister, intelligent,owned an estate up north owned another estate well within 10 miles of The Great North Road only sibling  sister worth 30,000,etc.   Jane Austen does like a small but precise detail.   Look at descriptions for Pemberley or Northanger Abbey.   But not only that:  Robert Cary Elwes  provides links to the real Colonel Fitzwilliam a real Meryton, Longbourne, Thornton Lacey, Northanger Abbey; an answer to "why Jane Austen should write "sans peur et sans reproche" and as if that were insufficient, lastly 2 small clutches of unknown unsuspected  Easter Eggs.  Truth, runs the proverb is stranger than fiction.   I could not possibly invent all this and nor when it comes to identifying the original Mr. Darcy has anyone come remotely close to what I have put forward.   


The answer to the question I have posed to myself "In what way is the fictional man and the real man similar?  Similar enough that Elwes may have been the original for Mr. Darcy." in, just about everything.   Mr. Darcy was based to a greater or lesser extent on Robert Cary Elwes.    

Added 29 January 2019 


The Watsons 


I have very recently scanned through the fragment of the novel The Watsons.  A few chapters begun in 1803 and never finished due, so it is supposed and theorised, (there is no proof) to her father's death in 1805.  This may well be the case although 5 chapters does not seem a great deal to have produced in the best part of 2 years.  Be that as it may I read it just in case there was anything of interest that might relate to what I have written earlier and that was worth noting. 


There are a lot of characters in these 5 chapters but 2 names  stood out tall and proud.  The names of the married couple Jane and Robert Watson.  Jane and Robert!  Is this wishful thinking by Jane Austen?  Imaginary role reversal.   Could there be reasons other than the death of her father that this short work is unfinished.


Who prior to 2018 has found any  possible significance in Jane Austen's choices for the names of the  married couple Jane and Robert Watson.  When trying to find a significant reason for the choice of Christian names in The Watsons it is of course a statement of the obvious to point out that  Jane Watson shares her first given Christian name with Jane Austen.  But what significance could there be in the choice of the name Robert.  Until now no significance has ever been suggested, so is it really just an insignificant  coincidence  Robert Watson  shares his first given christian name with Robert Cary Elwes the man I think was Mr. Darcy.      


If I had been more familiar with Jane Austen's works I would have made this connection long ago, as I am sure those who know the fragment The Watsons  and the existence of a married couple  with the Christian names Robert and Jane  almost certainly did. 


Anyone more familiar with Jane Austen's works and in particular The Watsons who had conducted a search for a real place that Thornton Lacey could be based upon or had searched by a "process of elimination"  similar to the one described earlier would I think have immediately paused for thought on encountering the name Robert as in Robert Cary Elwes.

Added February 21st 2019


Another Juvenile Easter Egg


Worthless Louisa who left her husband  child and reputation by running off with  Danvers is not the only example of a young lady running off with a man (servant/Danvers) and from which a meaningful anagram that relates to the context of the passage in some way  using a previously described method from the teenage Jane Austen's youthful writing can be found.


I have very recently discovered another instance from which also a contextually relevant anagram can be made.  It is to be found in Frederic and Elfrida and concerns the Fitzroy family. The eldest daughter of Mrs. Fitzroy runs off with the coachman. There are 4 anagrams that can be made by exchanging one letter for another from the name Fitzroy.  One of them stands out for its relevance to the context of the above scenario.  It is certainly a word  some would use to  use to describe  the feeling that could be inspired and experienced  by this scenario.  Exchange the Z in Fitzroy for an M and the anagram MORTIFY can be made.


Had I known of this Easter Egg when writing the recap about Easter Eggs I would certainly have included it.

Added 23 February 2019

Mrs Ashton Dennis and Miss Jane Austin  


2 more Easter Eggs that would probably have been included in the Recap about Easter Eggs had I realised their existence


Mrs Ashton Dennis was the psuedonym that Jane Austen used when writing to the publisher Benjamin  Crosby and Co enquiring with surprise that a ms. novel by her and bought by them has still not, 6 years later appeared in print and this despite a request and understanding that early publication would ensue.  She signs herself " I am gentleman &.&.  April 5, 1809 M.A.D. " 


Could  the initial letters M.A.D. be the only word play to be found I wondered.   Where exactly did the name Ashton Dennis spring from, how was it created.  It didnt just appear.  Ashton as a name  is, to say the least an uncommom name 

even at its most prolific.     


