Lawrence Washington (1602–1652)

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Lawrence Washington
Died21 January 1652 (aged 50)
Resting placeAll Saints' Church, Maldon, Essex
Spouse(s)Amphillis Twigden
ChildrenJohn Washington
Lawrence Washington
William Washington
Elizabeth Washington
Margaret Washington
Martha Washington
Parent(s)Lawrence Washington
Margaret Butler

Rev. Lawrence Washington (1602 – 21 January 1652) was an English rector. He was the great-great-grandfather of George Washington.[1]


Washington was born in 1602, he was the fifth son of Lawrence Washington (1565–1616) of Sulgrave Manor, Northamptonshire, son and heir of Robert Washington (1544–1619) esquire, of Sulgrave by his first wife Elizabeth Lyte, daughter and heiress of Walter Lyte of Radway, Warwickshire. His mother was Margaret Butler (d. 16 March 1651), the eldest daughter and co-heiress of William Butler, esquire, of Tyes Hall in Cuckfield, Sussex, and Margaret Greeke, the daughter of Thomas Greeke, gentleman, of Palsters, Lancashire.

Lawrence Washington had seven brothers, Robert, Sir John, Sir William, Richard, Thomas, Gregory and George, and nine sisters, Elizabeth, Joan, Margaret, Alice, Frances, Amy, Lucy, Barbara and Jane,[2] his elder brother, Sir William Washington, married Anne Villiers, half sister of James I's favourite, George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham.[3][1][4][5]

Washington was the great-great grandson of John Washington (1478–1528) and Margaret Kitson, the sister of Sir Thomas Kitson of Hengrave.[1]


Washington was admitted to Brasenose College, Oxford in 1619, he graduated in 1623 with a Bachelor of Arts,[6] and within a few days was elected a Fellow of the College. In 1626 he was awarded a Master of Arts, and in 1627 appointed university lector.

On 26 August 1632 the Archbishop of Canterbury William Laud made Washington proctor at Oxford. In alliance with King Charles I, the Supreme Head of the Church of England, Laud sought to rid the university of its Puritan clergy, and Washington was instrumental in carrying out the archbishop's purges.[7] Washington's services to Laud earned him an appointment to the well-compensated rectory of Purleigh in Essex, a position he assumed in 1632; the appointment enabled Washington to marry Amphilis Twigden, a literate, wealthy young widow. Oxford dons were forbidden from marrying, and Washington had risked his post at the university by courting her.[7]

During the Civil War more than one hundred priests of the Church of England referred to "as scandalous, malignant priests" were deprived of their livings for alleged treason or immorality by order of the Puritan Parliament.[8] In 1643 Washington was censored on trumped-up charges of being "a common frequenter of ale-houses" who "[encouraged] others in that beastly vice" and lost his benefice.[9]

Following his ejection from Purleigh, Washington became rector of the impoverished parish of Little Braxted in Essex. Neither Amphilis nor their children accompanied him there, as they were given shelter by the family of Sir Edwin Sandys, sympathetic relations whose patriarch had served as treasurer in the Virginia Company. Through the Sandys, Lawrence's son John secured an apprenticeship with a London merchant where he learned the tobacco trade.[10]

The Von Washington Coat of Arms

Washington died in poverty, leaving an estate of insufficient value to require the issuance of letters of administration and was buried in the churchyard of All Saints' Church in Maldon, Essex.[6]

Memorial to Lawrence Washington in the churchyard of All Saints, Maldon, Essex

Three of Washington's children emigrated to Virginia, as did another family member, Sir Samuel Argall, whose widowed mother, Mary (d. 1598), had married Washington's uncle, Lawrence Washington (d. 1619) of Maidstone, Registrar of the Court of Chancery.[1][11][12]

In 1928 the Washington window, commemorating the Washington family, was given to All Saints' Church, Maldon, by the citizens of Malden, Massachusetts.[6][13]

Marriage and issue[edit]

In 1630 Washington met Amphilis Twigden on a visit to Pendley Manor in Tring, Hertfordshire.[14] Amphilis, baptized 2 February 1602, was the daughter and co-heiress of John Twigden of Little Creaton, Northamptonshire, and Anne Dicken, daughter of William Dicken. Lawrence and Amphilis married in Tring in December 1633, and had three sons and three daughters:[6][2]

