Episode 84: Smollop: Goody Davis and Elizabeth Howell

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If you have a direct quote from someone in 1641, some bad shit went down.

Lion Gardiner (1599-1663) m. Mary Willemsen Deurcant (c.1601 -1665) Pardon me with this a moment, my inner genealogist is showing. She’s a little feisty, ever since I learned that I am a direct descendant of King James through one of his (many) mistresses. That’s right, I come from seedy yet royal beginnings, shiny yet grubby and rutting. No one is surprised? Nope, didn’t think so.


I also love when, this far back, when there are this many players, we actually know their names–especially the women’s first names! Fabulous. Bear with me.

Okay: Lion and Mary begat David, Mary and Elizabeth Gardiner. And begatting (begetting?) in the 17th century was No Fucking Joke, and that was if the woman didn’t die.

David m. Mary Leringman 1657

Mary m. Jeremiah Conkling 1658

Elizabeth m. Arthur Howell 1657, and therefore becomes the Goodwoman Elizabeth Howell of our story.

Gardiners Island, New York

Oh, and I can play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon with good old Lion, in the weirdest way. David Gardiner, the New York State senator, is a direct descendant, and was the father of Julia Gardiner Tyler. Julia was the second, and perkier and younger, wife of President John Tyler (First Lady from June 26, 1844, to March 4, 1845). I married my husband–who, yes, is really, really, really named Larry–at Sherwood Forest, the home of John and Julia.

John and Julia Tyler: Sherwood Forest Plantation
Sherwood Forest Plantation, Charles City, Virginia

Further down the rabbit hole: Julia was a badass, because she was the first First Lady to dance in public. Clutch your pearls in horror!

See why I got this gig? I can do this shit all day, and revel in it.

Okay, back to Lion, his daughter Elizabeth, and the Real Goodwives of Long Island. Before we turn to the gossips and shrews, check out the tomb Lion’s rocking (findagrave):

Big Pimpin', 17th century style
Big Pimpin’, 17th century style

That ain’t no joke. Seriously, click on it to see it in its full glory.

Anyway, so, we have, like Gareth said, the Real Housewives, with the bad apple bitch who doesn’t have anything better to do then start trouble, never mind that all hands should be working to, I don’t know, survive and build a new life in a new land? I know, silly me, right? So here comes Goody (I could not find her first name, that bitch) Davis, with nothing better to do, and all of a sudden Goody Elizabeth Garlick is a witch, because Goody Elizabeth Howell and her baby died of sickness. Someone died of fever in the New World, in the 17th century? That never, ever happened without a curse or magic! Like, ever.

Shout out to Australian fans: You have your own Real Housewives franchise. Real Housewives of Melbourne, what’s up!

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