Nicholas Wood

Nicholas Wood


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Nicholas Wood was born in 1795. He became the colliery manager at Killingworth Colliery where he met George Stephenson. In 1814 the two men worked together on the building of the Blutcher. Wood gradually became more knowledgeable about locomotives and in 1820 he proposed the use of steam as a compressible medium for locomotive springing.

In 1825 Wood's influential book, A Practical Treatise on Railroads was published. In the book, Wood argued strongly that it was better to use steam locomotives than stationary engines on railways. Nicholas Wood gave parliamentary evidence in favour of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway and in 1829 was one of the three judges at the Rainhill Trials.

In 1844 Wood became a partner in the company that owned Hetton Colliery. He played an active role in improving mining safety and was an instigator of the 1851 Mines Inspections Act. Nicholas Wood died in 1865.

It is far from my wish to promulgate to the world that the ridiculous expectations of the enthusiastic specialists, that we shall see locomotives travelling at the rate of 12, 16, 18 or 20 miles an hour; nothing could do more harm towards their adoption, or general improvement, than the promulgation of sich nonsense.

The novelty of the scene, and the fineness of the day, had attracted an immense concourse of spectators, the fields on each side of the railway being literally covered with ladies and gentlemen on horseback, and pedestrians of all kinds. The train of carriages was then attached to a locomotive engine, built by George Stephenson, in the following order: (1) Locomotive engine, with the engineer (Mr. George Stephenson) and assistants. (2) Tender, with coals and water; next, six wagons, laden with coals and flour; then an elegant covered coach, with the committee and other proprietors of the railway; then 21 wagons, fitted up for passengers; and last of all, six wagons laden with coal, making altogether, a train of 38 carriages. By the time the cavalcade arrived at Stockton, where it was received with great joy, there were not less than 600 persons within, and hanging by the carriages.

I observe you have thought proper to insert the last number of the Philosophical Magazine your opinion that my attempts at the safety tubes and apertures were borrowed from what I have heard of Sir Humprey Davy's researches. The principles upon which a safety lamp might be constructed I stated to several persons long before Sir Humphrey Davy came into this part of the country. The plan of such a lamp was seen by several and the lamp itself was in the hands of the manufacturers during the time he was here.

To tell you the truth although it would put £500 in my pockets to specify my own patent rails, I cannot do so after the experience I have had.

The rage for railroads is so great that many will be laid in parts where they will not pay.

This railway is the most absurd scheme that ever entered into the head of a man to conceive. Mr. Stephenson never had a plan - I do not believe he is capable of making one. He is either ignorant or something else which I will not mention. His is a mind perpetually fluctuating between opposite difficulties; he neither knows whether he is to make bridges over roads or rivers, or of one size or another; or to make embankments, or cuttings, or inclined planes, or in what way the thing is to be carried into effect. When you put a question to him upon a difficult point, he resorts to two or three hypothesis, and never comes to a decided conclusion. Is Mr. Stephenson to be the person upon whose faith this Committee is to pass this Bill involving property to the extent of £400,000/£500,000 when he is so ignorant of his profession as to propose to build a bridge not sufficient to carry off the flood water of the river or to permit any of the vessels to pass which of necessity must pass under it.

When my father came about the office he sometimes did not well know what to do with himself. So he used to invite Bidder to have a wrestle with him, for old acquaintance sake. And the two wrestled together so often, and had so many falls (sometimes I thought they would bring the house down between them), that they broke half the chairs in my outer office.

Left home in company with John Dixon to attend the internment of George Stephenson at Chesterfield. I fear he died an unbeliever. When I reflect on my first acquaintance with him and the resulting consequences my mind seems lost in doubt as to the beneficial results - that humanity has been benefited in the diminished use of horses and by the lessened cruelty to them, that much ease, safety, speed, and lessened expense in travelling is obtained, but as to the results and effects of all that railways had led my dear family into, being in any sense beneficial is uncertain.


Scandals of Classic Hollywood: The Unspoken Tragedy of Natalie Wood

Natalie Wood was a transitional star, her career straddling Hollywood’s awkward shift from the classic studio system to the independent free-for-all that continues to characterize film production today. Her face also seems frozen in transition from girl to woman: Wood was a child star, Oscar nominee, teen bride, and has-been — all before the age of twenty. And her acting oscillated between the poignant and the hysterical, for which she was alternately lauded and lampooned. But she had a work ethic, and ultimately survived studio manipulation to become a legend in her own right, starring in one of the most successful and seminal musicals of the past fifty years.

Before her gradual retreat from Hollywood, she appeared in a smattering of later-career films and mini-series, and was filming with Christopher Walken in 1981 when she fell from her private yacht and drowned. Her death, although deemed an accident at the time, has been shrouded in scandal ever since. The case was reopened late last year (and, as of today, re-closed), reviving our macabre interest in stars we didn’t even know we still cared about.

You can read the ins and outs of Wood’s death elsewhere. Because what’s more interesting than how she died is how she lived: as a stand-in for teens beset by angst the world over, with an image mobilized to both assuage and accelerate societal anxieties about female sexual desire.

Wood, née Natalia Nikolaevna Zacharenko, was the child of Russian immigrants, and spent her early years in Southern California. Natalia was cute, and others, including those in the film business, thought so as well, prompting her mother to move the entire family to Hollywood to pursue their five-year-old’s film career. She starred in a few movies, let RKO Anglicize her name to “Natalie Wood,” and appeared increasingly precocious — think Dakota Fanning with brown hair. Orson Welles said the adolescent Wood was “so good she was terrifying.” Her parents signed Wood to 20th Century Fox, and she soon starred in Miracle on 34th Street, effectively marking the end of her private life at the ripe old age of seven.

After a host of loving-daughter and similarly moppet-like roles, Wood co-starred in A Rebel Without a Cause. This film is bandied about by cultural theorists and ascribed with all sorts of significance: James Dean Cries a Lot — the first representation of post-war teen malaise! Dad Wears an Apron — Freudian psychology seeps into pop culture! All these things are true, but the film has accumulated a cultural heft that the actual text itself cannot support. Yes, teens rebel yes, James Dean is a fox. But like so many teen films, then and today, the film is overwrought and overdone. I realize this is blasphemy, but my own sins against the film history canon matter less than the fact that the movie not only made stars of James Dean and Sal Mineo, it turned Wood from a child star into a bona fide teen idol — the same way that, say, the album Justified turned Justin Timberlake from an N’SYNC-er who wore head-to-toe denim into someone women actually wanted to undress.

Wood and Dean with Rebel director Nicholas Ray.

In later years, biographers and scandal mongerers claimed Natalie Wood was all over every male on the set, initiating an affair with the film’s director, 43-year-old Nicholas Ray. A highly unvetted source claims that Wood was not only sleeping with Ray but with her other costar, too — one Dennis Hopper, creating all sorts of dramz with the near-men and dad-aged-men on set.

Whether or not this was true — part of me just thinks that it fit well with the image of Wood that emerged post-Splendor in the Grass — it certainly was not public knowledge in 1955. Indeed, in Rebel Without a Cause, Wood really just seems sixteen, anxious, and totally crushing on Dean the way a sixteen-year-old should. And Wood was nominated for an Academy Award not for playing something she wasn’t, but something she was — the same way that so many children and teens are nominated (and win) for playing characters who are actually children, as opposed to children’s bodies mouthing adult words (remember the little sister character in 500 Days of Summer? That sage-advice-giving girl WAS THE WORST).

However precocious Wood may have been as a child actor, she was now playing teens — and teens, male and female, loved her. Over the course of the ’50s, the studios, already in the early stages of free-fall following a constellation of regulatory and cultural changes, began to increasingly rely on teen audiences. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, as 90% of contemporary media products cater to teen audiences, but in the ’50, this switch was A HUGE DEAL. The teenager, a cultural formation in and of itself, had not really been a thing until the Depression/World War II. Seventeen Magazine didn’t even hit newsstands until 1944. People think of the ’50s as the baby boom, but it was also the teen boom — a time when teenagers benefited from their parents’ new prosperity, using allowances and pocket money to “vote teen” at the box office. The drive-in theater was a response to geographical demands, but it was also the perfect teen magnet: there’s a reason they were nicknamed “passion pits.”

Long tangent short: to attract teen audiences, the studios — and fan magazines, and the rest of the gossip industry — needed teen idols. Dean had already established himself with East of Eden, but Natalie Wood was a studio’s dream: young, popular, and, unlike Brando and other up-and-comers, already under studio contract. In other words, she would do what her studio, now Warner Bros., told her.

And from 1955 to 1960, her studio told her to do two things:

1. Star in really shitty movies

2. Marry her childhood idol, all Katie-Holmes-Tom-Cruise style.

First, the films: apart from a small but crucial role in The Searchers, Wood appeared in nine stinkers, including All the Fine Young Cannibals, a bomb so big it appeared to be the end of Wood’s career.

No matter of prom shoes could save Wood’s career.

Despite critical and box office failure, Wood was all over the gossip press, in part because Warner Bros. learned that Wood had long harbored a crush on Robert Wagner, a B-level but very handsome star contracted to Fox. The studios arranged a high profile date between the two, timed to correspond perfectly with Wood’s eighteenth birthday.

I have no idea. Are they telephoning while ironing?

The two “courted” for a year and married in December 1957, inviting the gossip press along the way. At this point, more and more stars were going independent, which meant that they were no longer forced to cooperate with the fan magazines, posing for studio-approved photos and allowing studio press agents to pen articles under their bylines. The fan magazines, which once benefited from a flow of free (albeit highly fabricated) information from the studios, now had to scramble for content. Some of them did so by speculating or performing “write-arounds” — using “unnamed sources” to hide the fact that the star had not, in fact, spoken to the author. We see this all the time now, but for the gossip press of the 1950s, it was a real crisis.

But there were still some stars who would cooperate, and the majority of those stars were still teens. Some were music and television stars — Elvis and Ricky Nelson were both big favorites — but Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner seemed to offer salvation. While Liz Taylor and Eddie Fisher refused to grant interviews, these two shared (or, more precisely, were compelled to share) their “real-life” (read: totally fabricated) wedding album and “private love diaries.”

NOTE: I AM HAVING UNPLEASANT TOM-KAT FLASHBACKS.

All this, and nary a hit to be found! The studios were confused, and even more confused when they put Wood in a film with Wagner, and even that bombed. In this way, Wood further underlined the growing disconnect between gossip stardom and film success. Wood’s private life sold magazines Wood’s acting career did not sell movie tickets. At this point, she could probably have exhausted her celebrity by selling photos to Modern Screen the way that former Bachelorettes sell their baby photos. Yet Elia Kazan, best known for On the Waterfront and naming names during the McCarthy hearings, had a new script, and fought to give Wood a second (er, fifteenth) chance.

Now is the point when I try to tell you about the marvel that is Splendor in the Grass. I don’t know that I can, except to say that the sexual energy is this film is enough to power a small town in Vermont. It demands to be experienced first hand. As in so many films from the ’50s and early ’60s, this energy undulates immediately below the surface, bursting through in gasping, manic moments. It’s a story of young love set in the years leading up to The Great Depression, with a very young Warren Beatty (appearing in his first major role) devoted to a still believably high-school-aged Wood. But he REALLY, REALLY WANTS TO HAVE SEX, because, duh, he is teenage boy WITH URGES. Wood’s into it too, but everyone tells her that sex = huge slut = the end of her life = being a poor person. The horror, the horror! (Warren Beatty’s sister = a sexually “loose” flapper = slutshamed all over the place = his parent’s personal nightmare.)

If Beatty can’t exercise his urges on Wood, then he’ll find someone (read: a loose woman) with whom he can. Wood finds out and is literally driven mad — like rolling-around-on-the-ground palpably crazy. Her family sells their investments to pay for their daughter to go to the sanatorium, while Warren Beatty’s family loses its collective shirt in the stock market crash. Fastforward several years, and FATTIE SPOILER ALERT: Beatty’s family is living in relative squalor. Wood’s out of the crazy house, but when goes to visit Beatty, ahhh shit he’s saddled with a wife who obviously has sad poor people sex with him all the time, because they already have one baby and another’s on the way. Plus the wife is AN IMMIGRANT! SHE’S ITALIAN! HOW DÉCLASSÉ!

Natalie realizes that their love can never be, so she returns, all Grey’s Anatomy style, to get married to her former doctor from the sanatorium. (In movies, doctors never fall in love with other doctors they always fall in love with their vulnerable yet beautiful patients.)

The film is overwrought and, in places, overpoweringly melodramatic. But it’s also a beautifully subversive thing: we may think that sex ruins people and makes them crazy, but in reality, sexual repression ruins people and makes them crazy. And marry Italians.

I’m also in love with the marketing for this film, which relied heavily on teen identification. Every teen melodrama does this implicitly, but Splendor in the Grass’s trailers and posters made it explicit:

“If you’re an adult, you lived this story. If you’re young, it’s happening now.”

