Joshua Bates, Jr. was born 10 October 1788 in Weymouth, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States to Joshua Bates (1755-1804) and Tirzah Pratt (1764-1841) and died 24 September 1864 London, London, England, United Kingdom of unspecified causes. He married Lucretia Augusta Sturgis (1785-1863) 1810 in Weymouth, Norfolk County, Massachusetts.

Early life

Bates was born in Commercial St., Weymouth, Massachusetts on October 10, 1788. He was the son of Col. Joshua Bates (1755–1804), who fought in the American Revolutionary War,[1] and Tirzah (née Pratt) Bates (1764–1841).[2] After his father's death in 1804, his mother remarried to Ebenezer Hunt (1760–1832) in 1808.[3] His sister, Nancy Bates, was married to Capt. Warren Weston, the mother of abolitionist Maria Weston Chapman (who Bates paid for her education in London).[4]

His paternal grandparents were Abraham Bates and Sarah (née Tower) Bates.[3]


Early in his career, he worked for William Gray, owner of Gray's Wharf in Charlestown.[5] A merchant and a banker, in 1828 Bates became associated with the great house of Baring Brothers & Co. of London, of which he eventually became the senior partner. He was arbitrator of the commission convened in 1853 to settle the claims of American citizens arising from the War of 1812.

In 1852, he founded the Boston Public Library by giving $50,000 for that purpose, with the provision that the interest of the money should be expended for books of permanent value, and that the city should make adequate provision for at least 100 readers. He afterward gave 30,000 volumes to the institution, the main hall ("Bates Hall") of which is named after him.

Bates was prominent among expatriate Americans in London in the years before and during the Civil War, including diplomats Charles Francis Adams and Henry Adams, and was active in support of the Union cause.[6] As a patron of the arts he commissioned canvases from Thomas Cole, including a nostalgic view of Boston,[7] for his house in Portland Place. The house he built for his daughter and son-in-law, New Place, was near Windsor. As the representative of her uncle Leopold I of Belgium, also a close relative of Albert of Saxe Coburg Gotha, Sylvain and his charming American wife were popular with Victoria and her court.

Bates died on September 24, 1864. He was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery in the London Borough of Brent in England.

Marriage and Family

Bates married Lucretia Augusta Sturgis (1787–1863);[8] she was the first cousin of Captain William F. Sturgis and of Nathaniel Russell Sturgis, both of Boston.[3] Together, they were the parents of:[9]

  • William Rufus Gray Bates (1815–1834), who died young.[3]
  • Elizabeth Anne Sturgis Bates (1817–1878), who married Belgian Prime Minister Sylvain Van de Weyer.[10]


Offspring of Joshua Bates, Jr. and Lucretia Augusta Sturgis (1785-1863)
Name Birth Death Joined with
William Rufus Gray Bates (1815-1834)
Elizabeth Ann Sturgis Bates (1820-) 23 June 1820 London, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom Jean-Sylvain Van De Weyer (1802-1874)


#g1: Offspring of Joshua Bates (1755-1804) and Tirzah Pratt (1764-1841)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Nancy Ann Bates (1785-1822) 17 February 1785, Weymouth, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States 11 November 1822, Weymouth, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States Warren Richard Weston (1780-1855)
Cynthia Bates (1786-1866) , ,
Joshua Bates (1788-1864) 10 October 1788, Weymouth, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States 24 September 1864, London, London, England, United Kingdom Lucretia Augusta Sturgis (1785-1863)


Through his daughter Elizabeth, he was the grandfather of seven, including:

  • Eleanor Van de Weyer, who married Reginald Baliol Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher
    • (their daughter, Sylvia Brett, married Charles Vyner de Windt Brooke, and became the last Rani of Sarawak);
  • Alice Emma Sturgis van de Weyer, married the Hon. Charles Brand (4th son of Henry Brand, 1st Viscount Hampden).

See Also

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Footnotes (including sources)