Elizabeth (Fones) (Winthrop) (Feake) Hallet

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Elizabeth Fones

Birthplace: Groton Manor, Suffolk, England
Death: Died in Newtown, Queens, NY
Place of Burial: Long Island, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Thomas Fones, II and Anne Fones, (Younger)
Wife of Henry Winthrop; Lt. Robert Feake and William "Will" Hallett, Sr.
Mother of Martha Johanna Lyon; Elizabeth Underhill; Hannah (Feake) Bowne; John Feake; Robert (Robin) Feake, Jr. and 3 others
Sister of Dorothy Fones; Martha Winthrop; Samuel Fones; Anne Fones and John Fones
Half sister of Mary Fones and Priscilla Fones

Managed by: Annamaria Job
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth (Fones) (Winthrop) (Feake) Hallet

Elizabeth Fones (21 January 1610 - 1668) was an early settler in the Massachusetts Bay Colony where her uncle John Winthrop served as Governor. Her subsequent behaviour would scandalize the Puritan colony.



   * 1 Early Life
   * 2 Massachusetts Bay Colony
   * 3 Scandal
   * 4 References

[edit] Early Life

Elizabeth Fones was born in Groton Manor, Suffolk, England on 21 January 1610. She was the daughter of Thomas Fones, an apothecary of London and his wife, Anne Winthrop.[1]The Fones family was staunchly Puritan. As a young girl, Elizabeth worked in her father's apothocary shop in London. On 25 April 1629 she married her first cousin Henry Winthrop, son of Governor Winthrop. A year after the marriage, Henry sailed for Massachustts Bay Colony on the ship "Talbot". On account of her pregnancy, Elizabeth remained behind in England. Her daughter, Martha Johanna was born on 9 May 1630. Upon his arrival in America, Henry was killed in a drowning accident on 9 July 1630 when he went swimming in the North River after visiting an Indian village near Salem.

[edit] Massachusetts Bay Colony

Elizabeth sailed to the Massachusetts Bay Colony with her infant daughter aboard the "Lyon", arriving on 2 November 1631. Her uncle, John Winthrop, who was also her guardian, served as governor of the Colony. Elizabeth married Lt. Robert Feake (born 1602) a wealthy landowner in 1632 in Watertown, Middlesex County He owned land in both Massachusetts and Connecticut. In 1640, Robert and Elizabeth acquired more land in what is now Greenwich, Connecticut.[2] They had five children: Elizabeth (born 1633), Hannah (born 1637), John ( born 1639), Robert ( born 1642) Sarah (born before 1647). In 1647 Due to financial, domestic, and personal problems, Lt. Feake went insane, and abandoned his wife and children.[3]

[edit] Scandal

Following her husband's desertion, Elizabeth deeply scandalised the rigid Puritan society in which she lived by co-habiting with her husband's business manager, William Hallet, by whom she had two sons, William ( born c.1648) and Samuel( born c.1650).They married in August 1649, her former brother-in-law John Winthrop, Jr. officiated at the marriage.[4] Only her close blood relationship to the Governor saved her from being prosecuted for adultery which could have resulted in her being given the death penalty. Nevertheless, Elizabeth, her new husband and family, were forced to leave Massachusetts for the more tolerant Dutch colony of New Netherlands New York, where they were eventually recognised as husband and wife possibly due to the friendship Elizabeth formed with Judith, wife of Director-General Peter Stuyvesant. Elizabeth and William settled in what is now known as Hallett's Cove, Long Island near Hell Gate. In September 1655, Elizabeth and her family survived an attack by the Hackensack tribe of Indians; however the Indians set fire to their house and farm, burning both to the ground. She purchased land in Flushing and Newtown, Queens County on 1 October from Edward Griffin. The following year, William was made "schout" or chief-official of Flushing.[5] In 1668, at the age of 58, Elizabeth died in Newtown, Queen's County New York. Elizabeth has numerous descendants in America.

Elizabeth is the subject of Anya Seton's book: The Winthrop Woman.

