Mary Gibson was an English woman best known as a sister-in-law of author Jane Austen. Mary married Frank Austen, one of Jane Austen's sailor brothers, in 1806. Mary Gibson would have been the same age, or just slightly older, than the characters of Lydia Bennet and Georgiana Darcy, from her novel Pride and Prejudice. In that novel the two girls are targetted for seduction by the novel's villain, a man who is over a decade older than they are. Frank was over fifteen years older than Mary.
The pair became engaged in 1803, when Mary would have been 13 or 14 years old.
Frank was a Captain, in the Royal Navy, when he married, and his mother, and sisters Jane and Cassandra, lived with Mary, from 1806 to 1808. Letters written at the time indicate they got along well.
Mary had ten children prior to her death, in childbirth, in 1823.
Frank then married Martha Lloyd, a long-term family friend, who had lived with Jane Austen, her sister Cassandra, and their mother.
- "Admiral Sir Francis William Austen G.C.B. - 1774-1865". The Thompsons, Shipbuilders of Sunderland. Archived from the original on 2017-03-13. https://web.archive.org/web/20170313030536/https://ghgraham.org/francisausten1774.html. Retrieved 2021-09-03. "Mary was born about 1790, the daughter of John Gibson, Esq."
- "Sir Francis William Austen: Glimpses of Jane’s sailor brother in letters". Jane Austen's World. 2009-10-08. https://janeaustensworld.com/2009/10/08/sir-francis-william-austen-glimpses-of-janes-sailor-brother-in-letters/. Retrieved 2021-08-15. "When Frank asked Miss Mary Gibson to marry him, Jane and Cassandra discovered that they liked her extremely well."
- "Francis William Austen, His Daughter, Mary Jane - Brother and Niece of Jane Austen". Families & History of Deal & Walmer. http://familiesofdealandwalmer.co.uk/francis-william-austen/. Retrieved 2021-08-15. "At the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars, in 1803, Frank was given the responsibility of raising a corps of Sea Fencibles to defend the coast from the South Foreland to Sandown. At the time his base was at Ramsgate, and it is here that he met and married a local girl, Mary Gibson."
- Marek Blaszak. "A Nautical Reading of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park and Persuasion". University of Opole. https://czasopisma.uni.opole.pl/index.php/s/article/download/3732/3187/. Retrieved 2021-08-15. "Capt. Francis Austen was also obliged-like Wentworth-to wait until he had earned enough prize money to marry, in 1806, the woman (Mary Gibson)he had been engaged to since 1803."