YORK COUNTY, MAINE
William Alexander Gowen, a Scottish soldier captured by the troops of Oliver Cromwell in the Battle of Dunbar September 3, 1650, is believed to be the first member of the Gowen family in New England. He was born in 1634, according to a deposition signed by him in 1685. His full name appeared to be William Alexander Gowen from tax records of Oyster River, Massachusetts [later New Hampshire.]
Having a middle name in the seventeenth century was a rarity. According to “Harper’s Magazine” in a 1900 edition:
“Middle names were once illegal in England. Old English law was definite as to the naming of children, and according to Sir Edward Coke’s law commentary, ‘a man cannot have two names of baptism,’ and ‘on bills of sale, ‘that purchaser be named by the name of his baptism and his surname.’ Royal personages were always allowed to have more than one given name, but as late as 1600, it was said there were only four persons in all England who had two given names. In 1620, when the Mayflower sailed for America, not a man or a woman aboard had a middle name.”
William Alexander Gowen was reported to be among 10,000 Scots captured by Cromwell in the battle fought on the east coast of Scotland. The one-sided battle which lasted only two hours was fought between 11,000 English Parliament supporters and 26,000 Scotch Royalists led by David Leslie, later Lord Newark. Dunbar is a seaport on the southern entrance to the Firth of Forth, 36 miles northeast of Edinburgh. In the battle 3,000 Scots were killed and 10,000 taken prisoner. The English put their casualties at only 20 men killed.
The prisoners taken at Dunbar were marched by the English down to Durham and Newcastle in Northumberland. Many perished on this march, and some were shot because they could not or would not march, according to “History of Dover, New Hampshire.” During the march, which took eight days, the prisoners were given little to eat. Disease swept off 1,500 in the course of a few weeks. The flux was responsible for the death of 500. The English reported that the Scots killed each other for money or clothing. In Northumberland the prisoners were put under the care of Sir Arthur Heselrig who wrote October 31, 1650 that “1,600 died altogether in 58 days.”
On September 19, 1650, Cromwell’s council ordered Heselrig to deliver to Samuel Clark 900 of the Scots for transportation to Virginia, and 150 more “well and sound, and free from wounds” were selected for transportation to New England. Those bound for New England were placed under the charge of Joshua Foote and John Becx of London who “were interested as managers of the ironworks at Lynn, Massachusetts.” They sailed on the “Unity” November 11, 1650. Upon arrival at Boston, some were sent to Berwick, [Kittery] Maine. There they settled in Unity Parish [named after their ship] and began work in a sawmill.
The names of 17 of the prisoners sent to Berwick were listed:
Niven Agnew James Barry Alexander Cooper
William Furbush Daniel Ferguson Peter Grant
George Gray William Gowen David Hamilton
Thomas Holme John Key Alexander Maxwell
John Neal John Ross John Taylor
William Thomson James Warren
When released in 1656, they settled in Berwick.
Col. Charles Edward Banks wrote an article, “Scotch Prisoners Deported to New England by Cromwell, 1651-52” on the fate of the deported Scots which was published in “Massachusetts Historical Society Proceedings,” Volume 61 .
Carl Boyer III writing in “Ship Passenger Lists” produced additional information about prisoners. He wrote:
“Early in September 1650 the Scots, supporters of Prince Charles, lost the battle of Dunbar to Cromwell’s English forces, with the resulting loss of thousands of Scots killed and wounded, and thousands more taken prisoner, to be marched to England and then shipped to varying parts of England, Ireland and the colonies.
In November 1650 a number of these prisoners were apparently sent to Boston in the “Unity,” arriving in New England early in 1651, no doubt. Sixty of these prisoners were sent to Lynn, to work in the iron industry, and the others dispersed. As the prisoners were sold as indentured servants at about 30 pounds each, the average passage at the time being about 5 pounds, Col. Banks has suggested that the owners of the “Unity” cleared a handsome profit of about 1,500 pounds on the trip.
John Gifford, iron works manager, wrote in 1653: ‘For 62 Scotts dd and 35 only left on the works, 17 to Awbrey, 3 to commissioners; 2 sold and rest we desire to whom disposed of, which is 5 at 20 pounds.
