Legacy Library: John Worthington

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Member: JohnWorthington

CollectionsYour library (37)

ReviewsNone

TagsLaw (37), British Law (35), Courts (13), Reports (11), Pleadings (5), Court of King's Bench (5), Case Law (4), Court of Common Pleas (4), Court of Chancery (2), Manuals (2) — see all tags

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About meJohn Worthington (1719-1800), Massachusetts lawyer and land speculator. Worthington graduated from Yale College in 1740 and briefly studied theology there while serving as a tutor 1742-1743. He then took up the practice of law in Springfield, where he served as King's attorney for the western region of Massachusetts and as high sheriff of Hampshire County.

Called the "political dictator of Springfield" by one biographer, Worthington also was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives almonst continuously 1747-1766 and 1770-1774; for two years (1767-1768) he sat on the governor's Council. He was made a colonel of militia in 1754. During the 1750s he was among the more active legislators in the House of Representatives, but his involvement faded during the 1760s. Worthington's loyalism (he was close friends with Thomas Hutchinson) almost resulted in his removal to Canada during the Revolution, but he opted to stay in Massachusetts and by 1778 had contributed funds to the Continental army and resumed local political activities.

Worthington married first Hannah Hopkins; after her death in 1766 her took as his second wife Mary Stoddard. Three of Worthington's four daughters (by his first wife) also married leading lawyers: Hannah was the wife of Springfield attorney Thomas Dwight (1758-1819), Mary web Jonathan Bliss (1742-1822), and Frances married Fisher Ames (1758-1808), a lawyer and U.S. Congressman.

Worthington's land speculations tended toward the successful, and one investment resulted in the settlement of what is today Worthington, MA.

A short biography of Worthington can be found in John A. Schutz, ed. Legislators of the Massachusetts General Court, 1691-1780: A Biographical Dictionary. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1997. A more complete sketch is in the Dictionary of American Biography.

About my libraryWorthington's library of law books is now at the Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale Law School, having been acquired in 1995. The collection can be browsed through their online catalog here.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Do you know of additional books which should be included here? Please contact Libraries of Early America coordinator Jeremy Dibbell.

GroupsLibraries of Early America

Real nameJohn Worthington

LocationSpringfield, MA

Favorite authorsNot set

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/JohnWorthington (profile)
/catalog/JohnWorthington (library)

Member sinceJan 5, 2009

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