Smith's View of TEMPLE Origin

Danny D. Smith's Provenance of Abraham of Salem

The following is "The Provenance of Abraham 1636" from The Rise of the Temples, written by Danny D. Smith. This is a more balanced description and more solidly based on proof than Albert Temple's version, but it is also clear that Danny Smith later grew to regret the position taken here (see note at the end), as he concluded there is no direct proof of Abraham's ancestry.

After many years of study and research, we are prepared to say that Abraham Temple of Salem, the common ancestor of most American Temples, was probably the grandson of John Temple of Stowe who died in 1603. John had six sons and six daughters, all of whom are recorded in his will and in various manuscripts in the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Our first clue as to the parentage of Abraham was contained in the 1930 genealogy, THE TEMPLE FAMILY, by Dr. Henry Curtis Temple of Alliance Ohio, who said that Abraham was the son of the youngest son of John, but that he did not know his name. We must emphasize that we used Dr. Temple merely as an initial point of investigation. We never considered him an original source or even a reliable source. But he did give us the idea as to from whence the descent might spring, and from that point we have investigated nearly every possible clue concerning the various possible connections with the Stowe Temples where a "missing link" could fit.

Turning next to Temple Prime in his several editions of SOME ACCOUNT OF THE TEMPLE FAMILY we learn that the youngest son of John Temple of Stowe was Peter. From the "Huntington Library Quarterly," (Vol II) we find the dates for this Peter Temple were 1586-7 to 1657. Therefore, his life span makes it highly plausible he could have begotten a son circa 1600, or a few years later.

The theory that Abraham emigrated to the New World as a means of self-betterment is likewise highly plausible. Susan Temple, the youngest daughter of John of Stowe married William Fiennes who was created First Viscount Saye and Sele by King Charles I. His importance in connection with Abraham is that he would have been the latter's uncle. And since Lord Saye and Sele helped in the establishment of several colonies in the Connecticut River Valley, such a connection might have influenced and assisted Abraham to go to America. Although after he got there he settled at Salem, rather than in one of his uncle's colonies.

In a letter to us Richard E. Temple of New Zealand, who is heir apparent to the Senior Heir- General of the Temple Clan and who is planning to write a definitive history of the English Temples, writes, "I am sorry I cannot help you any more about the youngest son of John Temple than is contained in Temple Prime although it seems quite feasible that your Abraham Temple is a descendant."

With regard to our theory that Abraham was the son of Peter, the Seventh Earl Temple of Stowe writes, "I feel quite sure that your research is right. Unfortunately, I am living in Australia, and this makes references difficult for there is little scope for genealogical research here on English families..."

Then a long series of letters have ensued between us and Anthony Temple of Cheshire, England. He is the only surviving son of Harald Markham Temple, co-author of THE TEMPLE MEMOIRS. He makes a few interesting remarks on Abraham. In a letter of 28 October 1971, he writes, "As you probably know yours is a well worn trail and almost every conceivable clue has been followed without result. (But)... if the connection had to be with the Temples of Stowe, this is about the only point where Abraham could reasonably be fitted."

In his second letter, he writes, "Turning to Sir Thomas's brother, Peter, I have at your suggestion re-read the article by Edwin Gay and find it surprisingly informative. It would appear from the footnote you mention that Peter could have been married as early as 1603. Accepting this did happen and postulating the birth of a son in, say, 1604, who might have been Abraham - by 1613, the date when Sir Thomas had to assume full control of his brother's affairs, this boy would have been only nine years old, and one would expect to see some reference to him in the letters and account books of the time in the Stowe collection at San Marino. For instance, his uncle William could have taken him as an apprentice. One wonders whetheris, in fact, anything in the Huntington relating to that period. If may be added that by 1619 when Peter was adjudged a lunatic the supposed son would still have been only fifteen years old and a minor, and one would have expected the Court of Wards to have made some legal provision for him as well as for his father."

