John Harvard


John Harvard
John Harvard was born and raised in England, near the south bank of the Thames. The fourth of nine children, he attended St Saviour’s Grammar School, where his father was a governor. Tragedy struck the family in 1625, when his father, a stepsister, and two brothers were killed by the plague. His mother remarried twice; first to John Elletson, who died soon after their marriage, and then to Richard Yearwood. Meanwhile, John entered Emmanuel College in Cambridge and emerged with his B.A. in 1632.

Harvard’s mother died in 1635, and within the next two years John had married Ann Sadler and immigrated with her to New England, where they settled in Charlestown. Once there, he was made minister of the Church, but he only remained in that post for one year before contracting tuberculosis and passing away quietly. Because he had no children, he bequeathed half of his estate to a new college that had been built in 1636—a college that, after John’s death, would be renamed “Harvard” in memory of his great donation.

Key events during the life of John Harvard:

Father, sister, and two brothers died of the plague.
Mother married John Elletson; he died only a few months later.
Mother married Richard Yearwood.
  Entered Emmanuel College in Cambridge.
Received his B.A.
Mother died.
Married Ann Sadler.
Immigrated with his wife to New England, where he was made minister of the Church.
Died after contracting tuberculosis.
New College is renamed Harvard College in his honor.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Founding of Harvard  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E. Marshall

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