Col. Banks listed the following as being probably prisoners who settled in Berwick, formerly a part of Kittery, Maine: Niven Agnew, James Barry, Alexander Cooper, William Furbush, Daniel Ferguson, Peter Grant, George Gray, William Alexander Gowen, David Hamilton, Thomas Holme, John Key, Alexander Maxwell, John Neal, John Ross, John Taylor, William Thomson and James Warren.
A few years later a number of Scots went to the town of York, including John Carmichael, James Grant called “the Scots,” perhaps James Grant called “the drummer”, James Jackson, Robert Junkins, Micum MacIntire, Alexander MacNair, and Andrew Rankin.
The following is from “Governor Hutchinson’s Collection of Original Papers” and may furnish some light in respect to the above mentioned prisoners sent to this country and sold for slaves, no doubt, by order of the English Government, as sort of banishment for their rebellion. It is probable that some of them were sent to Barbadoes.”
The Rev. John Cotton wrote a letter reporting on the condition of the prisoners “to the Lord General Cromwell, dated at Boston in N. E, 28th of 5th, 1651:”
“The Scots, who God delivered into your hands at Dunbarre, and whereof sundry were sent hither we have been desirous [as we could] to make their yoke easy.
“Such as were sick of the scurvy or other diseases have not wanted physick and chyrurgery. They have not been sold for slaves to perpetual servitude, but for 6 or 7 or 8 years, as we do our owne; and he that bought the most of them buildeth houses for them, for every four an house, layeth some acres of ground thereto, which he giveth them as their owne, requiring 3 dayes in the week to worke for him [by turnes] and 4 dayes for themselves, and promiseth, as soone as they can repay him the money he layed out for them, he will set them at liberty.”
Battle of Dunbar, 1650
By Dennis Bell
Burnaby, British Columbia
“It was a time when rational men thought nothing of splitting religious hairs with cannonballs. It was the era of the English Civil Wars, 1642 to 1651 — an historical misnomer, since most of the carnage in those wars was in fact suffered by Ireland and Scotland rather than England.
Almost every student in the English-speaking world has learned the details of the Battle of Naseby and Oliver Cromwell’s subsequent execution of King Charles I. But few of us were taught anything about the Battle of Dunbar, September 3, 1650, where Scotland squandered an incredible opportunity to defeat Cromwell and change the course of British history. It was Scotland’s best and last realistic chance to chart its own political and religious destiny. That chance was wasted by a committee of Presbyterian ministers, blinkered by religious fanaticism. And the fiasco ended in an English-controlled death march of 5,000 Scottish prisoners of war, one of the most unsavory pages in British history.
The Dunbar Golf Club is located where the Firth of Forth runs into the North Sea below the Lammermuir Hills. It is one of Scotland’s best-kept golfing secrets, a beautiful 6,426-yard course of exasperating fairways, maddening traps and infuriating hazards. The greens are often coated white with ocean spray when golfers arrive at the crack of dawn to begin an always blustery and frequently rain-soaked round of 18 holes. The course occupies a slim stretch of relatively flat estuary terrain between the Firth of Forth and Doon Hill, the easternmost summit in the Lammermuirs. Scots have been golfing there since at least 1616, when two duffers from the neighbouring parish of Tyninghame were censured by the Church of Scotland for “playing gouff on the Lord’s Day.” In 1640, a Presbyterian minister was disgraced when he was caught committing the unpardonable sin of “playing at gouff.”
Ten years later, on September 1, 1650, Lord-General Oliver Cromwell camped on the soggy course with 11,000 exhausted and sick New Model Army soldiers, beating a hasty retreat out of Scotland for England. He must have wondered if he was about to be disgraced by his old comrade, Scottish General David Leslie, and defrocked as Lord-General by Parliament for merely playing at a war rather than winning it. Cromwell had hightailed it to Dunbar after failing in an attempt to seize Edinburgh, defended by Leslie and 23,000 Scottish soldiers now pursuing the English army down the east coast towards the border.
Just five years earlier, Leslie had won the day for a wounded Cromwell, leading a cavalry charge that defeated the Royalist Cavaliers at the critical Battle of Marston Moore, west of York. But on this day, the Scots had switched sides again, fighting now on behalf of the Royalists of Charles II, who had succeeded his father executed by Cromwell and the Roundheads on January 30, 1649. Leslie’s Army of the Covenant was poised to elevate the House of Stuart back to the British throne, and Presbyterianism to the altars of Westminster Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral.