I played around a little and came up with little of value.  So I tried  with the way I propose that Easter Eggs are to be found.  I wondered what would materialise if I put Ashton Dennis into the Scrabble Word Finder.   It will only take 12 letter searches and so I could not use a question mark as a blank.   The result given the nature of the letter is extraordinary.  There are no 11 or 12 letter returns but there is one and only one 10 letter return. It has a "wow " factor given the sentiments expressed in the letter and the later entry into the books history described at the back in  the advertisement that appeared  posthumously in which Jane Austen expresses her surprise "that any bookseller should think it worth while to purchase what he did not think it worth while to publish seems extraordinary. This single 10 letter  result could easily replace the initials M.A.D. as the real sentiment Jane Austen is expressing. 


By removing an N from the name Ashton and an N from the name Dennis the only 10 letter word that can be made is ASTONISHED.   A word that expresses Jane Austen's feelings in this matter perfectly. 


Astonished is a word according to the Jane Austen Thesaurus that Jane Austen uses 69 times 


There exists a royalty cheque made out to Jane Austen by her publisher John Murray  in the name of Jane Austin. The back has been countersigned by Jane Austen with the same mistake an i in her surname instead of an e.  Why would Jane Austen normally so precise and exact allow such a mistake not only to pass by but be repeated by her.   Is it;  can it be  just  a simple mistake?  Her excitement at receiving the check and thus excusing him is a reason commonly cited as to why she also made the same mistake.  Is that though the real reason.   Could it  perhaps be a deliberately induced mistake. 

Added 27 March 2019 


There is a portrait watercolour painting owned by Dr. Paula Byrne author of a biography of Jane Austen A Life in Small Things that may or may not be of Jane Austen.  Its certainly an intriguing portrait.  On the back someone has written Miss Jane Austin using the same misspelling as on the check (see above).  The painter of this portrait is unknown and although the artist has some ability nobody is suggesting that the work is a masterpiece.  Its value lies in whether it is, or is not a portrait of Jane Austen.  This value is enhanced because there are so few known portraits of her and none from the time she became successful.


So who did it?  Who wrote on the back Jane Austin?  A few tentative suggestions are offered.  Nobody knows.  So I would like to suggest an individual who I think it may have been.  Its a woman well known to Jane Austen, with some talent at least for painting in watercolour.  There are other known portraits by her.  She has also painted members of the Austen family including a portrait of Jane Austen.    I wonder could it not be by Cassandra Austen, Jane Austen's sister. Although only an amateur she could paint quite well.  Could it have been Cassandra who wrote Jane Austin with the "i" misspelling on the back.  She was privy to all Jane Austen's secrets and if I am right about anagrams being found by exchanging one letter for another to create a relevant word or name would have been well aware of this word game employed by Jane Austen.  She was close enough and interested enough and capable of producing that picture with the "misspelt" title to the back and would have known the clue to Jane Austen  that the misspelling held.


The idea for misspelling Austen Austin may not have been all Jane's own work.  Impetus may have been provided by her  brother.  He was appointed a Companion of the order of Bath in September 1815.  The London Gazette records this event with his name on 16th September 1815.  His entry appears as Captain Francis William Austin Royal Navy.


For it to be accepted as a portrait of Jane Austen it would be helpful to explain the why the name Jane Austin has been misspelt with an i instead of an e.  Which my explanation does, along with explaining the use of the i spelling in her name on the bank check made out to her and countersigned by her and which would be another "Easter Egg"   

The Name Ftzwilliam     Pride and Prejudice 

      I have wondered from where the use of the name Fitzwilliam sprang.  Its usage as a surname by Jane Austen may well, as has been suggested to me, be from the Earl of Fitzwilliam one of the very wealthiest landowners in the country.  Maybe.  But that does not explain its use as a  first Christian name.   Most names that Jane Austen uses are names frequently met with in Jane Austen's time, Jane, Mary, Charlotte, Emma, Elizabeth, etc.  Fitzwilliam though is very unusual.  Whoever calls there child Fitzwilliam?  Its a name that does  convey  the  aristocratic arrogance and pride that a man like Darcy would have possessed, but where did the idea to use such a rare Christian name come from. 

       I may have an answer.  It was a serendipitous discovery made while casually looking for details about her brother Charles.  A woman  very well known to both Charles and  Jane Austen had it as her  given middle name.   Indeed 2 of this lady's children may, arguably have provided the names for 2 of Jane Austen's characters;  Fanny from Mansfield Park and Harriet from Emma.  The woman I speak of was Charles's first wife one  Frances Fitzwilliam Palmer who he married in 1807.  I would say that the usage of  Fitzwilliam  as a Christian name was very unusual.   Even more unusual to be used as a given name for a woman.  How  very unusual to know someone with a given, albeit  middle, Christian name of  Fitzwilliam but Jane Austen did actually know someone possessed  of it  and therefore must have had some awareness of its capacity to be used as a Christian name.  She would have heard it if nowhere else at the marriage ceremony between her brother Charles and this woman.   Priest to the groom (Charles Austen) "do  you take Frances Fitzwilliam Palmer to be your wife... 

