Chapter 9 - famous American cousins, Direct
Descendents of Richard Seymour of Sawbridgeworth, Immigrant to, and
Founder of Hartford, and Norwalk
This and the following chapter just started off being a fun exercise, noting all of the relatively famous relatives, both in America and England (chapter 10). After compiling all of the information, I was surprised to see the distinct parallels between the British and American Seymours, and it was for me, the final piece of evidence that makes it clear that John of Sawbridgeworth, and therefore us, are clearly related to the ducal clan on the other side of the pond. There just can’t be that
many coincidences. First a listing followed by their biographical summaries.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Seymour_(Maryland) “Colonel John Seymour was the 10th
Royal Governor of Maryland from 1704 to 1709. He succeeded Thomas Tench and was succeeded by Edward Lloyd.” I found this guy when researching the branch of the family through John Seymour of Frampton Cotterell. This Colonel and Governor is not through our branch of Sawbridgeworth, but rather through Sir John’s illegitimate son John Seymour, who was the Protector’s half brother and his lawyer. He was thrown into the Tower along with Edward, but pardoned after Edward’s execution. He carved his name into a wall of the tower, and was a witness to the will of Edward’s son John, through Catherine Fillol, in 1552. “Upon his death, the
family returned to England, so there are likely no American descendants from this immigrant.”
Col. Thomas Seymour (1735-1829), father of Major Thomas Youngs Seymour, GG Grandson of Richard, Major player in the Revolution and first mayor of Hartford for 28 years. http://www.s560.com/dokuwiki/book:083.thomas
Maj Thomas Youngs Seymour, Revolutionary War dragoon, son of first mayor of Hartford. http://www.stepneyrobarts.co.uk/2931.htm
Horatio Seymour (May 31, 1778 – November 21, 1857) was a United States Senator from Vermont. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horatio_Seymour_(Vermont)
Horatio Seymour (May 31, 1810 – February 12, 1886) was an American politician. He was the 18th Governor of New York from 1853 to 1854 and from 1863 to 1864. He was the Democratic Party nominee for president of the United States in the presidential election of 1868, but lost the election to Republican and former Union General of the Army Ulysses S. Grant. http://www.oneidacountyhistory.org/PublicFigures/Seymour/Seymour.asp
Thomas H. Seymour, Governor of Connecticut and military commander and hero, and Ambassador to Russia
General Truman Seymour http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truman_Seymour (September 24, 1824 –
October 30, 1891)
Origen Storrs Seymour (February 9, 1804 - August 12, 1881)
Edward Woodruff Seymour (August 30, 1832 – October 16, 1892) was a U.S. Representative from
Brigadier General Henry Seymour Lansing
Though in America, here’s an officially recognized descendant of the British branch. Frederick
Seymour (born Belfast, Ireland, 6 September 1820 – died Bella Coola, British Columbia 10 June
1869) was a colonial administrator. He served as the second Governor of the Colony of British Columbia from 1864 to 1866, and the first governor of the union of the two colonies, also named the Colony of British Columbia from 1866 to 1869.
LOUIS IRVING SEYMOUR had a colorful career. He was born at Whitney Point, N.Y., 23 Dec. 1860, and died at Zand River, Orange River Colony, South Africa, 14 June 1900
William Seymour was a United States Representative from New York. He was born in Connecticut about 1780, then moved to Windsor, New York about 1793
William Seymour (1855-1933) was an American actor and director.
Raymond B. Seymour, PhD, is a scientist and educator whose discoveries have not only launched products and industries, but have also brought well-deserved recognition to the study of plastics.
Charles Seymour (January 1, 1885 - August 11, 1963) was an American academic, historian and President of Yale University from 1937 to 1951.
Stephanie Seymour, Model
Samuel Seymour, famous pioneer artist--The first Anglo-American artists to travel west were Samuel Seymour and Titian Ramsay Peale, whom the federal government hired to accompany explorer Stephen
Col. Thomas Seymour another descendant of Richard through John (Thomas4, Thomas3, John2,
Richard1), born at Hartford, Conn., 17 Mar. 1735, died there 30 July 1829 aged 94, for three years the oldest living graduate of Yale; married MARY LEDYARD, baptized at Groton, Conn., 15 June 1735, died at Hartford, 27 Aug. 1807, daughter of John and Deborah (Youngs).
