Thomas Woodward Part 2

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(Some observations regarding Thomas Woodward, the immigrant)
(Some observations 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 possibly had an '''''earlier''''' wife than the one named in his 1677 will. There is at least one big reason why: Thomas Woodward the surveyor 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 apparent fact of two separate sons named “John” would make perfect sense, and the possibility would then be opened that Thomas Woodward the immigrant could have been a Seventeenth-Century bigamist. One hesitates to make such a statement on so little evidence, but the evidence (as it is) at least leaves open this possibility, and (due to the paucity of evidence), this writer feels little else is left to do '''''except''''' speculate.
 
The Thomas Woodward who was the surveyor in Virginia and Carolina in the 1650s and 1660s is believed by some researchers today to have possibly had an '''''earlier''''' wife than the one named in his 1677 will. There is at least one big reason why: Thomas Woodward the surveyor 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 apparent fact of two separate sons named “John” would make perfect sense, and the possibility would then be opened that Thomas Woodward the immigrant could have been a Seventeenth-Century bigamist. One hesitates to make such a statement on so little evidence, but the evidence (as it is) at least leaves open this possibility, and (due to the paucity of evidence), this writer feels little else is left to do '''''except''''' speculate.
  
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.
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Thomas Woodward the immigrant is last known (for certain) to have resided in England 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 (by that name) who was appointed High Sheriff of Surrey in February 1650. Perhaps indeed he was, but it must be quickly admitted that no proof exists to support this statement. And (in any case), how could a man who was evidently so unpopular with Cromwell's 'Long Parliament' have been appointed to yet '''''another''''' post, only a few short months after he had been sacked from an earlier one (by the same hostile Parliament)? Thomas Woodward the immigrant first provably appears in Virginia colony in '''''1652''''' (21). This would certainly mean he was absent from England “by 1655”, in time for him to be considered dead and gone (even if only temporarily). This last is mentioned only because it fits the known evidence.
  
 
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).
 
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).

Revision as of 05:09, 8 June 2008

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