The American Lothrop/Lathrop Story Begins with Rev. John1 Lothrop’s Escape from the Clink

The Lathrop sisters’ parents’ heritage begins with Rev. John1 Lothrop who fled from England’s persecutors and from his incarceration for his religion, arriving in Massachusetts in 1634. (In order to promote the accurate biographical data for Rev. John Lothrop and his family, the most common family data errors still being made that pollute biographies of him with serious inaccuracies are briefly addressed in this article’s endnotes.

E. B. Huntington calls Rev. John1 “the pioneer” and traces his activities in England from his baptism at Etton, Yorkshire, 20 December 1584.[1] Rev. John1 was the son of Thomas Lothrop of Cherry Burton and Etton, Yorkshire and his second wife Maud whose maiden name is unknown.[2]

St. Michael and All Angels, Cherry Burton, Yorkshire, England[3]

Huntington states Rev. Lothrop was matriculated at “Queens College, Cambridge in 1601 from which he graduated with a B. A. in 1605, and M. A. in 1609.”[4] It is interesting to note that Lothrop overlapped at Cambridge with Rev. Henry Scudder, uncle of Rev. Lothrop’s future daughter-in-law. By his will we know Rev. Scudder was aware of his niece Elizabeth2’s marriage in New England to Samuel2 Lathrop.[5]

On 10 January 1609, Rev. John took a position as curate at Little Chart, Kent. He married Hannah House or Howse at Eastwell, Kent on 10 October 1610 where her father Rev. John Howse had been serving as the rector from 1603. Howse had previously been a curate at nearby Egerton, Kent where his daughter Hannah had been born and baptized. By 1614 Rev. Lothrop was curate for the Church of England at Egerton where he served to 1623/4.[6] Huntington states:

Here Mr. Lothropp labored faithfully as long as his judgment could approve the ritual and government of the Church. But when he could no longer do this, we find him conscientiously renouncing his orders and asserting the right of still fulfilling a ministry to which his heart and his conscience had called him.

Accordingly, in 1623 his decision is made. He bids adieu to the church of his youth, and with no misgivings, now in the fullness of his early manhood, subscribes with a firm hand to the doctrines, and espouses with a courageous heart the cause of the Independents. Henceforth his lot is with conventicle men in his mother land, and with the exiled founders of a great nation in a new world.[7].

E. B. Huntington continues his account by noting he left Egerton, Kent in 1623 and the year following he succeeded “the Rev. Henry Jacob…who, having been for eight years the pastor of the First Independent Church in London, resigned his place to remove to Virginia.” The church was then located on Union St., Southwark in London but its meetings were illegal according to the unjust laws of state and state church that suppressed rights to freedom of religious conscience. Huntington describes:

Only such as could meet the obloquy and risk the danger of worshiping God in violation of human statute, were likely to be found in that secret gathering. Yet in goodly numbers, in such places in Southwark as they could stealthily occupy, they held together and were comforted and instructed by the minister of their choice. For not less than eight years they so worshiped. No threats of vengeance deterred…More watchful grew the minions of Laud. Keen-scented Church-hounds traversed all the narrow ways of the city whose most secret nooks could by any possibility admit even a small company of the outlaws.[8]

Mr. Tomlinson, a “pursuivant of the bishop,” discovered them as they met to worship their God.

How far they had gone in their service we shall probably never know….Their private sanctuary, a room in the house of Mr. Humphrey Barnet, a brewer’s clerk in Black Friars, is suddenly invaded. Tomlinson and his ruffian band, with a show of power above their resistance, seize forty-two of their number, allowing only eighteen of them to escape, and make that 22d day of April, 1632, forever memorable to those suffering Christians, by handing them over in fetters to the executioners of a law which was made for godly men to break. In the old Clink prison, in Newgate, and in the Gatehouse, all made for felons, these men, ‘of whom the world was not worthy,’ lingered for months. In the spring of 1634, all but Mr. Lothropp were released on bail. He, their leader, the chief offender, was deemed too dangerous to be set at liberty….‘His genius will still haunte all the pulpits in ye country, when any of his scolers [sic] may be admitted to preach.’ And so his prison doors swung to again and seemed to leave him no hope of release or escape.[9]

The Clink Prison Museum[10]

Huntington recounts the travails occurring in his absence to his wife, Hannah (House) Lathrop, who died probably in 1633, and his seven children who were then living: Thomas, b. 1612, Jane, b. 1614, John, b. 1617, Barbara, b. 1619, Samuel, b. say 1621, Joseph, b. 1624, Benjamin, b. 1626, daughter Anne, b. 1616 having died when less than a year old.[11] In 1634, as the prison doors again shuttered in their father, the burden of supporting themselves fell on his sons, Thomas, age 22, John, age 17 and Samuel, age about 13, with Joseph, age 10 and Benjamin, age 8, who by some accounts, found it necessary to beg for bread on the streets of London. Nathaniel Morton’s, The New England’s Memorial, published in 1669 so within 3 decades from the events, states:

His wife fell sick, of which sickness she died. He procured liberty of the bishop to visit his wife before her death, and commended her to God by prayer, who soon gave up the ghost. At his return to prison, his poor children, being many, repaired to the bishop at Lambeth, and made known unto him their miserable condition, by reason of their good father’s being continued in close durance, who commiserated their condition so far as to grant him liberty, who soon after came over into New England.[12]

Huntington provides the dates of Star Chamber records pertaining to Rev. Lothrop’s case that are held in the State Papers in the New Record Office, Fetter Lane, London. On April 14, 1634, “John Lathrop enlarged on bond to appear in Trinity term, and not to be present at any private conventicles.”


A record dated June 12, 1634 states, “John Lathrop of Lambeth Marsh. Bond to be certified, and he attached if he appear not on next court day.” June 19th records he did not appear and October 9th he and Samuel Eaton were to be attached for non-appearance. On February 19, 1634/1635, John Lathrop and Samuel Eaton were charged for contempt “in not appearing to answer touching their keeping conventicles…” Gov. John1 Winthrop’s Journal supplies the reason why they were not appearing at the Court of the Star Chamber for Rev. Lothrop arrived on the Griffin at Boston with 200 passengers, including two godly ministers, Mr. Lathrop and Mr. Sims. Apparently the bishop of Lambeth may have made a way for Lothrop’s escape.[14] Onboard the Griffin with him were some of his congregation in England and at least six of his children, probably with the exception of John, b. 1617, who has no record in America.[15] Thus Samuel2 Lathrop (Rev. John1) was a youth of about 13 or 14 years of age when he immigrated to America with his father who had been forced to flee his native land for conscience sake. Samuel2’s history was integral with his father’s history until he moved to New London, Connecticut shortly after his marriage and then a couple of decades later to Norwich.

Rev. John1 Lothrop went first to Scituate by 20 February 1634/5 when he was granted land adjacent to his brother-in-law Samuel Howse/House and where he led a small congregation until he removed himself and his following to Barnstable, then in Plymouth Colony. Rev. John1 must have married soon after arrival Ann ___? because his son Barnabas was born 6 June 1636 at Scituate. Lothrop wrote two letters in 1639 to document “the removal of his congregation from Scituate to Barnstable,”[16] they arriving at Barnstable, 11 October 1639.

Rev. John Lothrop Home, Barnstable, Massachusetts (now the Sturgis Library)

Rev. John Lothrop Home, Barnstable, Massachusetts (now the Sturgis Library)

Rev. Lothrop kept an invaluable record of his congregation’s baptisms, marriages, deaths, memberships, etc. at Scituate and Barnstable[17] that preserves the vital data for many early founding families in Scituate and Barnstable. Notably his manuscript record includes the marriage of his son Samuel2 Lathrop to Elizabeth2 Scudder (John1) in 1644.

The last entry in his own handwriting was made 15 June 1653.[18]

After Rev. John1 Lothrop’s death in 1653, a split in his congregation occurred and church records for Barnstable are severely lacking thereafter for several decades. Barnstable town records preserve the knowledge of many of its early citizens but the lack of vital statistics is a great loss.

E. B. Huntington describes his ancestor Rev. Lothrop’s contributions to Barnstable as their pastor and to America as an advocate for religious tolerance and religious liberty:

Whatever exceptions we may take to Mr. Lothrop’s theological opinions, all must admit that he was a good and true man, an independent thinker, and a man who held opinions in advance of his times. Even in Massachusetts, a half century has not elapsed since his opinions on religious toleration have been adopted by the legislature.

Mr. Lothrop fearlessly proclaimed in Old and in New England the great truth that man is not responsible to his fellow man in matters of faith and conscience. Differences of opinion he tolerated. During the fourteen years that he was pastor of the Barnstable church, such was his influence over the people that the power of the civil magistrate was not needed to restrain crime. No pastor was every more beloved by his people, none ever had a greater influence for good….[19]

Nathaniel Morton in New England’s Memorial wrote of Rev. Lothrop:

He was a man of humble and broken heart spirit, lively in dispensation of the Word of God, studious of peace, furnished with godly contentment, willing to spend and be spent for the cause of the church of Christ. He fell asleep in the Lord, November 8, 1653.[20]


Lothrop Hill Cemetery

Lothrop Hill Cemetery[21]

Perhaps no other minister who immigrated to New England with the Puritan migration suffered more severe persecution in England than did he. Perhaps no other minister who came to America with the Puritan migration has left such a large posterity or one so dedicated to carrying on his legacy of service to their fellowmen and devoted service to their God and to country.

