Latham Close

There can’t be many English street names that specifically commemorate a seventeenth century Lancashire lad whose first job was as a servant, whose claims to fame include being fined several times with minor alcohol related crimes in America and who later, in his forties, starved to death in the Bahamas.

William Latham was described as a “boy” servant when he sailed with his master, John Carver, on the Mayflower in 1620. Little is known of his subsequent years in Massachusetts, he’s mentioned in the Division of Cattle of 1627, and in various tax lists, but it would seem that he never had any children, or indeed ever married.

In 1645 his house was damaged, accidentally, by a fire his neighbour had set up and soon after that it would appear that he returned to England. He clearly travelled again however and he died, from eleuthera (want of food), sometime before 1651, in the Bahamas.

Latham Close is very close to Chilton Close in Eggbuckland, however it would appear that it was another, unrelated Latham, Robert Latham, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1621 on the Fortune and went on to marry Susanana Winslow, the granddaughter of James Chilton, who died on board the Mayflower in December 1620.