At Dunbar, the Scottish field commander had bits and pieces of about 40 regiments under his command, cobbled into 10 brigades commanded by some of Scotland’s best and bravest military leaders. A Scottish army composed largely of Highlanders had been defeated by Cromwell a few months earlier at the Battle of Preston.
Those who made up Leslie’s new army were Lowlanders, from Glasgow, Ayrshire, Edinburgh and Fife. At the start of the civil wars, a brigade usually consisted of two full-strength regiments. However, by 1650, casualties, sickness, and desertions had cut most Scottish regiments down to half or even a quarter of their original strength. As a result, most brigades were composed of the remainder of three, four or sometimes more regiments.
Leslie specialised in cavalry. An average Scottish cavalry regiment usually consisted of a colonel commanding eight troops of 60 men, plus four officers below the colonel in each troop: a captain, lieutenant, commissioned quartermaster and a cornet who carried the troop’s cornet standard into battle. The troops had no sergeants — just two or three corporals, one or two trumpeters and a large complement of lowly privates.
Scottish officers were almost invariably from the wealthy upper class. They were expected to provide their own clothing, which was rather dashing and very expensive during the civil war period. Scarlet and black were the most popular officers’ colours. Black was a very difficult colour to manufacture with the vegetable dyes available to tailors during the 1600s. The only officers dressed in black were usually very high in rank from filthy rich baronial families. Scarlet was the cheaper colour of choice for most professional soldiers regardless of rank, their country of origin or which side they were on, making for some rather confusing battles.
Gold and silver laces were quite common in army garb, as were white lace collars and cuffs. Hair was generally worn at shoulder length, parted in the middle — even by the strait-laced Presbyterian Covenanters. Blue woollen brimmed hats and heavy steel helmets imported from the Continent were in vogue with officers on both sides of the civil war.
The other main units of the Scottish armed forces in the 1600s consisted of regiments of pike, about 1,000 men in each, armed with Spanish-designed 13- to 16-foot-long poles with iron spearheads. They were trained for close combat against infantry and cavalry charges. The regiments of musket, each numbering 800 to 1,000 men, were the army’s real firepower. It’s not known how much artillery the Scots had at their disposal in 1650.
Experts believe that General James Wemyss’ artillery regiment was probably able to deploy two or three dozen cannons of relatively short range, accounting for another 250 to 300 soldiers. The Scots also had regiments of “dragoones,” about 400 mounted infantry soldiers lightly armed with short-barrelled muskets or carbines — or weaponless except for lances and swords in times of troubled army finances.
The highly mobile dragoons were an elite force, traveling on horseback but generally fighting on foot. As mounted infantry, they often fought in the vanguard of advancing armies, or held rearguard positions when the main army was in retreat.
Scottish regiments were generally called into service by press and levy. As in Sweden, the Scottish central government established military districts, nominated colonels, authorised the levying of troops, and established quotas by shire. To ensure co-ordination between national and local bodies, the Covenanters created committees of war or committees of the shire, which consisted of men nominated by, and responsible to, central government.
These committees set the number of soldiers that each burgh or rural parish would raise to meet the quota for the shire. Councils functioned as recruiting agencies, while in more remote areas the clergy listed men eligible for service, selecting them with the assistance of the local landowner. Both encouraged men to join up with sermons, given with recruitment in mind.
Central to the success of levies was the landowners, who could bring out kinsmen, tenantry, and servants. It was no wonder that they were chosen for colonelcies, while captains often came from the same class. To make up quotas, press was used especially with militia, unlicensed beggars and petty criminals included.
In addition to regular units formed as mentioned, the Covenanters fielded clan forces. There is little record of their numbers, but it is safe to say that they formed company-sized units. The number reflected the men levied from a specific area or by a particular chieftain. Of the covenanting clans, none were reported present at Dunbar; clan chieftains raised their regiments by obliging their tenants — through feudal duty or coercion if necessary — to send their sons, brothers and husbands to follow the clan banner into battle.
