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Robert Charles Winthrop

Robert Charles Winthrop
Personal data
Date of birthMay 12, 1809
Place of birthBoston, Massachusetts
Date of deathNovember 16, 1894(age 85)
Place of deathBoston, Massachusetts
Political partyWhig
SpouseElizabeth Cabot Blanchard
Alma materHarvard University
ProfessionLawyer, Politician, Philanthropist
22nd Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
In officeDecember 6, 1847 - March 4, 1849
PresidentJames K. Polk
Succeeded byHowell Cobb
Preceded byJohn W. Davis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 1st district
In officeNovember 9, 1840 - May 25, 1842
November 29, 1842 July 30, 1850
Succeeded byNathan Appleton
Samuel A. Eliot
Preceded byAbbott Lawrence
Nathan Appleton
United States Senator
from Massachusetts
In officeJuly 30, 1850 - February 1, 1851
Succeeded byRobert Rantoul, Jr.
Preceded byDaniel Webster

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Robert Charles Winthrop (May 12, 1809 - November 16, 1894) was an American lawyer and philanthropist and one time Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

He was born in Boston, Massachusetts to Thomas Lindall Winthrop (March 6, 1760 - February 22, 1841) and wife (m. July 25, 1786) Elizabeth Bowdoin Temple (October 23, 1769 - July 23, 1825), attended the prestigious Boston Latin School, and graduated from Harvard University in 1828.

On March 12, 1832, he married Elizabeth Cabot Blanchard (May 27, 1809 - June 14, 1842), daughter of Francis Blanchard (baptised February 1, 1784 - age estimated 29 at death, June 26, 1813) and wife (m. August 29, 1808) Mary Ann Cabot (baptised May 9, 1784 - July 25, 1809), with whom he had three children.

After studying law with Daniel Webster he was admitted to the bar in 1831 and practiced in Boston. He served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1835 to 1840, and served as Speaker of the House of that body from 1838 to 1840.

Winthrop was elected US Representative from Massachusetts as a Whig to the 26th United States Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Abbott Lawrence; he was reelected to the 27th Congress and served from November 9, 1840, to May 25, 1842, when he resigned. He was subsequently elected to the 27th Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of his successor, Nathan Appleton; he was reelected to the 28th and to the three succeeding Congresses and served from November 29, 1842 until to July 30, 1850, and served as the Speaker of the House during the 30th Congress. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1849.

After Daniel Webster resigned to become Secretary of State in 1850, Winthrop resigned from the House and was appointed by fellow Whig Governor George Briggs to fill the remainder of Webster's Senate term. Winthrop's views proved no more palatable to abolitionists than did Webster's, and he failed to win reelection by the Legislature to either of Massachusetts' Senate seats in 1851. He resigned without completing his term immediately following his election loss. Later that year, Winthrop actually won a popular plurality in the race for Massachusetts Governor but as the state Constitution required a majority, the election was thrown into the Legislature and the same coalition of Democrats and Free Soilers defeated him again. His final venture into elected political office was as a presidential elector on the Whig ticket in 1852. Afterwards, Winthrop became an independent, unsuccessfully supporting Millard Fillmore, John Bell, and George McClellan.

With his political career over at the young age of 41, Winthrop spent the remainder of his life in literary, historical, and philanthropic pursuits. He was a major early patron of the Boston Public Library and president of the Massachusetts Historical Society from 1855 to 1885, during which time he wrote a biography of his ancestor John Winthrop. He served as the president of the Massachusetts Bible Society for several years where he advocated that Christian morality was the necessary condition of a free society. His most notable contributions came as permanent Chairman and President of the Peabody Education Fund Trustees, which he served from 1867 to his death. As well as steering the contributions of the Peabody Trust, Winthrop gave his own money to various Southern schools, the most long lasting of which was the $1500 of seed money provided to a teacher's college that renamed itself Winthrop University in gratitude. He became a noted orator, delivering the eulogy for George Peabody in 1870 and at the ceremony that opened the Washington Monument in 1884.

He died in Boston in 1894, and is interred in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

One of his children was Robert Charles Winthrop, Jr. (December 7, 1834 - June 5, 1905), who married on June 1, 1869 Elizabeth Mason (October 1, 1844 - April 22, 1924), daughter of Robert Means Mason (September 25, 1810 - March 13, 1879) and wife (m. December 4, 1843) Sarah Ellen Francis (May 17, 1819 - September 27, 1865) and paternal granddaughter of Jeremiah Mason and wife Mary Means, whose daughter Margaret Tyndal Winthrop (February 23, 1880 - July 7, 1970) married at 10 Walnut St., on November 28, 1906 James Grant Forbes.

Winthrop is a great-great-grandfather of United States Senator and 2004 Presidential candidate John Kerry, and a seventh generation descendant of the founding governor the Massachusetts Bay Colony, John Winthrop.

