The Life and Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Language: English
Wordcount: 108,711 / 323 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 52.9
LoC Category: CT
Downloads: 402
mnybks.net#: 6583
Genre: Biography
Excerpt

, he had exceptional advantages for investigating the subject, but whatever attempt he made there resulted in nothing. It is only recently that Mr. Henry F. Waters, who spent fifteen years in England searching out the records of old New England families, succeeded in discovering the connecting link between the first American Hawthornes and their relatives in the old country. It was a bill of exchange for one hundred pounds drawn by William Hathorne, of Salem, payable to Robert Hathorne in London, and dated October 19, 1651, which first gave Mr. Waters the clue to his discovery. Robert not only accepted his brother's draft, but wrote him this simple and business- like but truly affectionate epistle in return:

"GOOD BROTHER: Remember my love to my sister, my brother John and sister, my brother Davenport and sister and the rest of our friends.

"In haste I rest "Your loving brother,

"From Bray this 1 April, 1653. ROBERT HATHORNE."

From this it appears that Major William Hathorne not only had a brother John, who established himself in Lynn, but a sister Elizabeth, who married Richard Davenport, of Salem. Concerning Robert Hathorne we only know further that he died in 1689; but in the probate records of Berkshire, England, there is a will proved May 2, 1651, of William Hathorne, of Binfield, who left all his lands, buildings and tenements in that county to his son Robert, on condition that Robert should pay to his father's eldest son, William, one hundred pounds, and to his son John twenty pounds sterling. He also left to another son, Edmund, thirty acres of land in Bray, and there are other legacies; but it cannot be doubted that the hundred pounds mentioned in this will is the same that Major William Hathorne drew for five months later, and that we have identified here the last English ancestor of Nathaniel Hawthorne. His wife's given name was Sarah, but her maiden name still remains unknown. The family resided chiefly at Binfield, on the borders of Windsor P

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