The army was issued with ‘The Articles and Ordinances of War’; these specified the correct behaviour for soldiers. A unit could not be part of the army until it had sworn an oath on it and thus every soldier promised:
To be true and faithful in my service to the Kingdom of Scotland, according to the heads sworn by me in the Covenant:
To honour and obey my Lord General, and all my Superior Officers and Commanders, and by all means to hinder their dishonour and hurt;
To observe the Articles of War and camp discipline; never to leave the defence of this cause, nor flee from my colours so long as I can follow them:
To be ready to fight manfully to the uttermost, as I shall answer to God, and as God shall help me. –
Articles and Ordinances of warre, for the present expedition of the Armie of Scotland [London, 1644]
The battle flag of the Covenanters bore the motto “For Christ’s Crown and Covenant” and first appeared in 1639 in front of the Covenanter army commanded by General Alexander Leslie, first Earl of Leven, from Fife. He passed it to General David Leslie’s Army of the Covenant 11 years later.
Cromwell had returned from several months of drenching Ireland in blood to take on Leslie with a new army of 16,000 men, which crossed the Scottish border on July 22, 1650. He had eight regiments of cavalry and eight regiments of foot. One of the latter had just been formed in Coldstream near Newcastle — the Coldstream Guards.
English Scoutmaster General William Rowe reported to Parliament that Cromwell’s army was stocked with “very well baked bread,” virtually unbreakable and almost everlasting. They marched into Scotland loaded down as well with cheese, horseshoes, nails, and portable “biscuit ovens” in order to bake even more unbreakable bread. There were promises of beans and oats to follow by sea from Kent.
What the New Model Army lacked was tents — only 100 small ones for officers were supplied — and the soldiers in the ranks would pay a terrible price for this oversight.
As the English marched toward Edinburgh, Leslie unleashed a classic guerrilla war against them, perhaps the first army-sized guerrilla campaign in history. The terrain was Leslie’s personal backyard. He knew every inch of it and used that knowledge mercilessly against the frustrated New Model Army. The Scottish general’s troops — particularly his dragoons — ambushed the Roundheads in every mountain pass and glen. Then they melted away, leaving the English with nothing but wounds to treat and bodies to bury. English officer Charles Fleetwood wrote in despair in August that the New Model Army’s major problem was “the impossibility of our forcing the Scots to fight — the passes being so many and so great that as soon as we go on the one side they go on the other.”
At one point, Cromwell took a small party of his top commanders out for a first-hand look at the situation near Coltbridge. They ran into a hidden group of Scottish pickets, one of whom stood up and fired a quick musket round at Cromwell that just missed its mark. The startled Lord-General cupped his hands and shouted with bravado across the glen that he would have cashiered an English soldier for wasting a random shot from such a long distance away. The Scot shouted back that it was no random shot at all — he had been at Marston Moor with Leslie and Cromwell and recognised his one opportunity to kill the Lord General right off the bat. Then he melted into the heather, to reload and fight again.
The English were running out of supplies. The Scots had stripped the countryside bare as they carefully retreated, avoiding any sort of major battle. The weather turned cold and wet, and disease began to take a heavy toll of Cromwell’s forces. More than 4,000 English soldiers were reported too ill to fight at one stage during the Edinburgh campaign. As the Roundheads closed in on the Scottish capital, they discovered that Leslie had shepherded his army into a masterfully designed position between heavily fortified Edinburgh and Leith on the coast, its narrow approaches bristling with hidden artillery and musketry.
Cromwell’s own guns agonisingly wheeled all the way north from Newcastle briefly bombarded the city with a few pot-shots from Arthur’s Seat and his ships fired some desultory broadsides from the Firth of Forth, unmolested thanks to Scotland’s traditional failure to assemble any kind of navy. But the New Model Army was unable to breech Leslie’s Edinburgh defences.
In late August, the badly weakened English retreated east to Musselburgh on the coast, shipping out sick and wounded soldiers from its port by the hundreds. Leslie’s brigades took up the chase, paralleling the English march and harrying the Roundheads with incessant guerrilla attacks as both armies headed Southeast. Cromwell graphically described the situation in one of his dispatches: “We lay still all the said day, which proved to be so sore a day and night of rain as I have seldom seen . . . In the morning, the ground being very wet, we resolved to draw back to our quarters at Musselburgh, there to refresh and revictual. The enemy, when we drew off,
fell upon our rear . . . We came to Musselburgh that night, so tired and wearied for want of sleep, and so dirty by reason of the wetness of the weather, that we expected the enemy would make an infall upon us — which accordingly they did, between three and four o’clock in the morning.”
