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For her wedding, young Mary Golding journeyed with her parents, Robert and Martha Golding, from their home in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, fifty-four miles toward London, to the home of her grandmother, Dame Mary Judde, widow of many years, who lived luxuriously at Latton, near Epping, Essex. The bridegroom, duly named in the Latton Parish Register for 1595, was Bartholomew Gosnold. Mary Gosnold's briday chamber may well have been that designated in the old lady's will a few years later as "the Queen's Chamber."

Mary Judde, in marital adventures extending over half a century, had been united in holy wedlock successively to three wealthy London merchants, two of them widowers with children of their own by a previous mariage. Wen she died in 1601 she was possessed therefore of a numerous family and of considerable fortune, invested largely in household furnishings, although there was something over £2,000 to be distributed in cash bequests (undoubtedly equivealent to at least $150,000 today). From the persons mentioned in her will, with their known relatives, it is evident that great-grandson Bartholomew had joined a bewildering array of personages, some well remembered, others still living.

This matriarch, Dame Mary Judde, with an allure for wealthy widowere, began life as Mary Mathew, of Colchester, Essex. she was entitled, she thought, to the arms of her forebears, which were in fact confirmed unto her shortly after she inherited her share of the Judde fortune. Her first husband was Thomas Langton of London, who left her with several marriageable daughters. One of these, Mary, married Sir William Winter, Surveyor of the Navy, and brought into the world a large family, including several sons who became well-known mariners -- Nicholas Winter, Edward Winter (later knighted), and Captain William Winter. Lady Mary Winter died in 1575 and the children, at any rate the younger ones, presumably passed into the custody of their grandmother, as Mary Judde in her will claims all of the surviving ones as her own "sons" and "daughters". Since Mary Winter was a half-sister of another daughter of Mary Judde's who in turn became the mother of Mary Golding, Bartholomew Gosnold acquired all these Winter grandchildren of Dame Mary's as "cousins", by marriage.

Jane, another of Dame Mary's daughters by her first marriage, married John Barne, who thus became an uncle of Bartholomew's wife. He had interesting family connections of his own. His brother, Sir George Barne, a London merchant, served a term as Lord Mayor. A sister married first Alexander Carleill, giving John Barne as nephew the famous naval commander, Christopher Carleill. Secondly she married Francis Walsingham, at the time a leading Member of Parliment, who was to become Queen Elizabeth's Secretary of State. Another of John Barne's sisters married Sir John Rivers, who also had served a term as Lord Mayor of London, and who was the father of Captain John Rivers, a well-known mariner.

In a list of those who sailed with Drake on his expedition of 1585-1586, in the course of which he rescued the discouraged colonists of the first group sent to "southern Virginia" (today's Commonwealth of Virginia and adjacent North Carolina), appear the names of these connections of the Judde family into which Bartholomew married about ten years later: Christopher Carleill and an Alexander Carleill, probably a nephew; Edward and Nicholas Winter, sons of the Surveyor of the Navy; and John Rivers. As lieutenant under Christopher Carleill we also find the name of Thomas Gates (knighted in 1596), who appears somewhat mysteriously as an incorporator in the first Virginia Charter of 1606, which was granted after Bartholomew Gosnold had spent a year, perhaps two, in promoting the cause.

On February 7, 1552, Mary Langton, nee Mathew, became the third wife of Sir Andrew Judde. This marriage took place, a chronicle of the period reveals, only five weeks after the decease of Thomas Langton of the Skinner' Company. In due time she bore Sir Andrew a daughter named Martha, the only child of the marriage.

By his first wife, Mary Mirfyn, Sir Andrew and had a daughter named Alice, who grew up to marry Thomas Smythe, commonly called "Mr. Customer Smythe" from his position as collector of customs duties for Queen Elizabeth, which, incidentally, permitted him to amass a huge fortune quite legitimately. The third son of Alice and Mr. "Customer" Smythe, also named Thomas, became a wealthier gentleman than his father and was knighted in 1603 -- undoubtedly in that order. This son, having made a forture in Russian furs, took the lead in the formation and direction of the East India Company, chatered by Elizabeth in 1600. He also took the lead, it is believed, in the absence of definite records, in the formation and direction of the first Virginia Company of London. He held office in the Virginia Company as the presiding Treasurer for its first twelve years. This Company succeeded in settling a colony at Jamestown, Virginia, from which grew the United States.

