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Written by JulieW
(9/1/2005 9:41 a.m.)
We have already met this young chap,John, in Letter Number 1.
I entierly escaped John Lyford .I was forced to fight hard for it however.
I daresay most of us have had expereinces like that ....at some time in our life ;-)
However, back to this letter: who was this Mr Lyford who was reccommending 12 drops of laudanum for Mrs Austen?
He was the family doctor.
The Basingstoke entries in the Directory of Hampshire published in 1784 describe him as a Surgeon and Man-midwife.He appears to have been the family’s surgeon for a long time:indeed there seems to have been a whole dynasty of medical Lyfords in the area:
We also hear of a Mr Lyford- perhaps the same John Lyford- prescribing for the Austens later at Southampton, where they lived from October 1806 until February 1809.It will be remembered also that it was in order to be under the care of a Mr Lyford that Jane Austen was taken from Chawton to Winchester a littel before her death in 1817" Our nearest Very Good is at Winchester , where there is a hospital and capital Surgeons" This last Mr Lyford must have been Giles King Lyford,surgeon in ordinary at the county hospital there and he was probably a nephew of the earlier John Lyford of Basingstoke
The other , "avoidable" John Lydford is the Surgeon and Man -midwifes's eldest surviving son.
He did not become a medical man.
He was educated at Eton and Oxford and then took the route into the law being educated at Lincolns Inn, but did not continue this path into the law: he made a side step into the church.
He became a Deacon and served at Netley near Basingstoke.
He was eventually elected a Michel Fellow of his old college Queens at Oxford,which gave him an income of £50 per annum.( until marriage when he would have to resign)...
And more on that later in this GR!
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