Sunday, June 27, 2010

Joseph Washburn and father-in-law, Robert Latham

  Joseph Washburn, fourth son of  John Washburn (5th); born probably in Duxbury, Plymouth Colony, supposedly on 7 July 1653, married Hannah Latham, daughter of Robert and Susanna (Winslow) Latham, in ca. 1677. She was born say ca. 1658, a granddaughter of John and Mary (Chilton) Winslow. Mary Chilton had come to Plymouth Colony aboard the Mayflower in 1620, with her parents, James and Susanna Chilton. Joseph Washburn was a blacksmith, and they lived in East Bridgewater, MA, until about 1717, when they moved to Plympton, MA.

On 9 Sept. 1678 Joseph Washburn, with consent of his father, John Washburn, exchanged with Nicholas Byram Jr., of Bridgewater, meadow lands in Bridgewater, witnessed by John Washburn, Nicholas Byram Sr., Samuel Allen, and John Cary. On 13 July 1687 Joseph Washburn, of Bridgewater, purchased from Timothy Wadsworth 20 acres of land in Bridgewater bounded on the west and north by Joseph Washburn’s land, and a lot of meadow bounded by land of Joseph Washburn and Robert Latham. On 12 Apr. 1697 Joseph Washburn and James Washburn, of Bridgewater, sold to Thomas Snell, of Bridgewater, land in Cutting Cove Swamp in Bridgewater, witnessed by James Keith, John Alden, and John Washburn. On 13 Aug. 1705 Joseph Washburn, of Bridgewater, sold to Thomas Mitchell, of Bridgewater, land in Bridgewater bounded by land of Thomas Mitchell. On 13 Jan. 1706/7 Joseph Washburn, of Bridgewater, sold to his son Jonathan Washburn land in Bridgewater on the bounds between “father Latham's lot and Deacon Willis’ lot,” witnessed by Ebenezer Leach and Benjamin Leach. On 26 May 1708 Joseph Washburn, of Bridgewater, acknowledged that he had purchased land in Titicut Purchase from his brother‑in‑law, James Latham, of Bridgewater, which was “my father Latham’s right in said purchase.” On 3 Aug. 1714 Joseph Washborn, Sr., of Bridgewater, deeded his rights in a tract of land in the Titicut Purchase, part of which he had received from “my Father In Law Robert Lathums Deceased,” to his son Joseph Washborn. On 2 July 1717 Joseph Washburn, blacksmith, of Bridgewater, deeded land to his son Joseph Washburn, Jr., in East Bridgewater. On 17 Apr. 1717 Joseph Washburn, of Bridgewater, blacksmith, sold his homestead in Bridgewater to Isaac Lazell, of Plymouth, cordwainer, and this deed was confirmed on 14 June 1720 by Joseph Washburn, of Plympton, formerly of Bridgewater. On 25 June 1718 Joseph Washburn, of Plympton, blacksmith, deeded land to his son, Jonathan Washburn, in Bridgewater. On 6 May 1720 Joseph Washburn, of Plympton, deeded land to his son Ebenezer Washburn, on the east side of the Satucket River near the Middleborough line. On 4 Aug. 1723 Joseph Washburn, of Plympton, deeded land in Plympton to his son Miles Washburn, of Plympton. On 11 Apr. 1726 Joseph Washburn, blacksmith, of Plympton, deeded land to his son Edward Washburn, of Plympton.
     Hannah (Latham) Washburn died sometime around 1725/6, because on the Apr. 1726 deed from Joseph Washburn to his son Edward, she did not sign her release of dower, as on previous deeds. Joseph Washburn died on 20 Apr. 1733 in Bridgewater, aged about 80 years. No will or probate records have been found in Plymouth County to identify all his daughters. On 6 Sept. 1738 Miles and Edward Washburn, of Plympton, sold land that was purchased by their father, Joseph Washburn.
         Joseph Washburn and Hannah Latham had children, order uncertain:
i   Miles Washburn, born in ca. 1677/8 in Bridgewater, married Susanna Perry, daughter of Benjamin and Dinah (Swift) Perry, of Sandwich, MA, in ca. 1722, and they moved to Amenia, Oblong District, Dutchess Co., NY, in ca. 1750.
ii   Hephzibah Washburn, born in ca. 1681 in Bridgewater, married Benjamin Leach, Esq., son of Giles and Anne (Nokes) Leach, of West Bridgewater, on 8 Sept. 1702 in Bridgewater, and they lived in Bridgewater.
iii   Jonathan Washburn, born in ca. 1683 in Bridgewater, married 1.) Rebecca Perry, daughter of Ezra and Rebecca (Freeman) Perry (Jr.), on 24 Dec. 1711 in Sandwich, MA, and 2.) Rebecca Johnson, of Hingham, MA, on 17 Dec. 1719 in Boston, MA, and he lived in Bridgewater.
iv   Joseph Washburn (Jr.), born ca. 1686 in Bridgewater, married Hannah Johnson, daughter of Isaac and Abigail (Leavitt) (Lazell) Johnson, in ca. 1715, and they moved to Middletown, Hartford Co., CT, in ca. 1739, then to Leicester, Worcester Co., MA, in 1745.
v   Mary Washburn, born ca. 1689 in Bridgewater, married Thomas Perkins, son of David and Elizabeth (Brown) Perkins, on 20 Feb. 1716/17 in Bridgewater, and they lived in Bridgewater. This Mary Washburn was placed in Joseph Washburn’s family out of the process of elimination, and because of the naming of a daughter “Hephzibah” Perkins, a name commonly found in Joseph Washburn's branch of the family. 
vii   Ebenezer Washburn, born in ca. 1693 in Bridgewater, married Patience Miles, daughter of Stephen and Patience (Wheeler) Miles, on 29 June 1721 in New Milford, Litchfield Co., CT, and they lived in New Milford and Kent, CT.
xi   Ephraim Washburn, born ca. 1695 in Bridgewater, married Mary Polden/Polland, daughter of John and Lydia (Tilson) Polden/Polland, on 13 Jan. 1725/6 in Plymouth, MA, and they lived in Plympton.
viii   Rebecca Washburn, born in ca. 1697 in Bridgewater, married Capt. David Johnson, son of Isaac and Abiah (Leavitt) (Lazell) Johnson, of West Bridgewater, on 7 Jan. 1719/20 in Bridgewater, and they lived in Bridgewater. This Rebecca Washburn was also placed in Joseph Washburn’s family out of the process of elimination, and because David Johnson’s sister, Hannah, married Joseph Washburn, presumably the brother of Rebecca Washburn.
iii   Edward Washburn, born in ca. 1699 in Bridgewater, married Judith Rickard, daughter of Eleazer and Sarah (Eaton) Rickard, of Plympton, MA, on 20 Apr. 1732 in Plympton, and they lived in Plympton, MA, and East Middletown, Middlesex Co., CT.
ix   Hannah Washburn, born say ca. 1701 in Bridgewater, probably married Zechariah “Zachary” Whitmarsh, son of Ezra and Bathsheba (Richards) Whitmarsh, of Weymouth, MA, on 28 Jan. 1729/30 in Bridgewater.
x   Benjamin Washburn, born say ca. 1703 in Bridgewater, married Zerviah Packard, daughter of Israel and Hannah (Crossman) Packard, of Bridgewater, on 1 Sept. 1740 in Middleborough, MA, and they lived in Bridgewater.