In answer to Mr. Temple's first observation, we point out that such a son could have been cared for by Katherine, Peter's wife, who seems to have been quite a capable person. She could have gone to live with her family or she could have continued to live at Stowe. It is supposed that from the Burton Dassett annuity she had sufficient means to maintain herself and her sonduring the early years when her son was with her and later when it is likely, as Mr. Temple suggests, that Abraham was apprenticed to his uncle William, the tailor. (At least we know that Abraham was a tailor, or strongly suspect that he was after reaching America). What we are saying here, is that there is probably no need for any special provision for the boy, either in 1613 or 1619. And if Abraham had been so apprenticed we need not be concerned that no record of it has ever been found, because there is not even any record of William's own progeny, although we know from other sources that he did have children.

Of course, there may have been some special arrangements made for Abraham which have not been found. The difficulty is with the old English script in which may of the records and account books have been kept, which makes them extremely difficult to identify and interpret. We have made a study of such script, but unfortunately we have not been able to personally research the Huntington collection ourself because of the great distance between Maine and California, and have had to rely upon their Quarterly to a large degree.

Here are some facts we have been able to compile from the "Huntington Library Quarterly," however: Peter Temple, son of John Temple of Stowe, was not of age (21) when his father died in 1603, but he was already married. Peter died 7 April 1657, aged 70 - therefore he was born in 1586-7. He was keeper of Camber Castle in Sussex in 1611 with the rank of captain. By 1613 he was on his brothers' hands with a disordered mind, being unable to attend to his duties. On 19 July 1615, in order for the family to keep control of Peter's military office, his nephew, Sir John of Staunton Barry, was put in charge of Camber Castle. But in 1617, because of Peter's mental problems, the Lieutenant of Camber Castle, Robert Boetler, made a settlement with Sir Thomas, Peter's brother. Starting in 1613 a full "reckoning" was drawn up by Sir Thomas of Peter's finances. On 24 September 1616, William Temple, Peter's brother, the tailor, turned in a bill for Peter's new clothes.

On 19 February 1619, the Court of Wards adjudged Peter to be a lunatic, and appointed Sir Thomas' wife's brother-in-law, Sir Robert Ryde guardian, and put Sir Thomas under 800 [Pound] bond to pay Peter the 400 [Pound] which remained to him under his father's will. The original legacy to Peter under the will of his father amounting to 200 [Pound] was altered to 800 [Pound]. The interest on this bond and an annuity of 40 [Pound] from the Burton Dassett revenues was paid for many years. After 1629, the principal was still unpaid, for in 1634, Katherine, wife of Peter, was willing to settle all arrearages for a 50 [Pound] annuity during both the lives of herself and her husband, but she excepted from this agreement the 400 [Pound] already received in court.

All of this is the circumstantial evidence showing the distinct possibility that Abraham Temple who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1636 could have been the son of Peter and Katherine (Kendall) Temple. At least, we are able to made these statements:

(1) With Peter Temple being of such condition as not to be able to care for himself, a possible son, Abraham, had to fend for himself. Most probably, emigration was the easiest means for self-improvement for the Stowe Temples.

(2) It is to be remembered that in the early 1600s England was going through adverse financial conditions or a depression, The people hardest hit by this depression were the wool raisers, and wool was the principal source of income for the Stowe Temples.

(3) Peter's uncle, Lord Saye and Sele, could have made it easy for Abraham to go to the colonies as he had proprietary interests over there.

(4) Although the old pedigrees do not name Abraham as a son of Peter, it is to be remembered that the pedigrees named the children of the eldest son in each generation and then continued on with the children of the eldest son in the succeeding generation. William Temple of London had children as borne out in the will of Sir Thomas Temple, but the names of none of them has ever been secured.