[1] E. B. Huntington, A Genealogical Memoir of the Lo-Lathrop Family in this Country, embracing the descendants as far as known of The Rev. John Lothropp, of Scituate and Barnstable, Mass., and Mark Lothop, of Salem and Bridgewater, Mass., (Ridgefield, CT., Mrs. Julia M. Huntington, 1884), 23–34. Huntington shows Rev. John1 Lathrop’s father’s well-documented large family on pages 17–19, with his 3 wives and 22 children. Huntington does make the error of calling Rev. Lathrop’s mother Mary (unknown) but her name has been corrected to Maud (unknown) by Stott’s article sourced in endnote 2. 

E. B. Huntington is not the source of the error that gives Rev. John’s mother’s name as Mary Salte, which is inaccurately cited in some histories, but E. B. Huntington clearly shows Mary Salte as the wife of a different and younger Thomas Lathrop of Bramshall and Leigh, Staffordshire, with different children and clearly distinguished as different on pages 9–11, complete with a family pedigree from Visitations of Staffordshire. Hereafter referred to as Lo-Lathrop Memoir.

[2] Clifford L. Stott, “Lothrop and House Entries in the Parish Registers of Eastwell, Kent: The Rev. John Lothrop of Scituate and Barnstable, Massachusetts,” The American Genealogist, volume 70, no. 4, (October 1995): 250–253. This includes Stott’s discrediting of Gustave Anjou’s “Lothrop Family Records in England” one of hundreds of fraudulent pedigrees also exposed by professionals Robert Charles Anderson and Gordon L. Remington.

[3] “Nigel Coates, St.Michael and All Angels Cherry Burton 1 (Nigel Coates).jpg,” St. Michael and All Angels, Cherry Burton, East Riding of Yorkshire, England, [Accessed 12/21/2019.]

[4] Huntington, Lo-Lathrop Memoir, 23.

[5] “Will of Rev. Henry Scudder of Collingbourne Ducis 1651,” Reprinted from Scudder Searches, v. V, no. 1, (Winter 1993): 7–9 in Scudder Family Historical and Biographical Journal, Scudder Association Foundation, volume 1, no. 2, (June 2019),

[6] Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration, v. 4, I–L, 349. This is an accurate portrayal of Rev. Lothrop’s wife and children and corrects common error made elsewhere such as giving his 2nd wife Ann a surname which in fact is not known by any primary source record.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Huntington, Lo-Lathrop Memoir, 24.

[9] Ibid.

[10] The Clink Prison Museum,, 1 Clink Street, London, SE1 9DG. [Accessed 12/21/2019.]

[11] Anderson, v. 4, I–L, 347–348,

[12] Huntington, Lo-Lathrop Memoir, 25.

[13] Logo for the Clink Prison Museum cited above.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Anderson, 348.

[16] Anderson , 350; Huntington, 28–31.

[17] Amos Otis, “Scituate and Barnstable Church Records,” The New England Historical & Genealogical Register, volume 9, no. 3, (July 1855), 279–287. Marriages of Rev. Lothrop’s son Thomas to “Brother Larnetts daughter, widow [Sarah] Ewer,” 11 December 1639 and “My sonn Samuell, and Elizabeth Scudder marryed att my house by Mr. Freeman, Novemb. 28, 1644” are found on page 286. This source mentions Rev. John Lothrop’s mention of “his sister” Elizabeth Hammond which has been misconstrued to make Elizabeth’s sister Ann, the 2nd wife of Rev. Lothrop. The sketch for the family of William Hammond in The Great Migration Begins, v. 2, G–O, pages 852–854, corrects this grievous error, noting that Rev. Lothrop’s brother-in-law, Samuel House, by Lothrop’s first wife, married Elizabeth2 Hammond (William1), and that Lothrop’s recording of her membership “may have taken place after the contract of marriage, but before the marriage itself…” to Samuel House. Rather, Anne2 Hammond (William1) md. 1) Timothy Hawkins and 2) Ellis Barron [p. 852]. Rev. John Lothrop’s wife Ann’s maiden name is not known by any primary source record so speculative guesses and misinterpretations of record are unhelpful.

[18] Huntington, Lo-Lathrop Memoir, 33; Otis, “Scituate and Barnstable Church Records,” 287.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Nathaniel Morton, New England’s Memorial, 6th ed., (Boston, Ma.: Congregational Board of Publications, 1855), 168,

[21] Lothrop Hill Cemetery, 2801 Main Street, Barnstable, Barnstable County, Massachusetts. Photo taken from Find A Grave, added by Caryn,

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