ELIZABETH FONES was born in England about 1610, daughter of Thomas and Ann Fones, and died in Long Island about 1667. She married three times:

1) Her first marriage was to her cousin Henry, second son of the great John Winthrop, in London 25 April 1629. When the Winthrop Fleet sailed in the spring of 1630, Henry was taken along to assist his father, because John, the eldest and most reliable son needed to stay at home to mind the family and business there. Elizabeth also stayed home, because she was pregnant; she was waiting until the child was born and old enough to travel before she joined Henry in America. The baby was born 9 May 1630 and christened Martha Joanna. Then Henry drowned .A diarist, Hubbard, is quoted in the footnotes to Winthrop's History; "A sprightly and hopeful young gentleman he was, who, though he escaped the danger of the main sea, was unhappily drowned in a small creek, not long after he came ashore, even the very next day, July the 2nd." He was a strong swimmer, but a. got a cramp and died very close to his friends who were unable to help him because none of them could swim. .

2) Elizabeth came later, bringing the baby, on the ship Lyon, landing 2 November 1631. Governor Winthrop quickly married her off to Robert Feake, in Watertown, Massachusetts, 2 months later. The Feakes stayed in Watertown for several years, and Robert was appointed lieutenant and elected deputy and selectman. Then his commanding officer, Captain Patrick persuaded them to by some property from the Indians in Greenwich, Connecticut.There are many stories about Elizabeth and Patrick; she was undoubtedly a flirt, undoubtedly bored with Robert, and probably did have an affair with him, and equally probably Robert was well aware of it.. Then Patrick was assassinated in Greenwich in 1644; and W illiam Hallett was put in charge of the Greenwich property because Robert was ill and then was away.

3) In the meantime Elizabeth and William Hallett had become a pair. Again.it not quite clear what happened. Because of Robert's insanity, Elizabeth obtained some kind of a divorce in New Amsterdam. She had another child, William Hallett's, towards the end of 1648..A "legal separation" was supposedly granted by the Dutch, but at least until May of 1649, no marriage had taken place between William and Elizabeth.. The council in Fort Amsterdam on 9 March 1649, banished William from Dutch lands, so they had to flee to New London in Connecticut where her cousin John Winthrop was deputy governor. When it looked as if they would be charged there too for adultery, they fled again, this time to Long Island. To quote McCracken:"We have found no evidence of how William Hallett and his "wife" Elizabeth finally made their peace with the authorities." Governor Eaton wrote to John Winthrop Jr., "it is possible that William Hallett and she that was Mr. Feakes his wife, are marryed; though not only the lawfulness and validity of such a marriage but the reality and truth is by some questioned (LIF)." Jacobus studied the documents and said he thought it was a legitimate marriage.(LIF) Whatever the truth was, Elizabeth had another Hallett baby, Samuel, born sometime around 1652.

William Hallett became Sheriff of Flushing, Long Island. While holding that office he permitted William Wickenden, "the famous Baptist evangelist of Rhode Island" to hold services at his house, and this so angered Governor Stuyvesant that he again banished William, but that was somehow smoothed over. Elizabeth died before 1669; after the death of Elizabeth,William married Susanna (Booth) Thorn as her second husband .But that marriage did not work out and a separation was arranged. A third wife, Katherine, is on record in 1684 and in 1686 a fourth wife, Rebecca, widow of John Bayliss. William Hallett died at Hell Gate, Long Island in 1706.

Elizabeth 1) FONES b 21 Jan 1609 Groton Manor, Suffolk, England - she died

1673 at Newtown, Queens, New York - Elizabeth married first 25 Apr 1629

Groton Manor, Suffolk, England to her 1c Henry 2) WINTHROP - he was born 19

Jan 1608 in Groton, Suffolk, England, the s/o Gov. John 1) WINTHROP

1587-1649 and his 1/wf Mary -1) FARTH - Henry 2) WINTRHOP died by drowning

on 2 July 1630 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts

They had one child -

1. Martha 3) WINTHROP

Elizabeth 1) FONES-WINTHROP married 2nd

1632 at Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts TO: Robert 1) FEAKE born 20 Sep 1602

in London, England, he died 1 Feb 1660/1662 at Watertown, Middlesex,

Massachusetts - he was the s/o James -1) FEAKE 1567-1625

and Judith THOMAS 1568-1625

They were parents of 5 children

(2) 1. Elizabeth 2) FEAKE

b. 1633 Watertown, Middlesex,


d. ...Killingwoth, [Oyster

Bay], Long Island, New York

md. 1648 Boston, Suffolk, MA


John 1) UNDERHILL s/o John-1]

