Thomas Westbrook Waldron

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Thomas Westbrook Waldronn
John Greenwood - Portrait of Thomas Westbrook Waldron.png
Portrait of Thomas Westbrook Waldron by John Greenwood (1750)
Born(1721-01-06)January 6, 1721
DiedApril 3, 1785(1785-04-03) (aged 64)
Dover, New Hampshire
Occupation merchant, magistrate, councilor, mill owner, Captain and Colonel of the New Hampshire militia, county treasurer and recorder of deeds, and chairman in Dover, New Hampshire of the New Hampshire Committee of Safety
Spouse(s)Constant or Constance Davis
ChildrenWilliam, Elizabeth, Richard, Samuel, Eleanor, Charles, Abigail, Daniel [1]
Parent(s) Richard Waldron (secretary) and Elizabeth Westbrook

Thomas Westbrook Waldron was a prominent political figure in Dover, New Hampshire and a military officer that fought in the Siege of Louisbourg (1745). [2] He later became a commissioner at Albany, New York and then a Royal councillor in 1782. [3] [4] During the American Revolution, Waldron abandoned his loyalist friend, New Hampshire Governor John Wentworth (governor) to become a patriot of the United States.



Waldorn was born into a wealthy family in Dover, New Hampshire. [5] [6] Waldron's great grandfather was Richard Waldron. His grandfather was Thomas Westbrook, who distinguished himself in Father Rale's War. He married Constance Davis of Durham, New Hampshire, about 1755. Of their children, two sons and three daughters had descendants. [7] He was the namesake of many descendants, including two grandsons, one who was a Consul that died in Macao, the other moved to Canada.

Waldron built his home in Dover in 1763, which was described as "by far the best in Dover; its joiner work was ornate and elaborate, in every apartment; the furnishings were the best that period afforded.". [8] "... [S]tood in Revolutionary times the mansion of Thomas Westbrook Waldrone, the soldier of Louisberg.". [9]


He became a captain in the New Hamphire militia in the Siege of Louisbourg (1745). [10] He commanded one of the whale boats that landed under fire from the Fortress. [11]

His correspondence from Louisbourg to his father gives a rare glimpse of life after the Siege. His letters to his father describe with some bitterness that the spoils of war did not go to New Englanders and rightly predicted that the men would be "Lul'd along" into occupying Louisbourg through the winter. [12]

Waldron is critical of General Samuel Waldo, referring to him as "Duke Trinkelo". [13]

Political Career

Waldron was the fourth generation in his family to assume public office in Dover. He was a selectmen, representative and town clerk. He was a representative (1768) and a councillor (1772) at Exeter. [14] He also was a Recorder of Deeds, Strafford County (1776). [15] He was the Dover, New Hampshire, town clerk from 30 March 1772 until his death in 1785. [16]

In 1748 Waldron's father complained that though Thomas Westbrook Waldron had done much at the siege of Louisburg, he couldn't receive a significant militia commission: "and for which he has been very illy requited by Mr. W--ntw--th" [17] However this situation improved when a different Wentworth became governor. In later life he was described as a colonel. [18]

Waldron's was a friend of historian Jeremy Belknap and encouraged him to write The history of New Hampshire (1831), the first history of the state. [19] [20] [21] [22]

American Revolution

Waldron was also a friend of the last Royal Governor of New Hampshire, Governor Wentworth. [23] Wentworth nominated Waldron for a position on Council (1767), mending historically strained relationships between the two families. [24] [25] Wentworth summoned Waldron to his home in response to the "Portsmouth Tea Party" on Sep 1774. [26] [27] Waldron broke with Wentworth and joined the patriot cause in the American Revolution (1776). [28] [29] [30]

Waldron was chosen as a counsellor for Strafford County by the New Hampshire House of Representatives on Sat 6 Jan 1776. [31] [32] On January 17, 1776 an "Hon. John Wentworth, Esq., was chosen to be one of the Counsellors for the County of Strafford, in place of Waldron. [33]

Even though he had joined the rebels, Waldron advocated for the fair treatment of Loyalist Americans. By August 19, 1776, as chairman of a revolutionary committee charged with inventorying a Loyalist's property, [34] He wrote Meshech Weare that he hoped the "politeness, justice, and lenity [be] among the shining characteristicks of the American States...." toward Loyalists. [35]


"[He] died there [the TW Waldron house] April 3, 1785. He was buried in the burial ground west of the Methodist church. After his death, the children were carried to Portsmouth, where they remained for several years. [36]

His will listed his properties. [37] In addition to the Dover property he owned lands in Rochester, Barrington, Gilmanton, Grafton County, Lebanon, Chichester, Canaan, Kilkenny and the Globe Tavern, The Square and the Training field in Portsmouth, two mill privileges in Portsmouth, and part of the lower falls.

