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|A detail about 4 Sydney Place
Written by Rae
(9/21/2007 1:32 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Conclusion, penned by JulieW
A few years ago I went to a talk at 4 Sydney Place. The house is private, but open occasionally, on this occasion as part of the Jane Austen Festival. It is divided into flats, with the hall floor kept as a sort of visitors' centre. We were able to go round the hall floor, and out into the garden, and the current owner gave a talk.
There was a fascinating detail that I thought people might find interesting. The ad Julie has posted mentions that the landlord would be redecorating two floors, and so a slight premium would be charged as a consequence of this. What intrigued me was that the 'landlord' was actually a ten year old girl - Elizabeth Lewis. Her father, Charles Lewis, was the builder who bought the land for development from the Pulteney family. The house was finished, along with Nos 1,2,3 & 5, in 1794 and Lewis kept No4 as an investment property. He then died in 1797, leaving No 4 to Elizabeth, for whom it was held in trust.
Given that most of JA's heroines' problems come from their having no or insufficient inheritance, I rather liked the idea of Elizabeth owning the house at such a young age!
Thank you, Julie, for all the wonderful work you have done to make this GR so illuminating.
PS I think I drove the owner of Sydney Place a bit mad by asking all sorts of questions, and then asking for his sources/references! :-)
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