Index > Character Introductions > Miss Patience Merrythought

Miss Patience Merrythought

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dagngayt Miss Patience Merrythought is the eldest daughter of Mr George Merrythought of Hangleton in the county of Suffolk, and Regina Merrythought, nee Winterfield, of Widford in the same county. Mr Merrythought is the youngest son of the late Canon Archimedes and Mrs Caroline Merrythought, who will be remembered as an ornament to the cathedral at Bury St Edmunds.

Mrs Merrythought was the eldest daughter of General Sir Alfred and Lady Lavinia Winterfield; she married Mr Merrythought against the advice of her parents, as they felt that Mr Merrythought, while a kind and loving man, was unlikely to prove sufficiently beforehand with the world to support their daughter in a style suited to her birth. They were correct in this assumption, but despite their straightened circumstances the union was a happy and fruitful one, and Miss Merrythought is the eldest of five daughters and three sons.

Miss Merrythought had two seasons in London, staying with her maternal aunt (who made a socially successful alliance with Sir John Poynings, Bart), but failed to 'take'. All of her younger sisters have now had the same opportunity, and have married well. Miss Merrythought has remained at home to be a companion and support to her mother; she has occasional holidays visiting her sisters when they have need of her help.

Of her three brothers, the eldest is learning the way of managing an estate from his maternal grandfather, who is intending to leave the estate to him. The second has followed his grandfather into the army, and the youngest is in India, where he is working as a confidential clerk to Mr Oliver Beaumaris, the rising India Merchant.

Following the recent death of Lady Winterfield, Sir Alfred settled some of his late wife's inheritance onto Miss Merrythought. This consists of a substantial cottage in the village of Widford, hard by his estate in Suffolk, and a modest income from an amount invested in the funds. The intention of this was to allow Miss Merrythought to find a measure of independence, and to relieve her of the necessity of being a drudge for her family. Her family, on hearing of this, were divided in their opinion. Her sisters were generally resentful and could not see that 'poor Patience' would have any need for this modest independence, when her time was fully and happily occupied running around after them. Her brothers and youngest sister were united in their insistence that she must take it and travel a little, to get away from all the duties and obligations that had been imposed on her, and take time to decide for herself what her future should be - either to return to her drudgery, or to settle in the cottage near her grandfather (and eldest brother). She took their advice, and decided on Tyrehamptom as a good place to take stock and think about her future.
Posted 3 months ago

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