Jane and Adlestrop

Key Facts regarding Jane’s connections with Adlestrop

  • Jane Austen’s maternal family, the Leighs came from Adlestrop
  • Jane visited the village at least three times and kept in constant touch with events there by letter
  • Adlestrop Rectory may be the inspiration for Edmund Bertram’s living at Thornton Lacey in Mansfield Park
  • Humphry Repton worked for the Leighs both at Adlestrop and Stoneleigh Abbey and appears in the text of Mansfield Park
  • The Leighs were like Jane, strong supporters of the Stuarts, and the first Lord Leigh was ennobled by Charles I
  • The Leighs were connected by marriage to the Dukes of Chandos from where the name ‘Cassandra’ came
  • There was a line of mental illness in the family – Jane’s uncle and one of her brothers were ‘imbeciles’ and the Fifth Lord Leigh of Stoneleigh was declared a lunatic
  • The outcome of the legacy of Stoneleigh Abbey affected Jane and the Austens deeply.  The Leighs of Adlestrop were to benefit and her uncle, James Leigh Perrot, but nothing of the great wealth came to the penniless Jane, her mother or her sister
  • The strange connections between Warren Hastings and the Austens and Leighs are fully explained.  How it is likely Jane met Warren Hastings at Daylesford – a mansion very close to Adlestrop
  • How Jane’s many clerical connections influenced her fiction
  • The upheavals in Adlestrop in 1800 from Humphry Repton’s Improvements, a new road lay-out and enclosures were of great interest to Jane in her depictions of country life