Friday, May 1, 2009

This newsletter will focus on Frances Latham, one of my 10th great grandmothers. The Latham family of England can trace it roots back at least as far as Sir Robert de Latham who died prior to 1286.
Frances Latham, daughter of Elizabeth and Lewis Latham, was baptized on February 15, 1609 in Kempston, Bedfordshire, England. Her father, Lewis, served in the court of James I as an under falconer for Prince Henry, James’ eldest son. After Henry’s death, Lewis assumed the same office for Prince Charles and eventually was appointed as sergeant falconer when Charles became king.
There is little information of the childhood of Frances. She probably would have led the life of an upper middle class girl of her age, learning to sew and manage a household. The first official mention that I could find was August 27, 1629 when she married William Dungan, Gentleman and Perfumer, at St. Martin in the Fields, London. (Some family researchers list her first marriage to a Lord Weston and this 1629 marriage as her second but there does not seem to be any record of a Weston marriage.) The Dungans lived on the east side of The Earl of Bedford Street in an area called Covent Garden in London. The 1819 map, above, shows the street where the Dungan home (red line) was located. Although the map is some 175 years after they lived in the area, the street is the same.
The original St. Martin in the Fields was pulled down and replaced in the 1700’s and not much is the same as when the Dungans lived there. There is one exception, St. Paul’s of Covent Garden, which was built to relieve the overcrowding at St. Martin in the Fields.

Built between 1631-33 yet not consecrated until 1638, the church was a simple oblong, tower less, with an overhanging roof and tall arched windows. At the east end, overlooking the piazza, Inigo Jones designed an outstanding Tuscan portico with two square and two round columns. He intended this to be the main entrance so, to allow for this, he attempted the unorthodox approach of placing the altar at the east end of the church. This arrangement, however, was disallowed by the Archbishop William Laud, so Jones moved the altar to the east end but kept his Tuscan facade as a false entrance. The proper entrance is now at the west end of the church.
Photos and copy:
The Register of St. Martin in the Fields, London 1619-1636, Part II are the following entries:
Nuptiae...1629...Aug. 27 Guillielmus Dungan & Francisca Ladham L.
28 Sep 1630: Barbarea Dunken filia Guillelmi et Franciscae12 Nov 1632: Frances Dungan filia Willimi et Frannciscae13 Dec 1633: Elizabetha Dungan filia Guillelmi et Francesscae13 Feb 1634/5: Thomas Dunkin fillius Guillelmi et Franscescae
1636...Sept. 20 W'mus Dungham vir.
As the register of baptisms reveals, Frances and William Dungan had four children before William’s untimely death in September of 1636. William was buried in the churchyard at St. Martin in the Fields on September 20, 1636.
A copy will of William Dunghen, dated Sept. 13, 1636.
In the name of God amen, I, William Dunghen, of the parish of St. Martins 'the Fields, in the County of Middlesex, Perfumer, being sick of body, but of good and perfect memory and understanding (thanks be given to Almighty God therefore doe make and ordaine this my last Will and Testament, in manner and forme following, That is to saye, First and principally, I commit my sole unto the hands Almighty God, my Maker, Saviour and Redeemer, through whose mercies and merits , I hope to be saved and to enjoy
everlasting life in his heavenly kingdome. My body I commit to earth from whence it came to be buried at the discretion of my loving wife and executrix, here under named. And for my wordly goods wherewith God hath endowed me (my just debts being first
paid and funeral expenses discharged I give and bequeath to each of my children, viz: Barbara Dunghen, William Dunghe Frances Dunghen and Thomas Dunghen, three score and ten pounds apiece, to paid unto them when they shall attaine to their full ages, or daye of marriage. if it happen, any of my said children shall dye before they come of age or happen marry, then my will and meaning is, that the part or porcion of him or her, or the soe dyeing, shall revert and come to the survivor or survivors of my said children to be equally divided part and portion alike between them. Any my further and meaneing is, that my said wife shall dureing her widdowhood, have the governing of my said children's porcions, then my true intent and meaning is, that my said wife shall give good security to my overseers hereunder named, for the true and sure payment of the said legacies bequeathed to my said children as aforesaid according to my true intent and meaneing herein expressed. Item: All other my estate, whatsoever be it, in goods, chattels, leases, ready money, plate, or other my substance what ever, I bequeath to my loveing wife Frances Dunghen, whome I make full and executrix.
William Dunghen.
After the death of William, Frances and the children continued to live on The Earl of Bedford Street where she paid the following taxes:
Frances Dungan was assessed and paid taxes, as appears from the Book of Poor Rates," p. 25, of St. Martins-in-the-Fields (exact date not given b between April 29, 1636, and April 16, 163'7)."Covent Garden-Widdow Dungan IX S. IXd."
From the " Book of Arrears of Rates," p. 33, collected by John Mandrake and Jo Johnson; Widdowe Dungan, II S.
She also paid an assessment of XIII S. in 1637, by reason of the "Longe contyuance of the plague" levied by the Church wardens, for the relief and maintenance of the poor. Her residence is given as Covent Garden, East side of Bedford.
About one year after the death of William Dungan, his widow, Frances, married Jeremy Clarke, Gentleman, son of William Clarke, Gentleman, by his wife Mary Weston and nephew of Richard Weston, Earl of Portland and Lord Treasurer of England, and through the Clarke lineage, a descendant of King Edward I. (The Weston connection of William Clarke’s mother is probably the cause of the Lord Weston marriage confusion.) The Clarkes, with the Dungan children it tow, soon departed England for the colony of Rhode Island. They settled at Newport where Mr. Clark became the first Constable, and in 1648 Governor and Treasurer of the Rhode Island Colony. His family were members of the Society of Friends at Newport, the first Quaker settlement in America. Here at age 46 Jeremy Clark died, and here according to records of Friends Meeting he was buried 11 mo. 3rd, 1651.
Frances was married about 1655 to her third husband Rev. William Vaughan, Doctor of
Civil Law, poet and distinguished scholar, one of the original members of the First
Baptist Church of Newport, and one of the founders of the Second Baptist Church of
which he was the first minister. He died in August 1677, by him she had no children, and outliving him only a few weeks, she died in September 1677, in her 67th year, and is
buried at Newport in the Govemor's lot. Frances Latham was the mother of seven sons and four daughters.
Above is a photograph of the stone for Frances Latham Dungan Clarke Vaughn.
Frances Latham now generally called "The Mother of Governors," because no less than fourteen of her direct descendants, and many sons-in-law in succeeding generations, became Governors or Lieut. Governors. Also of interest, Frances’ husbands were members of the Church of England, Quaker and the Baptist Church.
Above is a photograph of a painting of Lewis Latham, father of Frances. This painting was believed to have been brought to America by Frances.
Birth date on photo is incorrect.
I have decided to print the story of the Latham family crest without any snide comments. And believe me, it was a very hard decision to make.
The Latham crest has given rise to the following fable: Sir Thomas de Latham father of the lady Isabel, who married Sir John Stanley, K. G., was extremely desirous of having a son to inherit his title and estates, and by a young gentlewoman by the name of Mary Oskatell, his wishes were realized; he had the infant conveyed to near the eyry of an eagle in his park, and when taking a walk with his wife, came across the child as' by accident; his wife considering it a gift from heaven, brought there by the bird of prey and miraculously preserved, consented to adopt the boy as her own and brought him to Latham house.
"Their content was such to see the hap,
That th' ancient lady hugs yt in her lap,
Smooths yt with kisses, bathes yt in her tears,
And unto Latham house the babe she bears."

No comments:

Post a Comment