He was graduated from Yale College in 1755, and became one of the most prominent citizens of his time. He represented Hartford in the General Assembly at eighteen sessions between 1774 and 1793, being Speaker five times, and from 1793 to 1803 was annually elected a member of the Connecticut Senate, then called the House of Assistants. He was King's Attorney, 1767, and after the Revolution, State's Attorney. He was commissioned Captain in the militia in 1773, and was promoted to Lieut.-Colonel, Oct. 1774.
During the Revolution (from Apr. 1775), he was head of the Committee of Pay Table, the labors of which fell mostly upon him, and Paymaster. As Lieut. Colonel of the 1st Regiment of Horse, he marched in command of three regiments of light horse in the summer of 1776, to aid the Continental Army in New York.
He was Chief Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, Hartford County, 1798 to 1803; first Mayor of Hartford, from its incorporation as a city, June 1784, until his resignation, at the age of seventy seven, May 1812.
He was one of the Trustees of the Grammar School. He was a member of the Second, or South, Church, as was also his wife, and in 1767 he was appointed to read the Psalm. He served this church as Deacon from 1794 until his resignation in 1809. He lived on Arch Street on the banks of the Little River; the house was pulled down in 1870, and the site was more recently occupied by apart of George S. Lincoln's iron foundry. General LaFayette stopped at his house when he was in Hartford in 1824. During the War of 1812, he was Commissary General.
“At the bar he is said to have been a smooth, persuasive, and engaging advocate; and in the various social and domestic relations he was as happy as his conduct was kind and exemplary.”
The character and cast of thought of the “First Mayor” are illuminated by a letter written by him in
1776 to Mr. Jedediah Norton and the Gentlemen of the Committee of the Society at Worthington:
“Gentln–I am informed by Doctor Steele that he is a sincere professor as well as Worshipper in the Church of England, and has for some time past paid to the Incumbent where he attends and has his receipt accordingly. This being the Case, hope you will not at least in this day of public calamity, put him or his Estate to any loss or Trouble especially for the building of meeting houses, & in a time when we are struggling for Civil & Religious Liberty tis perhaps a pity to Compel men to pay where they do not worship.
“I am with very great regard Gentlemen yr. Friend & h ble Se'nt
Thos. Seymour. – Hartford June 21 1776”
This letter, remarkable in that it was written by a Revolutionary patriot who had been King's Attorney, breathes a spirit of tolerance and real love of liberty not always found among the leaders of our Revolution and totally lacking among those hot-heads who dubbed themselves “Sons of Liberty.”
A framed autographed certificate issued by Thomas Seymour in 1802 as Mayor of Hartford, and bearing the seal of the City, is in possession of the Mayor's Office in Hartford.
The invaluable rolls of soldiers in the French and Indian War, 1755-64, were discovered and purchased by the late Judge Sherman Wolcott Adams of Hartford about 1888 after they had been removed from the old Seymour house on Governor Street, and later were acquired by the State Library. These muster rolls have been published in two volumes by the Connecticut Historical Society under the careful editorship of Albert C. Bates, Esq., who explains in the prefaces to the volumes how these papers came to be in the Seymour house, which descended from Col. Thomas Seymour to his son, Maj. Henry Seymour, in 1829, and from the latter to his son, Gov. Thomas H. Seymour, in 1846. After the death of the Governor's sister, her heirs in New Orleans, after removing what they valued, sold the house.
A letter addressed to President Jefferson, signed by Thomas Seymour and his son Henry, along
with five other gentlemen, and possibly composed by Thomas Seymour, is of considerable historical interest, and is thought not to have been printed hitherto. We are much indebted to James L. Howard, Esq., of Hartford, Conn., for the copy. President Jefferson's reply to the letter may be found in the Works of Thomas Jefferson (Federal Edition, vol. 10, p. 366).
Hartford, Cont., Dec. 20, 1806
Apprehending that communications have been made to you, tending to misrepresent the sentiments of the Republicans in this State, on the subject of the prosecutions depending before the Circuit Court in this District, for Libels against the President & administration of the General Government; we submit the following observations, expressive of the opinions of the Republicans in this Town, and of the Friends of Republican Government in this State.
