Jane Pittard A life
Samuel Pittard The children
Samuel Pittard +
Just three children and all girls.all roughly of the same age as Jane Austen, but not living in quite the same kind of circumstances.
I do not know for whom Elizabeth was named. The most likely possibility is that it might have been for her mother's mother, but as I have not yet found her mother's birth I cannot say if this is so. The other possibility is that she may have been named for the first of Samuel's two stepmothers, although that Elizabeth only lived for a couple of years after marrying his father. So her maternal grandmother is the most likely possibility.
Like her sister Jane she was christened in St. Botolph's church Aldersgate but we know nothing more of her until her marriage at the age of 24, in 1801 a year after her sister Jane.
Her husband was one William Makepeace, who was eight years older - and that is more or less all I know of him. They were married in the church of St. Bride in Fleet Street, but the couple must then have moved to Hackney as the four children were all christened in the Shoreditch/Cripplegate area. I wonder whether there was a dead baby as a first child or miscarriages as there was no child until 1804 - three years after the marriage. Her firstborn was Elisabeth Jane, who grew old enough to marry, although I do not know when she died. The patriotically named Horatio Nelson Makepeace was born in 1805, followed by William in 1807 and Samuel in 1810. None of them were to live long, but even more sadly they grew up as orphans, as Elizabeth herself died at the age of 36 in 1813 when they were all very small. One wonders whether she died in childbirth. Like her father she was buried at St. James Clerkenwell although she was said to be of Pool Terrace, St. Luke's.
Little Horatio died a year after his mother and then, worst of all William, their father died in 1815. I have no idea who then took charge of them all - maybe one of their grandmothers. The two boys died at the ages of 21 and 18. A sad little family tale.
Three girls with three very different lives, all filled with varying degrees of sadness, which must have begun with the early death of their father.
Susanna is the survivor. Maybe because she never married and therefore did not have to undergo childbirth.
She was christened at St. Sepulchre in Holborn, which is a different location from her two older sisters. As to her name, unless her mother Jane had a sister or a grandmother called Susanna it is likely that she was named for Samuel's second stepmother, who may well have become like a 'real' mother for him.
When her mother dies in 1840 her mother leaves what little she has to her, so one has to assume that for all of her life until then she had been her mother's companion. By 1840 she was getting old herself - 61 years old. Did she have offers of marriage one wonders? Did she turn them down? What did she do all of those years other than look after her mother? I am guessing that she became the maiden aunt - the one who was turned to when help was needed. Maybe, indeed it was she who brought up her sister Elizabeth's children. Somehow I doubt that she worked although I have absolutely no evidence to confirm this.
In 1841, however, after the death of her mother, the year after in fact, she is found in the home of her niece Jane Elizabeth Beckwith and her husband John Mollett, in Camberwell, looking after the two smallest Mollett children whilst their parents are away in Margate, and in 1851 she is still there, although by now the household has expanded considerably with various of the Mollett children, their offspring and a nephew or two. But then the Molletts were like that.
By then Susanna was 72 so it was probably a question of who was looking after who by then. But at least she had a home - and a happy one at that.
She hung in there though until 1857 when she died at the age of 78, which is a goodly age for the times. I do not know where she died, but I do know that she was buried in Highgate Cemetery and in the same grave as her brother-in-law - her sister's husband although why that should be I have no idea, for Joseph had lived the last part of his life with his second wife Ann Bartholomew, the young woman he had begun an affair with whilst his wife was still alive. And why Highgate too? Nobody lived there as far as I know.
I doubt that the fact that Susanna was buried in the same grave means anything other than careful economic management on the part of the extended family. For part of the family she surely was.