(5) As has been remarked by Anthony Temple, if Abraham were to fit into the Stowe Pedigree anywhere it would have to be in this place. Temple Prime quite exhaustively proved the extinction of all the lines of Temple Hall Temples with the exception of the grandsons of John Temple of Stowe. We are also aware that nearly all Temples in 16th Century England derived their lineage from Temple Hall.

(6) All the Temples of Stowe were staunch Puritans as evidenced from TEMPLE MEMOIRS; my paper, "Temples of Stowe in Tudor-Stewart England" and other sources. In New England Abraham would have been able to worship in the Puritan manner. It would seem, as shown in SOME TEMPLE PEDIGREES that if Abraham were able to propose another person as an inhabitant that he had already been accepted as a member of the Church, since only members were allowed to vote in Massachusetts at the time.

(7) It has been pointed out by such people as Lady Kinloss and Anthony Temple that the name Abraham sticks out like a sore thumb in light of the repetition of names like Robert, John, William Etc. Our reply to that is these names were common to all families, and a name like Alexander, who is a proven member of the Stowe Temples sticks out too like a sore thumb. Abraham is, after all, a Biblical name, and the "high" Puritans restored the practice of using Biblical names. As already mentioned the Temples were staunchly Puritan.

(8) And very importantly, the dating of generations seems to work out most logically.

However all this may be, there is also a hint that Abraham could have been a son of Peter's brother, Sir Alexander Temple of Long House. The facts that would support such a contention are as follows:

(1) Dating of generations makes it possible for Alexander to have been the father of Abraham, just as such dating did for Peter. In this course of events the relationship to John Temple as grandfather would remain unchanged. (But even at that, it is not beyond possibility that Abraham was the son of William, another brother of Peter. We do know that William had unnamed children as evidenced by the will of Sir Thomas.)

(2) For a long time it was thought that Sir Alexander had but one son, namely James Temple, the Regicide. In the 1925 publication of TEMPLE MEMOIRS, however, we find that he had a son John born in 1603. Then in another source we find he had sons Peter (1613) and Thomas (1625). The point of all this is that by no means is the canon of children of Sir Alexander necessarily complete. If all the accounts that have appeared over the centuries assigning him only one son (and one daughter, Susana) were supposed to be authoritative, but a comparatively recent finding now discloses three more sons, it appears that children have been in many instances only haphazardly revealed.

(3) Levi D. Temple after SOME TEMPLE PEDIGREES was published reported that Abraham had a brother Thomas of Exmouth who had a son, Tobias. And it is a distinct possibility that this Thomas and the son of Sir Alexander are one and the same person, making Abraham the son of Alexander -- this in light of the fact that we are not satisfied all the children of Alexander are known.

(4) Of course, this Thomas could have been a son of William, and in that case he would have been a cousin of Abraham. Nobody knows the source of Levi's statement, but it could have been Tobias's will of 1695.

In conclusion, the case of Peter Temple being the father of Abraham is based on circumstantial evidence. In the case of Sir Alexander, the descent is based upon the substitution of a Thomas Temple. The only trouble is, there is no direct statement that Abraham was the son of any given person. Therefore, these conclusions have to be based on likelihoods, and they fall somewhere between the realms of conjecture and logic.

We think the father of Abraham was most probably Peter Temple, but it could have been Sir Alexander or even William. Nevertheless, we are satisfied that Abraham was the grandson of John Temple of Stowe (d 1603) and we are sure later research will only confirm us in this opinion.

A Further Note From Danny D. Smith

Since the time that Danny wrote that, he worked on the ancestry of his grandmother, Nancy Williams TEMPLE. In a pamphlet entitled Summary Charts Of The Ancestry of Nancy Williams TEMPLE which he published in Gardiner, ME, in 1992, Danny noted:

"Statements published by the present compiler in 1973 and 1974 to the contrary notwithstanding, the origin of Abraham Temple in England is not known."

Thanks to Ardell Lynds for bringing this pamphlet to my attention.

OriginReturn to Name Origin and the Provenance of Abraham
HomeReturn to Table of Contents