And look at this poster! You guys, if they still made posters like this, maybe we’d actually go see films in the theater on a regular basis:

Just weeks after Splendor hit theaters, Wood appeared in another film, a film even more visible than an Elia Kazan picture about sex. This picture had singing, a hackneyed Shakespearian plot, a successful Broadway run … it had SHARKS and JETS and slicked hair and tight pants and twirling skirts and DANCING IN THE MOTHERFUCKING STREETS OF NEW YORK!

I’m talking, of course, about West Side Story, in which Wood plays the very innocent and very desirable Maria Nunez, sister of Head Shark Bernando, and object of former-Jet Tony’s affection. I realize West Side Story may hold a special place in many of your musical-theater-loving-hearts, but let’s be honest: this film is ridiculous. I kinda love it — even if it is about 30 minutes too long — but it is ridiculously bad. But like all bad musicals, while the film, as a whole, may not stand up to repeat viewings, you always have the magic of the remote control edit, a.k.a. the Center Stage edit, a.k.a. fastforwarding through the talky-talk parts and just watching the dancing. This is obviously the way this film is meant to be viewed, preferably with bad Chianti for every time someone a) makes a really, really earnest face b) gets really, really pissed off about someone from a rival gang making googly eyes at someone related to someone in your gang or c) uses a street fixture of some sort as a dance prop.

But there’s something gloriously exuberant about Wood’s performance — unlike Splendor in the Grass, where she’s purposefully repressed, here she gets to let her eyes go wide and lip-sync with as close to wild abandon as someone lip-synching possibly can. Maybe she annoyed you in Rebel Without a Cause, maybe her romance with Wagner made you ralph. But here, she gets beautiful clothes and mooney love scenes, and the result, however preposterous and campy, makes it nearly impossible to dislike her. Which is all just another way of saying that Natalie Wood, Major Movie Star, was back.

Wood’s performance in Splendor in the Grass earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination, and West Side Story became one of the biggest grossers of 1961. Her separation and subsequent divorce from Bob Wagner only made for greater gossip fodder: stars become stars through performances they stay stars through gossip. And the notion that Wood could be moving on with Warren Beatty, by then a rising star himself …

… the fan mags obviously went crazy, especially when Beatty accompanied a ravishing Wood to the Oscars in 1962. I mean seriously. Wow.

Wood’s next film, Gypsy, was an obvious attempt to exploit her musical success in West Side Story, only this time she played a vaudeville performer turned burlesque dancer, daughter to a shrill and toxic stage-mom (rather perfectly portrayed by Rosalind Russell).

Gypsy resides somewhere in the No Man’s Land of the absolute value scale of movies: it’s not good enough to make it good, and it’s not bad enough to make it awesome — neither Moulin Rouge nor Burlesque. It’s hanging out with most of the films made by Jessica Biel, somewhere between milquetoast and forgettable.

A string of predictably mainstream roles followed: opposite (sometime boyfriend) Steve McQueen in the weirdly moralizing Love With a Proper Stranger, inconceivable as Helen Gurley Brown in the forgettable film adaptation of Sex and the Single Girl, and oddly touching as a tomboy-turned-Hollywood star in Inside Daisy Clover (let’s be honest: the real reason to watch this film is young Robert Redford).

In 1965, she was paid loads of money to make a slapstick turn alongside Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in The Great Race. Wood looks gorgeous, but the film was a bloated mess and a huge bomb at the box office.

She played a bored housewife who dresses up to rob her wealthy husband’s bank in Penelope and, in 1967, paired with Redford yet again, this time in an adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ one-act play This Property Is Condemned. Wood plays a (big surprise) sexually suggestive and alluring woman attracted to a stranger (Redford), and she uses her sexuality to 1) piss a bunch of people off 2) get her way 3) achieve fleeting, New Orleans-based happiness and 4) (another big surprise) DIE.

This decade demonstrated that Wood could play two parts: mad-cap and self-destructively sexual — sometimes both at once. The bifurcation seemed to spread to her personal life, too, and Wood retreated from Hollywood to seek treatment for depression (and turned down Warren Beatty’s offer to star opposite him in Bonnie & Clyde — purportedly because she refused to be separated from her therapist). Wood began dating producer and generally boring guy Richard Gregson at some point in the late ’60s, marrying him in May 1969, at the ripe old age of 30.

Then, three months later, there was Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Bob Mazurky’s take on “swinger” culture and its various pitfalls. Natalie Wood. As a swinger. With Dyan Cannon and Elliot Gould. The marketing was obviously a study in subtlety.

As Pauline Kael, inveterate movie critic for The New Yorker and the closest I get to a personal hero, explains,

I think it’s almost impossible to watch Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice without wondering how much the actors are playing themselves. Natalie Wood is still doing what she was doing as a child — still telegraphing us that she’s being cute and funny — and she’s wrong. When she tries hard, she just becomes an agitated iron butterfly.

I mean, Kael’s right. Wood, like so many stars, was best at “acting” like herself, which is to say acting her star image. When she tried to be sexual without the neuroses, or overly cute, there was just too much try. I get it. But shit, Wood’s eye makeup and boobs in this film are just fantastic.

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice’s subject matter was titillating, but the narrative resolution rendered it tame enough to become a major mainstream hit. Americans love the thought of transgression, not the actual act, which explains why Rihanna’s “S&M” is a huge hit while actual S&M is not.

Amid all the film’s fanfare, Wood retreated once again, giving birth to a daughter, Natasha, in 1970. But her boring producer husband was cheating on her (with the secretary, no less how very Hollywood-screenplay of him), and in August 1971, Wood took her infant daughter and left. Super sad, I know — but then she rediscovered her childhood love! GOOD OL’ BOBBY WAGNER, THERE TO SAVE THE DAY!

And just like a Cary Grant comedy of remarriage, Wood and Wagner reunited, went through a whirlwind re-courtship, and married just five months later. Wood gave birth to another daughter, Courtney, in 1974. The 1970s version of The Minivan Majority must have been thrilled: onscreen, woman dabbles in sexual liberation and “open marriage” off-screen, she finds out that her husband is cheating with the secretary. That’s what you get for sexual permissiveness! But don’t worry, she remarries, and not to some schlump, but her childhood crush, the man who (presumably) took her virginity. Sexual conservatism reigns supreme!

Wood operated in semi-retirement for the rest of her life, aging the way Diane Lane has, which is to say she seemed to get only more luscious with time. And then, in 1981, the yacht, the drowning, and the enduring scandal.

Wood was made famous for our generation by her death, which, yes, is sensational and belongs on Unsolved Mysteries on NBC on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. circa 1991. But in reality, it’s the least interesting thing about her — in fact, it has very little to do with Wood herself and everything to do with the type of man who would or wouldn’t save a woman who was or was not calling for help, and how each of these men has worked to exculpate himself in the years since.

Ultimately, I’m less interested in thinking about these men and more interested in re-watching Wood’s movies, recreating her eye makeup, and staring at the dozens of exquisite shots that pop up when you type “Natalie Wood Warren Beatty” in Google Image search. People think the scandal was Natalie Wood’s death. But the real scandal was the way in which women — specifically, the dozens Wood portrayed, along with Wood herself — bore the burden of our culture’s conflicting, schizophrenic, fucked up attitudes toward sex.

Wood didn’t have tragedy mapped on her body the way that Marilyn Monroe or Judy Garland did. The signs of her struggle were far less obvious, in part because her rise was less mercurial, her handling of stardom somehow more balanced. She was a survivor, as cliched and Hallmark-movie-of-the-week as that sounds, and at various points in her career wielded more power than any of her male co-stars. She wasn’t a tremendous talent. She couldn’t really sing or dance. But she was a sex symbol for twenty years in a time when “sexual” was simultaneously the best and the worst thing a girl could possibly be, and she lived to tell the sad, screwy tale. And that, more than playing opposite James Dean, more than working herself into a true frenzy of repressed sexuality in Splendor in the Grass, evidences true talent. Not as an actress, per se, but as the makings of an image that will continue to endure.

Anne Helen Petersen is a Doctor of Celebrity Gossip. No, really. You can find evidence (and other writings) here.


Exclusive: An Explosive New Biography Reveals the Secret that Almost Destroyed Natalie Wood

A s I plumbed her past, Natalie Wood’s demons and their origins revealed themselves as if released from a genie’s lamp. Family violence. Alcoholic father. Pathological attachment to her Svengali stage mother. Psychological abuse as a child star. Paranoia. Phobias. Bedroom of storybook dolls she believed were alive and spoke to her. Pimped at 15 to Frank Sinatra. Forced to return an engagement ring to her high school sweetheart, who tried to kill himself afterward. Exploited as a teenager into a sexual liaison with 42-year-old director Nicholas Ray to prove that she could play a “bad” girl in Rebel Without a Cause.

The secret that was buried deepest in Natalie’s closet of skeletons was the shocking end of her fairy-tale first marriage to bobby-socks idol Robert Wagner. To protect his image, Natalie publicly took the fall for their sudden divorce in 1961. She never refuted fan-magazine gossip that their marriage imploded over an alleged affair she had with her costar Warren Beatty while filming Splendor in the Grass.

In time the gossip, patently false, was reported as fact. Only a trusted few knew Natalie’s account, which I was told by three of Natalie’s close friends her mother’s best friend and her sister, Lana, that Natalie came upon R.J., as he was known to his confidants, in their Beverly Hills mansion in flagrante with a man. Lana recalled Natalie arriving in hysterics at their parents’ house and shutting herself in her old bedroom. Natalie woke up in a hospital after taking an overdose of sleeping pills, dazed and in shock. [Through representatives, Robert Wagner denied this version of events and any allegations of bisexuality.]

Frank Sinatra, Wood, and Wagner in 1958. Sinatra had a sexual liaison with Wood when she was 15 and quashed an inquiry into her 1981 drowning. Opposite: A Kiss Before Dying (1956) was Wagner’s favorite role

Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

As a self-described dutiful child, Natalie was trained by her mother to keep silent, to not rock the boat. As she got older, she kept her silence, often to protect others, as was Natalie’s way. During her life, in death, and even after her death, no one that I could see had ever protected her—certainly not her mother, the directors who exploited her, the studio executives who looked the other way, the men who abused her, or the sheriff’s detectives and coroner’s examiners investigating her drowning in 1981. In the archive of forgotten facts, hidden truths, and concealed evidence about Natalie Wood, what is most shocking is Robert Wagner’s role in her drowning. The man that Natalie married not once but twice, who would often say, with glass raised, “She takes my breath away,” refused to search for two and a half hours after she went missing from their boat in the waters off Catalina Island.

To understand what happened to her that last night in all of its dark Russian drama, people need to know Natalie’s complete story—from her birth, as Natasha Zakharenko, prophesied, before conception, to become a world-famous beauty by a Gypsy in Harbin, to her death at 43, which Natalie had a premonition would be in dark water, as the same Gypsy had predicted.

Who alive then had not been moved by the tragic breaking news on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 1981? All of the major television networks interrupted their holiday programming to report that Natalie’s body had been discovered floating in the ocean off Catalina, where she and Wagner were spending the weekend on their boat with friends. Only later was it mentioned that actor Christopher Walken was their sole guest. News footage taken early that morning shows Wagner braced against the wind in a black double-breasted peacoat with the collar turned up, looking dazed.

After years of rooting around in Natalie’s past, when I more closely examined her drowning, I found red flags everywhere. Accounts of the yacht’s deckhand, Dennis Davern, all include troubling insinuations about Wagner’s role in Natalie’s disappearance from the Splendour. The details are vague, strange, and disturbing: There was a jealous tension from R.J. toward Natalie and Walken that weekend Natalie requested to return to L.A. R.J. directed Davern to take Natalie to a motel R.J. smashed a wine bottle on the second night the yacht’s dinghy was unaccountably missing R.J. instructed Davern not to search for Natalie as they drank for over two hours before R.J. radioed for help.

Natalie Wood and Christopher Walken in the 1983 movie ‘Brainstorm’

There were also gaping holes in coroner Thomas Noguchi’s findings. At a press conference December 1, 1981, just two days after Natalie’s body was discovered, Noguchi announced the autopsy results, stating that her cause of death was “a tragic accident while slightly intoxicated.” But he went on to mention an unexplained “scrape type of bruise on her left cheek” that may have rendered her temporarily unconscious before she hit the water. Noguchi’s theory was that Natalie was trying to get into the dinghy when she slipped and fell before falling into the water, stating, “She was unable to reboard the dinghy or the yacht and tragically perished.”

What an aide of Noguchi did disclose was a “heated” argument between Wagner and Walken before Natalie disappeared, a tip given to Noguchi’s office by a sheriff’s investigator. The argument was disturbing enough that Noguchi told the assembled press that he believed Natalie wanted to get off the boat. When asked by one of the reporters why Natalie would leave the boat in a nightgown, Noguchi replied, “We are going to investigate that.” He intended to do a “psychological autopsy” on Natalie to learn why she felt she had to separate herself from her husband and Walken.

