Thomas Woodward Part 2

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(Christopher Woodward, Jr., Esq., of Lambeth Marsh, London)
(Chapter 2: Some circumstances regarding Thomas Woodward, the immigrant)
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The Thomas Woodward who was the surveyor in Virginia and Carolina in the 1650s and 1660s is believed (by some researchers today) to have had an earlier wife than the one named in his 1677 will—not least due to the fact that he apparently had two separate sons named “John”: one who remained behind in England and successfully obtained his father’s old post of Assay Master of the Mint from Charles II in 1661 (upon the Restoration), later dying in 1665 (17), and a second one who apparently left descendants in Virginia and North Carolina and was alive in 1684, when he was mentioned in his mother Katherine Woodward’s will (18). If in fact Thomas Woodward the immigrant had had two separate wives—one left behind in England, and another remarried in the colonies, then this fact of two separate sons named “John” would make perfect sense.
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The Thomas Woodward who was the surveyor in Virginia and Carolina in the 1650s and 1660s is believed (by some researchers today) to have had an earlier wife than the one named in his 1677 will—not least due to the fact that he apparently had two separate sons named “John”: one who remained behind in England and successfully obtained his father’s old post of Assay Master of the Mint from Charles II in 1661 (upon the Restoration), later dying in 1665 (18), and a second one who apparently left descendants in Virginia and North Carolina and was alive in 1684, when he was mentioned in his mother Katherine Woodward’s will (19). If in fact Thomas Woodward the immigrant had had two separate wives—one left behind in England, and another remarried in the colonies, then this fact of two separate sons named “John” would make perfect sense.
  
Thomas Woodward the immigrant is last known to have resided in England (for certain) in 1649 (19). Thereafter, we can only speculate, due to insufficient evidence. Thomas Woodward the immigrant may or may not have been the same man who was appointed High Sheriff of Surrey in February 1650. Personally, I think he probably was, but I will quickly admit I have no proof to support my belief. Thomas Woodward the immigrant first appears in Virginia colony (provably) in 1652 (20). This would certainly mean he was absent from England “by 1655”, in time for him to be considered (even if only temporarily) dead and gone.
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Thomas Woodward the immigrant is last known to have resided in England (for certain) in 1649 (20). Thereafter, we can only speculate, due to insufficient evidence. Thomas Woodward the immigrant may or may not have been the same man who was appointed High Sheriff of Surrey in February 1650. Personally, I think he probably was, but I will quickly admit I have no proof to support my belief. Thomas Woodward the immigrant first appears in Virginia colony (provably) in 1652 (21). This would certainly mean he was absent from England “by 1655”, in time for him to be considered (even if only temporarily) dead and gone.
  
Despite the Restoration of Charles II to the English throne in 1660, and Thomas Woodward’s publicly-stated opinion that the King’s absence from the throne (prior to 1660) was his reason for not returning to England (21), Woodward in fact never again set foot in England—though he would have had plenty of opportunity to do so after 1660. The statement of the King himself in 1665, upon the death of Woodward’s son John, indicates as much (22).
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Despite the Restoration of Charles II to the English throne in 1660, and Thomas Woodward’s publicly-stated opinion that the King’s absence from the throne (prior to 1660) was his reason for not returning to England (22), Woodward in fact never again set foot in England—though he would have had plenty of opportunity to do so after 1660. The statement of the King himself in 1665, upon the death of Woodward’s son John, indicates as much (23).
  
Moreover, Thomas Woodward the immigrant seems to have shown a decided reluctance to communicate with certain people back in England (at least to his son John, and to the King—both of whom seem to have had no earthly idea where Thomas might have ended up [23]). But strangely, Thomas Woodward could be downright chatty with people in England when it suited his purpose (just evidently not with his son John, or with his Monarch): witness the long, detailed letter he wrote on 2 June, 1665, to Sir John Colleton, one of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina colony, regarding the (then-current) state of affairs in said colony (24).  Given Thomas Woodward’s huge public stature in the colonies (even notoriety, in Puritan quarters), I find it difficult to fathom how or why his son John and especially his king, Charles II, can have been so ignorant as to his whereabouts in 1665. As Surveyor for the colonies of Virginia and Carolina, it would have been Thomas Woodward’s bounden duty to communicate regularly with his superiors in England and elsewhere in the colonies. Sir John Colleton apparently knew where he was in 1665. How is it then that the King of England (and Woodward’s own son) did not? It simply doesn’t add up.
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Moreover, Thomas Woodward the immigrant seems to have shown a decided reluctance to communicate with certain people back in England (at least to his son John, and to the King—both of whom seem to have had no earthly idea where Thomas might have ended up [24]). But strangely, Thomas Woodward could be downright chatty with people in England when it suited his purpose (just evidently not with his son John, or with his Monarch): witness the long, detailed letter he wrote on 2 June, 1665, to Sir John Colleton, one of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina colony, regarding the (then-current) state of affairs in said colony (25).  Given Thomas Woodward’s huge public stature in the colonies (even notoriety, in Puritan quarters), I find it difficult to fathom how or why his son John and especially his king, Charles II, can have been so ignorant as to his whereabouts in 1665. As Surveyor for the colonies of Virginia and Carolina, it would have been Thomas Woodward’s bounden duty to communicate regularly with his superiors in England and elsewhere in the colonies. Sir John Colleton apparently knew where he was in 1665. How is it then that the King of England (and Woodward’s own son) did not? It simply doesn’t add up.
  
This mystery begins to make a little sense, however, if we assume (for the sake of argument) that in fact Thomas Woodward didn’t '''''want''''' his English family to know where he was, in the 1650s and 1660s. Recall that in 1677, as Thomas Woodward lay on his deathbed, and wrote out his will (dying within only four more days), he stated publicly that he didn’t even know if he had grandchildren by his son John or not (25). I have said it before, but this fact indicates a '''''serious''''' breach in communication between Thomas and his son John in England (for what reasons we can only guess). By this time in colonial affairs, letters and persons were regularly making the transatlantic crossing again and again—occasionally returning to England for visits and sometimes even to die and be buried there.
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This mystery begins to make a little sense, however, if we assume (for the sake of argument) that in fact Thomas Woodward didn’t '''''want''''' his English family to know where he was, in the 1650s and 1660s. Recall that in 1677, as Thomas Woodward lay on his deathbed, and wrote out his will (dying within only four more days), he stated publicly that he didn’t even know if he had grandchildren by his son John or not (26). I have said it before, but this fact indicates a '''''serious''''' breach in communication between Thomas and his son John in England (for what reasons we can only guess). By this time in colonial affairs, letters and persons were regularly making the transatlantic crossing again and again—occasionally returning to England for visits and sometimes even to die and be buried there.
  
 
==Chapter 3: More Discussion of various Thomas Woodwards in England==
 
==Chapter 3: More Discussion of various Thomas Woodwards in England==

Revision as of 17:34, 29 May 2008

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