Elizabeth Ffownes1

F, b. 21 July 1609, d. 1 February 1673
FatherThomas Ffownes II b. c 1577, d. 15 Apr 1629
MotherAnne Winthrop b. 16 Jan 1585/86, d. 16 May 1618
     Elizabeth was born on Tuesday, 21 July 1609 in London, County Middlesex, England, at the family home at the sign of the three Fawns in Old Bailey. She was also known as Bessie. Elizabeth married Henry Winthrop, son of John Winthrop and Mary Forthe, on 25 April 1629 in London, County Middlesex, England, at St. Sepulchre Church at Newgate.2,3 Elizabeth's husband, Henry, died on 2 July 1630 in the Salem Harbor, Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, at age 22 years, 5 months and 22 days, leaving her a widow. After William Coddington's wife had died in March of 1631, he returned to England, and, on the advice of John Winthrop, made the aquaintence of Elizabeth and courted her for a short time. This relationship did not develop and the two parted their own ways. William soon found a new bride and on 2 November 1631, Elizabeth boarded a ship for New England with her infant daughter.4 Elizabeth married 2nd Robert Feake, son of James Feake and Judith Thomas, before 27 January 1632 in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.5 She and Robert were blessed with 5 children.

By this time, 2 January 1642, Robert's mental condition had detioriated to the point that Elizabeth with the consent of Robert, had taken over the family's financial affairs. Eventually, it was decided by Robert and Elizabeth that William Hallet, a friend of the family, would aid in managing their holdings. At about this time, Robert and Captain Daniel Patrick, became involved in a dispute over the jurisdiction of Greenwich by the English and the Dutch. The Indians, who had sold the land to them, also created problems by attacking the new settlers and causing havoc. Before this controversy was settled, Captain Patrick, his very close friend, was killed by a Dutch soldier after a heated arguement on 2 June 1644.6 The tradgic death of Patrick may have led to Robert loosing his sanity. Whatever the reasons, Robert's condition did continue to worsen, and in 1647, he apparently could no longer deal with the stress of colonial life and returned to London. His mental state apparently did improve with his stay in England, for he did return to Watertown by September of 1649. After his return, he did settle there and lived at the home of Samuel Thatcher. After Robert abandoned his family, Elizabeth, not knowing of his condition or his fate, turned to William Hallet, whom she had been working with very closely on the family's business affairs, for help, and the two soon became romatically involved. There is thought by some that a divorce of some sort was obtained from New Amsterdam, but if so, it certainly was not recognized by the New England colonist. It is not known whether or not there was a marriage between Elizabeth and William. Her cousin John Winthrop may have performed a ceremony, but again it was not accepted by either the English or the Dutch. Whatever happened, Winthrop was apparently able to prevent Elizabeth from being charged with adultry.. After they had been rejected by both the English and the Dutch, William and Elizabeth removed to Astoria, Long Island and later moved on to Flushing, also on Long Island. At Flushing the couple apparently was allowed to live in peace, possibly because of the friendship of Elizabeth with the wife of the Governor of New Amsterdam. Elizabeth departed this life on Wednesday, 1 February 1673 in the Town of Flushing, Queens County, Long Island, New York.

Family 1

Henry Winthrop b. 10 Jan 1608, d. 2 Jul 1630

Family 2

Robert Feake b. c 1602, d. 1 Feb 1661

Family 3

William Hallett b. 1616, d. 1705


  1. [S432] Lyon Memorial, page 29 - Martha's mother, Elizabeth (Fones) Winthrop remained in England when her husband, Henry Winthrop came to America. He was drowned in Salem Harbor, July 2, 1630. the day after his arrival. She, with her infant daughter, Martha, came to America the following year. She did not remain long a widow. Her second husband was Robert Feake (Feeke, Peke. Fekes, Feeck. the name was variously written), one of the earliest and largest proprietors in Watertown, which he repeatedly represented in the Massachusetts General Court. After some years Mr. Feake removed with his family to Greenwich, Conn., where in 1640 he, with Capt. Daniel Patrick, purchased of the Indians a large tract of land. It appears that about this time he developed symptoms of a derangement of mind which ended in complete insanity. There may or may not have been estrangement between man and wife; at all events Mr. Feake returned to Watertown, leaving his family and his partner, Capt. Patrick, in charge of his business . The gossips had it that the relations between Capt. Patrick and Mrs. Feake were more intimate than business required. However, these relations, whatever may have been their nature, were brought to an abrupt close in 1643 by the death by assassination of Capt. Patrick. Mrs. Feake and her daughter continned to live in Connecticut (in the town Stamford), her business affairs being intrusted now to one William Hallett. At this Juncture Thomas Lyon comes on the stage and assays the difficult role of son-In-law.
  2. [S1054] Winthrop Papers, page 7 - To her Loving Neiphe Mr. John Wintrhop att Flushing this ddd. Holland. Leave this at the house of Mre. Henrie Kerker in Flushinge, to be sent as aboved.

