Doubts about the paternity of Col. William Crowne's son John
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2018-10-22 20:54:00 UTC
William Crowne, military officer and heraldic pursuivant, spent time in New England, with his son Henry having descendants, some of whom are traced in the _Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire_. William's wife was Agnes, sister of Gen. Humphrey Mackworth, with a number of royal descents. Another son was John Crowne, a well-known English playwright.

There is an intriguing snippet available of Gillian Tindall's book _The Man Who Drew London: Wenceslaus Hollar in Reality and Imagination_ (Chatto & Windus, 2002). Tindall appears to comment on the supposed paternity of John Crowne:

" ... persistent later story that his son John, the Restoration playwright, was really the product of a liaison between Agnes Crowne and the father of the poet John Dryden."


It appears William Crowne was ordered by the Mass. Bay General Court "to 'return to his wife' in England" in 1674.


Possibly there were marital difficulties? I wonder if the other son Henry was also "suspected" by some to be the son of Agnes's lover, rather than of Col. Crowne?
2018-10-22 21:26:24 UTC
"... Dryden was a little jealous of rivals. He would compliment [John] Crowne when a play of his failed, but was very cold to him when he met with success. He used to say that Crowne had some genius, but then he added always that his father and Crowne's mother were very well acquainted."


Not a very funny joke, especially if untrue.
2018-10-25 22:01:00 UTC
I decided to do a bit more checking on the other children of Agnes (Mackworth) (Watts) Crowne, in case their history could reveal something more about Agnes herself.

The four children of Richard Watts of Epping and wife Agnes (nee Mackworth) are listed in the 1634/5 _London Visitation_ as ...

(1) Richard Watts, "eldest sonne"
(2) George [Watts}
(3) Humphry [Watts]
(4) Dorothy [Watts]


Brad Verity has already ingeniously traced the history of the eldest child, Richard Watts, who married Catherine Werden, and was the father of Catherine Watts, Countess of Dunmore, who died in 1711.


Brad notes that Richard, Jr.'s, marriage license of 1663 calls him "of Gray's Inn, Esq., Bachelor." Inspecting the records of Gray's Inn, Brad found Richard Watts given as "son and heir of Richard W., of Gt. Munden, Herts, Esq." (Richard Watts, d. 1635, who married Agnes Mackworth was associated with both Epping and Great Munden).

I would only point out additionally that Richard, Jr., was a graduate of Balliol College and Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford, prior to entering Gray's Inn.

Watts, Richard, of Epping, Essex; B.A. from BALLIOL COLL. 13 Dec., 1649; fellow WADHAM COLL., 1650-4, M.A. 18 June, 1652. See _Gardiner_, 183.


Dorothy Watts, the only daughter of Agnes Mackworth by her first marriage, married (with a hasty post-nuptial grant of jointure dated 1651, apparently anticipating the bridegroom's imminent death) to one Edward Cludde or Cludd of Wrockwardine. The trustees of her jointure lands were two Mackworth kinsmen and "Richard Watts, Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford."


Earlier pages in the same article show that Edward Cludde died 23 Aug. of the same year, 1651, having married an unidentified "Miss Watts."


Is she the mother of his sons Edward and Charles Cludde (born late 1640s)? I find it odd that Edward Cludde is said to have "married" on the day of his death. Note, later in the article, as presented above, that the property settlement is characterized as "post-nuptial" as of July 1651.

I wonder if it is possible that Dorothy (Watts) Cludde remarried after 1651? Possibly her whereabouts would yield some trace of Agnes (Mackworth) (Watts) Crowne's own last years.
2018-10-25 22:24:26 UTC
The following spreadsheet of "Bridges' Division" Chancery proc. show an Edward and Dorothy Cludd, possibly the same couple, as a party involved in a 1648 dispute concerning St. Botolph, Aldgate, London.

See item # 1039.

2018-10-26 15:44:20 UTC
"Edward Cludde, of Orlton, Esq., dep'ted this lyfe the 23rd of August, was baptized the 23rd of August, was marryed the 23rd of August, and was buryed the 25th of August."


I suppose this is just drawing attention to the coincidental date, not stating that he actually married on the (same) day he died ...
2018-10-26 16:11:31 UTC
It's worth repeating what Brad said about Agnes's first marriage: "'Richard Watts and Annis Mackworth' were married by licence on 9 May 1626 at St Dunstan in the West, London (parish register accessed through Ancestry.com)."
2018-10-26 19:53:11 UTC
An early accounts says, "John Crowne was the son of William Crowne, gent., who travelled under the Earl of Arundel to Vienna, and published a relation of the remarkable places and passages in the said Earl's said Embassy to the Emperor Ferdinand II., 1637, but full of imperfections and errors. This William, afterwards succeeded H. Lilly as Rouge Dragon in the Herald's office, and was continued in 1660; but, selling to Mr. Sandford, went over to one of the plantations and there died."


Brad Verity notes that Agnes Mackworth's niece Margaret Jukes was married to the herald Francis Sandford, i.e. the same Mr. Sandford to whom William Crowne sold the office of Rouge Dragon before leaving England: "Agnes's sister Margaret Mackworth was baptized 21 July 1605 at St Julian Church, Stapleton, Shropshire, and married at age 26 on 3 October 1631 St Mary Church, Acton Burnell, Shropshire, William Jukes of Buttington Hall, in Montgomeryshire, Wales (baptized 1 November 1601 All Saints Church, Worthen, Shropshire, descended from Edward I). Agnes was married in 1626, five years before Margaret, so she was no doubt older than Margaret, and if she was about age 25 when married, then born about 1601. Her parents were married in 1600. Agnes's niece Margaret Jukes, daughter of William Jukes and Margaret Mackworth, married 2ndly, the herald and genealogist Francis Sandford (1630-1694)."