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The Erquistounes are a Scots family. Jonathan Strange is related to them on the distaff side, as his mother was a Miss Erquistoune prior to marrying his father Laurence Strange.


Charlotte-square in 1816
They must be presumed to be a rather wealthy family, for Miss Erquistoune brought £900 p.a. to her marriage: yet we are told she has a brother, whom one would naturally assume must be her father's first heir. A family which can afford to give £900 p.a. as a girl's portion is rich indeed! We are also told they are resident in Charlotte-square in Edinburgh and that Mr Erquistoune spends at least half of every year there. Charlotte-square is in the very fashionable and select part of Edinburgh called New Town; but the Erquistounes may have been drawn to the city by its abounding diversions, and perhaps also have an estate elsewhere in Scotland.

Strange's uncle, Mr Erquistoune, is a married man with three daughters. Margaret, Maria and Georgiana Erquistoune, in whose company Strange received his early education, are implied to be clever young women[14]. And his Aunt Erquistoune it seems still takes a kindly interest in Strange's household affairs, for it was she who recommended the maid Mary to her niece by marriage, Arabella, who found her to be an excellent choice[27].