Godfrey Wenwood

American Revolutionary War Rebel Patriot


 A Baker by trade, Godfrey Wenwood was a resident of Newport, Rhode Island. In 1775 Wenwood was apparently a Patriot, in support of the Rebellion against England. He certainly was no Tory, for among his friends he counted Adam Maxwell, a Newport school teacher and staunch Patriot. In July of 1775 a girl, a former romantic interest, came to visit Wenwood in Newport. Though he had been romantically involved with her some years before she had moved to Cambridge and he had not seen her for sometime. He was in fact engaged to be married. Eager to be rid of her for that reason alone, not wanting his fiance to learn of the affair, he soon was even more eager to be rid of her when he realized she was trying to enlist his aid in smuggling a letter to the English. Promising he would take it, he instead showed it to his friend Maxwell who opened it and saw it was in code. Though they delayed till September, in that month they turned it over to the Rebels when the girl wrote asking Godfrey to come see her and explain what had happened to the letter. This led to Godfrey meeting George Washington in Cambridge and to the arrest of a spy - the letter's writer, Dr. Benjamin Church. This brief foray into the American Revolution was one which exposed an important spy and may well have aided in the success of the American Revolution.



Sources: Spies of The Revolution, Katherine and John Bakeless, Scholastic Book Services, 1962, New York, NY