By Martin C. Battestin
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Additional resources for A Henry Fielding Companion
1684–1765), HF’s uncle, Master of the Bench at the Middle Temple. On the death in 1710 of his father, Sir Henry Gould, he inherited the family estate at Sharpham Park, HF’s birthplace. His appointment as 18 A Henry Fielding Companion bencher at the Middle Temple in 1734 enabled him to use his inﬂuence to expedite HF’s early admission to the bar in 1740. Their relationship remained cordial. Henry Gould (1711–94), Davidge Gould’s son and HF’s ﬁrst cousin. Like so many others in the family, he was a lawyer—indeed he became extremely distinguished in the profession, rising by degrees from king’s counsel (1754) to sergeant and Baron of the Exchequer (1761) to Judge of the Court of Common Pleas (1763).
It is through his offspring that HF’s family line has continued. FIELDING, Sarah (1710–68), novelist and classical scholar. HF’s favorite sister—she was called Sally—was the ﬁrst of his siblings to be born to Edmund and Sarah Fielding after the family moved from Glastonbury to the farm at East Stour, Dorset, in 1710; the register of Christ Church records her birth on 8 November of that year. When, soon after her mother’s death in 1718, Edmund remarried a Roman Catholic, the Court of Chancery granted her grandmother’s suit to obtain custody of the children.
It is tempting, however, to see in HF’s curious choice of a hero for Amelia (1751), his last novel, an attempt to reconcile himself to Edmund’s memory. Captain Billy Booth, whom HF’s contemporaries recognized as a transparent reﬂection of himself, in many ways mirrors his father’s own life and character: a soldier brave and charming, but hurting his family by his fecklessness. (On this resemblance see the General Introduction to WE: xix). FIELDING, George Colonel (d. 1738), HF’s favorite uncle.
A Henry Fielding Companion by Martin C. Battestin