    Why would anyone be given such a middle Christian name name.  Perhaps in recognition of the family links with the Earl of Fitzwilliam.   Quite possibly.   But there is an argument for suggesting Frances Fitzwilliam Palmer as being in part at least the inspiration for the use of Fitzwilliam as a Christian name.

Added August 2019 


Mansfield as in Mansfield Park.  Readers to this point may remember my suggesting that there was a tenuous resemblance between Mansfield Park and Billing Hall, Elwes's residence in that Mansfield Park was a new build and to a large extent so was Billing Hall.  But the links may not end there.  If one removes the S then the anagram Fieldman can be found.  A word rarely if ever used now, one of its meanings in days gone by is  according to "Your Dictionary"   farmer or labourer.  Add an apostrophe to create the possessive noun and also the full anagram of Mansfield makes Fieldman's Park.  There is a trail that leads to Elwes.   Mansfield Park to Fieldman's Park to Farmer's Park to Sewell's Farm To Elwes's Farm.   Mansfield looks as if too could  be an Easter Egg.  

Why did Jane Austen use the name Mansfield in Mansfield Park.   The title of a book that incorporates a name is hardly a random choice carelessly decided upon.  Its true meaning may not be known.  But it would be a name for which the author will have given due consideration.   In Jane Austen's case?  Especially in Jane Austen's case!  Many a literary expert will state and agree that Jane Austen does not do things for nothing.  So what was the impetus, the motivation, for choosing the name Mansfield.  Surely not because it sounds nice, or she could not think of anything better, or somebody else's idea.  Google offers little assistance when searching for a reason for the choice of the name Mansfield.  I think my proposal has an ingenious, but  logical and  simple to follow progression once one has the key name Elwes.  The simple logic I'm sure is no problem for those who enjoy cryptic crosswords or compiling them.   Fieldman's grounds? a literary estate for example.  Too easy I know.  From Elwes to Sewell to Fieldman's to Mansfield. 


There at first glance appear to be no plausible reasons for the choice of the name Mansfield in Mansfield Park.  But there is now. 

If one reconsiders  the Maddison /diamonds anagram earlier is this not a third "Easter Egg" to be found   


Added November  2019

 A little More About Gracechurch Street       (Pride and Prejudice)

How did Jane Austen know enough  about  Gracechurch Street, a street in the business district of London to include it in Pride and Prejudice?  Enough to  describe something of its character and flavour.   She never went there.  A quick Google search gives no indication or explanation of how she knew of the existence of this specific  street.  Of course a quick answer is someone she knew, family, friends, etc in Steventon.  In which case where is the evidence that any of these likely people knew anything about Gracechurch Street.  It was just the sort of street where successful and prosperous business people like the Gardiners  might well live above the shop down below.  But how did Jane Austen  know anything Gracechurch Street and its location?   What possessed her to write about Gracechurch Street?  Where did the information about its exact distance from Longbourn come from?  I think these are  reasonable question to ask and to date so far as I can ascertain there is no answer via Google at least or anywhere else. 


However if she knew of Robert Cary Elwes then there maybe  an answer  for he definitely did know of Gracechurch Street and can be shown to have had business dealings of some sort in Gracechurch Street in the years of 1792 and 1793.   In the executor accounts produced by the executors of his father's will are 8 payments  in the years 1792 and  1793 made on his behalf to Spinks and  Co.   2 payments in 1792 are  for 300 pounds each and the other for 100 pounds  and in 1793 there are 3 payments  for 200 pounds each,  1 payment for 100 pounds and a further payment of 50 pounds.  Considerable sums especially the first two. 


 Some of these payments were made in winter December and January.  A time of year when London may have been at its filthiest.  No sewage system in London in those days to take human waste away and then there would be smoke  and ash from the fires,  horse shit in the roads and who knows what else.   

 Spinks and Co refers to the still existing and much respected  coin dealers and auctioneers Spinks and Co.  Begun in 1668  after the Great Fire of London they relocated in 1772 to No. 2 Gracechurch Street.   In 1772 they were coin and jewellery dealers.  I strongly suspect that Spinks and Co do not possess archives going back to the 1790's but they have been contacted just in case and I await an answer.   