"These quantities of real estate were divided among his children, Charles and Daniel inheriting the Dover property. Daniel was the last owner of the extensive Waldron real estate in Dover. It probably came into the family in 1642 when the mill privilege in the center of Dover was granted to Major Richard Waldron. Upon January 31, 1820, an uninterrupted family ownership of 178 years terminated." [38]

The youngest son Daniel, not yet four years old when his father's will was written, inherited the majority of the family's land in Dover. [39]


Waldron had portraits of himself, his wife Elizabeth and their son Thomas painted by John Greenwood (1750). A copy of Waldron's portrait hung in the "council chamber" of the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion [40] The copy is also owned by Historic New England. [41] [42] [43]

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  1. C.H.C. Howard, Genealogy of the Cutts Family in America, p.62 at: accessed 6 September 2010
  2. C.H.C. Howard, Genealogy of the Cutts Family in America, pp 536-7, which quotes Historical Memoranda, by Rev. A.K. Quint.
  3. "Pepperell Papers" In: New England historical and genealogical register, (1865) Volume 19, p.223 (footnote). At:" accessed 25 August 2010.
  4. John Wentworth, Wentworth Genealogy, vol 1, p. 165
  5. Lineage Book of Nat Soc of DAR, vol 68, p 221, entry 67630
  6. C.H.C. Howard, Genealogy of the Cutts Family in America, pp 536-7, which quotes Historical Memoranda, by Rev. A.K. Quint).
  7. He was father of the late Daniel Waldron Esq of Dover NH. "Pepperell Papers" In: New England historical and genealogical register, (1865) Volume 19, p.223 (footnote). At:" accessed 25 August 2010. Thomas Westbrook Waldron's eldest son was William Waldron, whose son, another Thomas Westbrook Waldron, became the progenitor of a Canadian branch of the Waldron family. Birth, marriage and death dates are from C.H.C. Howard, Genealogy of the Cutts Family in America (Albany, N.Y.: Munsell's Sons, 1892), pp 34, 62, 536-7
  8. "Mr. Scales gives facts on the T.W. Waldron House", Foster's Daily Democrat, 1923, as found in Dover Public Library
  9. Caroline Harwood Garland, "Old Dover, New Hampshire", In: New England Magazine, vol. 23 issue 1, Sept 1897, p. 113 as found at:;cc=newe;rgn=full%20text;idno=newe0023-1;didno=newe0023-1;view=image;seq=00121;node=newe0023-1%3A1 accessed 13 October 2010
  10. He has been described as the first volunteer in the 1745 invasion of the French Fortress of Louisbourg in Cape Breton Island, now part of Canada. "I have engaged for 1,000 men," writes William Vaughan, a prominent early proponent for the invasion. "When I was in New Hampshire, in a ludicrous manner talking of these affairs, your son Thomas desired a Lieut'y and if it go and I shall have a great hand in the nomination of the officers and if it may be that he may go, and be thought equal to a higher part, he may have it, if he can get 50 men. 'Tis proposed that the government find vessels, provisions and ammunition, &c--the men only find themselves and arms, without pay from the province, all to be volunteers. ... Your Kinsman, friend and Humble Servant, W. Vaughan" "Letter, William Vaughan to Richard Waldron (Secretary)" Vaughan Genealogy, pp.102-3.
  11. Looking back, his father referred to "...his services at the siege of Louisbourg, he commanding one of the whale boats which first landed in Chepeau-rouga Bay, and being one of the Captains that commanded a Company in sustaining the advance Battery the first day it pla'd on the City, when the Trench was hardly knee deep, and not 200 yards from the City walls, upon which the Enemy kept a continual Fire all the day both with Cannon and Muskets, and the volleys of small shot were like showers of hale...." (Nathaniel Bouton, "Correspondence...Mr. Waldron to Col. Royall", (Sept 16, 1748) In: Provincial Papers: Documents and records relating to the province of New Hampshire, vol 6, pp.60-61 )
  12. Nine letters to his father, and two replies are found at Louisburg Siege Collection, 1745-1746, 23 items, Clements Library, University of Michigan, as cited within: Peter Bower, "Chapter VI: The New England Occupation Period" In: "Louisbourg: A Focus of Conflict" (March 1970) At: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-13. Retrieved 2012-05-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) accessed October 15, 2010
  13. Peter Bower, "Chapter IV, The Siege", In: "Louisbourg: A Focus of Conflict" (March 1970) At:
  14. William Allan Wallace, ed. by James Burns Wallace, History of Canaan, New Hampshire, (1910) p.102 at accessed 13 October 2010
  15. Lineage Book of Nat Soc of DAR, vol 68, p 221, entry 67630
