Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Rev. John Lothrop (Lathrop). Our 9th Great Grandfather.

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Tonight in our digital reunion we gather around the fire to hear about our 9th Great Grandfather the Rev. John Lathrop.

I begin by confessing that I can't be 100% sure about this connection to the Rev. John Lathrop because
Sarah Martha Crippen's correct parentage of cannot be ascertained with complete accuracy, and may never be. After spending several hours researching the Crippen line over several days I've come to the conclusion that while I cannot identify her parents with complete accuracy, I feel strongly that Sarah Martha Crippen is related either as a daughter, niece or cousin to James Osborn Crippen, who was the first Crippen in that part of Tennessee where Sarah was born (and around the same time). Therefore, I am sure the Crippen line I identify below is correct to John Lathrop.

Did I make that as clear as mud?

That being said, let's take a moment to look at the Relationship Chart to our 9th Great Grandfather.

John Lathrop
(1584 - 1653)
is your 9th great grandfather
Daughter of John
Son of Jane
Daughter of John
Son of Thankful
Son of John
Daughter of ?James Osborn Crippen
Son of Sarah Martha
Daughter of John Mayberry
Daughter of Vesta Althea
Daughter of Volet Mae
You are the son of Luella

There are few men that came to America in the 1600s who contributed so many seeds to the religious, political, and business development of America. Among Rev. John’s descendants are four American presidents, Governors, United States Senator, Congressmen, a Secretary of State of the United States, a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, founder of the Mormon Church, directors of the CIA, Prime Minister of Canada, Financier, renown Poet, Artist, Philanthropist, Actress, and last but not least a Revolutionary War hero court-marshaled for treason.

The following biography of The Rev. John Lathrop is taken in large part from the book Genealogical Memoir of the Lo-Lathrop Family in this Country written by Rev. E.B. Huntington and published by Mrs. Julia M. Huntington in 1884.
Rev. John Lathrop son of Thomas Lathrop and Mary _?_ was baptized in Etton, Yorkshire, England, December 20, 1584. He remained in the East Riding area of Yorkshire, England until he left for higher education. He was educated at Queen’s College, Cambridge, where he was “matriculated” in 1601, graduated B.A. in 1605, M.A. in 1609. His first and only charge of the Church of England was a parish in the County of Kent about 1614.

At that time King Charles I was in a conflict with Parliament. Puritans Presbyterians and Independents, all dissenters from the Church of England supported Parliament. This conflict led up to the English Civil War and King Charles I was beheaded in 1649 by forces led by Lord Cromwell.”

Rev. John Lathrop eventually ministered to a group of dissenters. A group of nonconformists started meeting in London in 1616, led by Rev. Henry Jacob. Rev. John Lathrop left the Church of England in 1623 and soon succeeded Rev. Henry Jacob who was the independent minister and pastor of The First Independent Church in London, England. Those he ministered to had no place of public worship and had to meet in secret since their worship itself was illegal. In April 1632 during a meeting for the faithful, their worship was invaded and forty-two of those in attendance were seized. Rev. Lathrop and the members were imprisoned in the old Clink prison in Newgate. In spring of 1634 all were released except for the Rev. Lathrop.

While in prison, his wife, Hannah Howse, became sick and died. He was granted the right to visit his wife and commend her to God before her death. Upon his return to prison his children made known to the bishop at Lambeth of their poor miserable condition with their mother’s death and father’s imprisonment. The bishop arranged the release of Rev John Lathrop and he was then banished to America.
As a result of the political conflict Rev. Lathrop and his followers are considered to be martyrs for “Independency” and freedom from religious prosecution. They suffered loss of property, imprisonment in “loftily jails” while being separated from their families. They were people willing to pay the price for freedom to serve God as to their consciences.

On September 18, 1634 Gov. Winthrop’s Journal, in Boston Massachusetts, reads, “The Griffin and another ship now arriving with about 200 passengers. Mr. Lathrop and Mr. Sims, two godly ministers coming in the same ship.” The Rev. John Lathrop arrived in Boston with a portion of his London flock and found preparations had already begun to welcome him to a new home in Scituate. “A small log cabin on Meeting House Lane served as the first church. The site is marked today by a monument that lists the early members of the parish, ‘The Men of Kent,’ and by gravestones from the 17th century." He soon married his second wife Anna _?_.

Rev. John’s time at Scituate did not always go well. He and some of the church members had a difference in opinion over the question of baptism and in 1639 he was removed. The Rev. John and a large number from Scituate arrived in Barnstable, Massachusetts on Cape Cod October 11, 1639 bringing with them crops they had raised at Scituate. They did not forget that the main reason for their pilgrimage from the motherland was for the service and glory of God. The Rev. John was the first minister of Barnstable.

At Barnstable, Rev. John’s family lived in a small house he had built on four acres which was too small and too uncomfortable for his family. The small house stood where the “Eldriges’s hotel stands today” according to writings of Rev. E. B. Huntington in 1884. His second home was a much more substantial building and he moved into the new home in 1644 This home today is the oldest part of the Sturgis Library in Barnstable. Rev. John’s bible is now on public display in the Lothrop Room of the Sturgis Library.

Rev. Lathrop was described as a “good and true man, an independent thinker, and a man who held opinions in advance of his times”. It is written that during his fourteen years at Barnstable his influence over the people was so strong that a civil magistrate was not needed to restrain crime. Upon becoming a member of the church the new applicant signed a confession of faith to keep God’s commandments, live a pure life, and walk in love with the brethren.

There are examples of Rev. John’s writings in archives today. He made many entries in the church records. He made his last entry in the church records June 15, 1653. He died in Barnstable November 8, 1653 leaving an unsigned will, which was admitted to probate. In the will he left his wife Anna his new dwelling house. His sons John in England and Benja each a cow and £5. Daughters Jane and Barbara had their portions already. The rest of his and his wife’s children received a cow. To each child a book to be chosen according to their age. The rest of his “library was to be sold to an honest man who can tell how to use it” with the proceeds to be divided. The inventory estimated the rest of the library to be worth £5.