But Elwes did not just visit Gracechurch Street as the executor accounts show.  He also spent a large sum of money at the very fine establishment of Rundell and Bridge,  jewelers and goldsmiths in nearby Ludgate Hill

Robert Cary Elwes undoubtedly knew of Gracechurch Street and presumably how to get there from his estate in Hertfordshire near Ware.  Its not unreasonable to believe that he knew how far it was.  But how did Jane Austen know of a place close to Ware such a precise distance away.   What and from where did she know enough about Gracechurch Street to write "Mr. Darcy may perhaps have heard of Gracechurch Street but he would hardly think a months ablution enough to cleanse him from its impurities"   Although exaggeration, to a countryman like Elwes reared on his  array of extensive rural estates a day in Gracechurch Street may well have left him with the feeling for the need of ablutions.  All that dirt.  Horse shit, human waste, smoke and ash from fires in winter and more would be found in such a busy commercial street.   If she knew Elwes then the  question as to where Jane Austen acquired any knowledge of Gracechurch Street, along with, please note, a multitude  of other mysteries, unsatsifactorily answered if at all by conjecture, theory, supposition and plain guesswork has with one easy solution a more plausible source for its answer. 

Added November 2019

Fordyce            (Pride and Prejudice)

Rereading with more enjoyment every time) Pride and Prejudice  again, on page 65 I came across  "Fordyce's Sermons"  (for Young Women)  Mr Collins, initially invited to read from a work of fiction declines and chooses Fordyce's Sermons a work  first published in 1766.  A work one can easily imagine Jane Austen's  father reading or at least buying.  Its also easy to imagine perhaps that Jane Austen had a similar reaction to it as Lydia ie.  Dull,  Dull,  Dull.


But when I saw the name Fordyce this time I thought that that was a name that might contain something of well hidden subliminal interest.  An F, a Y, a C;  these letters together are not the easiest of combinations to find an anagram using one or other of the anagram methods previously outlined.  Which is how it proved.   When  removing one letter from Fordyce the Scrabble Word finder produces only one word and exchanging one letter for another produces a few more anagrams but nothing so far as I could see  relating to the text.  To make sure I checked the text a second time  and as I read backgammon for the fourth time  (Mr Collins leaves off reading aloud to a disinterested, youthful audience and settles down to a game of backgammon with Mr. Bennett)  I realised what the hidden interest was.  A rather cleverly presented pun  is to be found and which I feel was probably first created for the  family audience of her early listeners to spot.  Those who know backgammon I expect have arrived at the same point or soon will but for those who know nothing about backgammon a brief explanation.  


The game of backgammon or something very close goes back a few thousand years.  It was and in wealthy circles still is  a very popular gambling game.   Simple to learn, quite exciting to play and unlike say chess a very skilled person because of the element of luck can lose,  sometimes to a beginner.   Its played on a board with 2 sets of counters, these days usually white and either red  or black and 2 pairs of dice, 1 pair white with black spots and 1 pair either  red or black with white spots.  Today's sets also include a "doubling cube"  which adds an extra dimension of skill to this ancient gambling game.  The doubling cube was introduced in the 1920's and therefore  was unknown in Jane Austen's day.   A basic set is very easy to produce.  But in previous days backgammon sets have been produced using valuable  and exotic materials  to create a luxury item.  Back in the 18th century its quite possible that there were only 2 dice per set which may explain the use of the word backgammon twice.   So:  1 pair of dice plus another pair of dice added  together or  2+2 equals FOUR DICE in total.    As a pun not the greatest but how  ingeniously simple and so subtly  concealed.  I sat  back and pondered awhile.  Was  this simple happenstance  or intelligent design?  Jane Austen does not do things for nothing is an oft repeated assertion.  Jane Austen was a genius is another.    Why not something else besides backgammon for Mr Collins and Mr. Bennett to play or do.  Why Fordyce's Sermons rather than the sermons of many another worthy clergyman who because of her father's occupation some of which she almost certainly new.   For the wordplay nothing else will do.  Jane Austen was a genius who liked puns, riddles, puzzles, anagrams as her work and letters show etc.  I think it far more likely that this is the intelligent design of an accepted genius  rather than a casual unplanned coincidence.   In fact so artfully concealed within plain view do I find it that to propose that it is happenstance is just absurd.  To those who would say "this is just happenstance "  show me something somewhere similar and as clever from other authors or even another author singular.  Good luck with the search.   Add this to everything else I say I have discovered.  The one thing I am not sure about is the use of the word backgammon twice.  Is it because boards and sets only came with 2 dice rather than 4 dice as nowadays and therefore as a clue the word backgammon needed to be stated  twice, or is  the use twice of the word backgammon a clue word for the purposes of emphasis.   From over  200 years ago I say this is another hidden, delicious Easter Egg that  has just been found.   Are there others of this special vintage ? 



