Bridget Hodgson's Family
We know little about Bridget’s first husband, Luke Thurgood, but upon her marriage to Phineas Hodgson the story becomes much clearer. Bridget’s new father-in-law, Thomas Hodgson, was a member of the city’s political elite, serving as Lord Mayor in 1635. In addition to Phineas, Thomas mentions three sons in his will: Rowland, Richard, and George. (The character of Edward Hodgson is completely fictional.) Thomas’s bequests to his sons speak both to his own wealth an to his opinion of his various sons. While Phineas’s brothers receive cash and land, Phineas was not so lucky, as Thomas wrote:
I give unto my son Phineas Hodgson in full satisfaction of his filial child’s part and portion the sum of ten pounds of lawful English money ...in regard he hath been so chargable to me. (See page two, line 13)
Thomas also left Bridget five pounds (line 20), and gave forty pounds to each of Bridget and Phineas’s four children, to be held in trust until they reached adulthood. A caveat to these bequests casts additional light on Thomas’s low opinion of Phineas:
All which legacies...shall remain in the hands of my said executrix until the same children shall severally accomplish their full ages of twenty and one years...But their father not to meddle therewith or any part thereof. (See page two, line 34)
Phineas’s profligacy (or perhaps financial incompetence) serves as further evidence of Bridget’s strength, for she proved more than able to preserve her estate from Phineas’s shortcomings, whatever they may have been.
Beyond this, we know little about Phineas except that he and Bridget had two daughters and, according to one source, four sons. While much of the history of Phineas and Bridget's children is lost, some remarkable (and not entirely believeable) details survive. Read on.