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Published on February 14, 2008

Author: Virginia

Source: authorstream.com

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A New Hampshire Dynasty:  A New Hampshire Dynasty More The Wentworth Governors The Wentworth Governors A New Hampshire Dynasty :  When John Wheelwright first arrived in New Hampshire in 1639 as a religious exile from neighboring Massachusetts… The Wentworth Governors A New Hampshire Dynasty John Wheelwright More …he was accompanied by Elder William Wentworth — the first of the Wentworths in the province. By the early 1700s, the Wentworth family was among the richest and most powerful in the province. William Wentworth The Wentworth Governors A New Hampshire Dynasty :  Linked by birth with old and noble families in England, the Wentworths were loyal to the English Crown… Nevertheless, the Wentworth governors negotiated and wielded power well for the interests of their native province. Together, the three… Lieutenant Governor John Wentworth, Governor Benning Wentworth, and Governor Sir John Wentworth …formed a political dynasty that shaped today’s New Hampshire. The Wentworth Governors A New Hampshire Dynasty Wentworth Coat of Arms Lieutenant Governor John Wentworth 1671–1730:  John Wentworth, a sea captain and merchant, served as the province’s Lieutenant Governor from 1717 to 1730 while New Hampshire was still controlled by Massachusetts. Largely through his initiative, New Hampshire later secured its independence from the powerful Massachusetts province to the south and won a border dispute with the province as well. Lieutenant Governor John Wentworth 1671–1730 Border Dispute with Massachusetts John Wentworth 1 N.H. - Mass. Border Dispute 1739 Map:  1 N.H. - Mass. Border Dispute 1739 Map Borders Claimed by Massachusetts 2 N.H. - Mass. Border Dispute 1739 Map:  2 N.H. - Mass. Border Dispute 1739 Map Boundaries proposed by Massachusetts Modern Version of the Map N.H. - Mass. Border Dispute 1741 Settlement:  N.H. - Mass. Border Dispute 1741 Settlement Back This map shows the borders as settled in 1741 as well as the claims put forward by the two provinces. Royal Governor Benning Wentworth 1696–1770:  Benning Wentworth, John Wentworth’s son, was the first royal governor to be independent of Massachusetts. He remains the longest reigning governor in the history of New Hampshire — province or state. He governed twenty-five years from 1741 to 1766. Royal Governor Benning Wentworth 1696–1770 New Hampshire Grants Benning Wentworth Benning Wentworth’s Will Martha Hilton, Lady Wentworth Martha Hilton Wentworth 1737–1805:  Royal Governor Benning Wentworth, 64, shocked Portsmouth society at his dinner party by introducing his maid servant, 23-year old Martha Hilton, to the assembled guests and asking that a minister in attendance marry them then and there. Later, the governor wrote a will bequeathing everything to his young wife. After the governor’s death, Martha married the governor’s cousin Michael. Almost a century later, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow romanticized the marriage in his poem “Lady Wentworth.” Martha Hilton Wentworth 1737–1805 Back Martha Hilton Wentworth The New Hampshire Grants !:  The New Hampshire Grants ! More Victorious in its border dispute with Massachusetts, New Hampshire looked west to the vague borders with New York. During his long reign, Governor Benning Wentworth granted many towns, not just in New Hampshire… …but also in what today is Vermont. Governor Wentworth considered these towns, known as the New Hampshire Grants, part of the province of New Hampshire. Governor Wentworth’s New Hampshire 1755 Map:  Governor Wentworth’s New Hampshire 1755 Map More NHHS Collections The New Hampshire Grants Some Towns Named for Wentworth Relatives and Associates:  The New Hampshire Grants Some Towns Named for Wentworth Relatives and Associates Addison Barnard Bennington Bolton Bridgewater Bristol Burlington Cavendish Chester Clarendon Colchester Cornwall Maidstone Marlboro New Fane Pittsford Pomfret Poultney Rockingham Ryegate Salisbury Shelburne Stowe Strafford Thetford Tunbridge Wilmington Windsor Woodstock By the end of his governorship, Benning Wentworth had granted 128 towns in today’s Vermont. More Grants in New Hampshire Towns Named for Wentworth Relatives and Associates:  Grants in New Hampshire Towns Named for Wentworth Relatives and Associates Governor Benning Wentworth granted two Connecticut River towns in honor of England’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, Earl of Orford. Thomas Pelham-Holles, Earl of Chichester and owner of Claremont Castle, lends his name to three New Hampshire towns — Chichester, Claremont, and Hollis. He held many posts in English government, including prime minister. Also, he was related by marriage to the Wentworths, Lady Arabella Holles having married Sir Thomas Wentworth. Pelham, incidentally, was named for Thomas Pelham-Holles’s brother, Sir Henry Pelham. More Grants in New Hampshire Towns Named for Wentworth Relatives and Associates:  Grants in New Hampshire Towns Named for Wentworth Relatives and Associates Amherst Bath Bedford Boscawen Campton Charlestown Chatham Chesterfield Conway Dorchester Enfield Fitzwilliam Franconia Grafton Grantham Hanover Hillsborough Holderness Keene Landaff Lee Lempster Lincoln Milton Newport Northumberland Richmond Rumney Sandwich Tamworth Warren Wentworth Winchester Windham Wolfeborough Back More Benning Wentworth’s Will 1769:  The substance