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with his young wife for New England. In 1638 the young minister at Charlestown, dying at thirty years of age, became the first private benefactor of this college, started in the New World a stream of beneficence which has never ceased to flow in ever widening channels, and won for himself, and now at last for his family, an enduring remembrance.
In the twelve years from 1625 to 1637 John Harvard had lost his father, two step-fathers, his mother, and his two brothers, and almost the whole family property had fallen to him. He appears to have been the only scholar in the family, although his brother Thomas seems to have signed his name to his will. His father and mother both made their marks. The whole family connection were trades-people; but his mother, by her marriages, came into possession of property enough to give a college education to her oldest son. The education of that one delicate youth has had far-reaching consequences indeed. No prince or potentate, civil or ecclesiastical, founded this college; it sprang from the loins of the common people. It was founded by the General Court of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, and first endowed by an educated son of pious London trades-people. When I had read these Harvard wills, I asked myself how closely the college is bound-after two hundred and fifty yearsto the sort of people who established it. I went to the admission books in which the occupations of parents of the students are recorded, and found to my great satisfaction that more than a quarter part of its students are to-day sons of tradesmen, shopkeepers, mechanics, salesmen, foremen, laborers, and farmers. I found sons of butchers, coopers, grocers, and cloth-workers - the Harvard trades-on the roll of its students to-day. May no exclusive policy or spirit ever separate the university which bears John Harvard's name from that laborious, frugal, self-respecting part of the community to which he and his belonged.
Since the article on John Harvard in the REGISTER for July was printed, Mr. Dean, the editor, has received from Mr. E. S. Shuckburgh, the librarian of Emmanuel College, a facsimile, which is reproduced here, of Harvard's signature in 1635, when he took the degree of A.M. It is from the original University register in the custody of the Rev. H. Luard, D. D., registrar of the University. "There is," Mr. Shuck
burgh writes, "no doubt whatever about its genuineness. All persons admitted to a degree had to sign these books, which have been preserved. since 1544- unhappily not earlier." It is to be hoped that funds sufficient to prosecute still further these interesting investigations may be speedily obtained.
To the article in the REGISTER for January, 1886 (xl., 34) (pp. 145-158 this book), was prefixed the following note, which was also printed in part in the London "Athenæum" for Jan. 2, 1886:
MR. WILLIAM RENDLE has published in the "Athenæum" of April 18, July 11, and Oct. 24, 1885, some communications as to the genealogy of John Harvard, and in certain quarters allusions have been made to a "controversy" on the subject. There is, properly speaking, no controversy at all. There is and can be no question whatever in the minds of those conversant with the facts in the case as to who discovered the parentage and ancestry of John Harvard. The credit of this remarkable discovery belongs undeniably to Mr. Henry F. Waters, and to him alone.
The facts in the case are briefly these: Mr. Rendle seems to be a local antiquary who has, I believe, lived many years in Southwark, and who has spent much time among the records there, and has undoubtedly there done good work. But unfortunately for Mr. Rendle, there is not in this case so far a single scrap of evidence to show that there is anything whatever in the Southwark records to establish the slightest possible connection between the Harvards of that Borough and John Harvard of Emmanuel College and of New England. There were Harvards in Southwark, it is true, and perhaps in other parts of Surrey, just as there were Harvards in Devonshire, Somerset, Dorset, Wilts, Middlesex, Warwickshire, and doubtless in other parts of England. The problem was to identify, among them all, the father of John Harvard. So far as Mr. Rendle was concerned, this problem might have remained unsolved to the end of time, for there was nothing in the Southwark records which would have enabled him to solve it.
The proof of this relationship Mr. Waters discovered after much research in the records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. There he found, among others, the wills of John Harvard's father, mother, brother, uncle, aunt, two step-fathers, and father-in-law. This proved the whole family connection. If Mr. Waters had stopped there and gone not a step farther, it would have been enough to completely dispel the mystery which had so long enveloped the birth and early life of the benefactor of the noble University. After thus finally solving the problem, he went to Southwark merely for supplemental evidence, not at all necessary, however, to substantiate his case, and there in the parish registers he found the record of the baptism of John Harvard and other collateral matter.
Information of this visit of Mr. Waters to Southwark and its successful result was communicated to several persons. That Mr. Rendle was apprised of it by one of them can be shown by evidence both direct and circumstantial.
