Benjamin Henry Latrobe

Male 1764 - 1820  (56 years)


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  • Name Benjamin Henry Latrobe  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Born 1 May 1764  Fulneck, Leeds, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 5
    Christened 2 May 1764  Fulneck, Leeds, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6
    Gender Male 
    Immigration 20 Mar 1796  Norfolk, Independent Cities, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation Architect 
    Burial 1820  St Louis Cem No. 1, New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Buried 1820  New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Died 3 Sep 1820  New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Notes 
    • Benjamin Henry Latrobe was the founder of the Latrobe family in America, and is considered the father of the American architectural profession. He was architect of the U.S. Capitol under Presidents Jefferson, Madison and Monroe. Other works include the Bank of Philadelphia and the Basilica of the Assumption, the nations first Roman Catholic Cathedral in Baltimore. The cathedral has been restored much in the way Benjamin Henry Latrobe originally designed it.

      He also designed the Washington Navy Yard, Main Gate, which since 1973 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

      He designed the nation's first steam-powered waterworks in Philadelphia, PA. He also was a fellow of the American Philosophical Society.

      The Maryland Historical Society under the direction of Professor Edward C. Carter II, Editor, has completed The Papers of Benjamin Henry Latrobe which are comprised of the Virginia Journals 1795-1798, writings, watercolors, architectural and engineering drawings. The works took 25 years to complete and is comprised of ten volumes.

      In Talbot Hamlin's Book, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, there is the following paragraph: The Latrobes were an exceptional family. At the time of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in 1685, the family of Boneval de La Trobe was divided, brother against brother, one a Protestant and the other a Roman Catholic. The Protestant, Count John Henri, fled the country with his wife and went to Holland, where he joined the army of the Prince of Orange. An uncle of his, a Catholic, later became famous (or at least notorious) in his own right; a wanderer, an eccentric, bored with France, he journeyed to Constantinople, embraced Mohammedanism, was created a Pasha by the Sultan, and had a luxurious palace complete with a large harem on the Bosphorus. Casanova visited him there in 1741 and later left in his Memoires an extensive if somewhat scandalous account of the visit.
      Nor was the life of the young Protestant count without adventure. He accompanied William III to England, then joined the Irish expedition, and was wounded at the Battle of the Boyne. Later he made Ireland his home and settled in Dublin, where he prospered.
      Long afterward the architect, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, then in faraway America, remembered the legend and remarked in a letter to his elder brother, Christian, in England, "From the days of our old grand uncle Count Boneval, Pacha of Belgrade, we have been an eccentric breed."

      In a letter dated 20 June 1817 from Benjamin Henry Latrobe to Samuel Hazlehurst, his second wife's brother, in Philadelphia, he writes, "I have a ....letter from my sister, Foster (Anna Louisa Eleanora). Two of her sons are married to two daughters of Sir William Bagshawe, a Yorkshire Baronet of very large fortune, proprietor among other dirty lands, of the Devil's Arse of Peak. It is singular that the estate upon which William and his wife are settled, should be called - Hazlehurst".
      He was born in the schoolmaster's house and on the next day he was baptized in the school chapel.
      He contracted yellow fever just as his son had in 1817 and died shortly afterward. He was buried in the Protestant Section of Saint Louis Cemetery in New Orleans, where a memorial plaque was placed by Ferdinand Claiborne Latrobe III, John Henry Boneval Latrobe, Virginia Latrobe Ruebensaal and Ellen Latrobe Wilson in 1984. This is the same cemetery where his son had been buried in 1817.
    Person ID I1  mytree
    Last Modified 16 Jul 2017 

    Father Benjamin Latrobe,   b. 10 Apr 1728, Dublin, Dublin, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Nov 1786, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 58 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Mother Anna Margaretta Antes,   b. 9 Sep 1728, Hanover, York, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Mar 1794, Fulneck, Leeds, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Married 25 Apr 1756  Herrnhut, Lobau-Zittau, Saxony, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F3  Group Sheet

    Family 1 Mary Elizabeth Hazlehurst,   b. 1 Jan 1771, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Oct 1841, Mount Holly, Burlington, New Jersey, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years) 
    Married 2 May 1800  [8
    Notes 
    • They were married at her father's house in Philadelphia, PA by the Right Reverend Dr. White, the Episcopal Bishop.

      While Benjamin Henry Latrobe was working on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal in 1805, the family was living in Wilmington, Delaware. They had a nurse, maid and housekeeper, Catherine McCausland, who was called 'Kitty'. They moved to a small log house on Ironhill near Elkton, MD for July, August and September 1805 as the children were subject to 'summer complaint' - dysentery which at that time was very frequently fatal. The house was near the canal where they could see both the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware River 20 miles apart.

