Charles Austen’s Sword.
The Museum has recently been the beneficiary of a very special loan, and we thought you might like to see some photographs of it.
The object in question is the sword that was presented to Charles Austen, Jane Austen’s youngest brother, by Simon Bolivar in 1827. Charles Austen ( 1779-1852) was one of Jane Austen’s Sailor Brothers: her brother, Francis Austen (1774-1865) was also a serving officer in the Royal Navy.
The inscription on the sword case reads:
Presented to Charles John Austen R.N. commanding HMS Aurora at the city of Caracas 1st March 1827 by General Simon Bolivar the liberator of his country as a mark of esteem
Charles Austen, on the orders of the British Government, provided naval and political support to Simon Bolivar in Venezuela. The sword is thought to have been presented to Charles as a token of Bolivar’s personal thanks to him as a representative of the British Government.
The Sword is now on display in a special display case in the Admirals Room on the first floor of the Museum, and will be on view there for the next five years. We do hope you will come to the House to see it for yourselves.