Cassandra and Jane attended many dances at nearby large houses, some of which are still standing today. The most notable is The Vyne, a National Trust property, near Basingstoke.
James Austen was vicar of Sherborne St John from 1791-1819. During that time, his son became friendly with the Chute family of the Vyne, and there the young man met Emma Smith, whom he went on to marry in 1828. Emma was niece to Mrs Chute.
James Edward, known as Edward within the family, was a favourite nephew of whom Jane Austen once said: "his Aunts … love him better & better, as they see the sweet temper & warm affections of the Boy confirmed in the young Man"
Right - Chalk sketch of Emma Smith early 19th century believed to be by the artist Margaret Carpenter.
Hampshire Record Office ref 23M93/87/5/4)