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

I enjoy history, in particular local history, and history about my home county of Norfolk.

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

Quote from Abraham Lincoln

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.

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Read More From Owlcation

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.

Hingham, Norfolk

Abraham Lincoln Quote

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

— Abraham Lincoln

Hingham, Massechusetts

Sources of Information

© 2017 Louise Powles


Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on July 19, 2020:

This is a very interesting article about Lincoln's roots in the UK, and the irony that because his ancestor lost his inheritance, the situation led to his moving to the US and for his descendent to be one of the best presidents that the United States ever had.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 20, 2019:

That is so very fascinating. It reaffirms how small our world really is. And, as you say, without the cards falling just as they did, we may have never had a President Lincoln. Pretty thought-provoking. thank you for sharing your homeland and your connection with our country. Angels once again are headed your way ps

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on April 01, 2019:

Hi, Louise, It's Tim, as in Tiny Tim. lol

Louise Powles (author) from Norfolk, England on April 01, 2019:

Thankyou very much, Tom, for your kind words. History is very interesting, I think. I love learning about the past.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on March 31, 2019:

Loved it, Louise. Informative and full of interesting details. Yes, Lincoln is one of our most cherished presidents, for his speeches as well as his moral fortitude. I've always read he was industrious from an early age, and he was always the most intelligent boy around the area he came from during his time. He did lead this country through the American Civil War with courage.

The connection with Great Britain is not surprising because we all came from somewhere. However, I wonder since his ancestors came from a nation that had already abolished slavery: Did that influence his moral development as a leader. Possibly.

Thanks for a great article.


Louise Powles (author) from Norfolk, England on August 20, 2018:

Oh really? That's interesting to know. It is a lovely village. I don't know of the Tower family, but hope you are able to do more research into your family history.

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on August 19, 2018:

I have ancestors who came from Hingham. It was the Tower family.

RTalloni on January 29, 2018:

One decision by a father and the course of history was set in motion. It is always interesting to read of such facts. Thank you for sharing your research with us.

Louise Powles (author) from Norfolk, England on November 30, 2017:

Aww bless you, that's very kind of you. Thankyou for the lovely comment. History is something I enjoy, especially my local area.

DREAM ON on November 30, 2017:

All this time I never gave it any thought. You brought me something years of history didn't. I wish I had you for a history teacher I think I would of learned and remembered so many more important things. Thank you for sharing and caring. I took a walk through your hub and even forgot I was reading.

Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on July 29, 2017:

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.

Louise Powles (author) from Norfolk, England on July 09, 2017:

Thankyou Tamara, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Tamara Moore on July 09, 2017:

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

Claire-louise on June 02, 2017:

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

manatita44 from london on May 13, 2017:

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 Leigh Sebring from Fort Collins on April 30, 2017:

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

Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on April 26, 2017:

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 from England on April 05, 2017:

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!

Audrey Howitt from California on April 04, 2017:

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--

Lyn from England on April 03, 2017:

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 :)

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 03, 2017:

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 from USA on April 02, 2017:

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.

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