b. 1600 Leicester,Warwickshire


d. 21 Sep 1672 Killingworth,

[Oyster Bay] LI, NY

5 children -all born Killing-

worth, LI, NY

(3) 2. Hannah 2) FEAKE [10gm]

b. 1637 Killingworth, NY

d. 31 Jan 1677/8 London, Eng

md. 7 May 1656 Flusing, NY

TO: John BOWNE 1627-1695

(4) 3. John 2) FEAKE b. 1639/40

(5) 4. Robert 2) FEAKE

bp 17 July 1642

(6) 5. Sarah 2) FEAKE bp Apr 1647

Elizabeth 1) FONES-WINTHROP-FEAKE md3)

William HALLETT as his 1/wf - she was 7 years his senior. William was born

1616 county Dorsetshire, England - he died 1706 in Newtown, Queens, Long

Island, NY

I don't know his parents -

Their children were:

(7) 1. [Captain] William 2) HATTETT

b. 1648 Flushing, Queens, NY

d. 1729 Newtown, LI, NY

md. ........

TO: Sarah WOOLSEY 1650-1691+

(8) 2. Samuel 2) HALLETT

b. 1652 Hallet's Cove, Queens,


d. 27 Dec 1724 Queens, NY

md. .........

TO: .........

NEHG Register 48:216 (1894) contained this query: (...) Early in 1647 Robert Feke (Feake) went to England, leaving his lands in charge of William Hallett (...) and Mrs. Feke. In August 1647, we have a hint at an improper intimacy between Hallett and Mrs. Feke; this is again mentioned in March, 1648; in April 1648 Mrs. Hallett is with child, and in July of the same year there is again some mention as to the validity of her marriage with Hallett. (a list of references appears here) Any information that might lead to the date of this marriage would be very welcome (...).

Feake returned from England sometime before September 1649 to find his wife had taken up with his former friend, and that she had sold off all his lands to Robert Husted and the Dutch Governor. No doubt these events contributed in large measure to his subsequent "loss of reason".

In 1958 "The Winthrop Woman" by Anya Seton, a historical novel based on the life of Elizabeth Fones Winthrop Feake Hallett, was published.

Ann is the subject in the fictional account of her life in:

"The Winthrop Woman."


Elizabeth Fones married (1) her cousin Henry Winthrop (son of Governor JOHN WINTHROP, whose sister Anne was Elizabeth's mother), 25 April 1629, who then left her to accompany his father to Massachusetts Bay, and immediately died swimming ashore there. She joined the Winthrop family in Massachusetts Bay as a very young widow with an infant. She married 2nd Robert Feake between 2 November 1631 and 27 January 1631/2 in Boston, MA. They had five children: Elizabeth Underhill, Hannah Bowne, John, Robert, & Sarah. George E. McCracken went into great detail on Robert Feake, and particularly on the matter of his "divorce," arguing that the couple had in fact received only a legal separation, and that Elizabeth (Fones) (Winthrop) Feake was not free to remarry. In 1966 Donald Lines Jacobus reviewed the same problem, and came to the conclusion that Robert Feake and his wife did obtain a divorce from the Dutch government, that she had married William Hallett by August 1649, and that the marriage was performed by John Winthrop Jr., her former brother-in-law. Source: Anderson's Winthrop Fleet.

Elizabeth is buried with her 3rd husband William Hallett at Hallett's Cover in the Hallet Burying Ground on Long Island. They had two sons, William & Samuel.

Her biography by Missy Wolfe: Insubordinate Spirit: A True Story of Life and Loss in Earliest Americs, 1610-1665 (Guilford CT: gpp, 2012). See also a video "That Winthrop Woman," published by

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Elizabeth (Fones) (Winthrop) (Feake) Hallet's Timeline

January 22, 1608
Bromsgrove, Worcester, England
January 21, 1610
Groton Manor, Suffolk, England
May 9, 1630
Age 20
Groton Manor, Suffolk, England
November 2, 1631
Age 21
November 2, 1631
Age 21
May 1633
Age 23
Watertown, Massachusetts Bay Colony
June 16, 1637
Age 27
Watertown, Massachusetts
Age 28
Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts