Warham Mather, 1666-1745.


Warham Mather Center Church Crypt New Haven

The husband of Mrs. Elizabeth (Davenport) Mather, and a graduate of Harvard College.  He was the son of the Rev. Eleazar and Esther Mather of Northampton, Massachusetts. In 1685 he moved to New Haven where his reputation was that of “an unsuccessful preacher.”  He dabbled in medicine and later turned to law.  He achieved moderate success as a justice of the peace and probate judge.  Warham was first cousin to the famous Cotton Mather.

Warham Mather’s will was presented to the same probate court he once served, after his death in 1745.  However, it was not approved after multiple witnesses testified that Mather had been mentally incompetent at the time of its writing.  In his deposition,  Jared Ingersoll, Esq.,  testified about his last encounter with Mather, shortly before his death:

“At this time I could not discern that Mr. Mather was affected by any pain of Body, but so prodigiously broke as to his Intellectuals, that I must confess I should have soon as thought of pulling a Dead man out of his grave & getting him to execute any Deed or other Instrument as he.”

The court eventually ruled the will should be amended to include “heirs of the whole blood only.”

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