Hannah Latham  - -  From 'East Bridgewater Sesquicentennial Book' page 7; "One of the most important of the early settlers, Robert Latham, arrived from Marshfield in 1663. Latham's importance as a resident stems from the fact that he built the first mill in the area. In 1667 he constructed a saw mill on the Satucket River, approximately 500 feet above the present bridge on Plymouth Street, just below the fish weir near the Carver Cotton Gin Company. Latham is also of interest because of his wife's direct connection with the original Pilgrim settlers.  Susanna Latham was the daughter of John Winslow, brother of the famed Plymouth governor, and Mary Chilton who it is said, was the first female to set foot on the Plymouth shore in 1620." Continuing on paige 8 is a description of an incident from 'King Philip's War'. "The war came to this area (East Bridgewater, Ma.) on April 9, 1676, when the Indians burned a house and barn. The Revernd James Keith, the first Minister of Bridgewater, described what happened in a letter to a friend: "God hath now begun to pour out upon us the cup of trembling; yet the Lord doth remember us still with mercy, yea very great mercy. The 9th of this instant, being the Lord's Day, as we were assembling in the forenoon, we were alarmed by the shooting of some guns from some of our garrisons upon discovery of a house being on fire, which was Robert Latham's; his dwelling house and barn are wholly consumed. The house was deserted but a few days before. He had considerable loss in lumber. The corn and chief of his goods were saved.

