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Women and children in the Lee and Hooper Mansions
For Women’s History Month, the Marblehead Arts Association will host an online visual program by Judy Anderson about the nearly two dozen women and children in the Lee and Hooper Mansions, webcast via Zoom on Tuesday, March 30, from 11 am to 12:30, including time for questions at the end.
Although Robert “King” Hooper was famously married four times over six decades of his long life of 81 years, this illustrated talk will discuss why that was –– focusing especially on Hooper’s second and principal wife Ruth, who bore all 11 of his children over their 28 years of marriage.
The presentation will also reference the 4 step-children brought to the household by Hooper’s third wife Hannah (widowed twice already by age 37), some spouses of Ruth and Robert’s offspring (including a son and daughter who married unrelated step-siblings, with that son also adopting the youngest step-sister and brother, before the latter later served in daring missions at sea during the Revolution), one bad apple (a middle son who was a flaming Loyalist and abandoned his wife, eight months pregnant, as he fled Marblehead and its hundreds of zealous Patriot rebels), and compelling personal stories of much tragedy for most of them.
The program will also note the six surviving children (of nine) born to Ruth’s ten-years-younger half-sister Martha, wife of Colonel Jeremiah Lee, who all lived next door for 17 years until the eldest went to Harvard and the rest of the family moved across the street to their far grander Lee Mansion.
Despite their wealth and economic benefit to the community, and along with fleeting times of joy over the years, both families experienced much personal loss, grief, and tragedy, as all families did at that time.
Only their elegant homes still stand –– silent tributes to dynamic but ultimately heart-broken lives lived long, short, and now mostly all but lost.
- March 30
11:00 am - 12:00 pm