The Press we consider as essential to our Liberties; its liberty inviolable. In the liberty of the Press we include, the right to publish our sentiments on every measure of the Government; to examine it freely in all its tendencies; but not to charge its authors, with motives subversive of the liberties & happiness of the Nation.
The Chief Magistrate of a free government, becomeing the servant of the people, retains the rights of the Citizen. Devoting himself to his Country, the Country is pledged to secure to the Magistrate by all legal means the character of the Citizen. Renouncing the quiet of domestic life, & submitting his official conduct to the severe scrutiny of a people, jealous of their liberties; he consigns not his reputation as a man to rise and fall with the expediency or impolicy of his measures.
The opponents of the Gen. Government in this State, under the mask of superior virtue, religion, & patriotism, have commenced and persevered in, a systematic plan for the ruin of every Individual, who holds an office under, or advocates the Government of the U States. From the President, to the lowest officer, directly or indirectly dependent on him for appointment; fro:n the Republican Candidate for Governor down to the lowest Republican Candidate for office in the State Government; a continued torrent of abuse, not only copious and uninterrupted, but irresistable in its progress has issued. Not contented with this systematic attack on character; unsatisfied by the general wreck of reputation which has marked its progress, they are determined that the bare means of subsistance shall not be left to the victims of their intolerance. With these objects in view, not only suits at Law to rob us of our property, but criminal prosecutions have commenced.
While on the other hand the characters and not the characters alone, but the opinions and conduct of Federalists, from the highest Judge to the most obscure Justs. of the Peace, are not only protected, but vindicated. The motives of men, who have rioted on the mangled reputations of their political opponents, in the Genl, & State governments, are not to be suspected without fine, & to the loss of property & character, have been added the horrors of Imprisonment. Confident that no Federal Court would take cognizance of calumnies against the President & administration, and influenced by the example of Political Priests, & of men high in office, under the State govermnent, who have descended from the Pulpit & the Bench to become the authors & retailers of the calumnies; Federal Editors, have unceasingly issued from their presses, libels as unprecedented in number and grossness, as they were unfounded in truth. While waging a war of extermination against the Characters of their political opponents, the professed friends of order in Connecticut had screened their own, by Juries openly & avowedly selected for the purpose. While, for publishing the truth of them in language not abusive, but decent, a Republican printer had been compelled to pay One Thousand Dollars; while another Printer & another Editor had been fined & Imprisoned; and while a persecuting & intolerant Majority were exulting over the distresses & misfortunes of an almost despairing minority; A Judge eminent for his talents & attatched to the Administration of his Country, by an unexpected order of Providence, is called to Preside at a Circuit Court in this District. A Grand Jury selected from among the most intelligent of our Citizens attatched to the principles which have uniformly guided the administration, but who will inviolably maintain the right of examining its measures, were summoned. Bills were found against a Judge, two political Priests, & three Federal printers, who were corrupting the taste and morals of the people. Public opinion has decided on the correctness of the procedure; moderate Federalists approve it; the violent are silent; and Republicans with a few solitary exceptions, applaud it.
Already Sir, have the public presses become less personal in their abuse, but have not nor will they become less free in their examination of the measures and principles of the Administration. Already has an Intolerant Majority softened its asperity, and a minority, despairing of Justice to itself from the State Courts, been led to anticipate from the Courts of the U States, exact Justice to its enemies.
Feeling ourselves wholly unrepresented at the seat of Government, we offer no apology for the freedom assumed; but tender you our ardent wishes for your happiness, and continued exertions, for the support & extension of Civil & Religious Liberty.
Thomas Jefferson Esq.
President of the U States.
“In October, 1789, while on a tour of two eastern states, Washington spent two days in Hartford. Mayor Thomas Seymour, who probably looked on the town hall as his regular place of business, for he was mayor for twenty-eight years, issued a proclamation welcoming His Excellency to
Hartford and pledging loyalty and support. Washington replied to Mayor Seymour's welcome with a brief expression of thanks and pleasure.”