After this disclosure, Noguchi was almost instantly fired by the Board of Supervisors—which was under pressure, he and his lawyer told me, from Frank Sinatra. “I represented Dr. Noguchi then,” says Godfrey Isaac, “and Frank Sinatra got very upset. The letter from Frank Sinatra to the Board of Supervisors is really what triggered them demoting Tom.”

Sinatra’s strong-arm tactics were not surprising. The director Henry Jaglom had told me how Sinatra kept Natalie under surveillance by his “goons” when Jaglom took her out in her mid-20s a protective, and proprietary, interest that began, I had learned, when Natalie was 15.

Two years after I published Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood, Frank Sinatra’s right-hand man of 15 years, George Jacobs, wrote the memoir Mr. S: My Life with Frank Sinatra. Jacobs, who worked for Sinatra from 1953 to 1968, was a silent accomplice to his boss’s sexual assignations. “One affair that, unlike the others, was conducted in top secret was with Natalie Wood,” Jacobs wrote in 2003, “because she was a minor at the time, either 15 or 16, though she didn’t act like it.” According to Jacobs, “Sinatra adored this tiny beauty, but he didn’t want to go the way of Charlie Chaplin or Errol Flynn or, later, Roman Polanski.” Jacobs says he mixed the drinks when Natalie’s “insanely ambitious Russian mother” brought her to Sinatra’s apartment for a cocktail in 1954 and “pushed her on Frank, who needed no pushing.” Sinatra told Jacobs that he had been “taken by” Natalie since Miracle on 34th Street, a film she made when she was eight. Sinatra’s procurer, Natalie’s mother, Maria Gurdin, “had her kid all dolled up,” recalls Jacobs, “total jailbait, in a form-fitting black party dress, and Mr. S went for it in a big way.”

Sinatra’s MO with Natalie was like a playbook for aspiring Humbert Humberts. “Nothing dirty-old-mannish,” his valet boasts, “he was never like that. He played them cuts from his upcoming album, provided career suggestions.” That was the quid pro quo for Gurdin. After cocktails Sinatra arranged for Natalie to return regularly—alone—for “singing lessons.” “Mr. S would send me away when she was there,” says Jacobs. “ ‘I don’t want you to testify,’ he joked. He wanted to be ‘in Like Flynn,’ but he didn’t want to be ruined for it.”

Jacobs observed what I also found. “Mr. S truly cherished her, and whatever went on in private, he was also a father to her more than her own father, very protective.” The 38-year-old Sinatra’s “seduction” of 15-year-old Natalie, tragically, would have been both child molestation and statutory rape. Actor Scott Marlowe told me he had observed signs that she’d been molested. “How do I say this delicately?” he asked. “She was very, very experienced for a very young girl. She knew too much. More than a kid that age should know. She just knew about all the male body parts. And about what to do, how to please, or how to get herself…loved. She knew all those little things. And it was very sad.”

Post-autopsy in late 1981 Sinatra, enraged that Noguchi disclosed at a press conference that Sinatra’s great friend R.J. had a heated altercation with Walken before Natalie disappeared, pressured the Board of Supervisors to fire Noguchi in a scathing letter, insisting that coroners “should be seen and not heard.”

By R.J.’s own description, he had made a career from the favors and good graces of famous friends, names he liked to drop, like Fred Astaire, Clifton Webb, and “Spence” Tracy. According to Jacobs, R.J. ingratiated himself with Sinatra so deeply that Sinatra “always gave him ‘a pass.’” By precipitating Noguchi’s firing, Sinatra shut down the last hope for any of Natalie’s truths to be known in an official investigation of her death.

A month after Natasha was published, Wagner appeared on Larry King Live. King had previously canceled my appearance to promote the book, under pressure from his close friend Wagner. During the interview, King almost immediately brought up “the Natalie Wood episode,” asking his friend, “What did you make of the book that came out? … Did you read it?” “You know, Larry, I didn’t read it,” replied Wagner. “I didn’t read the book. The woman had approached me on doing the book. I’m sorry, she did not approach me on doing the book or my representatives.”

After this contradictory falsehood, Wagner defamed me, saying incoherently, “This book is—you know, this woman has fabricated, you know, those things that are all these things. …And there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.”

After briefly wondering how Wagner knew I “fabricated” anything if he had never read my book, I hired a Beverly Hills lawyer to send Wagner’s attorney Leo Ziffren (brother of R.J.’s lawyer fixer Paul Ziffren) a strongly worded cease-and-desist letter, and I moved on.

Still, the incident disturbed me. I dedicated four years of my life to researching Natasha and interviewed more than 400 people, the majority recorded on tape, documented in 44 pages of annotations. Based on his lawyer’s correspondence with my publisher, and comments made to me by Natalie’s sister and half-sister, Wagner seemed more obsessed with the line in Natasha in which Natalie flees the house after finding him with a man than the implications about his role in her death. For months I had debated whether to disclose the secret of R.J.’s affair, and, if I did, whether to reveal that Wagner’s lover was a man. In the end I followed the advice of Robert Redford, Natalie’s close friend, whom I interviewed. Redford’s suggestion was that of a director: “Ask yourself: How important is it to the story you’re telling?”

Robert Wagner at play, early 1950s. Rumors about his sexuality “were flying” prior to marrying Natalie Wood.

By that guideline the secret was crucial. Walking in on her husband’s affair, in their own home, nearly undid Natalie. The fact that R.J.’s lover was a man—and that she actually saw them being physically intimate—was a shock that almost cost Natalie her life and traumatized her for the remainder of it. I also wanted to clear Natalie’s name from scandal over an affair with Beatty that I was certain she had never had, a scandal I believed Natalie bore to protect R.J. at a time, 1961, when an affair with a man would have damaged his career. Wagner, with his virulent denials of homosexuality in 2001, seemed to me like a man who doth protest too much.

About that time I received what Natalie’s mystical Russian mother might have called “a message from the other side.” The improbable medium, Ruby Jackman, was an elderly retired office cleaner in Central California who enjoyed reading medical journals. Jackman contacted Lana Wood that fall to tell her Jackman might have an unpublished autobiography by Natalie. In the early ’80s a celebrity diet doctor asked Jackman to help clean out his office. To thank her he gave her his old medical journals. Inside them were 100 or so loose pages, both typed and handwritten, from what Jackman believed was the manuscript for Natalie’s autobiography. Jackman had been guarding the pages for 20 years. When she heard about Natasha in 2001, Jackman decided to call Lana because she wanted to know if the manuscript was authentic. Lana asked me to go with her to Jackman’s trailer park to examine the pages. With such a bizarre premise, neither of us expected to find a lost autobiography by Natalie. But we decided we’d enjoy the road trip.

Lana and I sat with Jackman around a cozy Colonial table, where she had laid out the pages for us to read. It was almost immediately obvious to both Lana and me that Natalie had written the pages. A third of the manuscript was entirely handwritten. There was no doubt that it was Natalie’s neat, distinctive handwriting. As we randomly chose pages to read, Lana burst into tears. Her sister had come to life again in her own voice.

The memoir validated all that I had written, and all that I had intuited, in Natasha. Natalie touched upon the “demons” from her past and how as a child she had “always done as [she] was told” that she had “no real identity” that she was “terrified of flying” her romantic illusion from childhood of R.J. as a “magical Prince Charming” her reliance on her analyst that she was “scared to death” of water. In her own handwriting, Natalie confirmed that her divorce had nothing to do with Beatty. “There was gossip & speculation that Warren was in some way responsible for the end of the marriage,” she wrote. “It is totally untrue.” She even confirmed the “rift” I disclosed that they had during Splendor in the Grass, writing, “between takes, Warren and I went our separate way.”

After leaving Jackman’s, I did further research on Natalie’s memoir. In my files I found it referenced in The Hollywood Reporter. On July 5, 1966, the trade paper reported that Ladies’ Home Journal had asked Natalie to write a “life story” that summer. Peter Wyden, the name typed on the first page of the memoir, was an executive editor for the magazine at the time. I faxed a few pages of the memoir to Anthony Costello, Natalie’s personal secretary in 1966. Not only did Costello remember Natalie writing her life story by hand that summer, he had typed the pages for her. Natalie eventually backed out, fearing that by writing candidly about psychotherapy and other personal problems, she would reveal more than society could handle in the ’60s.

Natalie wrote that she “wanted to set the record straight” about why she and R.J. divorced. “I have suffered in silence from gossip about my walking away from my marriage to go with Warren. … But Warren had nothing to do with it. We began our relationship after, not before, my marriage ended.” The kindhearted Natalie continued to protect R.J., alluding to but not revealing the sexual betrayal that shattered her. “It is too painful for me to recall in print the incident that led to the final break-up,” she wrote. “It was more than a final straw, it was reality crushing the fragile web of romantic fantasies with sledgehammer force.”

She is more specific in another passage, stating exactly why she related to the titular character she played in Inside Daisy Clover. “Daisy becomes a movie star, falls in love with a handsome actor who is attracted to other men, and she discovers this flaw on her honeymoon. After her marriage and career go haywire, Daisy finds deep inside herself a resourceful and dependable human being.” Natalie, in effect, would have outed R.J. Natalie was alluding to the traumatic night at the Beverly Hills mansion, her intended dream house with R.J., when she said that she opened a door to look for R.J. and saw him intertwined with a man. Or as her mother, Gurdin, told her neighbor and closest friend, Jeanne Hyatt, the next morning, “She caught him in the act.” Lana was 15 when Natalie arrived at the house that night in June 1961, bleeding from a crystal glass she’d crushed in her hand and nearly berserk. Lana affirmed to me what Hyatt called “that horrid thing” that Natalie had seen. “To hear that he could be that way is one thing,” Hyatt said to me, “but to see it in action is another.” Natalie, Lana told me, shut herself in her old bedroom, where their mother found her in a coma from an overdose of sleeping pills. “The poor little thing,” recalled Hyatt, who heard every detail from Gurdin. “I would still say that she was in such shock over that, that she took the pills to go to sleep not to commit suicide. Of course, in that state she could have overdosed without even realizing it.”

I first heard about the real reason Natalie divorced R.J., from Robert Hyatt, Jeanne’s son. He and Natalie were close friends as child actors on Miracle on 34th Street, played teenage siblings on a TV series, and shared confidences, like a real brother and sister, ever after. Hyatt told me he learned about the secret at his mother’s house the night it happened.

The first time he told me, Hyatt turned off my tape recorder, wrote one line on a piece of paper and slid it across the table. He’d printed, “NATALIE SAW WAGNER HAVING SEX WITH THE BUTLER.” When I asked him why he wrote it on a piece of paper, Hyatt told me he was afraid that Wagner would “screw him around.” The same fear that half of Hollywood, and deckhand Davern, seemed to share.

After further reassurance, Hyatt said I could turn the recorder back on. He went on to say, “I was awakened in the middle of the night with a phone call from Natalie’s mother. And she was freaking out. She called up to tell my mother, but I answered the phone, and it was late at night so Marie just started telling me everything. … She had been telling me for years when Natalie married Wagner that ‘no good will come of this, it will be trouble.’ And she was right. Twice.” The secret was so deeply buried, and so traumatizing, it was several years, Lana told me, before Natalie could discuss it with her.

“Why it didn’t totally destroy her—it was close, I’ll tell you,” Natalie’s closest childhood friend, Mary Ann Brooks, confided to me. “I didn’t think she was going to pull out of it. … She never got over it. Never.” Mary Ann, one of the few people that Natalie trusted with the secret, told me that rumors about R.J.’s bisexuality “were flying” before they married. R.J. would deny them. “Oh, Mary Ann,” she recalled Natalie telling her. “All these people are just jealous of us.”

After she had found R.J. with the butler, Mary Ann said of Natalie, “She went through, ‘It’s my fault. What’s wrong with me?’ I said, ‘Honey, you have to accept now. He lied to you.’ She even tried to protect him. Her life was just a disaster. Catastrophic levels. Her whole world went—her private world, her professional world, everything. It was just like somebody dropped a bomb.”

After I published Natasha, supporting details emerged. Lana recalled that the butler was named Cavendish. Hedda Hopper mentioned Cavendish by name as the butler in an article about the newlywed Wagners, three years before Natalie found him with R.J. “He brings them breakfast in bed,” wrote Hopper. The Wagners’ butler, just as Robert Hyatt described him to me, was an older, English gentleman. Hyatt said his name was David Cavendish. A syndicated columnist writing about the couple’s marriage in 1958 also brought up David Cavendish, describing him, ironically, as Natalie and R.J.’s “English man-about-the-house.”

Lana told me recently that Cavendish lived with R.J. in a bachelor apartment in Beverly Hills before he married Natalie. “R.J. had him living with him as his ‘valet,’ his ‘man,’” Hyatt told me. “Natalie was questioning why he had that guy before they got married. She was trying to get rid of him.”

