By Martin C. Battestin
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Additional info for A Henry Fielding Companion
During the reign of William and Mary he rose rapidly in the profession: he was appointed bencher of the temple (1689), sergeant (1692), and king’s sergeant (1693). Although he and his wife opposed their daughter’s marriage to Edmund Fielding in 1706, Sir Henry, little more than a month before HF was born on 22 April 1707, was sufﬁciently reconciled with Sarah that he made a new will, leaving her £3,000 toward the purchase of an estate, which was to be for the sole use of herself and her children, Edmund being speciﬁcally excluded from all rights to the property.
John Fielding, Edmund was related to the earls of Denbigh and Desmond. A distinguished soldier, he rose through the ranks of commissioned ofﬁcers, from ensign in 1696 at the age of sixteen to lieutenant general in 1739. As a young captain he was cited by the great Duke of Marlborough for gallantry at the Battle of Blenheim (1704); in 1719 he was made colonel of the newly created Regiment of Invalids, a regiment formed from the out-pensioners of Chelsea Royal Hospital—a command he held for the rest of his life; and during 1736–37 he served as military governor of the island of Jersey.
See separate entry. Anne (1713–16), died in infancy and was buried at Christ Church, East Stour, on 6 August 1716. Beatrice (1714–51), called Bea, was born at East Stour, Dorset, on 20 June 1714. In outline the circumstances of her life parallel those of Catharine and Ursula. She was a gifted musician. According to an account Mrs. Thrale had from Arthur Collier, she “had an exquisite hand upon the harpsichord, and was otherwise ﬁnely accomplished” (Thrale 1942: June 1777). She also played the ﬁddle, as Ursula remarks in her letter of 25 October 1748 (Letter 112).
A Henry Fielding Companion by Martin C. Battestin