    August 8, 1629

    My sweet nephew, -- I received your letter from Amsterdam, dated Juli 28: and am moste hartily and unexspresabvli glad to hear of your welfare, as I am sure the rest of your friends will be; but so it is, that your fater and uncle are bothe in Linkonshire and have bine this fortnight, and I am uncertaine of ther return; but in there absence I have taken the best care I can to get you a bill of exchange, wich I hope you shall receive with this:and nowe good nephew, you have bine such a stranger to us as I knowe not what is newes to you or what is not: sume ill newes I can impart to you, wich I am sory to be themessinger of; but the of our God must be effected: your grandmother an uncle Fones are in heaven. There deaths were bothe in one weeke, in the month of Aprill; and in the same monthe your brother Henrie wa maried to my neece Bes Fones. The manner of this would be too tedious to relate in this. I hope the Lord will send us a hapy meetinge, til when I refer all circumstances. Your father ernestlie desiers to see yoy: your brother Hary is yet att Groton, but they saye he intends the Barbathes this next monthe; and Forde for Newe Ingland in the springe: the rest of us I praise God for it, are in good health: and you have a cosen, Robert Downinge, and your godsonne, I hope, will be ready to goe to sea with you next year: so wishinge you hear, and much happiness wherever, I rest
    Your loving ant,
    Lucie Downinge.
  3. [S1067] Elizabeth Fones, Elizabeth Fones Winthrop Feake Hallett (21 January 1610 – 1 February 1673) was an early settler in the Massachusetts Bay Colony where her father-in-law (and uncle) John Winthrop served as Governor. Her subsequent behaviour would scandalize the Puritan colony. Elizabeth Fones was born at Groton Manor, Suffolk, England on 21 January 1610 to Thomas Fones, a London apothecary, and his wife, Anne Winthrop, sister of John Winthrop, a staunch puritan and the eventual Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
    As a young girl, Elizabeth worked at her father's shop in London. To the dismay of her family, she entered a whirlwind courtship with her first cousin Henry Winthrop, a son of Governor John Winthrop; they were married on 25 April 1629, at the Church of St. Sepulchre at New Gate, London. A year later, her husband sailed alone for the Massachusetts Bay Colony on the ship Talbot, leaving his young bride behind in England on account of her pregnancy. The baby, a daughter named Martha Johanna Winthrop, was born on 9 May 1630 at Groton Manor. Shortly after his arrival in Massachusetts, Henry was killed in a drowning accident on 2 July 1630 when he went swimming in the North River after visiting an Indian village near Salem.
    Elizabeth sailed to the Massachusetts Bay Colony with her infant daughter Martha aboard the Lyon, arriving on 2 November 1631. Her father-in-law, uncle and guardian, John Winthrop, served as Governor of the Colony. In 1632 Elizabeth married her second husband, a wealthy landowner named Lt. Robert Feake (born 1602) in Watertown, Middlesex County He owned land in both Massachusetts and Connecticut. The marriage was arranged by her uncle (and former father-in-law), Gov. John Winthrop. In 1640, Robert and Elizabeth acquired more land in what is now Greenwich, Connecticut. Indeed, she is considered one of the founders of Greenwich; what is now called 'Greenwich Point' was known for much of its early history as 'Elizabeth's Neck' in recognition of Elizabeth Fones and their 1640 purchase of the Point and much of what is today called Old Greenwich. The fact that she, as a woman, had property in her own name was viewed with dismay in the more rigid society of the day. They had five children: Elizabeth (b.1633), Hannah (b.1637), John (b.1639, Robert (b.1642) and Sarah (b. before 1647). In 1647, due to financial, domestic, and personal problems, Lt. Feake went insane and abandoned his wife and children. Following her husband's desertion, Elizabeth deeply scandalised the rigid Puritan society in which she lived by marrying her husband's business manager, William Hallett, without evidence that she and Lt. Feake were divorced. Elizabeth had two sons with Hallett: William (born c.1648) and Samuel (born c.1650). Their marriage took place in August 1649 and was officiated by her former brother-in-law John Winthrop, Jr. Only her close blood relationship to the Governor saved her from prosecution for adultery, for which she could have been hanged. Nevertheless, Elizabeth and her new husband and family were forced to leave Connecticut and Massachusetts for the more tolerant Dutch colony of New Netherlands / New York, where they were eventually recognized as husband and wife, possibly due to the friendship Elizabeth formed with Judith, wife of Director-General Peter Stuyvesant. Elizabeth and William settled in what is now known as Hallett's Cove, Long Island near Hell Gate. In September 1655, Elizabeth and her family survived an attack by the Hackensack tribe of Indians; however, the Indians set fire to their house and farm, burning both to the ground. She purchased land in Flushing and Newtown, Queens County on 1 October from Edward Griffin. The following year, William was made "schout" or chief-official of Flushing. In 1673, at the age of sixty-two, Elizabeth died in Newtown, Queens County, New York. Elizabeth has numerous descendants in the United States, including those descending from the marriage of her only Winthrop child, Martha Johanna, to Thomas Lyon of Byram Neck, Greenwich, CT, whose home, the Thomas Lyon House, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
  4. [S457] Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, William Coddington.
  5. [S1080] George E. McCracken, The Feake Family of Norfolk, London, and Colonial America, page 212 - John Wihtrop's Journal (I:83, under date of Jan. 27, 1631/32) states that a certain hill - in part of Watertown afterwards Waltham - was named for Robert Feake who had married the governor's daughter-in-law.
  6. [S971] Patricia L. Haslam, Captain Daniel Patrick of the 1630 Winthrop Fleet & Some of His Descendants, page 472 - 2 January 1642, whereas we, Captain Daniel Patrick & Elizabeth Feac, duly authorized by her husband Robert Feac, now sick, have resided 2 years about five or six leagues of the Netherlanders ...