Select Moody Miscellany
accounts over the years:
- Edmund Moody of Bury St. Edmunds
- The Moodies of Orkney
- The Energies of Lady Moody in the New World
- The Early Moodys in New England
- W.L. Moody and the Moody Mansion
- The Moodys of Kingston
Edmund Moody of Bury St. Edmonds
is that he was a footman in the retinue of King Henry VIII and that he
him from drowning:
VIII was hunting, with Edmund Moody as his attendant.
The king had let loose a falcon and rushed
after it with a stout pole. A ditch
crossed his path and he attempted to leap it by vaulting.
The pole broke and the king fell into the
mire and water face downward, where he would have drowned had not Moody
For this good and faithful
service Edmund was made a gentleman. By
the early 1600’s the Moodys were woollen drapers in Bury St. Edmonds
maintained the Stonehall estate at Moulton nearby.
Edmund was said to have had
two great grandsons, John and William, who emigrated to New England in
The Moodies of Orkney
Moodie Book of 1906, tradition has fixed upon Harald Mac Mudah, the
Norse Jarl of Orkney, as the forefather of the Moodies there. Instead these Moodies are thought to have
been descended from Gilbert Moodie of Caldwell in Ayr whose brother
the Bishop of Caithness and who “for ages held a high station among the
of the Orkney islands.”
Moodies were at Snelsetter castle and Breakness in
the Orkneys from about 1550. Sometime
around 1590 Adam Moodie the younger was, according to family tradition,
in the Pentland Firth while on his way to be married to the daughter of
they made their primary home at Melsetter. From
1700 onwards the heads of the family
bore the first names of James and Benjamin alternatively without a
James Moodie, a prominent sea captain and later an MP for Orkney, was
age of 80 murdered on the streets of Kirkwall by a political opponent
1725. His widow Lady Christina, who had
a tempestuous relationship with all around her, held onto the Melsetter
until 1742 when she was forced to cede it to her son Benjamin. In 1745 Melsetter House was sacked by
Jacobites during the Uprising.
Melsetter was eventually sold in 1819
because of the weight of large debts, the three sons of the last laird
emigrated – to Cape Colony in the case of Benjamin, to Natal in the
Daniel, and to Ontario in the case of John.
had in fact hoped to save Melsetter by
initiating a scheme of assisted emigration to the Cape.
These hopes did not materialize. However,
his grandson Tom Moodie later led a
trek to Rhodesia in the 1890’s where he founded the town of Melsetter.
The Energies of Lady Moody in the New World
Lady Deborah Moody’s husband died,
leaving her at the age of 43 in charge of what remained of their
property at Avebury Manor. However,
soon grew tired of this rural life and sailed up the river Thames to
London. Her religious beliefs brought
her enemies there and she
to leave England with a small group of followers for the New World.
She arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony
in April 1640, joining the Salem church and becoming a follower of
Williams. However, she ran into
religious problems again in 1642.
Governor John Winthop wrote:
Lady Moody, a wise and anciently religious woman, being taken with the
denying baptism to infants, was dealt with by many of the elders and
was admonished by the church of Salem wherof she was a member. But persisting still and to remove further
trouble, she removed to the Dutch against the advice of all her friends. Many others, infected by anabaptism, removed
thither also. She was afterwards
Lady Moody, it was said, was bold, relentless, and
For a short while she lived in the colony opposite Welfare Island
which today would be Sixteenth Street and York Avenue in Manhattan. She later moved with her followers to
in the southwest corner of Long Island.
Her plans there were temporarily disrupted in 1643 by Indian
attacks. But life returned to normal two
years later and the Dutch granted her a charter for the town. She laid out the town plans herself.
believed to be her home, on 27 Gravesend Neck Road, still stands. She died in 1659 and her house was sold by her
son Sir Henry to Dutch settlers. Sir
Henry soon departed for Virginia. But
some believe her ghost still haunts the place.
The Early Moodys
in New England
were three major lines of Moody’s in New England all
around the same time, all naming their children the same names who were
born around the same times and then, on top of that, they all lived in
states and towns, even marrying into some of the same families.
a considerable amount of confusion among Moody genealogists, not to
countless number of old genealogies which have reported links that are
being found out via DNA results not to have been correct.
Clement Moody line
of Exeter, New Hampshire has no links via bloodlines to the William or
Moody lines of Newbury, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut
respectively. Also William and John
Moody were not blood cousins, at least as has been shown from the DNA
W.L. Moody and the Moody
Great Storm of 1900 brought devastation to the town of
Galveston on the Gulf Coast. The storm
brought with it a water surge of over 15 feet which washed over the
island. This surge knocked buildings off their foundations and the surf
them to pieces. The residents were
mainly unprepared and it was estimated that the death toll approached
3,600 homes were destroyed and the storm left behind a wall of
debris. The few buildings which survived
were mostly the solidly built mansions and houses along the Strand
was an opulent 28,000 square foot, four-story limestone and brick
that had been completed just five years previously for the Willis
family. W.L Moody bought the home from
shortly after the storm, reportedly for ten cents on the dollar. The Moodys and their four children were able
to celebrate Christmas in their new home in December of that year.
also proved beneficial to W.L Moody in another way.
His business had been primarily in cotton
factoring. Changed circumstances
encouraged him to diversify into insurance and banking which made the
Moody Mansion remained home for Moody family members until
1986. Today its rooms are still filled
with the furnishings and personal effects of the family.
The Moodys of
Ernest Moody (or Moodie) was
in the early 1890’s the proprietor of the Union Drug Store at 29 West
Kingston. It seemed to be at that time a
popular hangout place for talking Jamaican politics.
Gleaner of June 4, 1897 reported that “one of the Inspectors of
sat in Moodie’s office on the Parade for two or three hours every day,
newspapers and discussing politics.”
the time of his death in 1920,
the Gleaner report contained the
small beginnings, and on strictly Christian principles, Mr.
Moody with the co-operation of a thoroughly capable and devoted wife,
a thriving business as a druggist and dispensing chemist.
These notes, however, would be most
incomplete were no reference made in them to the truly noble and
self-sacrificing efforts made by Mr. and Mrs. Moody in the upbringing
educating of their children.”
sons – Harold, Charles, Ludlow, and Ronald – and one daughter Elise. Harold and Ronald were to achieve recognition
in London, Harold as a physician and civil rights campaigner and Ronald
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