Little Martha Judde was born into the world to be half-sister not only of Lady Winter and Mistress John Barne, but also of Alice Smythe. Martha could have had only the vaguest of recollections of her father, Sir Andrew Judde, who died before she had completed her sixth year; but surely she often stood before his memorial in St. Helen's Church, Bishopsgate, studying this record of her famous father's achievements:

To Russia and Muscova
To Spayne Gynny withoute fable
Traveld he by land and sea
Both Mayre of London and Staple
The Commenwelthe he norished
So Worthelie in all his daies
That ech state full well him loved
To his perpetuall prayes.

Three wyves he had one was Mary
Four sunes one mayde had he by her
Annys had none by him truly
By dame Mary had one dowghter
Thus in the month of September
A thousande fyve jundred fyftey
And eyght died this worthie Staplar
Worshipynge his posterytye.

The third marriage of Dame Mary Judde -- who retained to the end of her days the name of the most famous of her three husbands -- was to James Altham, another London merchant, alderman, and sheriff. For "contemptuous disobedyence" of a court order of the aldermen, he was dismissed from that office in 1561 and retired to Latton, where he bought not only the great Manor but also most of the village. This marriage brought into Dame Mary's family circle a new set of step-children, all mothered by James Altham's first wife, daughter of the London haberdasher, Thomas Blanke. Altham died in 1583, leaving his widow to enjoy for eighteen years her share of the fortunes of her three husbands.

Dame Mary's will of 1601 is a wondrous affair of five large, closely written pages as copied for probate. It distributes he contents of some sixteen parlors and chambers. The chief beneficiaries were an unidentified Wolley family (probably that of one of her daughters), the Golding family, and the Barne family. The Winters, the Althams, and others, were minor beneficiaries.

There were eight large bedsteads with their featherbeds and furnishings, and two little hanging beds. Mary Gosnold got one of the latter with its furnishings and all the household effects in the room that was known as Robert Golding's chamber. For all the beneficiaries there were lists reading like inventories, of what each was to receive, every item of fabric being mentioned individually, or, in the case of napkins, given by the dozen. The grand total of the fabric articles, linens, damasks, Turkish covers, and others, by a rough count came to some 424 items; but that was not all, since the hangings and furnishings of the beds were not separately itemized. Distributed also were sundry pieces of parlor furniture and some 120 pieces of plate, silver-gilt and silver. There were two sets of "Apostle" spoons -- the usual present of sponsors at baptisms -- twelve each. Jewelry consisting of a gold chain and six rings, with diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and turquoise, were given to favorite daughters and granddaughters.

Martha was given, in addition to her long list of furnishings, her mother's coach with a pair of stallions and all their accessories, including "a quilt of yellow and blue sarcient" and a (cloth of) silver pillow with Dame Mary's arms on it. To Martha also was left a nest of gilt goblets with a cover, "which were Mr. Andrew Judds."

By this will, apparently, the great manor house was denuded of its furnishings, or "movables", which were the personal property of Dame Mary Dudde -- according to the custom of the times. However, as the Althams undoubtedly had the income from the lucrative lands about, and one of the sons, Sir James, became a Baron of the Exchequer, probably its refurnishing was not a troublesome matter financially.

In the long list of servants and clergymen to receive bequests appear the names of Mr. Chatterton, Master of Emanuel College in Cambridge, who was to preach the funeral sermon, and of a Mr. Dunn, minister at Latton. The two thousand pounds in cash were evidently distributed among the more needy of the beneficiaries; the Goldings were not included among these.

The Smythe grandchildren of Sir Andrew Judde, step-grandchildren of the testator, are not mentioned in this will, neither for that matter had Sir Andrew mentioned them in his. This branch of the family was possibly too saturated with wealth either to need or to appreciate bequests from the Juddes.

