A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname

Notes for Dorothea SMITH

From Personal History of Lord Bacon from Unpublished Papers by William Hepworth Dixon, 1861. p. 161: [Dorothy Smith] was a daughter of Humphrey [sic] Smith, of Cheapside, silkman to the Queen. Eager, lovely, and aspiring, she won the alderman of her ward—an admirable city match; but she meant and means to rise yet higher in the world, and heaven has given her the strength to fight her way. Of the four husbands whom she has made, or has still to make, the happiest of their sex, each is to be in his turn a loftier one than the last. She has buried a citizen. She will, in turn, bury her knight. She will then marry a baron, and, on his death, an earl. Barnham was her early choice. When he left her with the four girls and a great estate, Sir John Pakington, of Hampton Lovet, ancestor of that Worcestershire baronet who is said to have sat to Addison for the portrait of Sir Roger de Coverley, proffered to console her with his hearty affection and his good old name. The widow was not perverse. if she wept for the dear alderman of Cheapside, it was in a coach emblazoned with the mullets and wheat-sheafs, and with a handsome and jovial knight at her side.

It would seem that Dorothy may not have been the best mother-in-law. For example, in 1608 [exact date unknown], Francis Bacon wrote this response to a message sent by his mother-in-law:
You shall with right good will be made acquainted with anything which concerneth your daughters, if you bear a mind of love and concord: otherwise you must be content to be a stranger unto us. For I may not be so unwise as to suffer you to be an author or occasion of dissension between your daughters and their husbands, having seen so much misery of that kind in yourself.
And above all things I will turn back your kindness, in which you say you will receive my wife if she be cast off. For it is much more likely we have occasion to receive you being cast off, if you remember what is passed. But it is time to make an end of those follies. And you shall at this time pardon me this one fault of writing to you. For I mean to do it no more till you use me and respect me as you ought. So wishing you better than it seemeth you will draw upon yourself, I rest,
Yours, etc.


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