Sir Lewis de Bourgh         ((Pride and Prejudice)

When I first came across the surname  Bourgh I had quickly thought of exchanging the R for a T to make the word Bought and thus another Easter Egg  but until the other day  I missed the opportunity to include it with the other examples of anagram  wordplay.

Below is the relevant slice of text from Chapter 29


"As the weather was fine, they had a pleasant walk of about half a mile across the park.  Every park has its beauty and its prospects; and Elizabeth saw much to be pleased with, though she could not be in such raptures as Mr. Collins expected the scene to inspire, and was but slightly affected by his enumeration of the windows in front of the house, and his relation of what the glazing altogether had originally cost Sir Lewis De Bourgh. "

Substitute COST  for the phrase "been BOUGHT by."  

Why mention the  a) glazing and b) its cost.    This small  piece of text could easily have been excluded as an irrelevance in an abridged edition for example, but of course it is utterly indispensable if I am right about the anagram wordplay to be found throughout Jane Austen's work.  


Has this little snippet about the glazing at Rosings been included for no real purpose? Plot wise etc  it adds nothing.   Does Jane Austen do things for nothing?   Experts say not. 

It further occurs to me to mention that this is third time that I have found a name from which a meaningful anagram using one of the two methods outlined can be found. 

After writing the above about the surname Bourgh it occurred to me to check again how often Jane Austen uses puns in her work.  I could not remember any.  Until 2017 it would appear that she used a pun in her work only once.  So if I am right about the anagram that can be found from  the name Bourgh by deleting the R and thus making from Bourgh  the word Bough and thence to the pun Bow  would be one new example of a pun to be found.  But also there is now the name Fordyce and the pun that can be found as explained above   Four Dice must be included.  In 2017  only 1 pun is to be found.  In 2018 one more pun is found and then in 2019 another pun is found.  In 200 years one pun is found and then within 2 years 2 come along almost together.  Where once was only one now is three!  Are there others I again ask myself.  I bet there are, but will I have the wit to find them.   

"Colonel Millar's"          (Pride and Prejudice)


Colonel Millar makes but one appearance.   This is when Mrs Bennett is reminiscing about her own youthful days 25 years ago when Colonel Millar's regiment went away  and she thought she would break her own heart.  Her 2 daughters are experiencing much misery at the imminent departure of the ---- shire regiment.


I checked the name Millar in the Scrabble Word Finder for the possibility of a meaningful anagram being uncovered. There were none.  But even I could see  without SWF's help that if the apostrophe s were included and the L in Millar's was changed for an I then the word  SIMILAR could be made and what an apt and appropriate word that is to be able to make.  The sentence  preceding Colonel Millar's entry and the sentence introducing Colonel Millar's entry  are  quoted below with the one especially apt and appropriate  word in capitals. 


Their affectionate mother shared all their grief; she remembered what she had herself endured on a SIMILAR  occasion, five and twenty years ago.

"I am sure," said she,  "cried for two days together when Colonel Millar's regiment went away. I thought I should have broke my heart."

In common with Reynolds /Splendor, Millar's /Similar the anagram is found by substituting one letter for another and the anagram  that is to be found is the exact word appearing shortly before the name itself.

Its possible that there will be objections to the use of the apostrophe S in forming this anagram.  But to those who object the rules of these puzzles are not yours but JA's.     

William Goulding and the Gouldings        (Pride and Prejudice)

A few pages after Colonel Millar I came across William Goulding and the Gouldings. The first mention of "the Gouldings  is in regard to Haye Park "if the Gouldings would quit it" William Goulding is met with Lydia recounting how she overtook WG and showed him her marriage ring from the side glass.  The second mention of the Gouldings  is a few pages later.   Mrs. Bennet is determining who will dine  and is saying who she must invite to dine  and includes Mrs Long and the Gouldings.  The Gouldings  say nothing, do nothing, affect the plot in no way.  They arrive and they go. Why are they there? 


The anagram possibilities did not look good to me but even so more out of habit and hope rather than expectation I typed their name in with a question mark.  But lo! I was in for a welcome surprise.   There are 11 8 letter word results with one absolute stand out anagram to be made.  Exchange the G for a B and the anagram DOUBLING can be mad. 


This anagram although written earlier rather reminds me of the GILBERTS /TREBLING  anagram mentioned earlier 


In my list of "definites" I would have included the 3   above.   


