36 free quilt blocks, one a week with a guide to Jane Austen's England and posts about the people in her life.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Block 9: London Roads for Henry Austen

Block 9: London Roads for 
Henry Austen, Jane's brother
 by Georgann Eglinski 

Henry Thomas Austen (1771–1850) as a minister in later life
during his third career. Henry was considered the handsomest
of the Austen brothers

Jane’s elder brother Henry had intentions to follow his father and brother James into the Church of England, but the wars with France gave him another career option. He joined the Oxfordshire Militia. He married his cousin Eliza in 1797, a happy union, Eliza claimed, because he gave “her own way in everything.” 

The Austen, Maunde and Tilson Bank began in Covent Garden

He resigned his commission in 1801; the couple moved to London and Henry became a banker, backed by Eliza’s Hastings account.

London is the green star and Hampshire the yellow
on this unfinished embroidered map of southern England.
London is about 45 miles from Jane’s home in Chawton.

Jane spent a good deal of time with Henry and Eliza in London. As the bank prospered the Henry Austens moved to Sloane Street. Henry acted as Jane's agent with her publishers and she proofread the galleys of her books at the house on Sloane Street, where Eliza died in 1813. The house is still standing although much altered. After Eliza died Henry moved to Hans Place.

London Roads by Dustin Cecil

The widowed Henry's home on nearby Hans Place.

The neighborhood is near Harrod's Knightsbridge.

London Roads by Bettina Havig

While visiting Henry and Eliza, Jane went to galleries,
the theater, drapers (fabric shops), parties,...

lending libraries and books stores, 
sampling a good deal of regency London's culture.

London Roads by Becky Brown

After the end of prosperity enjoyed during the Napoleonic Wars, Henry's bank failed in 1816. When the economy shifted, borrowers refused to pay their loans and Eliza's inheritance disappeared. 

Henry was ordained into a new career. He became Curate at Chawton, where he was close to his sister in her final year. After Jane died Henry continued to foster her writing. He became Rector of Steventon for a few years. He remarried and died in 1850, nearly 80 years old.

London Roads by Becky Brown
The streets are all one-way here.

London Roads can recall Jane's life in London with her charming brother and his lively wife.
The block was given the name by the syndicated quilt columnist Nancy Page in the 1930s.

BlockBase #1658

Cutting a 12" Finished Block

A - Cut 2 squares 4-7/8" x 4-7/8". Cut each in half diagonally to make 2 triangles. 

You need 4 triangles.

B- Cut 12 rectangles 1-7/8" x 4-1/2".

C- Cut 2 squares 5-1/4" x 5-1/4". Cut with 2 diagonal cuts to make 4 triangles.

You need 8 triangles.

D - Cut 1 square 4-1/2".


Read more about Henry in J. David Gray's essay here:

Read about Jane's life in London in Constance Hill's 1923 book here

Walking Jane Austen's London by Louise Allen, 2013


  1. Fascinating as always Barbara. Thank you. Just one tiny error - Herrods in Knightsbridge is actually spelled Harrods.

  2. Love this block and story that goes with it today.