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Re: How poor was Jane Fairfax, really?

October 20, 2015 07:47PM
Well, Jane's grandmother with whom her Aunt Hetty lived were just about able to cover the basic bills and one little maid, Patty, who was a maid of all work and probably on no more than £10 a year, and that's probably a lot more than she was paid. We see Miss Bates and Mrs Bates hanging on to their gentility and worrying about such things as heating for the winter; presumably Mrs Bates has a small pension from the church for her husband's long years as a vicar, and possibly the use of a tied cottage for her lifetime.
Knowing that a clerk was paid £80 pa, with which he could usually afford one or perhaps two servants and a family, with judicious shopping [a maid/cook on £15 and a tweeny on £5 say] we can extrapolate to assume that Mrs Bates and Miss Bates are probably living on around £40 pa.
As this is likely to cease on the death of Mrs. Bates, or at least any which is a stipend from the church, this means that Miss Bates will need any savings to rent a room when she loses the cottage, [I can't see the Rev Elton being generous enough to let her stay on if, as seems likely, it is a tied cottage] and Jane has literally the clothes she owns and nothing more.
Jane's mother would have had a widow's pension from her dead lieutenant, but possibly if Miss Bates didn't know how you had to bully the system to get any more, it may well have stopped right there. It was not made easy and entitlement, as any of us who have had anything to do with modern benefits know only too well, isn't always getting. I've always understood that the Campbells took her in when she reached double figures or so, as she was friendly with their daughter, and because her father had served under Mr Campbell,[I forget his rank, sorry] who saw some kind of noblesse oblige towards her, which tends to suggest that there was no Fairfax family at all [or there was a sufficient estrangement that her father was disowned.]
I would suggest that Jane might have had no more than 5 guineas in cash and probably less, with which to live on and purchase tickets to any place she might be required to take up a position as a governess.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that anyone in possession of a good brain must be in want of a good read
SubjectAuthorPosted

How poor was Jane Fairfax, really?

NN SOctober 20, 2015 01:26PM

Re: How poor was Jane Fairfax, really?

NN SOctober 22, 2015 01:05PM

Re: How poor was Jane Fairfax, really?

CinthiaOctober 22, 2015 04:54PM

Re: How poor was Jane Fairfax, really?

Sarah WaldockOctober 22, 2015 10:00PM

Re: How poor was Jane Fairfax, really?

Sarah WaldockOctober 22, 2015 04:54PM

Re: How poor was Jane Fairfax, really?

CinthiaOctober 20, 2015 08:15PM

Re: How poor was Jane Fairfax, really?

Sarah WaldockOctober 20, 2015 07:47PM

Re: How poor was Jane Fairfax, really?

CinthiaOctober 20, 2015 08:34PM

Re: How poor was Jane Fairfax, really?

Sarah WaldockOctober 20, 2015 10:51PM

Re: How poor was Jane Fairfax, really?

CinthiaOctober 22, 2015 04:53PM

Re: How poor was Jane Fairfax, really?

Sarah WaldockOctober 23, 2015 12:00AM



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