Haye Park        (Pride and Prejudice)

I hesitated before including Haye Park.  Haye Park is one of the possible residencies that Mrs Bennet considers for her daughter.  Exchange the Y in Haye for an S  and the name Ashe Park can be made.  A  residence well known to Jane Austen.  She mentions it and its tenant James Holder and relates in a letter  an occasion where she finds herself on her own by mistake with James Holder and has her hand on the door handle (ready to leave in an instant)


I include it because in my researches I came across an article about Ashe Park which suggested that  part of P and P may have been written there.  I cannot to date find the source for this claim.  But 2 points. 

Firstly:   Lizzie walks across the fields a distance of 3 miles to be with Jane who is taken ill.  Is Ashe Park  about 3 miles away across the fields from Steventon Rectory Jane Austen's home?   

Secondly:  A theory.   Ashe Park  was tenanted by James Holder a man with land and slaves in the West Indies.  Suppose that he took a business trip there.  In those days this would mean  a lengthy absence from Ashe Park.  Would Ashe Park be left to stand empty  for a period of many months minimum  or might it be tenanted for this period of absence.  And if it was tenanted would its availability to be tenanted have come about by an "accidental recommendation" and who was it tenanted by. 


This is just a theory.  At some time  I will look for William Portal's bank records for 1795/6 the owner and landlord of Ashe Park.  Its possible they exist and if they do who knows.    

Mr. Manager        (Mansfield Park)


Strictly speaking, in chronological discovery terms Mr.  Manager should have been explained after Captain Marshall below, but I liked the idea of ending 2019 with a stunning climax rather than the anti-climax  that would result with Mr. Manager being explained after rather than before Captain Marshall. 


I cannot remember JA referring to any major character other than by their rightful Christian or surname when known.  On the basis that it is the only time she did this it seemed highly likely that Manager could be significant and manipulated to form a relevant anagram.  Having said that I can see with little effort that exchanging one letter of manager for another could produce many search results in the SWF.  Altogether 37 words of 7 letters can be made by exchanging one letter for another.  Among these words is 1 strikingly appropriate word for this particular context and that is ANAGRAM!!!  How funny is that.      


Captain Marshall         (Mansfield Park)


    Having read Pride and Prejudice yet again and found some more anagram puzzles I thought I really would have to read Mansfield Park again just in case more were also to be found within.  Especially having also found that Mansfield makes the anagram Fieldman's.  So with reluctance,   I began again.  Nothing of interest appeared by the time I reached Captain Marshall   " Do you know anything of my cousin's captain?" said Edmund, " Captain Marshall?  You have a large acquaintance in the navy I conclude? " 

     I remember before, vaguely looking at the name Marshall.  It looked rather unpromising then and did so today  for my purposes.  Nevertheless I entered a question mark and the name Marshall into the Scrabble Word Finder and clicked "FIND WORDS"

     There were no 9 letter words returned  and only 5 words of 8 letters; MARSHALL, MARSHALS  MALLARDS HALLMARKS and ARMILLAS.  I rejected the first 2 because they are far too close to the name Marshall.  The second two were also swiftly rejected as being of no relevance  and I almost rejected the fifth result having no idea what armillas were.  But on checking the meaning I found I did know what they looked like at least.  An alternative name for an armilla is armillary sphere and I remembered years ago selling a framed 18th century engraving taken  from a book illustrating an armillary sphere.  Armillas  in their original Latin  meaning are bracelets or circles   and around a globe are rings  positioned for example to show the equator or the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.   Thus derives the name Armillary Sphere.   Some armillary spheres fetch huge sums of money at auctioneers such as Christies, Bonhams or Sothebys  *

     With rather more interest I began again to read through the chapter looking for anything that might relate to bracelets or a circle or a ring or a naval association .  Nothing was found before and including Captain Marshall in the paragraph in italics above.  But shortly after there is firstly the mention of the "navy" followed by.... 

     The second word of the following  sentence which  stopped me dead in my tracks.  Surely not I thought.  Is that really it!?  I'm pretty excited at this point.  I entered a question mark and then the 8 letters of the  2nd word of the next sentence  ADMIRALS and clicked find words.  There is one 9 letter result of no interest in this context.  There are quite a few 8 letter results and 


                                                                   A  R  M  I  L  L  A  S   !  !  !

is one of them. I stared in disbelief for a second or two and then repeated the whole exercise to make sure I had made no mistake, and then again to make absolutely sure. No mistake 

    WoW!  Just  how  clever  is  that?  Dazzling  and devious in its creative ingenuity.   I would say that this is a 4th Easter Egg.  The same anagram to be found from 2 different words,  the same result forwards and backwards.  Although similar in the need to find a meaningful anagram from a name in the first instance,  to be able to find that same anagram using that same methodology in a related word in the next sentence i think takes the puzzle making to a new level.  

