Sunday, July 15, 2012

Alexander Fothringham

Twenty five years ago I purchased most of the early American bookplate collection formed by Charles Stewart Davidson in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
His bookplates were mounted on  6 by 9 grey card stock with notations and auction records..

    The Chippendale plate for Alexander Fothringham was among them and the auction blurb stated
"#66 Fothringham (Alexr.) Physician in Savannah Armorial Chippendale  Very fine and excessively rare"
Unfortunately, I have never been able to determine which auction this came from.
    In any event, I recently purchased a duplicate copy of the plate and I wanted to learn more about it.
 Fellow collector John Titford did extensive research on my behalf and this is a portion of what he discovered.


”The good news is that I think we can identify Alexander fairly precisely - as Alexander Fotheringham, Doctor of Physic, he died in 1774 and had his will proved in South Carolina. Details attached.

Fotheringham is a Scottish surname, the family having moved there from FOTHERINGAY in Northamptonshire, England, and changed their name quite early on. Because it's a rare name, any reference can be useful, so you'll see that I've trawled through several sources (mostly printed sources) to get an overall picture. South Carolina had very strong links with Barbados, and Fotheringhams do feature in books I have of Barbados baptisms and marriages. I'll hold on to these for any possible future use.

My guess would be that Alexander springs from a branch of the Fotheringhams as featured in Burke's Landed Gentry. Further my guess is that his father or grandfather might have travelled to, or even been transported to, South Carolina, following the unsuccessful Jacobite Rebellion of 1715. Jacobites and probably Roman Catholics, in short."

Thank you John.
See you next week when I plan to write about Chinese American bookplates.

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