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By Martin C. Battestin

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FIELDING, Beatrice. See Fielding, Henry: siblings. FIELDING, Catharine. See Fielding, Henry: siblings. FIELDING, Charlotte Cradock (d. 1744), HF’s first wife. Little is known of Charlotte or her family. With her sisters Mary Penelope (d. 1729) and Catherine, who for a time was her rival for HF’s attentions, she lived with her mother, Elizabeth, from 1714 to 1733 at Salisbury, in a substantial house adjacent to St. Anne’s Gate in the cathedral Close. Directly across the way was the handsome Palladian house of James Harris, now called Malmesbury House.

On the death of Mrs. Cottington, her godmother, in December 1739 Catharine inherited a substantial estate that enabled her to come to the financial aid of both HF and her father: she provided her father with a house, also in Princes Court, until he was confined for debt in November 1740; and in March 1741, by acting as security for HF’s debts, she rescued him from a bailiff’s sponging house. In October 1748 all “the sisterhood” were sharing a house in Duke Street, Westminster, near the House of Commons (see Letter 112).

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). HF and Henry Gould were very close, and in 1748, upon a false report of his cousin’s death, HF wrote his obituary in The Jacobite’s Journal (20 August 1748), praising him for his great abilities and knowledge of the law.

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