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we find him often at Boston, and when afterward he was elected Governor he made Hartford his place of residence, having obtained, on the restoration of Charles II., a charter uniting the two colonies of New Haven and Connecticut under one government, with what was then considered a liberal organization.
With all his cares and labors we find him intermingling philosophical speculations, and communicating with the Royal Society of London, of which he is also regarded as one of the founders. Fourteen years he was Governor, until, in 1676, during the distresses of Indian warfare, and while attending the business of the New England Confederation at Boston, he was seized with fever, and died on the 7th of April, having reached, on the 12th of the previous February, the age of 70. His remains were entombed with those of his father, in what is now called the Stone-Chapel burying-ground. His seven children survived him. His eulogy is forcibly but justly given by Dr. Savage, in calling him.“ the heir of all his father's talents, prudence, and virtues, with a superior share of human learning.”
Two of his children were sons : Fitz-John, who also became Governor of Connecticut, and WAIT-STILL, born at Boston, February 27, 1642, and who continued the line with which is our present concern. This gentleman, whose youth and early manhood were passed in Connecticut, until the death of his respected father, married Mary, daughter of the Hon. William Browne, of Salem. In 1675, a year of much anxiety in regard to the intentions of the Indians, issuing in the destructive war of King Philip, he and his father were appointed Commissioners of the United Colonies. The year after, the administration of Andros commenced in New England, after he had for a considerable time been at the head of affairs in New York. Under him, at the time when his tyrannical principles of government had not appeared, and his professions were at least plausible, both Mr. Winthrop and his elder brother accepted office, and became Councillors. The board to which they belonged was, as is supposed by Hutchinson,* a check, for a time, on his
* Their colleagues were Dudley, Stoughton, Bulkeley, and Tyng, of Massachusetts ;
measures, which, in imitation of his sovereign, the infatuated James II., became more and more arbitrary. At length, when the jealousy of the people and their love of freedom were roused, and the Reverend Increase Mather had been deputed by some influential men to state their grievances to the new authorities at court, where the English Revolution had placed William of Nassau as king, a temporary government was formed.
Bradstreet was constituted its President, although more than fourscore years old, and Wait Winthrop, as he was usually called, was made commander of the militia. This single circumstance fixes our estimate of his principles. It was in the spring of 1689.
Under the new charter of William and Mary, which was brought out in 1692, he was named of the Council. After this he became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, and died November 7, 1717, leaving two children, John and ANN. He had been a widower from the 14th of June, 1690.
John WINTHROP, the only son of Wait-Still, was born in New London, August 26, 1681. He was entered of Harvard College, and there received his first degree in 1700, his name appearing first in his class, as did that of his kinsman, Adam, in 1668.* The literary taste of this gentleman greatly resembled that of his distinguished grandfather, and he was elected a member of the Royal Society. To him was dedicated the fortieth volume of its Transactions, in which the editor, Dr. Cromwell Mortimer, alludes in the most respectful terms to that grandfather, and renders his thanks to the grandson for his devotion to the cause of science, and munificent remembrance of the Royal Society, in presenting them “more than six hundred curious specimens, chiefly in the mineral kingdom, with an accurate account of each particular,” —“intimating to England the vast riches which lie hidden in the lap of her principal daughter.” It is not
Hinckley, Bradford, Lothrop, and Walley, of Plymouth; Coggeshall, Usher, and Wharton, of New Hampshire ; Arnold, Clark, Newbury, and Smith, of Narragansett. Connecticut, it is remarked, does not seem included in the actual government of Andros, although he is commissioned over New England. Hist. Mass. I. 357, &c.
* Grandfather of the celebrated Professor Winthrop of Harvard College, who was graduated in 1732.
wonderful, that, recording these praises, and exhibiting successively his notices of the family of Winthrop, the learned yet modest and moderate Dr. Eliot (whom the writer can never name without sincere expressions of esteem and gratitude, as a patron of his early studies) should add to his account of the first Governor this sentence : “ Several of his posterity have exhibited the image of their illustrious ancestor, and his family have been more eminent for their talents, learning, and honors than any other in New England.”
Mr. John Winthrop married Ann, daughter of Governor Joseph Dudley. They had seven children, two of whom were sons, JOHN-STILL, who continued the line, and BASIL, the latter dying unmarried. On the death of Mr. John Winthrop's father, a difficulty arose respecting the division of property between himself and his sister, the only heirs. The sister, named above, had married Thomas Lechmere, Esq., Surveyor of the Customs in Boston, and brother of Nicholas, who was ennobled, August 25th, 1721, by the title of Baron Lechmere of Evesham in the county of Worcester, but who died in 1727, without issue. The difficulty was of no small importance on a general view, and occasioned considerable agitation in the country. For, according to the English system of entailing real estate on a son as heir, and the eldest, where there are more than one, it had been the intention of Wait-Still Winthrop, and of his elder brother, Fitz-John, the Governor, who had held their father's landed property * without division, to continue this system of descent, and keep the land entire; since Fitz-John had only a daughter, married to Colonel John Livingston, and, as this lady was destitute of children,
* It is thus described in the History of New London : - “ Winthrop's farm embraced a tract about three miles in length from north to south, averaging, perhaps, a mile in breadth. On the south it was washed by the Sound, and intersected by inlets of salt water. In this compass were all the varieties of forest and meadow, arable land, pasture, and salt marsh, which are useful to the farmer, and pleasing to the eye of taste. It lay also in an opposite position to Winthrop's island farm, so that the owner of these two noble domains could look over Fisher's Island Sound, from either side, and rest his eye on his own fair possessions.