One disheartened English officer writing home described Cromwell’s forces at Musselburgh as “a poor, shattered, hungry, discouraged army.”
The Scots pushed the 11,000 remaining English troops into a narrow strip of coastal land near the town of Dunbar and boxed them in. Leslie marched his main regiments to the top of Doon Hill escarpment, blocking the route south with a high ground position that Cromwell instantly recognised as impregnable. The stage was set for what Oliver Cromwell himself later regarded as his greatest military victory — greater even than Naseby or Marston Moor. The committee of Covenanter ministers accompanying the Scottish army was poised to instruct David Leslie in the art of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
The morning of Sunday, September 1, 1650 was wet, cold and miserable — a typical late summer’s day on Scotland’s Southeast coast. The English commander’s scouts had reported the road to the south and safety at Berwick effectively blocked. It was time to stand and fight, against impossible odds. But how? Cromwell could see the threatening glint of Scottish pikes and a sea of regimental pennants fluttering on the summit of Doon Hill a mile and a half away.
He listened to the mutters of men and the rumble of moving artillery pieces drifting down the escarpment from a massive Scottish army itching for a fight. At this point, Cromwell’s choices amounted to charging uphill against a much superior Scottish army or staying put, to wither and die.
The Lord-General was holed up in Broxmouth House, a structure owned by the Earl of Roxborough, where a stream called the Broxburn slashes into the sea through a steeply sloped and heavily wooded glen. From Broxmouth the following day, he penned a urgent dispatch to Sir Arthur Haselrigge, his commander in Newcastle, pleading for reinforcements as soon as possible and urging him to keep the army’s predicament at Dunbar a secret from the parliamentarians back in London. “The enemy hath blocked up our way to Berwick at the pass through which we cannot get without almost a miracle,” Cromwell wrote. “Our lying here daily consumeth the men, who fall sick beyond imagination.”
On Monday afternoon, Cromwell summoned his regimental commanders and staff officers to a desperate strategy session at Broxmouth House. The English had only one thing going for them. If Leslie wished to attack, he could only do so by coming down the Doon escarpment — Cromwell’s men were out of range for Leslie’s artillery. As the Roundheads desperately groped for solutions to a frightening military predicament, the Scots themselves provided the answer.
Instead of waiting atop Doon Hill for the English to collapse from disease and starvation, Leslie’s army began moving slowly down the dominating slope at four o’clock in the afternoon to the cornfields below on the opposite side of the Broxburn from the Cromwell encampment. As Cromwell watched in disbelief and delight, the Scots cheerily settled into a night camp amid the rows of corn to get ready for the final victorious battle they believed would follow the next day. The Scots doused their matches, stacked their weapons, and unsaddled their horses. Many of their officers left to spend the night in the comfort of Dunbar-area farmhouses miles behind the lines — all the better to fight the English after a decent night’s sleep and a hearty farm breakfast.
It appears that General Leslie’s tried and true guerrilla strategy had been summarily overruled earlier in the day by the impatient Covenanter ministers’ committee from Edinburgh. The men of the cloth accompanied the Scottish commander to the top of Doon Hill, only to bury their heads in the religious sand. In mid-August, the Covenanters pressed Charles II to issue a public statement attacking his mother’s popery and his late father’s bad counsel. Charles refused and watered down his declaration considerably before making it public. The Covenanters went berserk and took their revenge by shooting themselves in the foot. They launched a purge of the Scottish army, starkly reminiscent of Josef Stalin’s ideological purges of the Soviet Union’s Red Army during the 1930s. More than 3,000 of General Leslie’s best professional soldiers including many of his officers were peremptorily dismissed from the army and sent home for such unforgivable sins as loose morals and swearing in public. One angry Scottish colonel said the Covenanters left Leslie with an army of “nothing but useless clerks and ministers’ sons, who have never seen a sword, much the less used one.”
