Eureka

Sketch of oil lamp by Wendy Harty, 2019. Doc David Doane in his will lists 1/2 share in a whaling boat from which the family would make whale oil to light their lamps with.

Eureka! That light bulb moment when the dots connect. Most of the fun in writing a “Forbidden – the story of Keziah Atwood” is researching. From the Seven Men of Eastham who moved from Plymouth to start the new settlement of Nausett, renamed Eastham, Massachusetts, was the name of John Doane. This is my eureka moment. Keziah Atwood’s mother’s name was Hannah Doane.

Keziah – continued

Keziah took little Bethia and Jerusha and retreated to the loft. She played mother to them and soon had them soothed for their nap. Aunt Keziah had not allowed her sister Hannah out of bed since she’d arrived. Their father Doc Doane had come morning and night and replaced the poultice of bread soaked in milk, on Hannah’s leg. The angry red lines from the sore were slowly rescinding and bed rest was needed. If Keziah helped with the smaller children, Aunt Keziah had promised the family stories on Saturday night after all their chores were done.

Aunt Keziah told them this tale as it had been handed down through her family for many generations. The Dones were chief Foresters for hundreds of years living beside the Delamere Forest, at Utkinton, one mile north of Tarporley, England. John Doane was in charge of the queen’s forest which included the queen’s deer.

A man named Greenways from Utkinton, about 50 years of age, was sticken with fits. He consulted a physician and told to go home, keep warm, use a good diet and find some pure spring water with which to bathe and drink from and he would have a swift recovery. Greenway knew of a pretty spring that bubbled forth on the south edge of Delamere Forest. His ague was shortly cured. Quickly spread the news. A blind man named Bradley was led blind and recovered his sight. People damned up the spring, wherein poor people could come and wash themselves. Many the crutch was left abandoned there no longer needed. This brought wealth to the village in the rooms and food required for the 2000 sick or curious people coming daily. John Doane though inconvenienced allowed the sick and diseased free access and allowed the water to be used for the health benefits that both the poor and rich derived from it. Eventually after three years, the queen’s deer in the queen’s forest were seen to be under threat and Doane closed the forest.

John Doane was born about 1575 at Saint Eart, Cornwall and married Lydia in 1589 at St. Alban’s England. Their children born in England: John Doane Jr., 1591, Anna 1600 married William Twinning, and Martha married to Joseph Harding. John Doane Jr. came with 35 of the Leyden Company and their families, those Puritans who had settled in Holland for the ten years after being persecuted in England. They arrived in Plymouth in 1629 and were members of Mr. Robinson’s church. John Doane Jr born 1591 and Abigail Ann Perkins born in 1600 were married in 1629. This John was elected to be Assistant to the Governor of the New World. He kept this appointment for three years when he asked to be released from his duties to devote more time to the Pilgrim Church and became Deacon of the Church. He was on a committee to revise the laws for the colony in 1636 and in 1644 left and became one of the founders of Eastham; also deputy to the Court, Justice of the Peace, on first board of Selectmen. A man of wisdom, integrity and deep piety, he gave himself unreservedly to the well being of his fellow men and the best interests of the community, his house stood on the north side of Town Cove where he died aged 95. His ashes mingle with mother Earth in an unmarked grave in the old Town Cove burial-ground at Eastham, Mass. no stone marks the spot but the family put up a large rock stone memorial. In 1902 a book was written called the Doane Family – a book of 9 generations.

Just some other fun facts: the well survives and called Whistlebitch Well at Primrose Hill in the Delamere Forest, in an overgrown gully on private property and the book, The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson has one setting in Delamere Forest.

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