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Disinheritance, Family Feuds, and How Lincoln Was Nearly Not President

Updated on August 29, 2017
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I enjoy history, in particular local history. I was born in Hingham, Norfolk, UK so was brought up with the Lincoln connection.

Abraham Lincoln

A little bit about Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. He was born on 12th February 1809 near Hodgenville in Kentucky in a small wood cabin. Although he came from humble beginnings, he grew up to be one of the most powerful men in America. He died in Washington on 15th April 1865. He was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. He was in office from 1861 to 1865. His mother passed away when he was just 9 years old and this affected him greatly. He resented his Father. This was mainly due to his lack of education and tardiness. Lincoln was a clever man and self taught himself law. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 that meant that slaves would be free forever.

He married Mary Todd, and between them had 4 children. Although only 1 lived to adulthood. Lincoln is certainly regarded as one of greatest leaders in the Country's history.

Whatever you are, be a good one.

— Abraham Lincoln

The bust of Abraham Lincoln

Hingham, in Norfolk, England

Hingham is a market town in South Norfolk, England. With a population of 2367 people (recorded in 2011). It is quite a small market town, but is rich is history. One such piece of history that Hingham is proud of is the connection with the former President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. I was born in Hingham and have been inside St Andrew's Church many times. Although I have looked at the bust of Abraham Lincoln on numerous visits to the Church, I never really did realise how important this is in a historical context.

St Andrew's Church is located in the heart of Hingham and is a 14th Century mediaeval Church. As you can see from the photograph, there is a bust of Abraham Lincoln in the Church. This is situated in the north aisle of the Church. The bust of President Lincoln was unveiled in 1919 by the American Ambassador, John Davis.

St Andrew's Church, Hingham, Norfolk

Lincoln's connections with Hingham, Norfolk

Samuel Lincoln was an apprentice weaver in Norwich when he moved to the USA. Ironically, he moved to Hingham in Massachusetts. Richard Lincoln was Abraham's great-great-great-great-great-great Grandfather. Richard's son from his first marriage, Edward, expected to get his inheritance when his Father passed away. But, on the death of Richard, he left it all to his son from his fourth marriage. As you can imagine, Edward was none too pleased about this. At the time, Edward had a cottage in Hingham, Norfolk. Samuel spent his early days here before moving to America.

Samuel is Edwards son. And some historians say that if Edward had inherited the money, they may never of have moved to America. Of course, this would have changed the path of history, and Abraham would never of become President of the USA.

Samuel was born in 1622 and left Norfolk for America when he was 15 years old. Samuel and his wife, Martha, had 11 children. Although 3 of them died when they were young. Abraham is a descendent of his fourth child, Mordecai. Samuel was baptised in St Andrew's Church, Hingham, Norfolk.

Inscription on the bust of Abraham Lincoln

In this parish for many generations

Lived the Lincolns

ancestors of the American Abraham Lincoln

To him greatest of lineage

many citizens of the United States

have erected this memorial

in the hope that for all ages

between that land and

this land and all lands

there shall be

malice towards none

with charity to all

With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds.

— Abraham Lincoln

In Summary

Although, as I say, I come from Hingham, I paid little attention to the relevance of how Abraham Lincoln is connected to both Hingham in Norfolk, and Hingham in Massachusetts. It wasn't till I grew up I started paying more attention to this and started doing some research and looking into this. I now feel proud that I was born in such a small village (as it was when I was born in the 60's!) that has such a connection with one of the most powerful men in America. I knew little about the background as to why Abraham had a connection with Hingham, but am glad that I come from somewhere with such a strong connection.


The house Richard Lincoln lived in, in Swanton Morely, Norfolk

This is the house that Richard Lincoln lived in, the grandfather of Samuel Lincoln.
This is the house that Richard Lincoln lived in, the grandfather of Samuel Lincoln. | Source

Hingham, Norfolk

Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.

— Abraham Lincoln

Hingham, Massechusetts

© 2017 Louise Powles

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    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 7 weeks ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Fascinating. Americans tend to forget we all came from somewhere else except for the Indians, true native Americans. I look forward to reading more of your work.

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      Louise Powles 2 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Thankyou Tamara, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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      Tamara Moore 2 months ago

      This is so very well-written, and concise. President Lincoln has always been my hero. I love him.

    • Claire-louise profile image

      Claire Raymond 3 months ago from UK

      Wow, I did not realise there was such a strong link between Lincoln and the UK!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 4 months ago from london

      A great man, a noble man and a great servant of God. My Guruji talks about him in The Sacred Fire, a play about America's Greats and the Soul of America.

      I have touched on him in my book: My Guru, Sri Chinmoy: Life And Teachings. You have done an excellent job, not only in helping us to remember him, but in sharing some of the ideals and spirit of America's pioneers. Glory be!!

    • Penny Sebring profile image

      Penny Sebring 4 months ago from Fort Collins

      I love the "stand firm" quote! Such a fascinating man.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 4 months ago from Essex, UK

      Interesting to have such a connection to the village and church that you know so well Louise, and of course the information about Richard Lincoln's will is indicative of how the future can so easily be altered by seemingly trivial domestic events. (One wonders what decisions in ordinary households might be taken today which might have radical effects on the world in a hundred or several hundred years time!)

      I know from time spent visiting Norfolk last spring, how small villages such as this have many such interesting stories to tell, if only one knows where to look :) Alun

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 months ago from England

      Well who knew? How fascinating! Two Hinghams! I love reading about this sort of thing, the ancestors, just a small twist and they wouldn't have gone to America etc, loved it!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 months ago from California

      What a great history your town has--I love that you know so much about the history of the Lincoln family and how it intersects with your town--

    • LiveMusicLoverLyn profile image

      Lyn 5 months ago from England

      Nice piece, of course many American place names are after the names of the villages and towns that the new settlers came from and it is always interesting to find them and visit the namesake place if you can.

      Higham Church looks lovely :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 months ago from Southern Illinois

      This was really interesting. It is a small world, we're more connected than we realized. I love Lincoln's quotes. He was a good man....

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

      It's neat that the townspeople celebrate the link and I enjoyed reading about the connection. Just imagine if that inheritance had gone differently. I wish we had someone of his statesmanship today.