  16. Rev. Alonzo H. Quint, Historical Memoranda Concerning Persons and Places in Old Dover, New Hampshire, p.2 at:
  17. Nathaniel Bouton, "Correspondence...Mr. Waldron to Col. Royall", (Sept 16, 1748) In: Provincial Papers: Documents and records relating to the province of New Hampshire, vol 6, pp.60-61
  18. John Wentworth, Wentworth Genealogy - English and American, vol.2, p.
  19. "In June 1767 Jeremy Belknap borrowed a horse from Thomas Westbrook Waldron, a locally prominent citizen, and galloped off to Boston to marry..." Jeremy Belknap, A Biography at Google Books
  20. Jane Belknap Marcou, Life of Jeremy Belknap, DD, pp.48-51
  21. Jane Belknap Marcou, Life of Jeremy Belknap, DD, p. 57
  22. Jane Belknap Marcou, Life of Jeremy Belknap, DD, pp.47-48
  23. Brian C. Cuthbertson, The Loyalist Governor - Biography of Sir John Wentworth,(Petheric Press, Halifax, 1983), p.20, cites letters Wentworth to Waldron in: Collections, Mass Hist Soc, 6th Series, vol.iv, pp. 45,66,70,74 covering 1773-5)
  24. Paul W. Wilderson, Governor John Wentworth and the American Revolution - The English Connection, Hanover, 1994, p. 137
  25. Wilderson, footnote 6, page 305
  26. Letter of Governor Wentworth to Earl of Dartmouth, American Archives, Vol. 1, p. 513
  27. Jane Belknap Marcou, Life of Jeremy Belknap, DD, p. 57
  28. "Waldron was named in a list of inhabitants of Dover, New Hampshire who took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States and Continental Congress, 1776, published in the Dover Enquirer."
  29. Governor Wentworth hoped the American Revolution was temporary and unnecessary and that eventually wiser and more level heads would work together with more flexible leaders in Britain to restore the colonial allegiance to the crown. ( book description of Governor John Wentworth and the American Revolution: The English Connection, by Paul W. Wilderson (2004); also as summarized at )
  30. Colonel Waldron's looking for "friends of America in England" shows he initially shared this view. "Letter from Thomas W. Waldron to the New-Hampshire Committee of Safety", (Dover, New Hampshire, January 15, 1776), American Archives Series 4, Volume 4, Page 0685, At: accessed 13 October 2010
  31. (See Stan Klos website), Waldron declined in a letter to the New Hampshire Committee of Safety January 15 for health reasons, and at the same time suggested a revolutionary council was unnecessary as "friends of America in England" would assist the revolutionary cause.
  32. "Letter from Thomas W. Waldron to the New-Hampshire Committee of Safety", (Dover, New Hampshire, January 15, 1776), American Archives Series 4, Volume 4, Page 0685, At: accessed 13 October 2010
  33. Nathaniel Bouton (ed)., Documents and records relating to the State of New-Hampshire: during the American Revolution, p.28 at: accessed 17 October 2010
  34. Background of the Mitchell or McMarster store and the confiscation of the goods in it, is discussed in George Wadleigh, Notable Events in the History of Dover, New Hampshire, from the First ... pp. 164-5 At: accessed 13 October 2010
  35. "Letter from Thomas W. Waldron to Meshech Weare" (Dover, N. H., August 19, 1776) At "American Archives": accessed 4 April 2016
  36. C.H.C. Howard, Genealogy of the Cutts Family in America, pp 536-7, which quotes Historical Memoranda, by Rev. A.K. Quint.
  37. "[He] made his will Aug 7, 1779.
  38. C.H.C. Howard, Genealogy of the Cutts Family in America, pp 536-7, which quotes Historical Memoranda by Rev. A.K. Quint, paragraphing altered
  39. Brother Charles passed away soon after their father. C.H.C. Howard, Genealogy of the Cutts Family in America, p 62
  40. Charles W. Brewster, "Brewster's Rambles about Portsmouth #17 - British Governors Wentworth" At: accessed 16 October 2010.
  41. E mail from SPNEA
  42. "Portrait of Thomas Westbrook Waldron ", accessed 16 October 2010
  43. "A grandchild of the house says: "No one valued ancestral possessions in those days and we rummaged in the garret to our heart's content. We were allowed to dress our dolls and ourselves from the contents of the hair-trunks: cobweb laces, exquisite brocades, high-heeled satin slippers, ivory and sandal-wood fans, and to play 'house' in the lofty council chamber. Some one of us would impersonate the stately Lady Wentworth Waldron, wife of the Secretary of State, and play with haughty air on the fine, old spinet, and - it must be confessed - we mischievously touched up the Copleys with fence paint!" pp.260-1 at,%201623-16331.pdf accessed 7 November 2010. Copley appears to refer to an artist who was mistakenly believed by some to have painted the portraits of Secretary Waldron, his wife Elizabeth Westbrook (not Wentworth) Waldron, and their son, Thomas.