The will of Thomas Seymour, Esq., follows:
I Thomas Seymour of the City & County of Hartford in the State of Connecticut, Esquire, being at this present time, through the goodness of God, in good health, and of sound disposing mind & memory, yet knowing the uncertainty of this life, and that I cannot tell what a day may bring forth, but that it is surely appointed for all Men once to dye.-therefore now, in the fear of God, & in whose mercy alone, through Jesus Christ, I trust for salvation & happiness after this life, do make & ordain this my last Will & Testament, as follows, to wit.
Imprimis–That all my just Debts & funeral expenses shall be paid by my Executor, hereafter named.–
Item,–I give unto my Dearly beloved Wife Mary, the entire use and improvement of my Homestead, mansion House, & out Houses thereon–also, the use of all my household goods &
furniture–a good Cow & Horse, & pasturing the same–& the sum of two hundred dollars, to be
paid to her annually by my Executor–all, in lieu of Dower, during her natural life–
Item, as I have already given to my eldest Son Thomas Y. Seymour, by deed of gift, & otherwise, his full portion of my Estate, of considerable value, in which he expresed himself contented. so I give him nothing further at present–
Item, whereas I have done much for my son William Seymour, & he has had a full portion of my Estate, in money & payments made for him, therefore, it is my will that, he have nothing more, least it might deprive those of my Children, who have had little, of their just proportion–
Item, and whereas, I have given to my Son Edward Seymour, by deed of Gift, a considerable portion of my Estate, value six thousand dollars, at least, & the use of my Store a number of years, free of Rent; in addition to which, it is my will, & I do now give to him the said Store, & the platt of Ground on which it stands, near the south end of the great Bridge, with the priviledges & appurtenances, and to his heirs forever–
Item, I give to my dear & only Daughter, Mary Juliana Chenevard, all the Household Goods, furniture & plate, remaining in my House, upon the demise of her dear mother, excepting thereout, the Portraits of her Parents, & my Mohogany Desk & Book Case–and I also give to her
one thousand dollars, to be paid to her by my Executor hereafter named, within six months after my decease, which I advise her to put upon Interest, for her own use–
Item–and whereas I have paid & advanced considerable sums of money for my youngest Son Ledyard Seymour, who has been unfortunate in Business therefore it is my will, not to give him any further at present, but to leave it to the discretion and affection of his Brother, my Executor hereafter named, to assist him, as far as he may judge it to be just & proper–
Item–I do give & bequeath unto my Son Henry Seymour, & to his heirs forever after the demise of his dear mother, my House & Homestead, containing about three Acres, together with all the rest, residue and remainder of my Estate, real & personal, not before given & devised; to enable him,
(especially) to render his dear mothers life comfortable, and happy,–to meet & fulfill the other
obligations enjoined upon him in this my will, as also, to make him equal to what has been done for his other Brothers, he, haveing as yet, had very little of my Estate, or other advancements–
and lastly, I do appoint my said Son Henry Seymour to be the sole Executor of this my last 'Viii & Testament, hereby revoking all other, & former Wills & Testaments, by me made–In witness
whereof I have hereunto set my hand & Seal in the City of Hartford, this 20th day of August, in the year of our Lord, 1807–
Signed, sealed, published, & pronounced, in presence off–
Jona Wells Babcock
Tho. Seymour [seal]
Mayor Seymour in executing his will employed the seal charged with the two wings conjoined in lure, to be seen on the original will in the files of the Hartford Probate District. This is the same seal used by his father in executing his will in 1765, as before stated and as illustrated in the back pages of this volume.
I wanted to tell you an incident in the last days of my grandfather, Thomas Seymour King's atty first Mayor of the City of H–. He was ninety-four years of age when he died in 1827. It was his
habit to rise very early and go down the bank of the little river, on which stood his office, and dip his head and neck into the river, then rush back to his room to make his toilette for breakfast. [p.2] When the river was frosen he broke a hole in the ice, performing the same ablutions the year round. I remember a summer day the last time perhaps that he came to see me in Asylum Street, cane in hand, he took the hand of my little daughter and placed in it a pair of sleeve buttons each crystal set in pure old gold, “Saying these are for your name Mary Ledyard–the name of your great
grandmother.” The sweet loving look has always remained in my memory. Mrs Bailey is the owner of the precious buttons-Mary Ledyard Bailey. When he was fast failing and quickly closing away his mortal life, my mother attended him, his only daughter long a widow. He roused all of a sudden, “saying Julia I have lived a long and temperate life and tryed to set you all a good example”-then
seemed nearly gone. She said do you know me father, no reply came, “Father do *you+ know the Lord Jesus Christ? Oh yes I have known him a long time” came with emphasis, from his dying lips.
