One of my fifth great grandmothers was Susannah Lamothe née Corrin (1741-1803).
Susannah was the daughter of Henry Corrin (1713-1769) and Susanna Corrin née Quay (1713-1784). In 1763 she married Dominique Lamothe (1731-1807), a former French prisoner-of-war.
Lamothe had been a surgeon on the St Lawrence, a privateer brig, which was captured by the English and brought to Douglas, the Isle of Man, on 31 October 1760. England and France were at war, in what was later known as the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763). After their capture the officers and men of the St Lawrence were held in Castle Rushen as prisoners of war.
Two weeks after their capture the French officers of the privateer St Lawrence applied to the Governor of the Island for their liberty, and joined themselves in a bond to Messrs. Ross, Black, and Christian, of Douglas, merchants. They were freed from gaol on parole.
In January 1761 the Lords of the Admiralty sent a British ship to take the prisoners of war off the island. All prisoners were delivered up except for Lamothe and Lieutenant Lessenne, who were exploring the island. Lessenne turned up on the evening of the next day, Lamothe later that night, but the tender for the boat had gone so Lamothe was placed back in Castle Rushen. Because of adverse winds the ship had been unable to wait. It seems that Lamothe was again freed from Castle Rushen, though there is no detail as to how this came about. There is a family story that Lamothe “attended the Governor’s wife as her medical man, and acted with great skill, and was thereupon released.”
In a letter of 30 September 1763 to Basil Cochrane, Governor of the Isle of Man 1751-1762, John Quayle ( Clerk of the Rolls for the Isle of Man and the Duke of Atholl’s Seneschal), reported on some local Manx happenings :
the French Doctor was no sooner released from being a prisoner of war than he became captive to Suky Corrin (the daughter of his landlord, Hall Corrin). He went to France for his prize money, bought a cargo of Brandy to Dublin & this day returned to his spouse.
Dominique Lamothe and Susanna had eleven children. They lived in Castletown, Isle of Man, where he practiced medicine for 47 years.
Susanna died on 9 November 1803, aged 62. Dominique on died 8 January 1807 aged 74. They are buried at Castletown.
Their youngest daughter Rose Therese Lamothe (1784-1818) married William Snell Brown later Chauncy. She had three children:
- Theresa Susanna Snell Chauncy 1807-1876
- Martha Maria Snell Chauncy 1813-1899
- Philip Lamothe Snell Chauncy 1816-1880 my 3rd great grandfather.
Rose died shortly before her son’s second birthday. In his memoirs, Philip Chauncy wrote “Having always resided at a distance from the Isle of Man, I have never known much of my Mother’s relations.” He knew his grandfather had been a prisoner of war and had been in correspondence with his cousin John Corlet LaMothe who had compiled the history of Dominique and Susanna from the records in the Rolls office of the Isle of Man.
- Family of LaMothe by John Corlet LaMothe in 1895 and reproduced at http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/famhist/families/lamothe.htm
- Moore, A. W.. Manx worthies, or, Biographies of notable Manx men and women. Douglas, Isle of Man: S.K. Broadbent & Co., 1901. page 151. Available through ancestry.com and http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/fulltext/worthies/ch07.htm#151
- Copy of letter from John Quayle to Basil Cochrane 30 September 1763 From Atholl Papers – AP X17-25 retrieved fromhttp://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/history/ap/ap_x1725.htm The Atholl Papers are a very large archive of over 7,500 manuscripts & books donated to the Manx Museum (Manx National Heritage) in 1956 that cover the period from 1735 through to 1765 when the Dukes of Atholl were Lords of Man.
- P. L. S. Chauncy. Memoirs and other papers held by the State Library of Victoria MS 9287
- Lamothe Mausoleum was erected in 1845 in the Lezayre Churchyard, Lezayre, Isle of Man http://www.mmtrust.org.uk/mausolea/view/476/Lamothe_Mausoleum