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  • ID: I102
  • Name: Philadelphia AUSTEN 1
  • Sex: F
  • Change Date: 21 MAY 2017
  • Birth: 1730 in Tonbridge, Kent
  • Note: Baptised at Tonbridge 15 May 1730 2 3
  • Note:
    Philadelphia's mother Rebecca died on February 6th, 1733, soon after the birth of her sister Leonora. Her father William married again, to Susan Kelk; he too died on 7 December 1737. Philadelphia was then 7, George 6, and Leonora 4. Susan Kelk was not at all interested in her step-children, and the three were taken in by their Uncle Stephen Austen (a bookseller in St Paul's Churchyard, London) and his wife Elizabeth. Stephen and Elizabeth were prepared to keep little Leonora, and George went to Austen relations in Kent. It is thought that Philadelphia was sent to live with family on her maternal Hampson side - possibly her mother's sister Catherine, who was married to John Cope Freeman. Nevertheless, the Hampsons don't appear to have taken much interest in Philadelphia, nor the other Austen children. The Hampsons were a family of note: Rebecca's brother George was the 5th of the Hampson baronets; another sister, Jane, was a Woman of the Bedchamber to the Princess-Dowager of Wales, Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. (Jane was present at the birth of George III in 1738; and was in the Princess's service from the time of her marriage to Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales, in 1763, and until 1767.)
    Philadelphia was apprenticed to Hester Cole of Covent Garden, on the day of her 15th birthday, as a milliner. Many young women in London were milliners, but a "milliner of Covent Garden" was also a euphemism for a prostitute. There is room for speculation on what was in the Hampson's minds - possibly they saw her as a threat to the marriage prospects of their daughters. Even assuming that she was trained as a milliner, we must wonder how they could have abandoned one of their own into Covent Garden. If they were unwilling to keep her on, one would think that she would make a perfectly acceptible companion to a lady, or a governess. 4
  • Death: 26 FEB 1792
  • Note:
    Philadelphia was buried in the churchyard of St John's, Hampstead, Middlesex on 6 March 1792.
    Tombstone inscription from St John's:
    ' In memory of Philadelphia wife of Tysoe Saul Hancock whose moral excellence united the practice of every Christian virtue she bore with pious resignation the severest trials of a painful and tedious malady and expired on the 26th February 1792 aged 61
    Also in memory of her grandson Hastings only child of Jean Capot Comt de Feuillide and Elizabeth his wife born 25th June 1786 died 9th October 1801
    Also in memory of Elizabeth wife of H T Austen Esq formerly widow of Comte Feuillide a woman of brilliant generous and cultivated mind just disinterested and charitable she died after long and severe suffering on the 25th April 1813 aged 50 much regretted by the wise and good and deeply lamented by the poor'

    Father: William AUSTEN b: 1701 in Horsmonden, Kent
    Mother: Rebecca HAMPSON b: 1693

    Marriage 1 Tysoe Saul HANCOCK b: ABT 1711
    • Married: 22 FEB 1753 in India
    1. Has Children Elizabeth (Eliza) HANCOCK b: 22 DEC 1761

    Marriage 2 Warren HASTINGS b: 06 DEC 1732 in Churchill, Oxfordshire
    • Event: Liaison
    • Note:
      It is believed by some that, after the death of his wife, Warren Hastings was given close comfort by Philadelphia Hancock, and that he was the natural father of her daughter Eliza. There is no written evidence of this, and many who have studied her are sceptical. My own view is that nothing is proven unless there is evidence.
      The RootsWeb software is displaying this possible liaison as a marriage, which it was not there is no field for liaisons, affairs, etc.

    1. Title: Parish Record
      Abbrev: Parish Record
      Page: The Parish Register of St Peter and St Paul Tonbridge
      Transcript, Society of Genealogists Library KE/R 188
    2. Title: IGI, Subject: IGI
      Abbrev: IGI
      Page: Batch #: P008391, Sheet #: 00, Source Call #: 0845142, 0845143, Printout Call #: 6906365, Dates: 1553 - 1812
    3. Title: Parish Record
      Abbrev: Parish Record
      Page: The Parish Register of St Peter and St Paul Tonbridge
      Transcript, Society of Genealogists Library KE/R 187
    4. Title: Editorial Note (comment by Ronald Dunning)
      Abbrev: Editorial Note
    5. Title: Cemetery Monument
      Abbrev: Cemetery Monument
      Page: http://res.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/pdf_extract/XXX/117/12
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