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.
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."