I even found movie magazines from the ’50s with fan-girl articles about the young Wagner that include a peculiar mention of his live-in butler. For a Photoplay article in 1953, the dapper 23-year-old actor posed for photographs outside his “first bachelor apartment,” an elegant Colonial fourplex. Per the magazine, Wagner’s friend, actor Dan Dailey, suggested he rent the apartment below his. Dailey, an older song-and-dance man from MGM musicals of the ’40s, lived in a one-bedroom with his “houseboy.”

Perhaps the most on-point validation of R.J.’s secret was an interview in my own archive with Irving Brecher, a screenwriter from the golden age of Hollywood. Brecher directed Wagner in Sail a Crooked Ship, the film that the actor was completing when Natalie said she walked in on him with the English houseman. I listened to that tape again 20 years later. Throughout the interview, Brecher, who told me he liked Wagner and enjoyed working with him, seemed preoccupied with the couple’s marriage in 1961 and Natalie’s apparent unhappiness. Brecher kept circling back to something that was nagging him. “And I’m just wondering,” he said thoughtfully, “whether, for any reason, Bob was involved in any homosexuality?” I told Brecher I had heard rumors he was bisexual. “Well, I think that you may be on to something,” he said. “And I’m not accusing him, but it’s quite possible.”

Brecher measured his words carefully. “I only saw one thing,” he told me. “And I—Jesus. It’s not an awful thing I saw. But once I did see him with another actor, in a very—in a house, and I happened to walk in the room. And they weren’t doing anything serious, but one of them was fondling the other’s butt.” This happened, Brecher said, around June 1961—the same month that Natalie took an overdose of sleeping pills and went into a coma.

Brecher’s account suggests that R.J. took risks with his trysts. “It was in a private house,” Brecher recalled. “They were guests in the house on the way out to dinner.” The actor who was fondling or being fondled by Wagner was “reasonably” well-known, the director said. “Nothing was made of it, [so] there was no embarrassment.”

Still the image had lingered in Brecher’s mind since 1961. Wagner’s sexual betrayal of Natalie in their first marriage is the dark cloud that looms over the story of a long weekend that began with Natalie using Walken to provoke an already jealous, angry R.J. and ended with Natalie in the sea with no one to save her.

In his 2008 memoir, Pieces of My Heart, Wagner reveals a violent, frightening dark side that was spinning out of control when he was in an earlier love triangle with Natalie. Like Walken, R.J.’s 1961 rival was Natalie’s costar, a younger, more successful actor. She was separated from Wagner, devastated by his affair with a man, but she had not filed for divorce. “Then Warren came into the picture,” Wagner angrily recalls. “That summer, when I read about them as the hot young couple around town, I wanted to kill that son of a bitch. Life magazine was calling Beatty ‘the most exciting American male in movies.’ My last four or five pictures had been flops. I was hanging around outside his house with a gun, hoping he would walk out. I not only wanted to kill him, I was prepared to kill him. Everything was coming to an end—my marriage, my career, the life I had built. I remember thinking that if I couldn’t kill Beatty, maybe I should kill myself. It was either flip out or flip the page: I chose the latter.”

The parallels in 1961 to the night on the Splendour in 1981 are eerie. Wagner had been hearing gossip from the set of Brainstorm, a sci-fi thriller starring Natalie and Walken, that the two were having an affair. Walken was Hollywood’s new, brash leading man in 1981, an Academy Award winner two years earlier for The Deer Hunter. Wagner “sold soap,” as he derisively described his TV career. R.J.’s visceral response to that dynamic in 1961 had been to kill the rival who was threatening “the life [he] had built.” More recently, Wagner offered an even more disturbing insight into his psyche. In a long video interview in 2011 with Alan K. Rode, the host of an annual Palm Springs film festival, he said that his favorite role was in the 1956 film noir A Kiss Before Dying, based on the 1953 novel by Lawrence Roman. In the movie’s most famous scene, Wagner’s character, Bud, who has discovered his pregnant fiancée might be disinherited, lures her to the roof of a building, pushes her to her death, and tries to make it look like suicide. The movie poster is of a young Wagner as he pushes Joanne Woodward off a building. The poster was released July 20, 1956, the day of Natalie’s first date with Wagner, also her 18th birthday.

Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images

Wagner first heard about the novel from his sister, who read an excerpt prior to its publication. She told R.J. that he reminded her of Bud, a charming, amoral sociopath who would stop at nothing to get ahead. “That character, I never thought of him as a villain, really,” Wagner says in his strangely candid 2011 interview with Rode. “I mean, he was just tryin’ to keep it goin’, to get ahead. I never played him as a guy who was a killer or anything like that. He was in love with her, and it was just too much pressure for him. I mean, he only had one way to get out.” R.J., 23 in 1953 and under contract to Fox, was so obsessed with playing Bud, he persuaded studio chief Darryl Zanuck to buy the film rights for him before the book was published and took it to producer Robert Jacks himself to set it up.

The film was notable for another reason. The dark, suave Robert Quarry, who would become a cult figure in the 1970s for his film portrayals of the vampire Count Yorga, played one of Bud’s victims. Quarry, a distinguished stage actor, was several years older than Wagner. “R.J. was such a pretty boy that it was hard to take him seriously in those days,” Quarry said. In his last years Quarry, who was gay, shared confidences in an interview with writer-producer-director Tim Sullivan. “Everyone knew Wagner was a hypocrite. He’d play the dreamy straight boy for the teenage girls.” Quarry recounted to Sullivan how R.J. would stroll off the set, put his arm around whichever young actress the studio was promoting as his girlfriend, and pose for photographers like a man in love.

By the end of filming on A Kiss Before Dying, that actress would be Natalie Wood.

Adapted from Natalie Wood: The Complete Biography, by permission of Penguin Random House


1630: Nicholas Wood, the Great Eater of Kent

Nicholas Wood (c.1585-1630) was an early 17th-century glutton, famous for eating vast amounts of food in one sitting. Wood was born in Hollingbourne, Kent, sometime in the 1580s before moving to nearby Harrietsham. Very little is known about him, except that he was a farmer who owned his own land, that he was strongly built and was not afraid of hard work.

Wood’s favourite food was apparently cow’s liver, though from all accounts he would eat just about anything. Exactly when Wood started his career as a voracious trencherman is unknown, though there are references to him ‘performing’ in the 1610s. Wood eventually died in poverty in 1630, having sold his estate to fund his travel and excessive eating.

The best-known source about his exploits was published in the year of his death and titled The Great Eater of Kent, or Part of the Admirable Teeth and Stomach Exploits of Nicholas Wood. According to extracts from this source, repeated in 1678, Wood:

“…did eat a whole sheep, of 16 shillings price, and raw at that, at one meal. Another time he eat 30 dozen of pigeons. At Sir William Sedley’s he eat as much as would have sufficed 30 men. At the Lord Wottons in Kent, he eat at one meal four-score and four [84] rabbits… He made an end of a whole hog at once and after it swallowed three pecks of damsons.”

Wood and his followers encouraged wagers about what he could or could not eat. By all accounts, Wood lost very few of these, though he was beaten once by a certain John Dale, who boasted that he could fill Wood’s stomach for two shillings. Wood took the wager and Dale purchased 12 loaves of bread which he “sopped in a mighty ale”. This meal sent Wood to sleep and won Dale the bet.

Source: Cited in Nathaniel Wanley, The Wonders of the Little World, or a General History of Man, London, 1674. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2016. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.


Added 2015-03-24 14:10:00 -0700 by Debbie Jean Stango (Kunkel)

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About John "the Leather Seller" Wood

John Wood/Atwood, the earliest immigrant ancestor of the Wood family, to arrive in Plymouth Massachusetts, came in 1635, aboard the ship Matthew. Most of his adult children followed him to America soon after.

John Wood is also known as John Atwood in some records his baptismal name is "Johanem Wood" according to E. F. Atwood however, I have yet to locate that record, so it may be a mistake. In the Sanderstead parish birth records his name is recorded as "Johannes" (not Johanem) with a date of 4 Feb 1582. Johannes is the Latinized version of John, often used in official records. He was a twin to Dericke who died in infancy. His baptism was recorded in both Sanderstead and Gatton parishes. It is not known why his birth was recorded at Gatton (a parish that is also located in Surrey, about three miles from Reigate), but it leads me to speculate that John's mother may have originally come from that parish.

From the Sanderstead Parish Register of baptism records:

1582 Feb 4, Johannes t Dericke Woode gemille Nicholaj Woode

translation: 1582 Feb 4, John and twin Derick Wood born to twin bearing (father) Nicholas Wood

Charles Atwood points out that the Latin spelling at Sanderstead Church for John's baptismal record is is correctly spelled as Johannes. The error, "Johanem" occurred in the "Hertfordshire History."

Since John Wood was baptized in Sanderstead, Surrey, England on 4 February 1582, it is likely that he was born about that time because it was customary to baptize infant children. He was probably born in Sanderstead since that is where his father, Nicholas and mother Olive (Harman) had a home. The Wood family had been associated with Sanderstead since about 1400 and had constructed a manor house there known as "Sanderstead Court." The title to the lands in Sanderstead are somewhat confusing at this point in time and it is not entirely clear whether the family was actually living at Sanderstead Court or in one of the other houses in the parish.

John Wood married Joan Coleson of Saint Martin's Parish, London in the summer of 1612. They had at least seven children, all born in England, five were sons and two were daughters. Johanna and Agnes are questionable children they are included here until their ancestry is confirmed fully. Philip is sometimes included as a child of John and Joan, however, this is not the case. Most of the other children were baptized at St. Martins in the Fields church in London. E. F. Atwood believes that after the birth of his second son, John (in 1613), he and his family moved to Chancery Lane in London. He does not provide documentation for this assertion, however.

John was a "leather seller" in England. A notation in The Gentleman's Magazine in 1848 indicates that John Atwood was a member of the Leather seller's Company on 22 January 1628 he sponsored a man with a highly unusual name to membership in the guild--Praysgod Barbone. Leather sellers were involved in selling, whiting, sorting and staking leather, and they belonged to a guild in London that regulated the trade their guild hall was a large and elaborate building and they derived both social and financial benefits from belonging to the guild. Leather craftsmen making leather goods and parchment could also belong to this guild. Leather was an essential product with many uses during this time.

When John's father, Nicholas, died in 1586, he left his estate to his youngest son Richard. Normally the oldest son would inherit his father's estate, so this was an unusual bequest. Richard died 17 years later in about 1603 and his estate was inherited by the oldest brother in the family, Harman. According to court documents summarized by E. F. Atwood in Ancestry of Harman Atwood, John sued his older brother on 1 Feb 1631 saying he should be the heir of the estate, not Harman:

"Harman Atwood doth confess that he hath a copy of a Court role, dated 37 Henry 8 (1546-47) which proves that Nicholas Wood was the heir, that Thomas Wood, a young son, had certain manor lands settled on him by his father, John Wood, and that on the death of said Thomas, Nicholas Wod was possessed of said lands, according to the custom of said manor."

Atwood maintains that this proceeding was used to simply sort out ownership of various Wood/Atwood lands, and that it was not filed in anger over John's perceived disinheritence. King Henry had taken some lands belonging to the Wood/Atwood family some years before when he dissolved the monastaries in England. The land the Wood/Atwood family owned had previously belonged to the monastary, and it may well have been a legal maneuver by the Wood/Atwood family to clarify their rightful ownership of lands in Sanderstead parish and elsewhere. It is probably from this incident that E. F. Atwood says that some of John's descendants claim he left for America after being disinherited.

I believe that Atwood is probably correct because if John was unhappy with his brother Harman after Richard's death it seems unlikely that he would have named his own son "Harman" in 1612. E. F. Atwood's conclusion is that this suit was merely a legal technicality to sort out ownership rights of Sanderstead. This conclusion would indicate that John did not leave England because of dissatisfaction with his inheritance, but for other reasons--possibly religious, possibly financial, or possibly for adventure.

It is not known what prompted John to leave England for the new colonies in America in 1635, but we can make a few guesses based on John's personal circumstances as well as the political and religious climate in England at the time. James I, the English King (1566 - 1625), faced opposition on many fronts. James did not trust the growing Puritan movement in England, and viewed it as a threat to his royal control of the church. Tensions continued to increase after James was succeeded by his son, Charles I, and finally reached a breaking point with the English Civil Wars.

Many Puritans, who became known as Dissenters, faced discrimination and persecution in England. They sought to "purify" the Church of England and objected to many of its ceremonies such as exchanging rings during marriage, inviting "evil doers" to share in communion, using the sign of the cross in baptism, etc. Many of the Dissenters' preachers were driven to ruin by the King through excessive taxation. This persecution lead to the first of several exoduses of Puritans, the first of which was to Leyden, Netherlands in about 1605. Most Puritans only stayed in the Netherlands for 10-15 years, however, and many eventually moved to America. The first group of Puritans arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 and founded the Plymouth Colony.

John may have well have been prompted by religious convictions to leave his English homeland and settle in the predominatly Puritan Plymouth Colony. We know that three of his sons married into staunch Puritan families after arriving in America. At least one leather seller in London was persecuted by the King for his beliefs and burned at the stake while John lived in London.

John may have also been motivated by financial considerations. As a younger son, John had been forced to fend for himself financially. It seems that his older brother, also named John (born 1576) had knowledge of the Plymouth Colony for he was recognized by the Treasurer of the stock company that funded the colony as a "special friend." John's brother's relationship to the Plymouth Colony may have had an impact on John. It is also possible that since he had not been successful in his law suit against his brother Harman for a share in his father's estate, John may have felt that the New World offered more opportunity than London.

It is believed that John left England on 21 May 1635 aboard the Matthew. John's name appears in the ship's register in London, with 131 others they were first transported to Saint Christopher's Island (now known as St. Lucia), an island in the Leeward chain in the Caribbean. Richard Goodladd, owner and master of the Matthew per a warrant from the Earl of Carlisle. Before they were allowed to leave England they were compelled to take an oath of allegiance that they would be loyal to their King and their mother country.

Shortly after arriving in Plymouth, he was admitted as a freeman on 3 Jan 1636 which meant that he took an oath of allegiance to the Colony and could vote in elections and participate in the governemntal life of the colony:

"Mr. John Atwood, John Jenkin, John Weekes, Josiah Cooke, Willm Paddy, Robte [Robert] Lee, Nathaniell Morton, Edward Forster, Georg Lewes, and Barnard Lumbard were made free this Court and sworn accordingly." (The Wood family relationship with the Morton family would continue for many years.) [John's grandson, Samuel, (son of Henry,) married Rebecca Morton, (daughter of Ephraim Morton, brother of Nathaniel Morton.)]

John's wife, Joan, also came to America, but it appears that she did not sail with him on the Matthew since her name is not listed on the ship's manifest. She came over on a later voyage, however, it is not clear which ship brought her.

From records of land transactions we know that John purchased land in Plymouth next to John Dunham shortly after his arrival. The land was granted to John Wood on 7 November 1636:

"had divers porcons allowed them, 3 acres in breadth & two in length, next to the land of John Dunham the elder. " The others were John Dunham Jr., John Wood, Samuell Eedy, Web Addy, Josiah Cooke, Thomas Atkinson, and Joshua Pratt, "All wch psons haue or are to build in the towne of Plym., and these lands to belong to their dwelling howses there, & not to be sold fro their howses."

Citation: 7 Nov 1636 Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. 1:46

The following summer, in 1638, William Bradford describes an interesting incident that undoubtedly would have made an impression on John:

"This year, aboute the 1. or 2 or June, was a great and fearfull earthquake it was in this place heard before it was felte. it came with a rumbling noyse, or low murmure, like unto remoate thunder it came from the norward, and passed southward. As the noyse aproached nerer, they earth began to shake, and came at lenght with that violence as caused platters, dishes, and such like things a stoode upon shelves to clatter an d fall downe yea, persons were afraid of the houses themselves. It so fell oute that at the same time diverse of the cheefe of this towne were mett together at one house, conferring withsome of their friends that wre upon their removall from the place, (as if the Lord would herby shew the signes of his displeasure, in their shaking a peeces and removalls one from an other.) How ever it was very terrible for the time, and as the men were set talking in the house, some women and others were without the dores, and the earth shooke with that vilence as they could not stand without catching hould of the posts and pails that stood next them but the vilence lasted not long. And about halfe an hower, or less, came an other noyse and shaking, but nether so loud nor strong as the former, but quickly passed over and so it ceased. it was not only on the sea coast, but the Indeans felt it with in land and some ships that wre upon the coast were shaken by it. So powerfull is the mighty hand of the Lord, as to make both the earth and sea to shake, and the mountaines to tremble before him, when he pleases and who can stay his hand?"

Citation: Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation

Four of John's adult sons also came to America after him:

Stephen went to Eastham, Mass. in about 1648-50

John to Plymouth, Mass. in about 1636

Henry to Middleborough, Mass. in about 1641

Harman to Boston, Mass. in about 1642

It is possible that his other son, William, also came to Charlestown, Mass. (this is based on speculation by E. F. Atwood in Ye Atte Wode Annals).

Three of John's sons married into prominent Puritan families:

John Wood married Sarah Masterson in 1642 in Plymouth. She was the daughter of Richard Masterson who had been a Deacon at Leyden, Holland, the first home of the Puritans.

Henry married Abigail Jenney in 1644 in Plymouth. She was the daughter of Capt. John Jenney and Sarah Carey who had first gone to Leyden, Holland before coming to America.

Stephen married Abigail Dunham in 1644 in Plymouth. She was the daughter of John Dunham and Abigail Barlow who had originally gone to Leiden, Holland and married there on 22 Oct 1622.

John only lived eleven years in his new American homeland. He died on 27 Feb 1644 in the Plymouth Colony. His will is dated 20 Oct 1643, and was proved on 5 Jun 1644.

E. F. Atwood in Ye Atte Wode Annals (1930) has provided a copy of the suit John filed against Harman in London in 1631. In this suit he is identified as the son of Nicholas and is also identified as a "leather seller:"

Chrles iw. 15-33. Wood Alias Atwood Vs. Atwood. Feb 1, 1631.

Humbly comlayning, your orator, John Wood, alias Attwood, of the City of London, leather seller, that whereas Nicholas Wood, alias Attwood, late of Sanderstead cum Longhurst, County Surrey, deceased father to your orator, was siezed of lands, etc., in Sanderstead, and did, about 28 Elizabeth [1586], convey on parcel of lands called Mancocke and another parcel lying by Parkland, in the bottom towards Comes Wood Head, and a parcel lying by Mitheley, Great Burye, called Opeley, and one close lying at Ledowne, and one parcel abutting upon the house of Henrie Best, all which lands, the said Nicholas Wood alias Atwood, did convey for the use of Oliphe, his wife, for her life, and for the use of Ritchard Wood alias Attwood, his youngest sonne, and after the death of the said Nicholas and Ritchard, the said Oliphe, about 1603, also died after whose death, the lands descended unto your orator, as youngest sonne of the said Nicholas. But now Harman Wood, alias Attwood, being the eldest son of your orator's father, and lord of the said manor of Sanderstead cum Longhurst, hath entered the said premises and pretends to disenherit your orator of the same.

ANSWER of Harman Atwood, Gent., Says bill of complaint it devised by the complainant without just cause and denies that he combined with Thomas Collett, the steward of said manor, concerning any controversy and says the complainant has no right or title to said premises. he doth confess that he hath a copy of a Court Role, dated 37 Henry 8 (1546-7) which proves that Nicholas Wood was the heir, that Thomas Wood, a younger son, had certain manor lands settled on him by this father, John Wood, and that on the death of said Thomas, Nicholas Wood was possessed of said lands, according to the custom of said manor.

Note [by E. F. Atwood]: "The above is merely an abstract made for genealogical purposes, hence does not always conform to exact wording of the original. It seems clear that the leather seller was never meant by Nicholas to inherit these lands, but thence comes our traditions of disinheritance, etc. As (Sanderstead manor was confiscated a few years earlier, yet John and Nicholas were left undisturbed in possession of lands bought by Peter in 1346, a Court Roll was necessary to avoid confusion as to titles of the two lands called Sanderstead Manor, one owned by the Greshams and one by the Wood-Atwoods."

Born John Attwood, John was was the last in his direct line to have a coat of arms. He was descended from knights of the shire, bodyguards of English kings and members of parliament. He was a younger son of his father, Nicolas Atwood. Therefore, he did not expect to inherit an estate. John chose to seek his fortune in the American colony of Plymouth. When John learned that his older brothers had died without eligible issue for his father's title, he sailed to England to claim it. But his youngest brother, who had remained in England, had secured it from the courts before John was able to to gain his rightful title and estate. John returned to Plymouth, and his name was changed to Wood. Some of his American relatives kept the the name Atwood. He, his son Henry Wood, and grandson John Wood were sometimes called Atwood and confused with people

    by Charles A.ਊtwood. ਊntioch, Ohio, 1965.  Page 3.
  • * Atwood, Elijah Francis, Ye Atte Wode Annals, p 7. Johanem and Derick, born 1582 Derick died 1583. Johanem was our leather seller John, for in 1631, he sued his brother Harman for lands their father Nicholas had settled on his youngest son [Richard], saw a chance for himself.
  • * Atwood, Elijah Francis, Ye Atte Wode Annals, p 5. Most of their [Nicholas and Olive] children were baptized at St. Martin's but John and Derick, "gemelli," Feb. 4, 1582, are on the parish register of Gatton and Sanderstead.
  • * Atwood, Elijah Francis, Ye Atte Wode Annals, p 5. Jan. 30, 1569, at St. Martin's he married Olive Harman, 1548-1603, daughter and heiress of James Harman.
  • * Atwood, Elijah Francis, Ye Atte Wode Annals, p 7. John Wood married Joan Coleson in St. Martin's July 25, 1612

I have included remarks concerning John 'The Elder' Atwood in order to contrast identities and be certain of which I am invested in. Also for me, preserving both adds rather than distracts from the overall family history. Please feel free to inform me of any historical feature known to be in error, or mistake of notations.

  • Some Fabulous Pedigrees, at: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved.
  • Corroborating research at: MyHeritage.com: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=9&cad.
  • Corroborating research, genealogy, family group sheet, source citations and complete sources, athttps://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&ved.
  • Ancestry.com research, at: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&cad.
  • The following biographical narrative taken from: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved.

John Atwood (1576�) was an Assistant Governor of the Plymouth Colony, in the future U.S. state of Massachusetts, in 1638.

  • Atwood's parents were Nicholas Wood (abt. 1539-1586), of Sanderstead Court in the English county of Surrey (now Greater London), and Olive Harman (1548�), daughter of the wealthy London merchant, James Harman (abt. 1527-1581). He had nine brothers, two sisters, and one half brother (from his mother’s marriage to John Buck in 1592).
  • His baptism record in Saint Martin in the Fields Church in London is dated 20 Sep 1576 and identifies him as "John Woode." His baptism is also recorded in Sanderstead parish church under the Latin form "Johannes". Despite being baptized as John Woode, he apparently went by the name Atwood, for this is the name he uses in his will prepared in 1643 and is also the name that Governor William Bradford uses when referring to him in his book Of Plymouth Plantation. To add confusion to the family names, John had a younger brother who was also named John (“Johanem” was his younger brother’s baptism name) this younger brother, John Wood (1582�), was a leather seller in London who emigrated to America in 1635.
  • Atwood is mentioned in a legal proceeding in England in which his half brother, Oliffe (Oliver) Buck, claimed that both John and Harman Atwood (one of John’s brothers) attempted to defraud him. Oliffe maintained that John owed him money, but that the two brothers conspired to hide John’s assets so they could not be collected. The case also mentions that "John Attwood, became decayed in estate, was sued and cast into prison." Harman Atwood claimed he was innocent and that others had attempted to defraud Oliffe.
  • He married Anne Lee, but they did not have any children Anne died in Plymouth in about 1654. While he appears to have been a merchant in England before coming to Plymouth, Atwood's reasons for emigrating have never been explained. He was in America at least by 1637, and possibly as early as 1635.
  • Atwood apparently had contact with colonists in Plymouth before he left England, because in 1633 Walter Harris signed a contract with him in London to become an indentured servant. In the contract Walter was expected to go from England to the Plymouth Colony and then work for a colonist named John Doane. John Doane became an Assistant Governor in Plymouth in 1633. Thomas Roberts is mentioned as being a servant to John Atwood in 1637 as are John Long and Richard Clark on 24 Oct 1638.
  • It appears that Atwood was in Plymouth at least by 1637 as there is a reference to him in Davis' Ancient Landmarks of Plymouth:
  • "As nearly as can be ascertained, the remainder of the land fronting on the north side of North Street, below the westerly boundary of the garden lot east of the Winslow house, was occupied by Thomas Prence as a place of residence while he was Governor of the colony, for the first time in 1634, and sold by him in 1637 to John Atwood. After the death of Mr. Atwood, which occurred in 1644, his widow, Ann Atwood, sold it in 1649 to Benjamin Vermayes." (Benjamin Vermayes was the husband of Mercy Bradford, Governor Bradford's daughter.)
  • John Atwood became an Assistant Governor in Plymouth in 1638. This position to which he was elected by other colonists who had taken the Oath of a Freeman indicates that he was viewed as a person of stature within the colony.

Plymouth Adventurers

  • Atwood became a mediator in the ongoing dispute between Governor Bradford and his Plymouth Colony partners with the London owners of the Plymouth Company (the Plymouth Adventurers) over the amount owed to each party as a result of trade goods (mainly beaver pelts and other furs) that had been shipped to London. In his history Bradford states:

"Mr. Shereley being weary of this conrtoversie, and desirous of an end, (as well as them selves) write to Mr. John Atwode and Mr. William Collier, two of the inhabitants of this place, and of his speatiall acquaintance, and desired them to be a means to bring this business to an end, by advising and counselling the partners here..

  • James Sherley was the Treasurer of the Plymouth Adventurers in London. This was a consortium of investors who financed the Plymouth Colony. The colonists had been shipping goods and products back to London to repay their loans, but the Plymouth Colony partners in America felt that they had not been getting adequate accounting for the sale of their goods in England in short, they felt they were being cheated by their London partners. After "diverse days" spent on this matter, John Atwood was finally able to get the partners in London and Plymouth to agree to a compromise. It took two years, however, before the situation was finally resolved in 1642.
  • Atwood did not live long in his new home in Plymouth, for he died less than ten years after coming to America. It is not known precisely when he died—it was sometime between the date of his will, 20 Oct 1643, and the date that his will was probated on 5 June 1644. E. F. Atwood provides a transcript of his will in Ye Atte Wode Annals, and his wife Ann is named his sole executrix to whom I will and bequeath all the rest of my estate." His will was witnessed "by William Bradford and Robert Hicks. His wife, Ann (Lee) died in 1654.
  • Atwood, Charles, History of the Atwood Family in England and the United States, to which is Appended a History of the Tenney Family, 1888
  • Atwood, Elijah Francis, Ye Atte Wode Annals, Sisseton, SD: Atwood Publishing Co., June 1928

Bradford, William, Bradford’s History of Plymouth Plantation, 1606-1646, edited by William T. Davis, New York: Scribner’s, 1920

  • Davis, William T., Ancient Landmarks of Plymouth, Part I, Historical Sketch of Titles and Estates, Part II, Genealogical Register of Plymouth Families, Boston, A. Williams & Co., 1883
  • Shurtleff, Nathaniel B. and Pulsifer, David (eds.), Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, New York: AMS, 1968, reprint edition
  • An Atwood history, traced to 1220: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=41&ve.
  • LDS researcher: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=27&ve.
  • Immediate family group and genealogy at: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=11&ve.
  • Corroborating research, genealogy, family group sheet, source citations and complete sources, at: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&ved.
  • Ancestry.com research, at: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&cad.
  • The following biographical narrative taken from: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=10&ve.
  • REF: Atwood, Elijah Francis (1928), Ye Atte Wode Annals, Sisseton, SD: Atwood Publishing Co.

"Johanem was our leather seller John, for in 1631, he sued his brother Harman for lands their father Nicholas had settled on his youngest son, Richard. The latter had died, so John, now being youngest son, saw a chance for himself. Whence evidently comes the various Atwood traditions of the American ancestor being disinherited, or having best right to estate in England but never claiming it".

  • John Wood, 'The Younger' married Joan Coleson in St. Martin's July 25, 1612 and two children were baptized at St. Martin's Harman, Oct. 3, 1613 and John, Dec. 24, 1614. I think they then moved to Chancery Lane, London. There is absolutely no doubt that Stephen was brother of these, and but little doubt of Henry.
  • REF: The Descendants of Peter Atte Wood of England and Henry Wood of Plymouth Massachusetts

http://www404.pair.com/vtandrew/wood/wood.htm#toc by: Ross D. Andrews 7558 Quail Run Lane Manassas, VA 20109

No sources are listed on this website

29. John (Johannes)9 (Nicholas8 Atwood, John Hewson7, John6, John5 Atte_Wode, Peter4, Peter3, William2, Peter1)

  • reference 8LC1-KP was born in Sanderstead, Surrey, England February 1582. John died 27 February 1644 in Plymouth, Plymouth, MA, at approximately 62 years of age. His body was interred 1644 in Plymouth, MA.
  • He married four times. He married Joan Coleson. Joan was born in of, Westminister, Middlesex, England. Joan died 1 June 1654 in Boston, Suffolk, MA. Her body was interred June 1654 in Boston, Suffolk, MA. He married an unknown person. He married Joan Coleson 25 July 1612 in St Martin, London, London, England. Joan was born in of, Westminister, Middlesex, England. Joan died 1 June 1654 in Boston, Suffolk, MA. Her body was interred June 1654 in Boston, Suffolk, MA. He married an unknown person after 1612 in of, Eng.
  • He was christened 4 February 1582 in Sanderstead, Surrey, England. John was a leather salesman. On the decease of John Attwood, there was litigation between the sons concerning the estate, in which Harmon succeeded in getting the greater part. It is related that the three younger sons were defrauded of their shares on the estate. They came to America John to Plymouth in 1635 Harmon to Boston Henry to Plymouth and later Middleboro Stephen followed later to Middleboro.
  • John (Johannes)Atwood [Twin] and Joan Coleson had the following children:

John Atwood_(Wood) reference 8HV3-B4. John died before 10 May 1676 in Portsmouth, Newport, RI. He married twice. He married Ann. He married Sarah Masterson 1641/1642 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts. He was christened 24 December 1614 in St Martin-In-The, Westminister, Middlesex, England.

  • Henry Wood was born 1594.
  • Johanna Atwood reference GJNL-50 was born in St Martin, London, London, England 23 February 1611/1612. She was christened 23 February 1612 in St.Martin-In, -The-Field, London, England.
  • Harmon Atwood reference GJNL-65 was born in London, London, England 3 October 1613. Harmon died 2 June 1651 in Unknown, at 37 years of age. His body was interred in Unknown. He married Ann Copp 11 August 1646 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts.

He was christened 3 October 1613 in St. Martin-In-Th, London, England.

  • Stephen Atwood reference FHK9-SL was born in of, London, London, England 1616. Stephen died February 1693/1694 in Eastham, Barnstable, MA, at approximately 77 years of age. His body was interred February 1693/1694 in Eastham, Barnstable Co, MA. He married Abigail Dunham 16 November 1644 in Plymouth, Plymouth, MA.

He was christened in Of London, London, England.

  • Agnes Atwood reference GJNL-7B was born in London, London, England 1617/1618. She was christened 18 March 1618 in St. Martin-In-Th, London, England.
  • Phillip Atwood reference 24V6-M4 was born in England 1619/1620. Phillip died 1 February 1700 in Malden, Middlesex, MA, at approximately 79 years of age. His body was interred February 1700 in Bradford, Essex, MA. He married five times. He married Rache Bachelor_(Batche in Malden, Essex, Massachusetts. He married Elizabeth. He married Elizabeth Grover 7 April 1675 in Bradford, Ma?. He married Elizabeth 7 April 1675. He married Elizabeth X-Atwood after 1676 in MA.
  • William Atwood reference GJNL-9N was born in of, London, London, England 1622. He married Abigail Jenney 28 April 1644.

He was christened in Of London, London, England.

  • Marriage document of John Wood to Joan Colson, married in Westminster, London added to the Sources tab. Marriage date 1612.
  • [S217] Atwood, Elijah Francis, Ye Atte Wode Annals, p 7.

Johanem and Derick, born 1582 Derick died 1583. Johanem was our leather seller John, for in 1631, he sued his brother Harman for lands their father Nicholas had settled on his youngest son [Richard], saw a chance for himself.

Most of their [Nicholas and Olive] children were baptized at St. Martin's but John and Derick, "gemelli," Feb. 4, 1582, are on the parish register of Gatton and Sanderstead.

Jan. 30, 1569, at St. Martin's he married Olive Harman, 1548-1603, daughter and heiress of James Harman.


Nicholas Wood - History

Bio: Christensen, Peter Nicholas (1847 - 1881)
Contact: [email protected]

Surnames: Christensen, Thompson, Ebbe

Source: History of Northern Wis. (Wood County, Wis.) 1881, page 1204

PETER NICHOLAS CHRISTENSEN, Grand Rapids. Was born on the small Island of Laaland, the most southeasterly island of Denmark, on the 1st of October, 1847. His father was a school teacher by profession. Mr. C. left home in 1862 to oversee a large farm, where he remained until 1866, when he came to the United States, and soon after to Wis. He worked at logging and lumbering until 1870, when he bought a heavily timbered tract of land in the town of Lincoln, Wood Co., which he has cleared and cultivated, and upon which he has built a large barn and comfortable dwelling, where he now resides. He has been Clerk of the town of Lincoln nine years, and connected with the Board of Education since 1873. In 1880, he was elected Register of Deeds for Wood County, which office he at present holds. Mr. C. was married to Miss Martha Thompson Ebbe, step-daughter of I. H. Ebbe, of Nasonville, Feb. 1, 1873. They have four children - Caroline M., Lewis P., Clarence C., and B. Lillian. Mr. C. has living next neighbor to him his only brother, Jacob, who came here in 1867, and has followed farming also. He is a graduate of Blaagard Seminary, Copenhagen.

----Source: Marshfield Times, The | Marshfield, Wisconsin | Saturday, Feb 25, 1882 | Page 1

Obit: Christianson Children (1882)

Mr. P. N. Christensen, of Grand Rapids, lost two children last week with malignant diphtheria, and at the present writing has two others sick with scarlet fever.

Groom's Name: Peter Necholca Christensen
Groom's Birth Date:
Groom's Birthplace:
Groom's Age:
Bride's Name: Martha S. Thompson
Bride's Birth Date:
Bride's Birthplace:
Bride's Age:
Marriage Date: 01 Feb 1873
Marriage Place: Lincoln, Wood, Wisconsin
Groom's Father's Name: Peter Christensen
Groom's Mother's Name: Nicholina Christensen
Bride's Father's Name: Lars Thompson
Bride's Mother's Name: G. Thomson Ebbe
Groom's Race:
Groom's Marital Status:
Groom's Previous Wife's Name:
Bride's Race:
Bride's Marital Status:
Bride's Previous Husband's Name:
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M00335-4
System Origin: Wisconsin-ODM
Source Film Number: 1275654

1880 Federal Census, Lincoln, Wood, Wisconsin

Name: Peter N. Christensen
Birthdate: 1848
Birthplace: Denmark
Relationship to Head: Self
Spouse's Name: Martha Christensen
Spouse's Birthplace: Norway
Father's Birthplace: Denmark
Mother's Birthplace: Denmark
Race or Color (Expanded): White
Ethnicity (Standardized): American
Gender: Male
Martial Status: Married
Age (Expanded): 32 years
Occupation: Farmer
Household
Head: Peter N. Christensen M 32
Spouse: Martha Christensen F 22, 1858, Norway, married 22 yrs., parents b. Norway, parents b. Norway.
Child: Caroline M. Christensen F 6, 1874, Wis.
Child: Lewis Peter Christensen M 5, 1875, Wis.
Child: Clarence C. Christensen M 3, 1877, Wis.
Child: Lilian Bertha Christensen F 7M, 1879, Wis.
Jacob Christensen M 37 1843, Denmark, single farmer, parents b. Denmark

Wisconsin Birth Records

Name: Martha Caroline Christensen
Gender: Female
Baptism/Christening Date:
Baptism/Christening Place:
Birth Date: 18 Feb 1882
Birthplace: Grand Rapids, Wood, Wisconsin
Death Date:
Name Note:
Race: White
Father's Name: Peter Nicholas Christensen
Father's Birthplace: Lolland, Denmark, Europe
Father's Age:
Mother's Name: Martha Thompson Ebbe
Mother's Birthplace: Sistenos, Norway, Europe
Mother's Age:
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C00327-0
System Origin: Wisconsin-EASy
Source Film Number: 1305611
Reference Number: cn 296

1900 Federal Census, Lincoln township, Wood, Wisconsin

Name: Hannah M Christensen
Birth Date: Feb 1866
Birthplace: Denmark
Relationship to Head-of-Household: Wife
Spouse Name: Peter Christensen
Spouse Birth Place: Denmark
Father Birthplace: Denmark
Mother Birthplace: Denmark
Race or Color (expanded): White
Head-of-household Name: Peter Christensen
Gender: Female
Marital Status: Married
Years Married: 17
Estimated Marriage Year: 1883
Mother How Many Children: 7
Number Living Children: 7
Immigration Year: 1882
Household
Head: Peter Christensen M, Oct 1847 Denmark, farmer, parents b. Denmark
Spouse: Hannah M Christensen F
Child: Martha C Christensen F, Feb 1882, Wis., servant
Child: Carrie M Christensen F, Dec 1884, Wis., at school
Child: Bertha L Christensen F, Sep 1886, Wis., at school
Child: Peter W Christensen M, Oct 1888, Wis., at school
Child: William C Christensen M, Nov 1892, Wis., at school
Child: Louise N D Christensen F, Jan 1895, Wis.
Child: Bernhard G J Christensen M, Mar 1897, Wis.
Child: Gracie O Christensen F, Oct 1899, Wis.
Brother: Jacob Christensen M, Oct 1842, Denmark, farmer, parents b. Denmark
Louie Iverson M, Jan 1884, Wis., farm laborer, parents b. Norway


Noted several times for forsaking his vow of "Thou Shall Not Kill" by Vash. He's also known to be lecherous as well as a womanizer following more of a hedonistic or pleasurable style, while still following some religious beliefs. It's noted that while Milly gets on his nerves from time to time, he does genuinely care for her and the sentiment is reciprocated.