In articles published by Mr. Rendle in the "Genealogist" for April and July, 1884 (N. S., i., 107 and 182), he gives the names of the Harvards found by him in the records of St. Saviour's, Southwark. But there nowhere appears in his list the name of our John Harvard. He even quotes the late Chaplain Samuel Benson as saying that "he cannot find the name of John Harvard, the founder, but that he had no doubt he was born of this family of Harvard of St. Saviour's." Mr. Rendle then adds: "After careful, I will not say exhaustive, examination of the original books and papers, I am quite of the same opinion." On page 182 he quotes the entry in the books of Emmanuel College, where Harvard is said to be of Middlesex, and in a foot-note talks of drawing the "attention of officials of Middlesex churches to the name of John Harvard, and the dates circa 1605 and after." Mr. Rendle, although fully apprised of the fact that Harvard, Harverde, and Harvye were merely different forms of the same family name, had evidently overlooked the entry of Harvard's baptism, or had failed to recognize it, or to appreciate the importance of the entry, even if his eye had ever rested upon it, and was as late as July, 1884, turning to Middlesex for the record of it, having apparently given up all hope of finding it in Southwark. The "extremely diverse spelling" of the name, being already well known to him, will by no means account for this failure.
On the 11th of April, 1885, a date, be it remembered, subsequent to
Mr. Waters's visit to Southwark and his discovery of the record of this baptism, Mr. Rendle published in the South London "Press" a letter, which, with some additions, he again published in the "Athenæum” of April 18th.
In this letter he printed conspicuously in italics the record of this baptism, and added, "I believe" him "to be the founder" of Harvard College, but he neither then nor has he since offered any proof of his own to substantiate his belief or to show any reasonable grounds for it. Sometime, therefore, between July, 1884, and April, 1885, Mr. Rendle saw a great light. He evidently does not mean to tell us how or when this flashed upon him. But he unwittingly, in the very letter above referred to, shows us the source of his information in these significant words: "The clue, or rather the result of the clue, is before me. I believe that some American friends, anxious to do honor to their benefactor and his birth-place, are now among us. It would have been pleasant to me to have known them; probably now I may." Of course he did not know "them." But when we consider that at the very time he penned these lines Mr. Rendle knew that the long search for John Harvard was over, that even the record of his baptism had been found and that Mr. Waters was the successful discoverer, the extremely disingenuous and misleading nature of this allusion to American friends can be readily seen. What is the "clue" the result of which Mr. Rendle had before him? Does he mean to say that somebody else had the clue and that he had only the result? The general denial made by W. D. in the " Athenæum" of July 11, 1885, is altogether too vague. It should be more specific if it is expected that much weight should be attached to it.
There seems indeed to be a confusion or haziness in Mr. Rendle's mind as to what constitutes not merely legal but even genealogical proof. Mr. Waters, on the other hand, like a true genealogist, has made a scientific treatment of the subject, and shows us step by step how he reached the successful result of his search, and on what his conclusions are based. He gives us the pedigree of Harvard and the proof by which it can be substantiated. That the search was an independent one is shown by Mr. Rendle's chief and only witness W. D., who, in the letter above referred to, kindly proves Mr. Waters's case for him by admitting that Mr. Rendle's offer of assistance was "neither acted on nor acknowledged" by Mr. Waters.
In an article in the NEW ENGLAND HISTORICAL AND GENEALOGICAL REGISTER for July, 1885, I expressed my astonishment at what I called this "extraordinary proceeding" on the part of Mr. Rendle. That such a proceeding is happily considered as extraordinary in England as it is. here, and that the standard of literary morality is at least as high there as here, is shown by the fact that I have before me, as I write, letters from several English antiquaries whose names are known on both sides of the Atlantic, and who are fully cognizant of the facts in the case, who express surprise at what they call the "strange conduct" of Mr. Rendle. As these are private letters, not intended for publication, I have no right to quote them in this matter, but the evidence thus afforded is overwhelming.
Mr. Rendle's pamphlet, a copy of which I have only lately seen, will, I understand, be reviewed elsewhere and by abler hands than mine. Í will therefore not take up space to point out certain inaccuracies in it,
which are patent to every one who has given much thought to the subject. I will content myself with calling attention to the fact that it furnishes not an iota of proof of the connection of John Harvard of Southwark with John Harvard of New England, except what is taken from Mr. Waters's pamphlet on the subject. This indebtedness Mr. Rendle is, however, careful to acknowledge, and he has conspicuously marked with a W. the source of information thus obtained. It is instructive to notice how plentifully sprinkled Mr. Rendle's pages are with this initial letter.
