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Spencer to offer them a home at Brington, and there is good reason for believing that the comparatively small house, represented in the second illustration, was built for them.

This house then was occupied by Lawrence Washington's grandson, Lawrence, who married Margaret, daughter of William Butler, of Tighes, in Sussex.

During the writer's visit, he was allowed to see over the house. The old-fashioned fireplace, the thick beams, and the oak staircases and panelling were very interesting.

But imagination peopled the old house with members of a brave family, who, anticipating misfortune, faced it with courage, and, under the ægis of a great kinsman, made the best of their circumstances.

Their child Gregory was born, it is supposed, while their house was being built; but he died, and was buried at Brington. As he passes, the wayfarer may still read, above the door of the old house, the inscription-" The Lord geveth, the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord."

The small house did not long suffice, and, gathering up all the property he was entitled to, Lawrence Washington left Brington and settled in London, in order that his numerous family might enjoy the advantage of Westminster and other schools. Of his seventeen children, one was Sir John Washington of Thrapston.

His brother Robert was a most interesting character, and Simkinson and other writers enable us to picture this old-fashioned country gentleman in the full enjoyment of rural pursuits. Robert and Elizabeth Washington were childless, and their niece, Amy, lived with them, and added greatly to their happiness. She married Philip Curtis, the ceremony taking place in Brington Church.

The Washingtons, by Rev. J. N. Simkinson.


It has been remarked that the Washingtons of the North were keen sportsmen; it may be added that at Brington, Althorp, and Holmby, as we gather from Whyte Melville's book, falconry was, under the auspices of the Spencer family, pursued with ardour. Evidence of this may still be found in the heronry existing to this day in Althorp Park. If further evidence of the taste for sport which was fostered in the days we are considering be required, the Pytchley Hunt, and the Northampton Race Meetings, the latter of which doubtless were initiated at or near Althorp, need only be mentioned.

The chief point of interest attaching to this brief communication must now be approached.

It is stated by Mr. William Gray, in a pamphlet published at Northampton,* that President Washington's great-grandfather was one John Washington, who, accompanied or followed by a brother named Lawrence, emigrated from England to Virginia about the year 1657.

In 1791 Sir Isaac Heard commenced his inquiries into the subject, and he, as well as Baker, in his History of Northamptonshire, and the Rev. I. Nassau Simpkinson, fell into the error of supposing that the emigrants John and Lawrence were the sons of Lawrence Washington of Sulgrave and Brington.

In the year 1883, Mr. Waters discovered that the emigrants were the sons of Mrs. Amphillis Washington. It subsequently transpired that the husband of this lady was the Rev. Lawrence Washington, Fellow of Brasenose, and Rector of Purleigh, whom Heard and Baker had taken to be one of the two emigrants.

This Lawrence Washington was ejected from his living during the Commonwealth.

* Brington: the Home of the Washingtons and Spencers. Taylor & Son, 1901.

The elder of his two sons, John, one of the emigrants—married the widow of Walter Brodhurst, a Shropshire gentleman. He left a son, Lawrence, whose wife was Mildred Warner. Their son, Augustine, married (1) Jane, daughter of Caleb Butler, and (2) Mary Ball, who was the mother of George Washington.

The writer desires to acknowledge his indebtedness to Baker's History of Northamptonshire; to the paper in Munsey's Magazine, Feb., 1896, by Mr. Arthur Branscombe; to the volume by Rev. J. N. Simpkinson, The Washingtons, kindly presented to him by Dr. Clifton, Northampton; to the papers issued by the late Mr. John Taylor, of Northampton, and to the Librarian of the Northampton Library, for a perusal of Mr. Waters' pamphlet. He is much indebted to Mr. Law, Bridge Street, Northampton, for permission to use his excellent photographs of the houses at Sulgrave and Brington.


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