Sunday, September 20, 2009

Remote link with Donnington

I remembered vaguely that there was a remote family link with Donnington Castle, which we visited yesterday on the way back from Avebury, see The unfortunate John Packer, a staunch Parliamentarian, owned the castle at the start of the Civil War, but it was captured by the Royalists and held until the end of the war, then gratuitously demolished by the victorious Parliamentarians. He was forced to live in London.

John Packer was the great-great grandfather of the Rev Henry Willis, who married Jane Lubbock, my 5th cousin 6 times removed. Their son Richard emigrated to South Carolina in 1791 after the Rev Henry literally cut him off with the proverbial shilling because of his 'infamous conduct' in a codicil to his will. On the way over, Richard dropped the surname Willis and became Richard Lubbock, the ancestor of most of the Lubbocks in the US.

We also visited Roman Silchester, which had been an enormous centre and hub of communications from the 1st to the 4th century. There's a 2 km footpath round the outskirts of the remains, but we didn't make a complete circuit.

That was our summer holiday for 2009!

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