I freely admit-now that Mr. Waters has conclusively shown that John Harvard was a Southwark man, and has put this statement in print so that all may read that Mr. Rendle's local knowledge as a Southwark antiquary may enable him to carry on still further the investigations in that Borough, and I certainly trust that he may supplement and add to the already accumulating data concerning the early life of the benefactor of America's oldest and most famous University. Any such supplemental and corroborative material will command the attention of antiquaries on both sides of the ocean, and will deserve and receive due recognition on their part.
The article on "John Harvard and his Ancestry," Part II., in the REGISTER for October, 1886 (xl., 362) (pp. 180-197 this book), was preceded by the following introduction:
In the article in the REGISTER for July, 1885 (xxxix., 265), entitled "John Harvard and his Ancestry," which formed the ninth instalment of his "Genealogical Gleanings in England," Mr. Waters conclusively established the fact that John Harvard was one of the sons of Robert Harvard of the parish of St. Saviour's, Southwark, London, and Katherine (Rogers) Harvard, his wife, and that he was baptized in that parish Nov. 29, 1607. In support of this statement he published, among others, the wills of Harvard's father, mother, brother, uncle, aunt, two step-fathers, and father-in-law.
In the present paper he continues still further the investigations so successfully begun. He here gives us, with other new and important matter now for the first time published, the probate of the will of Thomas Rogers of Stratford-on-Avon, Harvard's maternal grandfather, the wills of Rose Reason, his aunt, and Thomas Rogers, Jr., his uncle, both on his mother's side, with extracts from the Parish Registers of Stratford, setting forth the baptisms, marriages, and burials of the Rogers family. Harvard's grandfather, Thomas Rogers, was, at the time of his death, an alderman of Stratford, and the house which he built there in 1596 is still standing. From it John Harvard's father and mother were married in 1605. It is one of the oldest and certainly the best remaining example of ancient domestic architecture in Stratford. The illustration in this number is a heliotype copy, slightly reduced, of an excellent photograph just taken.
When it is remembered that the late Hon. James Savage, LL.D., the author of the "Genealogical Dictionary of New England," made a voyage to England for the express purpose of ascertaining what could be learned of the early history of John Harvard, and that he would gladly have given, as he himself tells us, five hundred dollars to get five lines
about him in any capacity, public or private, but that all his efforts were without avail, the accumulation of material now brought to light by the perseverance of Mr. Waters is certainly most surprising. From being almost a semi-mythical figure in our early colonial history, John Harvard bids fair to become one of the best known of the first generation of settlers on these shores. The mystery which surrounded him is now dispelled. No better illustration could be given of the importance of the work Mr. Waters is doing in England, no more striking instance could be found of the extraordinary success which is attending his labors there.
The Committee earnestly hope that funds sufficient to carry on still further these valuable investigations may be speedily raised.
That the interest excited by Mr. Waters's discovery of the parentage and ancestry of John Harvard is not confined to those who speak the English language, is shown by an editorial article in the Paris journal, "La Renaissance," which was reprinted in the RegISTER for April, 1886 (xl., 180).
The article on the "Family of John Rogers of Dedham," in the REGISTER for April, 1887 (xli., 160) (pp. 209–236 this book), was introduced as follows:
The article in the REGISTER for October, 1886 (xl., 362), on “John Harvard and his Ancestry, Part Second," which, although published under a separate title, formed the fourteenth instalment of Mr. Waters's "Genealogical Gleanings in England," related especially to the family of John Harvard's maternal grandfather, Thomas Rogers of Stratford on Avon, co. Warwick. Mr. Waters's investigations in this direction resulted in the accumulation of a mass of material in regard not only to this but to other families of the name of Rogers, but a part of which is as yet ready for publication.
The article in the present number of the REGISTER, the sixteenth in the series of "Genealogical Gleanings," concerns more particularly the Rogers family of Essex Co., England, and of Essex Co., Massachusetts. It is by no means complete, nor is it intended to be a final report of the results of Mr. Waters's signally successful researches. Mr. Waters has evidently thought it advisable simply to "report progress" in this line of search rather than to wait until he could perfect his work so as to present a finished pedigree of this family. The latter course would necessitate a long delay, while the course he has adopted, although open to the objection of being perhaps a fragmentary and unsatisfactory mode of dealing with the subject, has the positive merit of enabling him to make at once available for the use of antiquaries some of the new and important discoveries he has made in relation to this family. As is well known to the readers of the REGISTER, the Committee on English Research have repeatedly asserted that the method of search. adopted by Mr. Waters would without fail enable him to bring to light what had escaped the notice of all previous investigators, and they have from time to time called attention to the most striking points in the evidence relied upon to support this assertion. The Harvard discoveries undoubtedly made the most impression on the minds of the general public, but Mr. Waters's whole work, in every part, is proof