“ Winthrop’s grant on the east bank of the river was 'right against the sandy point of his own home lot, the length eight score pole and the breadth eight score pole’; that is, on Groton bank, opposite the eastern spur of Winthrop’s Neck.”.
had intended, as appears, to make his nephew heir. But Mr. Lechmere sued for an equal division of the whole property. To this the Connecticut courts acceded, and gave judgment accordingly; but the brother appealed, and carried the cause before the King in Council. A decision was obtained in his favor, “declaring him the sole heir of all the landed estate of his father and uncle; but such exertions were made, that, at length, although Mr. Winthrop had gained his suit, the English law of primogeniture was not enforced on Connecticut.*
The feelings excited on this occasion, and which are mentioned in the 66 Dedication" alluded to, seem to have alienated the mind of Mr. Winthrop from his fellow-subjects in America, for he took up his residence in England for more than twenty years, and never returned, dying at Sydenham in Kent, August 1, 1747.
JOHN-STILL WINTHROP was born at New London, January 15, 1720, and graduated at Yale College in 1737. Four years after this he joined his father in England, and continued with him until his death. The family, however, had not left New London. Not long after his return, on the 4th of September, 1750, he married Jane, only daughter of Francis Borland, of Boston. Of this marriage he had John, who was graduated at Harvard College in 1770,7 but died in 1780; also JANE; FRANCIS BAYARD, who died at New York, leaving four sons and three daughters ; Ann, who married the late David Sears, Esq., of Boston, and was mother of our respected fellow-laborer, the Hon. David Sears; WILLIAM, of New York; JOSEPH, of Charleston, S. C.; Mary; and THOMAS LINDALL. By a second wife, daughter of William Sherriff, a British field-officer, he had six children; of whom were BENJAMIN, of New York, ROBERT, an admiral in the
* Trumbull's Connecticut, II. 54 - 57. See also History of New London, pp. 412, 413. It is interesting to follow the descent of our American families when transferred to foreign countries, more especially to the land of their “ fathers' sepulchres.” Mary, second daughter of Richard Lechmere, son of Thomas and of Ann Winthrop, his wife, married in England James Russell, Esq., a brother of the Hon. Thomas Russell, of Boston, and was mother of the late Major-General Lechmere Graves Coore Russell, of Ashford Hall, near Ludlow, Shropshire; whose eight children are named by Burke in his “ Dictionary of Landed Gentry,” The family of Lechmere, of Hanley Castle, was of high antiquity.
+ In the class of which Hon. William Winthrop was also a member, one of the four sons whom Professor Winthrop educated at Harvard. - VOL. II.
British navy, and Mrs. SEBOR, of Middletown, Connecticut. He died at New London on the 6th of June, 1776.
THOMAS LINDALL WINTHROP, LL. D., his youngest son of the first marriage, was born at New London, March 6, 1760. He entered Yale College in 1776, having been prepared under the instruction of Mr. Tisdale of Lebanon, whose reputation was high for classical literature. Dr. Daggett had resigned the presidency, to which the eminently learned Dr. Stiles was elected. Under him Mr. Winthrop studied the Hebrew language, which, as we gather from his “Life,” the President had gained principally from a Jewish Rabbi at Newport. But he left Yale at the close of the Sophomore year with an honorable dismission, and entered Harvard College, at which he took his first degree in 1780, after distinguishing himself as became his family. At this period his health was very low, compelling him to journey for its restoration. Having spent a short time in Philadelphia, then the seat of the American government, and seeing several of the Southern States,
he enjoyed, though still feeble, the great advantage of foreign travel; an advantage peculiarly desirable for its effects on the mind and habits of the welleducated man. Indeed, it may justly be considered a part of education itself. For it may improve the taste, as it exhibits the masterpieces of art and labor; and, while it engages agreeably the attention by the attractions of novelty, may suggest improvements, ripen designs of usefulness, produce habits of comparison, and prove an almost exhaustless fund for the entertainment of subsequent life. Yet his experience abroad was trying. The Revolutionary struggle with Great Britain was at its height. Mr. Winthrop embarked for Amsterdam, sailing from Nantucket. But the vessel was captured, and carried to England. He was permitted, however, by Admiral Duckworth, to visit London and some of the interior counties. Then he passed over to the Continent, and travelled in France, Flanders, and Holland, returning to America in a ship commanded by Captain (afterwards Commodore) Truxton.
Several of his fellow-passengers on the return voyage were of an interesting character. Count Benyowski, a