      On Christmas Eve, 1815 the Latrobe family was living in Washington when there was a sudden tragedy - the accidental death of the loyal Kitty McCausland. Benjamin Henry, Mary and Julia had gone off to church, leaving the two boys and Kitty alone in the house. The boys were upstairs when suddenly they heard a scream from below; they rushed to the kitchen and found Kitty moaning in a chair by the fire, all her clothes burned off and their remains still smoking on the floor. They rushed for help from a neighbor who helped to get her upstairs and into bed and gave her what crude first aid they could as the others returned, but it was too late and she died that evening. She had been with the family for thirteen years, and this was a grievous loss to all the family.
    Children 
     1. Juliana Latrobe,   b. 29 Jun 1801,   d. 11 Aug 1801, Mount Holly, Burlington, New Jersey, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
    +2. John Hazlehurst Boneval Latrobe,   b. 4 May 1803, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Sep 1891, Baltimore, Independent Cities, Maryland, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years)
     3. Juliana Elizabeth Boneval Latrobe,   b. 17 Jul 1804, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Mar 1890, Baltimore, Independent Cities, Maryland, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years)
     4. Mary Agnes Latrobe,   b. 5 Nov 1805, Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Mar 1806, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
    +5. Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Jr.,   b. 19 Dec 1806, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Oct 1878, Baltimore, Independent Cities, Maryland, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years)
     6. Louisa Latrobe,   b. 2 Sep 1808, Washington, District of Columbia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Sep 1808, Washington, District of Columbia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
    Last Modified 16 Jul 2017 
    Family ID F2  Group Sheet

    Family 2 Lydia Sellon,   b. 22 Aug 1760,   d. Nov 1793, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 33 years) 
    Married 27 Feb 1790  St James Church, Clerkenwell, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Notes 
    • Benjamin Henry Latrobe proposed to Lydia Sellon in the true eighteenth century manner. The Reverend Dr. Sellon acquiesced at once, apparently with enthusiasm, but among the rest of the family there was much opposition. Years later in Richmond, Latrobe wrote out in 1797 a vivid account of the affair, with pungent character sketches of all members of the Sellon group. It was obvious that Mrs. Sellon was more worldly than her husband and had hoped for a wealthy marriage, but was eventually brought around to accept. One married daughter was violently opposed, the other favorable, and the sons were equally divided. Finally after various family meetings - at some of which Latrobe, to his great embarrassment, was forced to be present - the father won out and the marriage was at last approved.

      Then came the question of a settlement. Lydia's father was generous; she had been his favorite daughter, and she was to be protected at all costs. Here he was adamant; the hostile children raged, without avail. On Lydia the Doctor settled a generous income during her lifetime, a small reversion to her husband, and a large reversion to her children after her death. It is ironic to find that after Lydia's death, when Latrobe (in 1795-6) and the children (in 1800) had come to America, all Latrobe's efforts to collect for his daughter and his son what was their due came to naught. The children's estate had been left in charge of their uncles, William and John Sellon, who never paid. Again and again, when Latrobe found himself faced with almost insoluble financial difficulties and his mind turned to this inheritance, he wrote to his brother Christian in London, urging him to seek a settlement. He suggested that Christian call on John Sellon (which Christian did), without result) and later that the whole matter be put in the hands of John Silvester, the Latrobes' counsel, for handling. In one of those letters, (May 7, 1804) Latrobe wrote:

      "The conduct of the Sellons to me & my children, in not rendering an account of the money accumulating in their hands is unpardonable, and even dishonest, & the neglect of John Sellon in not returning your visit is ungentlemanly. William, I know, is no better than a bankrupt. If justice were done, he should pay, principal and interest, to my children of at least 20,000. But they will never get a penny."

      Latrobe tried through his brother, Christian Ignatius, and with John Silvester, legal counsel to get the Sellons to pay - all to no avail. The efforts finally ended after some two decades with the bankruptcy of William Sellon.

      After their marriage the couple lived in a house on Grafton Street.
    Children 
    +1. Lydia Sellon Boneval Latrobe,   b. 23 Mar 1791, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Mar 1878, Skaneateles, Onondaga, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 86 years)
     2. Henry Sellon Boneval Latrobe,   b. 19 Jul 1792, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Sep 1817, New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 25 years)
     3. Unnamed Latrobe,   b. Nov 1793,   d. Nov 1793  (Age ~ 0 years)
    Last Modified 16 Jul 2017 
    Family ID F1  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1 May 1764 - Fulneck, Leeds, Yorkshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsChristened - 2 May 1764 - Fulneck, Leeds, Yorkshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 27 Feb 1790 - St James Church, Clerkenwell, London, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsImmigration - 20 Mar 1796 - Norfolk, Independent Cities, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBurial - 1820 - St Louis Cem No. 1, New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 1820 - New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 3 Sep 1820 - New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
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    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Pres. Obama retakes oath - 2009.jpg
    Pres. Obama retakes oath - 2009.jpg
    Benjamin Henry Latrobe [1764-1820] by Peale.jpg
    Benjamin Henry Latrobe [1764-1820] by Peale.jpg

    Headstones
    Latrobe, B. Henry 1764-1820
    Latrobe, B. Henry 1764-1820

  • Sources 
    1. [S141] The Virginia Journals of Benjamin Henry Latrobe 1795-1798, Maryland Historical Society, (Name: Yale University Press;).

    2. [S20] Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Talbot Hamlin, (Name: Oxford University Press; Location: New York; Date: 1955;), Page 4..

    3. [S56] Ferdinand Claiborne Latrobe, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, (Name: Maryland Historical Society;).

    4. [S140] The Sun - "Bringing the Basilica into 21st Century", Edward Gunts, (Name: August 31, 1998;), Page 1A.

    5. [S162] England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, familysearch.org.

    6. [S20] Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Talbot Hamlin, (Name: Oxford University Press; Location: New York; Date: 1955;), 4.

    7. [S57] Find A Grave.

    8. [S20] Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Talbot Hamlin, (Name: Oxford University Press; Location: New York; Date: 1955;), Page 142..

    9. [S20] Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Talbot Hamlin, (Name: Oxford University Press; Location: New York; Date: 1955;), Page 29-30.


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