of Governor Wentworth’s will, drawn the year before his death, is as follows: “I give to my beloved wife Martha Wentworth my whole Estate, both Real and Personal, whatsoever and wheresoever, together with all such sum and sums of money as shall be due to me at my decease either by Sea or by Land…” Benning Wentworth’s Will 1769 Back NHHS Collections Royal Governor Sir John Wentworth 1737–1820:  Sir John Wentworth, nephew of Benning and the last of the royal governors, served from 1767 to 1775. Though personally popular and professionally competent, he suffered the misfortune of remaining loyal to England as the province — and country — was revolting against the crown to form an independent nation. Royal Governor Sir John Wentworth 1737–1820 John Wentworth Governor Wentworth and New Hampshire’s Interior Lady Frances Deering Wentworth The Wentworths Speak about Americans 1 New Hampshire’s Interior Growth and Development:  Governor Wentworth worked to develop inland New Hampshire. During his reign he… 1 New Hampshire’s Interior Growth and Development secured New Hampshire land and signed the charter for Dartmouth College built a summer home in Wolfeboro (see map), marking the town as the first resort town in America built roads from the coast to the Connecticut River and to his summer home created New Hampshire’s original five counties. Governor Wentworth’s Land in Wolfeboro 2 New Hampshire’s Interior Growth and Development:  Governor Wentworth worked to develop inland New Hampshire. During his reign he… 2 New Hampshire’s Interior Growth and Development Back secured New Hampshire land and signed the charter for Dartmouth College built a summer home in Wolfeboro (see map), marking the town as the first resort town in America built roads from the coast to the Connecticut River and to his summer home created New Hampshire’s original five counties. Lady Frances Deering Wentworth 1745–1813:  As a young man, John Wentworth was in love with his cousin, Frances Deering Wentworth, known to her friends as Fannie. But when he left New Hampshire for a long stay in England, Fannie married another cousin, Thomas Atkinson. Upon his return, John renewed his relationship with Fannie, and when her sickly husband died, Fannie married John — a scant fourteen days after her husband’s burial service. After leaving America during the Revolutionary War, Lady Wentworth was appointed lady-in-waiting to Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III. The towns of Deering and Francestown are named for this interesting woman. Lady Frances Deering Wentworth 1745–1813 Frances Deering Wentworth Back The Wentworths Speak about Americans Sir John Wentworth (September 1, 1765):  Asked by his mentor, the Marquis of Rockingham, to describe the American colonies in light of the political unrest surrounding the imposition of the Stamp Act, John Wentworth wrote with a great deal of irony that some members of Parliament… The Wentworths Speak about Americans Sir John Wentworth (September 1, 1765) More alarmed at the prosperity and security of the provinces, that they are blessed with a spirit of liberty, and having no French or Indian savages to massacre them, [believe] that it is necessary to load them with taxes to prevent their revolt; thus humanely proposing that two million loyal subjects should be made poor, miserable, useless and burdensome to their mother country, lest they should be wicked enough (under more favorable circumstances) to grow rich, happy, useful and a support to her. The Wentworths Speak about Americans Lady Frances Deering Wentworth (June 13, 1775):  As the war between Britain and its colonies began, Lady Frances Wentworth wrote to Lady Rockingham, wife to Sir John’s mentor the Marquis. In her letter, she cautions… The Wentworths Speak about Americans Lady Frances Deering Wentworth (June 13, 1775) Back The Kings Troops have too mean an opinion of the Americans. They think them Fools & Cowards, but indeed, My Lady, they are neither. Undisciplin’d and to be conquer’d they no doubt are, but they are far from the despicable set thought for. Their numbers make them formidable and they take all possible pains to improve themselves in military skill. Other New Hampshire Wentworths:  John 1719–1781 Joshua 1742–1809 Born at Dover: known as “Colonel John”; served as president for the first Revolutionary Convention in Exeter in 1774; chaired the Revolutionary Committee of Correspondence Born at Portsmouth: Colonel of the 1st New Hampshire Regiment in 1776; elected to the State Senate for four years Other New Hampshire Wentworths Although the royal governors were stalwart loyalists, some of their kinsmen were ardent patriots. Here are a few of these “other” Wentworths: Born at Somersworth: served as a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1778–1779; served in the State Senate from 1784–1787; was a member of the New Hampshire Committee of Safety; represented New Hampshire in signing the original Articles of Confederation Born at Dover: served in the Massachusetts state legislature first as a Whig, then as a Republican; also served in the U.S. Congress for Massachusetts Born at Sandwich: known as “Long John”; elected to Congress in Illinois; colorful editor and publisher who became mayor of Chicago — the first in the country to be elected as a Republican John 1745–1787 Tappan 1802–1875 John 1815–1888 “Long John” The End:  The End © 2005 Christopher MacLeod for the New Hampshire Historical Society End

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