There were divers other out-houses rifled at the same time, but no more burnt. There was a horse or two killed; three or four carried away; and some few swine killed. We sent out a party of men on the Lord's Day night upon discovery, who found their trackings. Our men judged their might be about ten of them. They followed them by their track several miles, but having no provision, they were forced to leave the pursuit. We are in expectation every day of an assault here. The Lord prepare us for our trial.

Robert and his wife are buried in the old graveyard at E. Bridgewater adjacent to the old church, but their ages, as given are incorrect. His grave is #1 in the old graveyard and his and Susanna's markers were moved, and presumably, what remained was moved from the very N. E. corner of the cemetary to an inner location where there are a number of Latham markers. This was done to permit the straightening of the street which became a main throughfare. William Latham, a graduate of Brown University, and a practicing attorney in Bridgewater, erected a white marble monument at the present location of the graves and also there are the head and foot markers for these two graves.

Robert Latham's family may have owned stock in the Virginia Company of London. Records show there was a Robert Latham who came to America on the "George" and was mustered as an inhabitant on Mulberry Island in the James River across from Jamestown in 1624. There is a possibility that he went to New England from Virginia since we have no record of a Robert Latham going direct to New England from Great Britain. 


Robert Latham & Susanna Winslow - Felonious Cruelty 

In an incident that will shock many, the Plymouth court records show that Robert Latham who married Susanna, the daughter of John Winslow and his wife Mary Chilton, brutally and willfully mistreated his servant boy, John Walker, thus causing his death.  Equally as disturbing,  Susanna was found culpable as well--though not prosecuted.
(Stratton, Eugene Aubrey, FASG. Plymouth Colony: Its History and People 1620-1691.)
" On 31 January 1654/55 a coroner's jury was called to view the body of Latham's servant boy, John Walker." The jury found:  
that the body of John Walker was blackish and blew, and the skine broken in divers places from the middle to the haire of his head, viz, all his backe with stripes given him by his master, Robert Latham, as Robert himselfe did testify; and also wee found a bruise of his left arme, and one of his left hipp, and one great bruise of his brest; and there was the knuckles of one hand and one of his fingers frozen, and alsoe both his heeles frozen, and one of the heeles the flesh was much broken, and alsoe one of his little toes frozen and very much perished, and one of his great toes frozen, and alsoe the side of his foot frozen; and alsoe, upon the reviewing the body, wee found three gaules like holes in the hames, which wee formerly, the body being frozen, thought they had been holes; and alsoe wee find that the said John was forced to carry a logg which was beyond his strength, which hee indeavoring to doe, the logg fell upon him, and hee, being downe, had a stripe or two, as Joseph Beedle doth testify; and wee find that it was some few daies before his death; and wee find, by the testimony of John Howland and John Adams, that heard Robert Latham say that hee gave John Walker som stripes that morning before his death; and alsoe wee find the flesh much broken of the knees of John Walker, and that he did want sufficient food and clothing and lodging, and that the said John did constantly wett his bedd and his cloathes, lying in them, and so suffered by it, his clothes being frozen about him; and that the said John was put forth in the extremity of cold, though thuse unabled by lamenes and sorenes to performe what was required; and therefore in respect of crewelty and hard usage he died.

In the Latham-Walker case, the community view can can be seen in the aftermath, when on 4 March 1654/55 Latham was indicted for felonious cruelty to his servant John Walker, age about fourteen, by unreasonable correction, by withholding necessary food and clothing, and by exposing Walker to extremities of the seasons, whereby he died. The trial jury found him guilty of "manslaughter by chaunce medley," and he was sentenced to be burned in the hand and, having no lands, to have all his personal property confiscated. Latham's wife, Susanna, as noted in chapter 9, was presented by the grand jury for being in great measure guilty with her husband in exercising extreme cruelty toward their late servant John Walker. In her case, however, the presentment continued without trial for three years, until the court on 1 June 1658 ordered that she would be held for trial if anyone wished to prosecute her for the offense, but no one came forth, and the court ordered the presentment erased from the records."

1 comment:

Susan said...

Hi Reba. We may be related. I am a direct decedent of the Benjamin Leach/Washburn connection. Also diect decendent of the Brewster, Allertons on the Mayflower and Zachary Taylor the 12th Pres of US is my 1st cousin 6 times removed. Looks like you have come up with some interesting stories about our mutual family. Woudl love to hear from you.