Dear Mr Spring was my Pastor then, I went to him to attend the funeral. He said he never saw so fair, dignified and beautiful an object as he lay in his coffin. Such reminiscences to me are very sweet. I have to thank you for indulging me, in listening with so much interest to my old time legend-all facts-and not exaggerated. If I find any old papers that I think will interest your son or add anything to his researches, I will send them. There was an obscurity with regard to the grandfather's mother. His father was Thomas J, but G W Seymour tryed to find some notice of her, and asked me if I knew, but nothing more was said at the time, which seems rather singular
My love to Mrs Seymour
Yours truly, M. E. Comstock
Revolutionary War Patriots -
At this site - a book “Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriot”s By Patricia Law Hatcher, are
listed the names of 32 Seymours who were killed in the War including 5 Captains. All of them from either Connecticut or upstate NY, and therefore we can assume descendents of Richard like us. One was a Jonathan Seymour buried at Whitestore which was an old crossroads near Sidney with a great little restaurant that me and Grandma Seymour liked a lot.
Grandma going into
the great little restaurant in the middle of nowhere, White Store, NY on Rt 8 between Sidney and Utica. Better food than I’ve found in many big cities around the world. Like a little French country Inn. I wish me and Grandma could eat there again, just one more time....
Major Moses Seymour http://www.litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org/museum/exhibit6.php Another
descendant of Richard who played an important role in the American Revolution. Here’s a letter written to him by a commanding officer:
“I am told, one landing South of this Place has a considerable Quantity of Wheat, & will not sell it_ use your own wisdom in the matter_ John Smith a little west of the Church_ has 30 Busshells to sell for hard money, but will have no hard damd Congress money_ pray sir impress it as your orders allow it, & justice demands it.” It sounds to me like Moses had to be a hard guy in order to
feed the army. I wonder if he and John Smith were still friends....
Litcfield Historical Society, Miscellaneous Collections, Simon Newell to Moses Seymour, n.d.
March 31. 1779
I have only time to acquaint you that a powerful Enemy is now before N. London, where it is expected they mean to make a decent_ Our Militia are called out to the aid of the Conti- nental Troops there_ a large detachment is marched that way from Reding_ I expect the whole Camp must follow you will in this case see the necessity of sending forward Flour; lose not a moments Time_ pick up every bush [bushel] of public Flour on the Road & send it forward_ and purchase all the Flour, Wheat Rye & Corn in your District everything that will make bread is
wanted_ you will secure all you can, and in a silent Manner other ways people will take the alarms and disappoint you_ If you find any Quantity that is hourded up, Seize it at once_ But at all events send on all the public Flour within your reach or we starve
Capt Moses Seymour
Capt. Moses Seymour’s house
Officials were often given liberal parole to wander freely around the villages which held them. Major Moses Seymour was given the following orders pertaining to David Matthews, Royal Mayor of New York city and conspirator to kidnapp General Washington, “…you are directed and required
to take him under your Care and him safely convey from Hartford in Hartford county to Litchfield ___ aforesaid and him there hold and keep in safe Custody permitting him only to walk abroad for the Benefit of the Air in the Day Time and to attend Divine Service at some place of public worship and that under your law or that of some other trusty keeper on the Sabbath Day, until you secure further Orders from me or from the Provincial Convention of the State of New York.”
Litchfield Historical Society, Woodruff Collection, Governor Jonathan Trumbull to Major Moses Seymour, August 22, 1776
Before further orders could be given, Seymour escaped. Loyalists in Litchfield were not limited to prisoners. Many local Anglicans remained loyal to the King, who was also the head of their church. Matthews later acknowledged the assistance of a local man, Joel Stone, in his escape. “I found...that from the confidence placed in him he would be a proper person to assist me in making my escape to New York which he readily undertook and carried me through the country at a very great risque of his life and property.”
Great Britain, Public Record Office, Treasury, Class I, Volume 634, folio I95.