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Frances Goffe (Whalley)

Also Known As: "Mor", "“Mother Goldsmith”", "Frances"
Birthplace: Probably, London, Middlesex , England (United Kingdom)
Death: after 1679
Perhaps in, Wexford, Ireland
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Lt-Gen Edward Whalley, MP and Regicide and Judith Whalley
Wife of Maj.Gen. William Goffe
Mother of Richard Goffe; Anne Goffe; Elizabeth Goffe; Judith Goffe and Frances Dickson
Sister of John Whalley
Half sister of Henry Whalley; Edward Whalley and Oliver Whalley

Managed by: Aleta Reynolds Crawford
Last Updated:

About Frances Goffe

Her first name is not known according to historians - in letters from her husband who was in exile in New England he addressed her as "Mor" which was probably short for "mother" which is a common term of address at the time.



By his marriage with Frances, daughter of General Edward Whalley, William Goffe became connected with Oliver Cromwell's family and one of his most faithful followers. ...

... of William Goffe's children only two married and had issue: a daughter Francis; while Williams Goffe's surviving son Richard and his descendants were residents of Waterford, Ireland; ironically, Burke's Peerage has a casual remark that William Goffe died in New Haven, Ct about 1860 [SIC: 1680].[14]

From Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage. Page 855. GoogleBooks

William Goffe, Lieutenant Gen. in the Parliamentary Army, and one of Cromwell's Lords 1657, MP. for Yarmouth 1654-5, and Hants 1655-9, was one of the Judges at the trial of Chaeles II and signed the death warrant. He m. Frances, dau. of E. Whalley, a parliamentary general and cousin of Oliver Cromwell, and d. at Newhaven, Connecticut 1680, having had Issue,


  • 1. Frederick, d. unm.
  • Francis, d. unm.
  • 3 Richard, of whom we treat.
  • 4. Francis, who left Issue. [SIC: a daughter b 1653]


  • 1. Judith.
  • 2. Elisabeth, d. 1673
  • 3. Anne.

The 3rd son, Richard Goffe, of Waterford, .in. 1681, Hannah, dau. of Jonas Chamberlain, of Poulmarle, co. Wexford, and had Issue ...

Edward Whalley married first on 7 February 1626 at St Dunstan's Church, Stepney, to Judith Duffell (or Duffield) of Rochester, Kent, by whom, besides other children, he had a son John and a daughter Frances (who married William Goffe, another regicide). His second marriage was to Mary Middleton, sister of Sir George Middleton, by whom he had two sons, Henry and Edward.[4]


  • A history of three of the judges of King Charles I. Major-General Whalley, Major-General Goffe, and Colonel Dixwell: who, at the restoration, 1660, fled to America; and were secreted and concealed, in Massachusetts and Connecticut, for near thirty years Author Stiles, Ezra, 1727-1795. cn,Friends' Free Library, Germanton, provenance. Page 12 - 13 Archive.Org “... Of Whalley's children, Noble knew none but John. But he had a daughter who was married to General Goffe; whom Goffe left in England, and with whom he kept up a constant correspondence, by the name of Mother Goldsmith, while in exile in New-England. The last of his letters to her was dated at Hadley, 1679. Goffe had several children by her, whom he left in England.”
  • Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Whalley, Edward". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University “ Whalley was twice married; first to Judith Duffell, by whom, besides other children, he had a son John and a daughter Frances (who married Major-General William Goffe, the regicide); ...”
  • “6.1645? –1650: William Goffe married to Frances Whalley, dau of Col. Edward Whalley,before1650, exact date unknown; (Jagger, G. The Fortunes of the Whalley Family of Screvton Notts (1973) pp114, fn 2 PRO)The daughters born to this marriage were: Elizabeth, Frances, Judith (Coll Mass Hist. Soc. (1868) 4th ser. Vol viii pp 122-225) ; and a son, Richard, (Burkes Peerage & Baronetage, 99th ed. (1949) pp 838).”
  • Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage. Burke's Peerage Limited, 1914 - Baronet. Page 85 GoogleBooks
  • The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants - Page 464
  • “English Record of the Whaley Family and Its Branches in America.” By Samuel Whaley, Epher Whitaker. Page 19. “English Pedigree.” GoogleBooks
  • “English Record of the Whaley Family and Its Branches in America.” By Samuel Whaley, Epher Whitaker. Page 69. GoogleBooks “My brother John has gone across the seas, I know not whither.” (Letter from Frances Whaley Goffe to her husband in 1662.)
  • American Heritage Magazine, 1964 / VOLUME 16, ISSUE 1 / THE HUNT FOR THE REGICIDES link “ William Goffe had married Whalley’s only daughter, Frances. His career paralleled that of his father-in-law, and their lives were knit to the end. An able soldier, a frequent “prayer-maker, preacher and presser for righteousness and freedom,” he attended a meeting of officers gathered for mutual counsel on the fate of the King and spoke with such fervor, and invoked God’s wrath on Charles with such eloquence, that tears flowed. Goffe voted for the execution and signed the warrant in fourteenth place. ...” “... After 1667 Goffe gave up keeping a ciphered diary (it was destroyed when a mob sacked Governor Thomas Hutchinson’s Boston house in 1765) but continued a steady correspondence. The Reverend Increase Mather of Boston sent Goffe’s letters to England under cover of his own. Goffe wrote to his wife, pretending that he was Walter Goldsmith, and that she was his mother, Frances Goldsmith. ...” “... He was in Hartford by early September of 1676. The loneliness, the loss of human society, the long separation from his family weighed upon him heavily. The last known letter from his pen—dated April 2, 1679—is a pitiable plea to Increase Mather for news of his wife and daughter. A year later a contemptible no-good named John London reported to Hartford authorities that Goffe was living in town with a Captain Bull. For his trouble, London was hauled out of bed on the Sabbath and brought before the appropriate Hartford officials, who gave him a cold reception. They forbade him to leave the county without permission. This order London promptly violated, making his way to New York (now British) and telling his story to Governor Edmund Andros. On order from Andros a sixth and final search was made throughout the colonies. No sign of Goffe was found. We hear no more of him; he may have been already beyond the reach of kings.“
  • Robins, Robert Patterson, et al. “Edward Whalley, the Regicide.” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 1, no. 1, 1877, pp. 55–66. JSTOR, Accessed 24 Jan. 2020.
  • According to paper historical records obtained in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on a page titled "Genealogy of the Goff Family" “Richard Goffe was the eldest child of William Goff. He married Hannah Chamberlain the daughter of I. Chamberlain of Faulmarle Co. Wexford on Feb 17, 1681. He remained with his mother in Wexford when his father was forced to flee to America. He and his wife had 8 children.”
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Frances Goffe's Timeline

London, Middlesex , England
Sussex, England, United Kingdom
December 11, 1653
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Age 53
Wexford, Ireland