Robert Charles Winthrop

Robert Charles Winthrop

Infobox Officeholder
name =Robert Charles Winthrop

imagesize =200px

caption =
order =22nd
office =Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
term_start =December 6, 1847
term_end =March 4, 1849
president =James K. Polk
predecessor =John W. Davis
successor =Howell Cobb
order2 =Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 1st district
term_start2 =November 9, 1840
term_end2 =May 25, 1842
November 29, 1842July 30, 1850
predecessor2 =Abbott Lawrence
Nathan Appleton
successor2 =Nathan Appleton
Samuel A. Eliot
order3 =United States Senator
from Massachusetts
term_start3 =July 30, 1850
term_end3 =February 1, 1851
predecessor3 =Daniel Webster
successor3 =Robert Rantoul, Jr.
birth_date =May 12, 1809
birth_place =Boston, Massachusetts
death_date =November 16, 1894 (aged 85)
death_place =Boston, Massachusetts
nationality =
party =Whig
otherparty =
spouse =Elizabeth Cabot Blanchard
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater =Harvard University
occupation =
profession =Lawyer, Politician, Philanthropist
net worth =
religion =

website =
footnotes =

Robert Charles Winthrop (Boston, Massachusetts, May 12, 1809 – Boston, Massachusetts, November 16, 1894) was an American lawyer and philanthropist and one time Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

He was born in Boston, Massachusetts to Thomas Lindall Winthrop (New London, Connecticut, March 6, 1760 – Boston, Massachusetts, February 22, 1841) and wife (m. Boston, Massachusetts, July 25, 1786) Elizabeth Bowdoin Temple (Boston, Massachusetts, October 23, 1769 – Boston, Massachusetts, July 23, 1825), attended the prestigious Boston Latin School, and graduated from Harvard University in 1828.

On March 12, 1832, he married Elizabeth Cabot Blanchard (Boston, Massachusetts, May 27, 1809 – June 14, 1842), daughter of Francis Blanchard (baptised Salem, Massachusetts, February 1, 1784 – age estimated 29 at death, Wenham, Massachusetts, June 26, 1813) and wife (m. Boston, Massachusetts, August 29, 1808) Mary Ann Cabot (baptised Salem, Massachusetts, May 9, 1784 – Boston, Massachusetts, July 25, 1809), with whom he had three children.

After studying law with Daniel Webster he was admitted to the bar in 1831 and practiced in Boston. He served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1835 to 1840, and served as Speaker of the House of that body from 1838 to 1840.

Winthrop was elected US Representative from Massachusetts as a Whig to the 26th United States Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Abbott Lawrence; he was reelected to the 27th Congress and served from November 9, 1840, to May 25, 1842, when he resigned. He was subsequently elected to the 27th Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of his successor, Nathan Appleton; he was reelected to the 28th and to the three succeeding Congresses and served from November 29, 1842 until to July 30, 1850, and served as the Speaker of the House during the 30th Congress.

After Daniel Webster resigned to become Secretary of State in 1850, Winthrop resigned from House and was appointed by fellow Whig Governor George Briggs to fill the remainder of Webster's Senate term. Winthrop's views proved no more palatable to abolitionists than did Webster's, and he failed to win reelection by the Legislature to either of Massachusetts' Senate seats in 1851. Later that year, Winthrop actually won a popular plurality in the race for Massachusetts Governor but as the state Constitution required a majority, the election was thrown into the Legislature and the same coalition of Democrats and Free Soilers defeated him again. His final venture into elected political office was as a presidential elector on the Whig ticket in 1852. Afterwards, Winthrop became an independent, unsuccessfully supporting Millard Fillmore, John Bell, and George McClellan.

With his political career over at the young age of 41, Winthrop spent the remainder of his life in literary, historical, and philanthropic pursuits. [" [,M1 Addresses and Speeches on Various Occasions] ", Robert Charles Winthrop, Google Book Search. Retrieved 07-03-2007.] He was a major early patron of the Boston Public Library and president of the Massachusetts Historical Society from 1855 to 1885, during which time he wrote a biography of his ancestor John Winthrop. He served as the president of the Massachusetts Bible Society for several years where he advocated that Christian morality was the necessary condition of a free society. [Speech to the Massachusetts Bible Society (05-28-1849), quoted in "Robert Winthrop, Addresses and Speeches on Various Occasions", Little, Brown & Co.", 1852, p. 172.] His most notable contributions came as permanent Chairman and President of the Peabody Education Fund Trustees, which he served from 1867 to his death. As well as steering the contributions of the Peabody Trust, Winthrop gave his own money to various Southern schools, the most long lasting of which was the $1500 of seed money provided to a teacher's college that renamed itself Winthrop University in gratitude. He became a noted orator, delivering the eulogy for George Peabody in 1870 and at the ceremony that opened the Washington Monument in 1884.

He died in Boston in 1894, and is interred in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

One of his children was Robert Charles Winthrop, Jr. (Boston, Massachusetts, December 7, 1834 – Boston, Massachusetts, June 5, 1905), who married on June 1, 1869 Elizabeth Mason (Massachusetts, October 1, 1844 – Boston, Massachusetts, April 22, 1924), daughter of Robert Means Mason (Portsmouth, New Hampshire, September 25, 1810 – Savannah, Georgia, March 13, 1879) and wife (m. December 4, 1843) Sarah Ellen Francis (Massachusetts, May 17, 1819 – Dieppe, Seine-Maritime, September 27, 1865) and paternal granddaughter of Jeremiah Mason and wife Mary Means, whose daughter Margaret Tyndal Winthrop (Massachusetts, February 23, 1880 – Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, Brittany, July 7, 1970 ["New York Times" 1970 Jl 9, 37:6] ) married at 10 Walnut St., Boston, Massachusetts on November 28, 1906 James Grant Forbes.

Winthrop is a great-great-grandfather of United States Senator and 2004 Presidential candidate John Kerry, and a seventh generation descendant of the founding governor the Massachusetts Bay Colony, John Winthrop.

ee also

*Dudley-Winthrop family


External links

* [ Robert C. Winthrop] at Find A Grave
* [ Winthrop's role as Chairman of the PEF]
* [,M1 Robert Winthrop] , "Addresses and Speeches on Various Occasions," Little, Brown and Company, 1852 - 776 pages)
* [ The Ancestors of Senator John Forbes Kerry (b. 1943)]

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