    Are there any more like this?  If so, will I be able to find any of them?  I confess to being absolutely delighted to have found this  anagram.  

      How can this anagram, at once simple and complex in structure and execution  possibly  be anything other than the result of the deliberate creative genius that was  Jane Austen.  

      Its the day before New Years Eve 2019 and as I ponder this anagram and just how brilliant it is, a tempting thought occurs to me.  In the text immediately following Captain Marshall is the only pun up until 2017 to have been found in JA's work.   JA read to family members some of whom I am sure knew about these anagram puzzles.  Is it possible I wonder that the reason for this  pun being located here is to provide a diversion or smokescreen to cover the existence of this special anagram puzzle,  and that maybe it worked and that I am the first person to uncover this anagram since JA first created it.  What a connection.  How spooky is that!  Do I kid myself?  Perhaps, but also, perhaps not!   


*   A major use for an armillary sphere was as a navigational aid.  With it and knowledge of star positions one could determine exactly where on the sea one was.  It seems ridiculously  unlikely that neither of Jane Austen's brothers Francis and Charles did not know of an armillary sphere and quite likely possessed their own personal armillary spheres.            

Added December  2019

Thornton Lacey          (Mansfield Park)

      A further reason for thinking that the village of Thornton Lacey could have been discovered has been found.   We learn from Sir Thomas that whilst Edmund's  leaving Mansfield Park will be a contraction of the family circle it is "though only eight miles "  

    Wherever Mansfield Park Northampton is, it is only eight miles.  Had a circle been drawn around the centre of Northampton of eight miles radius, the village of Great Billing where Robert Cary Elwes lived would have been contained within it. There is an old  church known as St. Peters Northampton which according to an internet distance chart is 8 miles away from Great billing.

     Had anyone looked seriously for a village that could have been Thornton Lacey and was 8 miles away from Northampton the search would by looking within the circle have been narrowed down considerably from the 280 odd villages in Northamptonshire to a far lower figure and hence much easier to find if looked for. I must say that I am a little surprised that no-one has attempted to find Thornton Lacey  particularly as Jane Austen tells us that it is 8 miles from Northampton.  This point together with the effort that has been spent trying to identify Meryton  a place 24 miles from Gracechurch Street.   


The Gregorys        (Mansfield Park)

      Remarkable as I thought the anagram puzzle of Marshall to Armillas to Admirals was I had no expectation of anything as good anytime soon.  But the Gregorys provided an anagram puzzle even more extraordinary a few pages later.  Below is the relevant passage.  It was extraordinary because not only is it a double  anagram puzzle but also there is within this puzzle another (this time) sublimely well disguised pun. The 4th  to be found.


As a source for anagrams that are not so easy to find the Gregorys looked like a prime candidate for producing very few and thus  well worth a careful look.  The Gregorys like so many others are characters who say nothing, do nothing, and are discarded almost as they are introduced.    As is now usual I looked at the text just before their arrival and just after looking for something that could connect.    I read that William asks Fanny if she  remembers the Gregorys.  He describes them as having grown up "amazing fine girls"  A single word to describe them could be GORGEOUS.   An anagram to be made from the Gregorys is, if one removes the Y  would be the pun  GORGERS.  But that is not all,  because from the plural Gregorys William then moves on the  singular Lucy Gregory.   An exchange of the Y for an S and the  word GORGERS can again be made.   


Again I have the spooky feeling that I maybe the first person since Jane Austen created this to have realised this anagram pun.   I think it is another  "Easter Egg"  and it is also the third new pun that I have found Its also the 4th occassion where a name can be used to create an anagram using either formula but in this instance the same anagram is made.  A variation on a theme. Well I think it is pretty clever.


Baddeley Again         (Mansfield Park) 


Baddeley it maybe remembered supplied the earlier relevant to the text anagram of DELAYED by removing the B. Chapter 35 of Mansfield Park and mention must again be made of Baddeley.   I have been guilty of not reading the text with complete attention and thus I have missed an important repeat of Baddeley and the anagram DELAYED .  Below is the relevant text 

     "and long thinking strangely DELAYED .

       The solemn procession, headed by BADDELEY"


    How did I miss it first time around.  Never mind I have now  found it.   Mention must be made of the similarity in composition of this anagram where the anagram precedes the name.  Created using  almost the same format arrangement  are Splendor/ Reynolds and Similar /Millar's the difference being that these  2 are created by exchanging one letter in the name for another instead of deleting 1 letter.  Such similar pattern repetition makes coincidence impossible!  *(see Mr. Harding for yet another) 


Mr. Owen and the Miss Owens          (Mansfield Park)

I almost did not mention Mr. Owen. However I feel it worth pointing out that by deleting the letter E the word now and   by deleting the letter O the word new can be made.  Both  can be made effortlessly. By exchanging a letter for another in this instance produces many possibilities.   However I feel it worth pointing out that both the words now and new are used in close proximity to the name Owen and the word NOW  is written in italics.