Manga [ edit | edit source ]

After Wolfwood showed potential in the orphanage in which he was raised, Chapel (also known as Master C) took him into the Eye of Michael, an organization of assassins founded by a plant worshiper, and trained and modified Wolfwood to be a killer. The modifications gave him enhanced abilities and the ability to regenerate from heavy injuries using special vials, but as a result caused him to age at an accelerated rate, giving him the appearance of a man in his late 20's though he is only in his early adult years by the start of the series.

His potential was recognized as exceptional and so he was given the tenth incarnation of the organization's most powerful weapon, a special large cross-shaped gun called the Punisher, which becomes his official title within the Eye of Michael. Wolfwood later betrayed and shot Chapel, impersonating Chapel to gain entry into the Gung-Ho-Guns in an attempt to kill Knives. He failed, and was instead sent by Knives to guide and protect Vash on the latter's travels to Knives' base, thus killing fellow Guns Rai-Dei the Blade and Gray the Ninelives. After Vash is taken prisoner in the Ark, Wolfwood rescues him and later departs to December to protect the orphanage from the retaliation. He battles his childhood friend, Livio the Double Fang, and his crippled master in a two-volume face off. He manages to mortally wound Chapel and defeat Livio the Double Fang and Razlo the Tri-Punisher of Death, but having overdosed on the regenerative vials, he soon dies while having a last drink with Vash.

Anime [ edit | edit source ]

Nicholas D. Wolfwood from the Trigun Art Book

Upbringings and The Orphanage

In the anime, Wolfwood is raised by an abusive guardian, who he later shoots and kills. He is taken in by Chapel the Evergreen, who trains him to be his successor and gives him a Cross Punisher gun, later on, Wolfwood establishes an orphanage and throughout the years he takes on jobs being a hired gun in order to raise money for it making it a mission to prevent any children from suffering and growing up to be like him. Eventually, he takes on a job by Knives to make sure his brother Vash survives until their final battle.

Meeting Vash The Stampede While on a bus traveling to May City, Vash spots Wolfwood out in the desert completely exhausted with his Cross Punisher (possibly an intentional move to get closer to Vash to start his job) and stops the bus in order to save him. Once he is rescued Wolfwood is introduced to Vash and the Insurance Girls Milly and Meryl, immediately showing appreciation for Vash's rescue. He eventually comments on his smile and mannerisms being so friendly but all being a front to hide his inner struggle, taking Vash aback by how well he figured him out. The two then have to team up to take care of some robots who attack the bus. Heading to the source of the machines Vash gives Wolfwood his signature .45 Long Colt to cover him as he puts a stop to them. While running Vash takes note of the priest's accuracy and realizes that there is more to him than he originally believed with Wolfwood later thinking the same as when he runs out of ammo while covering Vash he sees that the robots have already been incapacitated and the left side of Vash's body smoking. The two return to the bus with Wolfwood sitting next to Milly and deciding to sleep while resting on Milly's shoulder. The next morning, when the bus arrives at its destination, Wolfwood departs from the group on his motorcycle and runs into them again on only two other occasions a quick draw tournament and a caravan that they were traveling with.

The Fifth Moon Incident Wolfwood arrives in Augusta City after Vash's Angel Arm reduces the city to rubble, commenting on Vash's powers and the destruction that lay before him. The ninth Gung-Ho-Gun Rai Dei the Blade then emerges from the rubble, pleading with Nicholas to help him kill Vash but Wolfwood refuses, instead killing Rai Dei then and there. He then combs over the destruction looking for Vash but only finds his broken .45 Long Colt and over the following two years he searches for Vash, along the way bringing the gun to a gunsmith named Frank Marlon who knew Vash before and who fixes the gun for free after Nicholas mentions he knew Vash.

Traveling with Vash and The Girls After two years of searching, Nicholas finally tracks down Vash living in Kasted City with his adopted family under the name Erics, Wolfwood returns Vash's revolver despite him not wanting to return to his former life after his previous incident, stating that he could've wiped out the planet with his Angel Arm and the loss of memory that it causes. Unable to sway him, Wolfwood begins to leave but informs Vash of an incident in Carcases town where the inhabitants mysteriously vanished without a trace, the clue as to what is the word Knives painted on a stone in the middle of town. This makes him give in and Vash resigns himself to take up arms once more to battle his brother and after rescuing Lina, a member of his adopted family, from bandits, Vash and Wolfwood leave Kasted.

The two then reach another town with Vash preventing the murder of a man who killed the daughter of another family. After this, they reunite with Milly and Meryl and Wolfwood tells Vash that his luck and persistence will not last forever and that he will have to kill someday. The next day Vash decides to make a visit to his home on an old SEED ship holding people that have never been on the surface of the planet, Wolfwood tags along and while on the ship he vocally displays his displeasure with the people on board after they treat him like an outsider, telling them that one day they will have to live on the planet this is interrupted by the arrival of three members of the Gung-Ho-Guns: Leonof the Puppet-Master (via puppets sent on board while he remains on Gunsmoke), Gray the Ninelives, and Hoppered the Gauntlet. After a long battle that results in the SEED ship crashing, the two prevail against their enemies, with Wolfwood killing Gray in battle, but lose a resident of the ship who assisted them named Brad after Leonof hid a puppet among the passengers disguised as Jessica and attempted to shoot Vash with it. Brad took the shot for him, and, enraged by this, Wolfwood tracks down Leonof and kills him by rocket via his Cross Punisher.

After this, the group travels to another town but are unable to enter due to the residents being paranoid of outsiders after an incident similar to Carcases in which people just disappeared. The group then comes across a group of children living on the outskirts of town after being orphaned by the incident and decide to stay there and help the children but are disrupted by the chaos caused by sandworms destroying the town. Vash and Wolfwood go to lend a hand to put a stop to it and it is revealed that the fourth Gung-Ho-Gun, Zazie the Beast, hid himself among the children and caused the sandworms to attack the town. Zazie holds Vash, the girls, and the other children at gunpoint, and all of them try to convince him that he doesn't have to do this and can rejoin them in peace. It seemingly works for a second but it is cut short by Wolfwood who decides to shoot him out of fear of him pulling the trigger. This creates a rift in the group with Vash and Nicholas arguing over their ideals about killing, during which Wolfwood punches Vash and storms off.

Encountering Chapel the Evergreen and Death Once everyone reaches Carcases, Wolfwood splits off from the others and encounters his former teacher Chapel, who tells Nicholas that his orders have changed and that he must kill Vash and swears the safety of the children in his orphanage as long as Wolfwood does the deed. Later that day Wolfwood contemplates his decisions up to this point, breaking down over all of it and begins to wonder if his ideas are truly correct and that killing is a necessity or he was wrong and Vash's refusal to take a life is truly the better path. While he contemplates he is comforted by Milly whom he had grown to develop a romantic interest for while traveling and vice versa resulting in the two embracing each other and having sex later that night. When the morning comes Wolfwood tells Milly to remain inside the room and don't exit it, until the battle was over. A little after this Vash and Wolfwood exchange apologies but it ends with Wolfwood pointing his Cross Punisher at Vash and using it to block a sniper bullet from Caine the Longshot and they take cover in a nearby bar to make a plan, Wolfwood deciding to take on Chapel and Vash will take Caine. Before they separate Wolfwood asks Vash what his real name is, with him simply responding that his name is irrelevant to which they both share a friendly smile then separate.

Chapel engages in battle with Nicholas, with his own Cross Punisher separating into two machine guns, Wolfwood prevails against his mentor who demands that he be finished off but is denied. Nicholas, for the first time truly embracing Vash's ideals of not killing another living being, walks away smiling, but as his back is turned Chapel is manipulated by Legato's telekinetic abilities and raises his gun to his apprentice's back but Wolfwood catches this in time and points his gun at his mentor, and machine-gun fire is heard. Wolfwood meets Vash in town and consoles him after Vash failed to prevent Caine's suicide, Nicholas commenting on how this is the path of a mortal that Vash chose and that he cannot save everyone despite his guilt over not being able to. He then follows up by informing him of Knives' location, with Vash immediately questioning him as to how he knows that, but he is already gone leaving a blood trail.

Nicholas D. Wolfwood's death scene in the anime.

Wolfwood reaches a nearby church and starts talking to God, kneeling before the cross and his Cross Punisher, speaking about the bloody path he had chosen throughout his life and how he never believed that he had a choice other than killing and how wrong he truly was, realizing that there are plenty of ways to not kill and save everyone, lamenting that he wished he had seen that before it was too late. He begins to smoke his last cigarette but stops midway through, thinking of a comment made by Milly during their time at the caravan two years ago about how smoking was bad for the baby (even though she was only pretending to be pregnant). He wishes that if he were to be reincarnated that he would be in Eden where he could be with Vash and the girls but breaks down in anger and sadness, not wanting to die and to stay with his friends, thinking of them as he looks at the cross, screaming out as he looks to the sky "I did not want to die this way!" Wolfwood's hand falls to the floor and with a smile on his face slowly passes away.

His body is later found by Vash who buries him and retrieves his Cross Punisher, bringing it to a distraught Milly who is in tears over the news, with Meryl comforting her.

Before heading off to his final battle with Knives, Milly gives Vash Wolfwood's Cross Punisher saying that he would be honored if he took it with him to which Vash agrees and carries it to the location of his fight firmly placing it in the ground before engaging in battle. At one point Knives steals Vash's gun, activating both Angel Arms and prepares to kill Vash, but before the end can come Wolfwood's voice tells him "What are you doing Needle Noggin. It's right next to you, use it damn it!" Vash shoves his arm into the ground, pulling out the Cross Punisher and fires it at Knives' arm shooting his revolver out of his hand and fires at Knives. After reloading, Vash then shoots at him in both his arms and calves and disarms him by shooting at his revolver. The Cross Punisher ultimately securing Vash's victory, after the battle is won Vash leaves both revolvers and the Cross Punisher, as he walks off back to Milly and Meryl.


7. He was a racecar enthusiast.

A lover of speed, Dean reportedly used part of his �st of Eden” advance to purchase a red convertible and a motorcycle. By March 1955, he had begun competing in road races, guiding a white Porsche Super Speedster to a second-place finish at his debut in Palm Springs, California. While working on “Giant,” the studio contractually barred him from racing. But upon finishing the film, he traded in the Speedster for an even more powerful Porsche 550 Spyder, which he nicknamed “Little Bastard.”

James Dean sits behind the wheel of a sports car in a still from ‘The James Dean Story,’ 1957.

(Credit: Warner Bros./Getty Images)


How They Made It Wooden Wheels With 300 Years Of History

Rick Hale finds inspiration in the work of 18th-century clockmaker John Harrison.

In 18th century England, carpenter and clockmaker John Harrison developed a remarkable method for making wooden clock wheels. These wheels kept their concentricity during large changes in temperature and humidity and had exceptionally strong teeth. Harrison's use of the particularly oily lignum vitae wood eliminated the need for lubrication, resulting in a longer-lasting and more precise movement. These wooden wheels were just one part of an incredible horological career. Harrison went on to invent the marine chronometer, one of the most important inventions in history, which allowed for accurate navigation at sea. Today in Michigan, clockmaker Rick Hale is carrying on Harrison's legacy with his spectacular wooden timekeepers.

Hale's large-scale work eschews traditional tall-case clock architecture, instead adopting a modern style which showcases the inner workings of the movement. These monumental clocks are usually custom-designed to fit a specific space and can take from a few months to a few years to build. Hale's wheels closely follow the method Harrison developed over 300 years ago and are on full display in his clocks. How are Rick Hale's wheels made? Let's have a look.

Center wheel with finished teeth.

"My method of wheel construction allows for radial symmetry, meaning the wheel will "breathe" uniformly in all directions with changes in temperature and humidity. Each tooth is shaped individually from carefully selected stock so that grain direction is identical all the way around the wheel. This layout makes for wheels that remain extremely stable, round, and accurate over time. I also employ the gear tooth geometry John Harrison developed for his sea clocks, and the result – very slender teeth meshing with oversized rollers made from lignum vitae – yields an extremely efficient gear set with incredibly low friction."

Lumber that will eventually be part of a clock.

