Obscure links: Colmworth/Marriott Hotels

Cycling does much more than give me exercise. It takes me into little hidden corners of our countryside and gives me the odd lesson in history. Colmworth is a little village in north Bedfordshire that I have cycled through ‘zillions’ of times, but it was only recently that I stopped and discovered a little known historical link.

A certain Elizabeth Stewart, born in Colmworth in 1829, emigrated to America and settled in the Marriott Settlement in Utah. There she married and became the second polygamous wife of John Marriott, founder of the Mormon Marriott Settlement in 1855. The Mormons had been a much persecuted religious community, and John had served as bodyguard to Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Latter Day Saints.

Elizabeth Marriott (née Stewart) from Colmworth  bore three sons and seven daughters. Her son Hyrum Willard Marriott fathered several children himself, one of whom was J. Willard Marriott, the founder of the international chain of Marriott Hotels. Click here for more information.

From little acorns………….


About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on March 11, 2012, in Obscure links and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. How interesting ! A couple of years ago, I was at a church event down at the Hyde Park chapel in central London (I should add that our church is the LDS (Mormon) church).
    I found myself sitting next to a Mr Marriott, whose first name escapes me. Anyway, it came out that he was the owner (yes, the owner) of the world-wide chain of Marriott Hotels. I can remember his blonde wife who stood up at one point and sang a beautiful solo song. Mr Marriott was particularly interested to hear me say that I lived in Northampton, because (quote) “my family left the village of Flore, near Northampton, for America many years ago”
    I just clicked on your link, Frank, and there it is in black and white.

  2. Olivia A wylie

    I am so impressed by your writing – really, you should write a book Frank. Your tales are not only filled with information but entertaining as well. What I was wondering is this – why is it that the French expression (nee) (sorry- but I can’t find the accent key) is always indicated before a woman’s maiden name. We see it in America often in obituaries. How did that come to be such a part of the English language? Just curious.

    • Olivia, that’s a question I can’t give a definitive answer to. I assume it was the powerful influence of the French language and culture on 18th century England that incorporated the use of many French words and expressions. Using words like ‘née’ (born as) probably sounded more ‘cultured’ and refined.

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