Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Lady of Yaxley

Yesterday Jaime snared us all in with our obsessions for Downton Abbey. In reading all the comments you left yesterday, I asked myself--who would I have been if I'd have lived then?

Do you know who you would have been?

Some of you know I fell down a rabbit hole recently on I discovered that I married into real Earldom! Yep. My hubby's family descends from the colonial Shermans. The immigrant was the Honorable Philip Sherman who came over in 1633 as an eligible bachelor in his twenties--already sounding like there's a story there!

So, I'm betting I would have been a Lady of Yaxley, which I find humorous since you could say we can be a bit---chatty--yaxley-yackers?

Philip's 4th great grandfather, was Sir Thomas Sherman, Earl of Yaxley, residing Yaxley, Suffolk, England. Yaxley was surveyed in the Doomsday Book dating back as far as the 11th century--some of these documents were found in a chest of the parish church, showing the transfer of lands. Many of these documents are signed by members of the town guild. One document shows a signature of a John Sherman, member of the town "Guildhall" where town meetings would have taken place. It was a town hall until it was returned to a private dwelling and still stands today as the oldest known Sherman residence.

Can you say--ROAD TRIP!! (or hop on a plane!!)

"Guildhall of Yaxley" c: Nicholas Roche

Okay, so it's not exactly Downtown Abbey. I know. But still--the titles sound impressive to me! So, I'm  still wondering what it would have been like to be Lady of Yaxley!

Back to Philip. He was the immigrant and quite the adventurer. After settling in the Massachusetts Bay Colony he became a follower of the dissident ministers, John Wheelwright and Anne Hutchinson. The movement caused him and other followers to become banished. He joined the Quakers and settled on the north east end of Aquidneck Island in what is present day Portsmouth, Rhode Island. 

His original home built in 1670 still stands:

Okay, admittedly not Downton Abbey, but still--I would LOVE to visit! I feel a research trip coming on! (ROAD TRIP!)

These Sherman men were the stuff of heros. Five generations later, Captain Fortunatus Sherman worked in his father's shipwright yard and captained whaling ships. He later helped collect taxes, food and clothing for the Continental Army and imposed fines and jail sentences for those who failed to support the Patriot cause. It was reported that during the Revolutionary War when the British entered Dartmouth, MA, the first home they burned was his. 

It was said he built another mansion after that. I'm dying to know what it looked like!

This Sherman family is FULL of hero ideas. 
I think the reason Downton Abbey is so fun is that it is so intriguing! 

So, if you were in a period film series--WHO WOULD YOU BE??


  1. Umm, ANYONE who knows me,will not even bat an eye at this...I'd be Magua's long suffering second wife.The one they cut from the movie. The one who caught up with the idiots before Magua sliced poor Uncas to pieces and sent Alice free falling over the cliff.
    Imagine the renegade Hurons trotting along the cliff and oops, she she is!
    "Ohh, hey honey, how are you?"
    "Magua, WHAT are you doing? And who's this?"
    "This is..."
    "I don't care who she is, let her go, you're coming home with me and you are soooooo in trouble."
    ANd then my character cuts Alice's rope, sends her home with Uncas , grabs Magua by the earring and drags home home."
    The End

    What? It could happen.

  2. Twist to the end of Last of the Mohicans! I ordered the hard copy book in 2012. I had wanted to try alternating my reading with a classic for every other new release. I've struck out so far, except I did read Long Knife. I think you would like that if you liked LOTM.

    1. OH!!! I was wondering who on EARTH Magua was! LOL

    2. She wants to "save" the villain! :)

  3. Anne and Jaime, go visit my blog, you'll meet him.

  4. Awesome ancestry discovery, Anne! Love the houses - a road trip is would be definitely in order!

    I would be a Union Colonel's fiancee during the Civil War.

  5. Wonderful Loree! Is this by chance the heroine's role in one of your novels?


Hey friend! Please leave a comment, no lurking allowed ;)