There is scant information to be had about Robert Golding, Bartholomew Gosnold's father-in-law. He is named by Dame Mary as her son-in-law, the husband of her daughter Martha, and was to be an executor of the will. In the latter part of his life, from 1580 until his death in 1610, Robert seems to have been a prominent and active citizen of Bury St. Edmunds, apparently a lawyer. He served as recorder for the town of Eye -- he may have been a son of John and Christian Golding of Eye, whose wills mention a son Robert, a minor, not further identified. It is somewhat more than just possible that this Robert Golding was the lawyer of the Inner Temple who was appointed "Reader" or honorary lecturer in 1579 and twice in 1588, and who became Treasureer of the Inner Temple, for the term 1589-1590 -- appointments usually crowning a brilliant career of a lawyer sufficiently wealthy to bear the expense of entertaining in the manner expected of the holder of these honors. If Martha's husband was this lawyer of the Inner Temple, it means that at the age of about thirty-eight he married a girl half his age -- a happy outcome, perhaps, of a long association with the Judde family as Dame Mary's legal adviser.

This seems the more likely when the quetion is raised as to what circumstances let to the marriage of Anthony Gosnold's son to the daughter of Robert Golding. The best guess is that Gosnold and Golding were associated somehow, perhaps merely as friends, in the practice of law. Robert Golding of the Inner Temple entered upon his studies in the same years which found Anthony Gosnold studying law at Gray's Inn. The two obviously began their practice of the profession at about the same time. Anthony Gosnold married late in life, his older son Bartholomew having been born only a year or two before Mary Golding. It would seem, therefore, that the two fathers had parallel and probably closely associated careers. If the identification of Robert Golding is correct, then the two were born within a year of one another, were at Cambridge together, studied law in the same years, married within a year of one another, and died only a year apart.

But however the marriage of her daughter was brought about, Martha Gosding was predisposed toward a son-in-law who would sail the seas in the search of wealth. She had grown up in the society of merchant adventurers at their highest level. Although only five or six years Sir Thomas Smythe's senior, she was -- as has ben pointed out -- his aunt, and he was a man who has been called the Cecil Rhodes, or alternatively the J. Pierpont Morgan of his day. Sir Thomas's sister, Martha Golding's niece, also has a claim to attention, since she became the second wife (succeeding Lady Stafford's daughter) of Sir John Scott, one of Sir Thomas's associates and a leader in the first Virginia Company of London. Merchants who became Lord Mayors of London were indeed a commonplace in the family album of Martha Golding.

On the sea-going side, she was the aunt of the three sons of her older half-sister, Mary Winter, all of them naval officers. The eldest was Master Nicholas Winter. Next came Captain Edward Winter, later knighted, who married the daughter of the Earl of Worchester (and granddaughter of Earl of Huntington) -- the lady for whom a room was always reserved in Dame mary Judde's household. Lastly htere was Captain William Winter, who sailed as far as Newfoundland with Sir Humphrey Gilbert and who was still living at the time of Bartholomew Gosnold's voyage to Norumbega.

This was an age when couples joined together by God might not be put asunder by man. Marriages "made in heaven" created relationships as valid as blood ties. Brother-in-law and sisters-in-law thus became "brothers" and "sisters". Martha Golding, accordingly, by what might today seem an unwarranted extension of "in-law" relationships, was an aunt of sorts to Captain Christopher Carleill and to Captain John Rivers, as well as aunt by birth to the sea-faring Winters. The Drake expedition in which members of her family participated was undertaken when Martha's daughter Mary was in her early teens. Who can doubt that glamorous tales of these adventures in the family circle prepared little Mary for a life as the wife of an adventurer such as Bartholomew Gosnold turned out to be!

To this day, a large verdant island off the southern coast of Massachusetts, discovered by Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602, is named Martha's Vineyard. For nearly three centuries and a half no one has known why Bartholomew gave it this name. Little Martha of the Dudde family in the course of years became a grandmother, and her name was given to Bartholomew's first born child, Martha Gosnold. In her honor, therefore, Bartholomew named this island, the first on the American coast to be given the name of one of Queen Elizabeth's subjects. The name is a banner flung aloft by Bartholomew Gosnold to proclaim to his own and to following generations that all of America was to be taken over by England's merchant adventurers. Marthat Golding, daughter of the adventuring City of London, with her ancestry, kinsmen and associations, represented for him the forces in England that wre to creat a new nation; and it was her hame, having become that of his own child, that he wished to prepetuate in the New World.

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