Wikipedia is indubitably less useful than it could be. Andrew Undershaft rationalises his amorality: "Remember the Armorer's Faith. I will take an order from a good man as cheerfully as from a bad one. […] I can make cannons: I cannot make courage and conviction." Just so here: Wikipedia (the Undershaft) can make articles (the cannon), but it cannot make honesty and gumption, either in its contributors or its readers. Wikipedia will accept a contribution from (and divulge its content to) a good contributor as cheerfully as from (to) a bad one. Calling me "recklessly optimistic" is the best thing anyone has said to me this week :-) On a tangent, I speculate that human limitations render the whole universe (which is precisely "that perceived by humans") "incomplete", and even were we granted a glimpse of the Platonic Ideal Wikipedia® we would therefore not recognise its absolute completeness . By the way, I am indeed enjoying the sunshine - I just wish I were out in it! Best wishes, RobertG ♬ talk 11:58, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
|Thank you for your profound remark on pixillated morality which I archived but returned, to remind us what to avoid. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 23:40, 8 February 2012 (UTC)|
... you were recipient|
no. 6 of Precious,
a prize of QAI!
A barnstar for you!
|The Original Barnstar|
|Nice work on William Hewett. GtstrickyTalk or C 21:14, 22 May 2017 (UTC)|
Hi, Lionheart0317, Thanks for your reply on the James Cudworth talkpage. I'm replying here because it would be a pity to clutter up the J.C. talkpage a with a long continuation of all the discussion that takes place elsewhere on this subject. The only reason I reverted your good faith edit was because it did not carry an inline citation, which simply left the matter as it really is, still undecided. If a proper publication of the case is available to cite then okay, but, if not, then here it ought to remain based on sources. And here there is room to be a bit more chatty, so please forgive the following continuation!
I am quite aware of the Hackney baptisms as it was I who pointed them out to Ms Boaz in the first place, after inspecting the original register in person, and she acknowledges me in her text - and her work is the source cited in the discussions about this problem in favour of the John side of the argument. I am also quite aware of Ursula's Cambridge connection at the end, which is not surprising (geographically) since there is a long history as to how she hung onto her part of the estate at Woodbury with and without the help of her son in law William Baber. Interestingly her will makes no mention of any member of her own family: you'd think she might at least have mentioned the Cudworths, as he was only a couple of streets away, if she was Ralph's grandmother, and in 1639 he was quite undecided about his future.
Ralph Cudworth went to Emmanuel College Cambridge because both his father and his stepfather had been there before him, and the college was then sympathetic to their religio-political standpoint. Their (the fathers') connection with Cambridge was at a time when John Machell (the supposed father of Mary) was in and out of prison in London for debt, his wife and children were not speaking to him, and he was in the process of disinheriting his son and heir John (son of 1st wife Frances Cotton) in favour of his grandson. Have you read the chapter by Mike Gray on the Machells in the book Sutton House — a Tudor Courtier’s House in Hackney (2004)? I don't agree with one or two points but it is very well-referenced and gives some idea of the horrible entanglements which John got himself and all his relations into. Even this is not exhaustive, and yet Gray has read a great many of the lawsuits.
Anyhow, these are stray thoughts. But until there is a proper published article on this bringing all the evidence up to date, people will just keep adding in favour of Matthew or John, and the answer will still be the same - it is undecided. I hope I have not given offence in just trying to keep things simple. With best wishes, Eebahgum (talk) 13:12, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
- P.S. I apologise, Ursula does mention one family member, her nephew Robert Hynde. No Machells or Cudworths though. And when Ralph wrote to his stepfather for advice about taking a fellowship, in 1639, shortly before John Stoughton died (T. Solly, The Will Divine and Human (Deighton Bell & Co., Cambridge/Bell & Daldy, London 1856), pp. 287-91. (Google)), he sends greetings to his stepmother, and good wishes for their latest infant, and greetings from his brother and sister, but says nothing about his (supposed) grandmother, with whom he would surely have been closely in touch if she had gone there to be near him? And the Hyndes came from Madingley anyway, so it's quite natural that she went back to live in Cambridge. Eebahgum (talk) 13:54, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Hi Eebahgum, the arguments for John Machell and Ursula Hynde being the correct parents of Mary (Machell) Cudworth Stoughton has already been litigated on several genealogical newsgroups and blog spaces. By informing you of where the current argument stands and the current conclusion wasn't an invite to reopen this topic. It seems clear, even to the lay person, that by looking at the evidence without any preconceived notions, the most novice genealogist/historian would conclude that John Machell, and not his brother Matthew, was the actual father of Mary (Machell) Cudworth Soughton. The current conclusion reached after protracted debate by several genealogists is here, which states: "Summary, the connection of two of Ursula (Hynde) Machell's first cousins to the household of Prince Henry (whom Mary Machell also served), together with the existence of the 1584 Hackney baptism record of Mary Machell among the presumed children of John and Ursula Machell, together with the fact that Ursula (Hynde) Machell at the end of her life moved to Cambridge, where Ralph Cudworth (Jr.) had just finished his studies and begun his career, indicates that John Machell, and not his brother Matthew, was the father of Mary (Machell) Cudworth." --Lionheart0317 (talk) 14:40, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
- Okay, But this is not a situation in which the appearances to "the most novice genealogist/historian" (to use your terms) ought to have much weight. Douglas Richardson, who is a highly experienced and knowledgeable genealogist, has expressed the opposite opinion to this within the discussions you are referring to, i.e. in reconsideration of your new evidence, and this should have some weight. It is the easiest thing in the world, to be mistaken. A key word in the conclusion which you quote is "presumed" (children of John and Ursula Machell). I once presumed that too. However the fact that Mathew Machell's son John also appears in the same Hackney baptism register for 1580, on the date exactly matching that given as the day of his birth in Mathew's 1593 I.P.M., means that there is not, in fact, any presumption that these are all the children of John and Ursula Machell: indeed the opposite is proveably true. Does that appear in your blogspots and forums? If not, then their conclusions are merely provisional.