"Timber selection is paramount to achieving stability. All lumber used for my clocks is kiln-dried and allowed to 'settle' at various points in the wheelmaking process. Wheel spokes are generally selected from quarter-sawn lumber and felloes (the perimeter pieces) are plain-sawn. This provides the best possible strength and eliminates weak spots around the edges. Every tooth is individually cut and shaped from very tight- and straight-grained plain-sawn stock for uniform strength and rigidity."

"After timber has been selected, each wheel component is rough-cut with a saw and manually trimmed to final dimensions. At that point, all the pieces are ready for joinery. I generally use tongue-and-groove joinery for smaller wheels, and splines for larger ones."

Wheel blank after being glued.

"After the pieces have been glued and clamped together, the wheel blank is trimmed to its final contours, and then the precision work begins."

Boring and turning a large wheel.

"The only wheels that make it to this stage are the ones that have dead-perfect joinery. These wheels are given a preliminary surfacing, and then their outside diameters and bore diameters are manually turned on a 2000-kg German-made pantograph milling machine paired with an extremely large Swiss-made rotary table. I restored these excellent pieces of machinery myself, and they are dedicated solely to wheelmaking."


The Lindley Family History

The name Lindley comes from the old English text, Lind - meaning tree and Ley - meaning clearing. The shorter version, if you will, is “Keeper of the Wood” . In Saxon times surnames derived from physical features of land such as hills, trees and streams. The name Lindley occurs at least four times in the West Riding of Yorkshire, Old Lindley and Nether Lindley (between Elland and Huddersfield), Lindley in the ancient parish of Otley and in Healingly. The Lindley's took their name from the hamlet of Lindley near the township of Otley now represented by Lindley Hall, a substantial farm on the northern side of the reservoir of the Washburn Valley. The Lindley's were certainly a big land and property owning family in Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Kent, this is clear from the various wills which mention the above places. They married into many arms bearing families as can be observed from various pedigrees.

The Lindley name can be traced to Otley and Cheshire , England . The Lindley name first appears in 937 AD by the Archbishop of York regarding King Athelstan (924 – 939) after the battle of Brunanburgh. Athelstan was the son of King Edward of England (899 - 924), and grandson of Alfred the Great. The battle of Brunanburgh was a crucial turning point in the development of England . It is believed that the Lindley crest was given by King Athelstan. Lindley appears again in 1066 AD at the Battle of Hastings before the Norman Conquest of England.

The Market Place in Otley looking East, with the
Buttercross and Jubilee Clock in the foreground

The first specific Lindley to appear in writing was Thomas de Lindley in the York Assize Court Rolls in 1204, and his son William in Otley in 1292. William de Lindley was betrothed to Alice Fulk of Wakefield in the 1200s. Alice was well connected as her father was a manservant to the Archbishop of York, as a result of his connections to the Archbishop, Fulk was able to purchase half the Manor of Farnley, as a wedding present for Alice and his son-in-law William de Lindley. William de Lindley became Lord of Farnley a township to the east in about 1230. This marked the rise to prominence of the Lindley's who throughout the middle ages were to become an important family in Yorkshire. The Lindley's continued as Lords of the Manor of Leathley until the 1524.

In Thomas Lindley's will of 1439, he leaves his youngest son, Percival his land and property in Lindley. Percival is mentioned in records of Otley dated August 14th 1439 that he holds land and tenements in Lindley by Military service. Most influential people of this period had some connection with the Military such as Lords of the Manor who, because of the land and property they owned, were expected to provide men and arms in support of the King.

Thomas's will of 1524 also shows that he had two heiresses, daughters, Isabel and Elizabeth. The two daughters both married into arms bearing families, Isabel into the York family of Palmes and Elizabeth into the family of Everingham. On the death of Thomas in 1524 the Palmes family, through the marriage of Isabel to Bryan Palmes, became the principal owner of the Manor of Lindley. However, Bryan Palmes only lived for three years, leaving his son Francis to continue the Palmes line at Lindley. RE: The rubbing of the Brass at Oatly below.

The original Arms of the family were “Argent on a chief Sable 3 Griffin heads erased Argent" the three branches of the family had differences to distinguish them from each other. This is a simple design and almost certainly of an early period as shields tended to be of a simple pattern in earlier times.

In 1681 Francis Lindley was the first Registrar of the West Riding and owner of Bolling Hall in Bradford. He married Carolina Finch and was the Sheriff of Lancaster. A glass door leading into the garden contains the Lindley crest this door may have been/or is the south entrance.

Boilling Hall and a housebook from Bolling Hall

The Will of Thomas Lindley of Lindley 1439, mentions his brother Robert as well as Percival. Percival's Will of 1495 mentions land in Skegby and Nottinghamshire and he leaves this as well as personal effects to his son and heir Thomas. Other bequests were also made to the Churches of Otley and Leathley and the Chapels of Stainburn and Farnley. In 1513 Thomas exchanged land in Stainburn for the Abbeys (Fountains) tofts in Otley.

Fountains Abbey Leasebook dated July 1st 1538 Henry VIII ( Yorkshire Archaeological series ref 140 Doncaster Library ) has a reference on page 258 to the appointment of a steward of court and auditor. A grant by Abbot Marmaduke and the Convent of Fountains to Christopher Lindley of Leathley for the faithful service he has done in the past to the abbot and convent and their monastery, of the office of steward of courts of the manors, lands and tenements in Yorkshire appoint him auditor of stock of the monastery and to hold this office for life.

The illustration is from a very careful rubbing of the Oatly Brass taken in 1895. The Otley brass is one of the most well known monumental inscriptions of any church in Yorkshire, if not the country and one that has been recorded many times.

Observe the Lindley crest in the upper left corner. William de Lindley became Lord of Farnley a township to the east in about 1230, the Lindley's continued as Lords of the Manor of Leathley. In 1524 Thomas passed with no male heir so Elizabeth married into the family of Everingham and Isobel married Brian Palmes of York, becoming the principal owner of the Manor of Lindley. During this time the Lindley's became established at Otley and are named in many records.

Brian Palmes passed three years later so Isobel then married Sir Thomas Johnson of Northumberland.

In the lower part is Francis Palmes recumbent on a mattress, one end of which is curled up to form a pillow for the head and the hands raised in prayer. By his side is a sword. From this figure springs a tree, with roundels bearing the names and recording the various alliances of the Lindley and Palmes family these unite with the marriage of Brian Palmes and Isobel Lindley, daughter and heiress of Thomas Lindley.

The town of Middleham is part of Hang West Wapentake in that part of the North Riding of Yorkshire known as Richmondshire. It is located in Wensleydale, between the Ure and Cover rivers, which join just beyond Middleham parish. The castle at Middleham controlled the upper reaches of Wensleydale and the road from Richmond through Coverdale to Skipton. Described as "the smallest town in Yorkshire," Middleham is known as a center for training race-horses, and of course for Middleham Castle, whose ruins stand on the south side of the town.

From the time the first castle was built, in the late eleventh century, until the late fifteenth century, Middleham Castle served as an important locus of local and regional power, and -- despite no longer being occupied by powerful local lords it continued as an administrative center through the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Although the castle never had to withstand a siege and was directly involved in actual civil war in only a limited fashion, it was in the center of national affairs during the Wars of the Roses as the headquarters of the powerful Neville earls of Salisbury and Warwick and of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later King Richard III.

Edward II Viscount Loftus by his marriage to Jane Lindley of Leathley (daughter of John Lindley of Leathley), so here again we have proof of the Lindley influence in Yorkshire.

Elizabeth Lindley was betrothed to James I of England, (seen to the left) sometime after The Union of Crowns in 1603. In 1604 the castle was granted by James 1 to Sir Henry Lindley. In Sir Henry's Will of 1609 he mentions the castle at Middleham so there is record of occupation during the Lindley ownership. After Sir Henry's death his brother John Lindley of Leathley took over ownership.

In 1613 the castle passed to Edward 2nd Viscount Loftus by his marriage to Jane Lindley of Leathley, daughter of John Lindley of Leathley, so here again we have proof of the Lindley influence in Yorkshire.

Rudby all Saints' Church in Hutton possesses a pulpit that connects the Lindley family with the church. The Elizabethan pulpit was stripped of paint in 1860, revealing the beautiful intricate inlaid marquetry panelling seen today. The pulpit was given to the church in 1594 by a member of the Lindley family, who intermarried with the Laytons of Sexhow. On the pulpit is a shield in wood. Three griffins heads – LINDLEY is in the upper left and bottom right. A chevron between three talbots passant – GOWER, who married into the Lindley family in earlier times. I'm unable to identify the upper right crest.

The tower bears the following inscription: "This tower was erected by James Nield Sykes, Esq. J.P, of Field Head, Lindley, for the benefit of his native village in 1902".

Initial drawings of the church and Lindley tower

Below is Rudby All Saints Church Today

Lindley Marriage's, Baptisms & Burials also took place at these other churches:
Castleford Saints Church 1653 - 1828
Conisbro Church 1872 - 1941
Kippax St Mary 1689 - 1847

I have photos of these churches, but felt posting them was redundant and
unnecessary. If you would like one or all of these photos, just email me.

Other Lindleys throughout History

Following Henry VIII's split with Rome in 1533/4, England went through a process of loosening its Catholic roots and embracing elements of the new Protestant religion. With the break, came massive religious upheaval and confusion, which was felt throughout all areas of English life for next 130 years.

Lindley was laid out in 1875 on the farm Brandhoek and proclaimed a town in 1878. Lindley is named after a missionary, Daniel Lindley , an American Presbyterian minister of the Voortrekkers (European pioneers).

John Isacc Lindley born 1605 in England was imprisoned and beheaded for his Quaker beliefs. His sons, Michael, James and Thomas left England and settled in Ireland for a brief period, then arrived in the Americas in the 1700s.

Thomas Lindley settled in Snow Camp, North Carolina with his wife Ruth Hadley. He was born February 25, 1706 and died Sept 14, 1781 and both Thomas and his wife are buried at the Spring Meeting cemetery in Alamance County. Thomas built a gristmill in Alamance County in 1755, that is still in operation today by descendants. Thomas Lindley died on the last day of the battle of Lindley's Mill, however, his death wasn’t due to the battle, nor did he participate.

James Lindley (April 16, 1681 - October 13, 1726) arrived in Pennsylvania on August 3, 1713 and brought with him wife Eleanor Park and four children. James purchased 200 acres of land in New Garden in 1713, and 400 acres in London Grove in 1722. In 1726 he purchased another 600 acres. In the deed it is stated that he was a blacksmith. They had 12 children and a handwritten will is on file in Chester County, PA.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to locate any information regarding Michael Lindley .

William Lindley of Allerton died in 1789 and his original Will is in the Borthwick Institute at York.

Aquilla Lindley (1811 - July 9, 1901) is buried at a cemetery in once was Mt. Hope, now called Silk Hope, N.C. Aquilla has a very interesting epitaph on his marker at the gravesite. It reads as follows, "BEHOLD DEAR FRIEND AS YOU PASS BY, AS YOU ARE NOW SO ONCE WAS I"

William T. Lindley (July 29, 1846 - May 2, 1918) was a huge landowner and elected Sheriff of Douglas County, GA in 1881. William stood up for what he thought was right and never stopped short of letting his voice be heard. In June of 1882 he personally brought suit against the town of Douglasville, GA because he thought a trial was not legal. He was a very harsh sheriff and could be pretty mean if you broke the law.

Lindley Park in Greensboro, N.C., was the site of an amusement park that opened in 1902, a unique cultural phenomenon of the early twentieth century, donated by J. Van Lindley, a prominent figure in the history of Greensboro. He was a Quaker whose business interests ranged from nurseries to sewer pipes to insurance to peach growing. He owned vast acreage along Spring Garden Street where he grew trees, shrubs and flowers for Lindley Nurseries. Damming the creek that flowed through a low-lying area formed a lake, which extended northward from Spring Garden Street to the current location of Walker Avenue. Lindley Park was probably Greensboro's first planned recreation completete.

Kray Brothers plot to kidnap Edward Lindley Wood
(12th in line for the throne)

The recent controversey about the British army refusing to send Prince Harry to Iraq because of insurgent plots to kidnap him once he arrived, triggered a memory from long ago. In 1970 the high profile British mobster Ronald Kray was serving a life sentence for murder and is brother and the rest of the gang hatched a plot to get Ron out by kidnapping Edward Lindley Wood the Queen's nephew who was about nine at the time. Their plan was to exchange the little Lord for Ron. Scotland yard uncovered the plot a very short time before Edward was to be abducted. The Queen, who is very fond of her nephew, was dismayed by the revelation of an alleged £50,000 extortion attempt. Edward's family is very grateful for the support of the Queen and other members of the Royal Family. Edward was nicknamed The Holy Fox by Winston Churchill. In 1934 he inherited the title Viscount Halifax from his father.

Lord Halifax with Hermann Goring at Schorfheide, Germany November 20, 1937.

Lord Halifax in the middle (behind a seated Franklin D. Roosevelt) as a member of the Pacific War Council.