Object name: Dedication Plaque
Object number: JAH450
Physical description: This stone plaque, which is affixed to the front of Jane Austen’s House, has the following wording –
Jane Austen’s Home
Thomas Edward Carpenter J.P. of Mill Hill
In Memory of his son
Lieut. Philip John Carpenter
East Surrey Regt.
Killed in Action, Lake Trasimene, 1944
Opened 1949 by the Duke of Wellington, K.G.
President of the Jane Austen Society,
Founded 1940 by Dorothy Darnell of Alton.
Made: Erected in current position in 1956
Context: Jane’s house (her home between 1809 and 1817) had been put up for sale by its owners, the Knight family, following the end of the Second World War. The Jane Austen Society had earlier been formed with the objective of purchasing it but, despite launching a public appeal, were unable to raise the necessary funds.
Mr Thomas Edward (T E) Carpenter, a solicitor in Mill Hill, London, became aware of the appeal and personally purchased the house for the sum of £3,000. He then endowed it to the nation as a permanent memorial to his late son, Philip, who had died in action in Italy on 30 June 1944 aged just 22.
The Carpenter family, across several generations, has contributed hugely to the Museum’s establishment and growth.
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