Marriage to Frances, Part 3 to the Life & Works of
Sir John Wentworth
In November of 1769 John married Frances Atkinson. Frances was another Wentworth, and, indeed, a cousin of John's. He had actually met Frances when she was but a young girl, at a time, I suppose, when she was just then developing the female charms that she was so successful in displaying in her adult life. As we have seen, the family had arranged for young John to go to England so to meet the elder and influential members of the family. However, just before then, John (he was called Johnny) and Frances (she, Fanny) were making plans (see contemporary portraits by John Singleton Copley). John certainly did not feel he had any choice in the matter, in respect to going off to England, and maybe Frances understood. Nonetheless she became upset with this development, just that she should be parted from John for a period of time that might extend to a number of years. Frances, probably to force the issue, engaged herself to another cousin, Theodore Atkinson, and when John sailed off to England, Frances married Theodore. In June of 1767, John, now Governor Wentworth, arrived back at New Hampshire having been away for the previous four years. Johnny was to renew acquaintances with Fanny, then Mrs. Theodore Atkinson. As to how fast and to what depth this relationship developed, I am unable to say. What we know is that Theodore Atkinson was to die of what was then called consumption on October 28th, 1769; fourteen days later his widow was to marry the governor.
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