  • Lt. Col. John Washington was born in 1633/4, shortly after his parents' marriage. He emigrated to Virginia in 1656, he married firstly, on 1 December 1656, Anne Pope (d.1668), the daughter of Nathaniel Pope, gentleman, of Virginia, by whom he had two sons, Lawrence (grandfather of George Washington) and John, and a daughter, Anne. He married secondly Anne Gerard, widow successively of Walter Broadhurst (d.1658), and Henry Brett. He married thirdly Frances Gerard, widow successively of Thomas Speak, Valentine Peyton and John Appleton, he left a will dated 21 September 1675, which was proved 11 January 1677. After his death, his widow, Frances, married William Hardwick.[15]
  • Lawrence Washington, who was baptized at Tring on 18 June 1635. He emigrated to Virginia before May 1659, but returned to England, becoming a merchant in Luton, Bedfordshire, he married firstly Mary Jones, daughter of Edmund Jones, gentleman, of Luton, by whom he had a son, Charles, and a daughter, Mary. He emigrated to Virginia a second time shortly before 27 September 1667, he married secondly, about 1669, Joyce Jones, widow successively of Anthony Hoskins and Alexander Fleming, and daughter of William Jones of Virginia, by whom he had a son, John, and a daughter, Anne. He left a will dated 27 September 1675, which was proved 6 June 1677. After his death his widow, Joyce, married James Yates.[15]
  • William Washington (baptised 14 October 1641).[2]
  • Elizabeth Washington (baptised 17 August 1636), who married a husband surnamed Rumbold.[2]
  • Margaret Washington, who married George Talbot.[2]
  • Martha Washington, who emigrated to Virginia in 1678. She married Samuel Hayward of Virginia, son of the London merchant Nicholas Hayward. There were no issue of the marriage, she left a will dated 6 May 1697, which was proved 8 December 1697.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d "Washington Family Tree". Sulgrave Manor, Northamptonshire. Archived from the original on 17 July 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e Richardson IV 2011, p. 294.
  3. ^ Anne Villiers was the daughter of Sir George Villiers by his first wife, Audrey Saunders (d.1587); she was buried at Chelsea 25 May 1643.
  4. ^ Metcalfe 1887, p. 45.
  5. ^ Firth 1892, p. 416.
  6. ^ a b c d "Reverend Lawrence Washington, 1602-1652/3". Sulgrave Manor, Northamptonshire. Archived from the original on 27 August 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  7. ^ a b Randall 1997, p. 10.
  8. ^ White, John (1575–1648) "The First Century of Scandalous, Malignant Priests" (London:1643), listed as number 9 on p.4 Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  9. ^ Chernow 2010, p. 5.
  10. ^ Randall 1997, pp. 10–11.
  11. ^ Baldwin 2004.
  12. ^ Memorial to Lawrence Washington in All Saints Church, Maidstone Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  13. ^ All Saints Maldon - History of Our Parish and Church Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  14. ^ "George Washington & the Tring Connection". Tring Local History Museum. Archived from the original on 27 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  15. ^ a b c Richardson IV 2011, p. 295.

See also[edit]


common frequenter of ale-houses, not only himself sitting daily tippling there, but also encouraging others in that beastly vice in op. cit. p. 5, s.v. Ancestry.
  • C. V. Wedgwood, The King's Peace 1637–1641 London and Glasgow, Collins Fontana, 1973
  • C. V. Wedgwood, The King's War 1641–1647 London and Glasgow, Collins Fontana, 1973
  • Christopher Hill, The Century of Revolution 1603–1714 London and New York, Routledge Classics, 2006
  • A. L. Rowse, The Elizabethan Renaissance: The Life of the Society London, Penguin Classic History, 2000
  • A. L. Rowse, Ralegh and the Throckmortons (1962) The Reprint Society, London, 1964 (index s.v. Sulgrave, Washington)
  • Wallace Notestein, The English People on the Eve of Colonization 1603–1630 New York, Harper&Brothers, 1954 in: The New American Nation Series (Steele Commager and Morris ed.)
  • Blair Worden ed., Stuart England Oxford, Phaedon 1986
  • Helen Gardner, (introduction, edition) The Metaphysical Poets Penguin Books, 1972 (biographical notes pp. 306–323)
  • Henry Morley, Character Writings of the Seventeenth Century London, George Routledge and Sons, 1891 in: The Carisbrooke Library. XIV
  • Hugh Ross Williamson, George Villiers, First Duke of Buckingham: Study for a Biography London, Duckworth 1940
  • Glyn Redworth, The Prince and the Infanta: The Cultural Politics of the Spanish Match New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 2003 (index s.v. Washington)
  • The Brazen Nose [the college's magazine], volume 41 (2006–7), page 110, for the story of the unpaid debt left by Lawrence.
  • The Washingtons of Tring by Murray Neil (Tring, 2013, ISBN 978-0954986025) includes information on the time Ahphyllis and her children lived in this small Hertfordshire Town.

External links[edit]