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With Mass. elections over, casino question lingers - Boston Globe Tweet this news
Boston Globe--House lawmakers, led by DeLeo, D--Winthrop-, had also pushed for slot machines at two of the state's existing racetracks. During the final day of the ... - Date : Fri, 05 Nov 2010 22:25:19 GMT+00:00
Casino debate shows one-party rule doesn't always mean a rubber stamp - The Patriot Ledger Tweet this news
The Patriot Ledger--Deval Patrick of Milton, Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, and House Speaker -Robert- DeLeo, D--Winthrop-. For weeks, the fate of legalized gambling ... - Date : Wed, 04 Aug 2010 11:43:50 GMT+00:00
The Fourth of July: It's Not What You Think It Is - Take Part (blog) Tweet this news
Take Part (blog)--A former senator from Massachussetts, -Robert C-. -Winthrop-, even suggested that July 3 become the official practice in the event the 4th fell on a Sunday. ... - Date : Fri, 02 Jul 2010 20:46:40 GMT+00:00
Cleveland Evans: 'Remember Sidney!' gave name a foothold - Omaha World-Herald Tweet this news
Omaha World-Herald--Around 1880, -Robert Winthrop- wrote that Algernon Sidney was “an American name American in all its associations.” In “Patriot Heroes in England and ... - Date : Tue, 29 Jun 2010 13:17:24 GMT+00:00
Deval Patrick urges democrats to make a 'difference' - Boston Herald Tweet this news
Boston Herald--House Speaker -Robert- DeLeo (D--Winthrop-) urged his fellow Democrats to show voters their accomplishments - saying they have taken action while the GOP throws ... - Date : Sun, 06 Jun 2010 04:09:14 GMT+00:00
Piece of broken Mass. water main eludes searchers - The Associated Press Tweet this news
The Associated Press--DeLeo's hometown of -Winthrop- was one of those forced to boil water. DeLeo said he wants to protect customers for bearing the brunt of the cost of the ... - Date : Tue, 04 May 2010 23:05:53 GMT+00:00
Loophole eyed in quasi pay bill - Boston Herald Tweet this news
Boston Herald--House Speaker -Robert- A. DeLeo (D--Winthrop-) said his focus is on passing criminal records reforms. Montigny called pay hikes like the $39000 boost for Thomas ... - Date : Fri, 07 May 2010 04:06:30 GMT+00:00
Former foes flip flopping on casino stance - WBZ News Radio 1030 Tweet this news
WBZ News Radio 1030--"We live in a different world," House Ways and Means Committee Chairman -Charles- Murphy started out on Thursday, explaining his opposition to Gov. ... - Date : Sun, 11 Apr 2010 12:14:42 GMT+00:00

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Abbott Lawrence
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 1 congressional district

November 9, 1840 - May 25, 1842
Succeeded by
Nathan Appleton
Preceded by
Nathan Appleton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 1 congressional district

November 29, 1842 - July 30, 1850
Succeeded by
Samuel A. Eliot
Political offices
Preceded by
John Wesley Davis
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
December 6, 1847 - March 4, 1849
Succeeded by
Howell Cobb
United States Senate
Preceded by
Daniel Webster
United States Senator from Massachusetts
Served alongside: John Davis

July 30, 1850 - February 1, 1851
Succeeded by
Robert Rantoul, Jr.

Speakers of the United States House of Representatives

Muhlenberg * Trumbull * Muhlenberg * Dayton * Sedgwick * Macon * Varnum * Clay * Cheves * Clay * Taylor * Barbour * Clay * Taylor * Stevenson * Bell * Polk * Hunter * White * Jones * Davis * Winthrop * Cobb * Boyd * Banks * Orr * Pennington * Grow * Colfax * Pomeroy * Blaine * Kerr * Randall * Keifer * Carlisle * Reed * Crisp * Reed * Henderson * Cannon * Clark * Gillett * Longworth * Garner * Rainey * Byrns * Bankhead * Rayburn * Martin * Rayburn * Martin * Rayburn * McCormack * Albert * O'Neill * Wright * Foley * Gingrich * Hastert * Pelosi

United States Senators from Massachusetts

Class 1Dalton * Cabot * Goodhue * Mason * Adams * Lloyd * Gore * Ashmun * Mellen * Mills * Webster * Choate * Webster * Winthrop * Rantoul * Sumner * Washburn * Dawes * Lodge, Sr. * Butler * Walsh * Lodge, Jr. * J. Kennedy * Smith * E. Kennedy * Kirk * Brown
Class 2Strong * Sedgwick * Dexter * Foster * Pickering * Varnum * Otis * Lloyd * Silsbee * Davis * Bates * Davis * Everett * Rockwell * Wilson * Boutwell * Hoar * Crane * J. Weeks * Walsh * Gillett * Coolidge * Lodge, Jr. * S. Weeks * Saltonstall * Brooke * Tsongas * Kerry

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