However I am going to add a footnote to the J.C. article referencing your wikitree link at this point and I hope that will be honour satisfied until somebody brings the argument round the other way again. I will put a copy of this reply on your talkpage where I originally posted my message to you. Regards, Eebahgum (talk) 15:39, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
- Eebahgum, you stated "Douglas Richardson, who is a highly experienced and knowledgeable genealogist, has expressed the opposite opinion..." I should point out that Richardson is not without error and has made some gross errors in regard to this parentage issue. Someone's "reputation" is not a certification of accuracy for any lineage or genealogical matter. On a website where many "respected and accomplished" genealogists write opinions, one such genealogist recently stated:
- "Douglas Richardson stated: 'Without getting into a lengthy discussion, I can certify that the Cudworth-Machell-Lewknor connection is sound.'
- My response, after lengthy discussion both at Wikitree and on SGM's 'Machell of London' thread:
- Richardson's 'certification' was premature at the very least.
- Richardson appears to have made three separate errors here.
- 1) Richardson appears unaware that there were TWO marriages of two separate women named Mary Machell: In addition to the well-known marriage 1611 of Mary Machell to Ralph Cudworth just outside of London (where the family of John and Ursula Machell was located), there was the 1617 marriage of Mary "Mashall" of Kingston Bowsey, the Lewknor estate far from London where Mary (Lewknor) Machell was buried in 1604.
- 2) Richardson falsely assumes that, in the 1646 will of John Machell (son of Mathew), that cosen/kinswoman can ONLY mean niece.
- 3) Richardson falsely states that "Mr. Bellasis indicated that Mary Machell, wife of Rev. Ralph Cudworth, was duly recorded as a daughter of Matthew Machell and Mary Lewknor in manuscript sources found in the College of Arms, which he styled 'C. 21, C. 26, etc.'"
- This statement appears to be a rather gross error. Bellasis indicates sources at various places on his pedigree, including "C.21, C. 26, etc.", but at the location of Mary Machell and Ralph Cudworth his source is NOTHING AT ALL. (Bellasis DOES give specific sources for some of the children of Mathew and Mary Machell, but not for Mary.) Bellasis gives no indication to support Richardson's thin-air supposition that Bellasis had some sort of document indicating that Mathew and Mary (Lewknor) Machell had a daughter Mary who married Ralph Cudworth. However, perhaps one of Bellasis's sources DID indicate that Mathew and Mary had a daughter Mary, whom Bellasis mistakenly assumed was the wife of Ralph Cudworth, because Bellasis was unaware of the 1617 marriage record of "Marie Mashall" to Rev. James Harrison in Kingston Bowsey, one of the homes of the Lewknors."
- Thanks, Lionheart0317, I am sure you and I have both looked long and hard at this problem. I have a number of evidences which are not in any of the discussion forums at present and probably you have too. I know that Bellasis makes several glaring mistakes in his pedigree references, and like you I have been very frustrated by them. One cannot take any of them at face value without going to the actual documents cited and checking. I am restricted in what I can say here by professional reasons, but I can say from first-hand knowledge that both Bellasis, and also Mrs de Salis in the NEHGR pedigree, were working from older pedigrees which clearly make Cudworth related to this part of the Machell family, though the generations get garbled. Truly, it is not "thin air". I think it very likely that there is an unpublished College of Arms pedigree (which may or may not be actually correct) which then crept into the sources used, perhaps creatively, by both Salis and Bellasis (who didn't use Salis). I agree with your point 2, that cosen might not mean niece - though equally, it might, and at that date often does. I think you are a little hard on Mr Richardson, though like you I don't just accept what he says uncritically. But when he says he has other reasons for thinking as he does, it's worth remembering that he has a great deal more genealogical knowledge than both of us put together, and there I take him at his word. And we don't actually know whether his conclusion is right or wrong, even if we think we do! The Kingston Bowsey (or "Buci") marriage is interesting. Are you aware of the marriage of Robert Machell in the same church in Southwark as the Cudworth marriage, about 3 years later? And there is a Robert in the Hackney baptisms too. It is all too easy to be "sure", but who knows, your "smoking gun" may someday show up. Best wishes, Eebahgum (talk) 17:42, 7 August 2018 (UTC)