More interesting are the 3  (plural) Miss Owens. The plural for the noun woman is women, an easy to spot anagram made by exchanging S for an M.  Is it possible that Jane Austen meant this as an anagram to be found and provided clues.  Below is the relevant passage.   It contains many clues that WOMEN is the answer to be found and finally the word WOMEN itself 


" The Miss Owens (women)—you liked them, did not you? "

" Yes, very well.  Pleasant, good–humoured, unaffected girls. (women)  But I am spoilt, Fanny, for common female society.(women) Good–humoured, unaffected girls  (women ) will not do for a man who has been used to sensible   WOMEN."   A slightly different  variation on a theme in that the anagram to be found comes after the name from which it derives .  

Mr. Harding        (Mansfield Park)


Mr. Harding is a name from which many anagrams look possible to create by either method.  But there is one which looks meant to be found and that is the word hearing.  The word hearing appears in the text soon after Sir Thomas receives a letter from an old friend in London; at this point we are not told who this friend is but we are told that he writes "on hearing and witnessing " We learn midway into  the next paragraph his name when it is given in brackets after the pronoun him.   Mr. Rushworth had been in great distress and to him (Mr. Harding)  True there is more text between the anagram to be found and the name but it follows the same format as Reynolds, Millars, and  Baddeley in being given shortly before the name and is created in the same way ie. exchanging one letter for another as Reynolds and Millars.  


Randomness does not generate identifiable regular patterns,  but intelligent design can.         


Finally  for those who would like  the very last drops of juice capable of being squeezed from the fruits of coincidence

Robert Cary Elwes married Caroline Anderson-Pelham  daughter of the Earl of Yarborough on the 12 October 1797 and produced 4 children with her husband Robert Cary Elwes.  In July 1812 at Great Billing she died.  On the 22 of December 1814 Robert Cary Elwes  married again to  a lady by the name of Jane! Marianne Sykes.  Jane!! Marianne Sykes was the daughter of, wait for it the Reverend!!! Richard Sykes.  

Whether or not in the loosest of senses Caroline Anderson - Pelham is or is not the basis for the character Caroline Bingley it seems to me that Jane Austen's most cutting and caustic of comments are reserved for Caroline Bingley;  a woman with "coincidentally" the same first given Christian name as Caroline Anderson - Pelham.  

If one Googles Caroline Elwes portrait miniature  Bonhams and clicks images it is possible to see what she looked like.  Bonhams sold a portrait miniature of her by the famous portrait miniaturist Richard Cosway.   However I must point out that the dating in the lot description is incorrect if it is her and I am confident that it is (no-one else of that name nee Pelham appears to have existed.)  She was born in 1777 and died in 1812.

If you can show me I am wrong, show me.  If you have more to add, that confirms what I have written, tell me.   I think I may be right.

For The Future

Over the next 9 months I hope to be able add further research results whether positive or negative together with photographs etc. Most of the further research is entirely dependent upon having sufficient financial resources.  Some stuff just isn't free  hence the donate button ie. the handwriting analysis of Robert Cary Elwes etc.   These will be uploaded en masse January 2021 at the latest. 

In the meantime here are a few other anagram possibilities to look at carefully

St Aubin? Northanger Abbeyv 

The Hayters  Persuasion 

The Spicers  Persuasion 

The 1st two words of Chapters 27 and 30 to see if any relevant significance can be found in these two chapter beginnings. Emma


One day I hope this will be accessible without the need for a donate button and nor will be paid for by adverts.  Donation is optional I want people to read this but in the short term I cannot provide the modest finance required to continue.  With this in mind I would ask you to consider doing at least  one of three things.

If you know someone who might be interested in this. Please tell them.

Contact the Jane Austen Society and suggest they write a review in their next magazine about  the above


Part of this website is devoted to a manuscript written in 1863 and from which I can prove beyond reasonable doubt that this manuscript is in part at least the original source manuscript to a publication known as Wisden's Almanac 1st edition 1864.  Contact Test Match Special   at tms@bbc.co.uk  and Wisdens the publisher   at  almanack@wisdenalmanack.com   and suggest that it is time the general cricketing public were made as aware of this discovery, probably the most important cricket document in existence as they are.


Thank you for your time


Nigel King 


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