Frances Burney, the third child of Charles Burney and Esther Sleepe Burney, was born in Kings Lynn in 1752. The Burneys were descended from an aristocratic Scottish family, but Frances's grandfather had been an itinerant actor and portrait painter. Charles Burney aspired to restore his family name, and from humble beginnings as a music teacher and performer he raised his social and professional standing through his writings on the science and history of music. He took a Doctorate of Music from Oxford University in 1769. The Sleepe family was of lower social origins, and Esther's father was leader of the Lord Mayor's band.
The Burney household, relocated to London in 1760, was devoted to the arts, and frequented by musicians, …
Crump, Justine. "Frances Burney". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 October 2001
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