Leslie’s army had already taken the high ground when the English straggled onto the golf course below late on the last day of August. He went to the Covenanters for permission to attack the English on September 1, a Sunday, before Cromwell could get his forces organised into a workable defence. They recoiled in horror from the idea of spilling blood on the Sabbath – even English blood.
As he resignedly watched the English regiments set up their defences on Sunday morning, Leslie went over to Plan “B.” He would stay atop Doon Hill and let the English army wither and die to the point of surrender or try to charge uphill against him. But at a morning meeting on Monday, September 2, the Covenanters would have none of it. The preachers now saw themselves as military strategists far more brilliant than the man who had had used his favourite allies “Hunger and Disease” to bring the English army to its knees with a minimum of Scottish losses.
God, they piously decided, was on the side of the Covenanters. They were in charge, and they ordered Leslie to lead his army down Doon Hill that afternoon to prepare for an all-out attack on Cromwell the following morning. After an hour of acrimonious debate, the exasperated general reluctantly obeyed, his tactical genius tied in knots of religious red tape.
With his back to the ocean, Cromwell now realised that his only chance of victory had miraculously come to pass. And he thanked the same God for his one shining chance at deliverance. He watched in amazement as the Scots formed their line at the bottom of Doon Hill into a giant fan-shaped arc, stretching from the coast to the Broxburn, presenting him with an irresistible target.
The Scots settled in with a massive contingent of cavalry on their right wing, crowded down onto the beach to the point where there was little room for manoeuvrability in the event of an attack. Of course the Scots thought they were about to do the attacking, not the English. But Cromwell decided to take the offensive. He ordered an audacious pre-dawn attack across the steep defile of Broxburn brook, aimed at a lightly defended position between the infantry and the cavalry on the Scottish right.
A nervous Cromwell spent the night riding from regiment to regiment by torchlight on a small Scottish pony, telling his troops to “remember our battlecry — the Lord of Hosts! Put your trust in God, my boys — and keep your powder dry!” He had little trouble encouraging his men to fight. The Scots had captured a Roundhead cavalry patrol near Glasgow a couple of weeks prior to Dunbar and had sent the tortured and mutilated bodies back to Cromwell as a warning. That savage gesture served only to infuriate the English rank and file and stiffened the ailing army’s resolve considerably.
Cavalry regiments and three more regiments of foot slipped quietly across the Broxburn in the moonlight, skirting the Scottish right wing. Screaming “The Lord of Hosts!” at the pitch of their lungs, the Roundheads stormed into the Scottish camp, catching Leslie’s men sound asleep and completely unprepared.
But the Scots recovered quickly, rising to defend the position against the English cavalry with their long Spanish pikes, muskets and basket hilt swords. In the centre of the line, ferocious hand-to-hand combat erupted between Scottish and English infantrymen, and the tide began to turn in favour of the defenders as dawn broke. Cromwell took a look at the battlefield, and threw all of his reserves into the fight at precisely the right time in exactly the right place.
The Ironsides — never defeated in battle — hit the exhausted Scots in an opening to the left of the infantry fighting and their line collapsed. The English cavalry regrouped and spilled through the gap. The battle had been lost by Leslie’s men in an instant. Cromwell himself marvelled at the work of his cavalry, saying, “they flew about like furies doing wondrous execution.” An English officer put it a little more succinctly: “The Scots were driven out like turkeys.”
The English victory was so complete that Cromwell broke into uncontrollable laughter amid the agonised screams of the wounded from both sides and the shattering silence of the bodies scattered two and three deep in places across the Dunbar battlefield. It was what the clerics subsequently called a “religious manifestation,” a fairly common occurrence among deeply religious men of all faiths caught in battle during the Middle Ages and early Renaissance. One Puritan preacher described Cromwell as “drunken of the spirit and filled with holy laughter” at Dunbar. An observer named Aubrey wrote in his book “Miscellanies” a few years after the restoration that Cromwell “was carried on with a divine impulse. He did laugh so excessively as if he had been drunk. The same fit of laughter seized him just before the Battle of Naseby. ‘Tis a question undecided whether Oliver was more of the enthusiast, or the hypocrite.”
The battle was no laughing matter for Scotland. With 3,000 soldiers killed, it turned into the worst rout ever endured by Scottish soldiers, who threw down their arms and fled by the thousands into the countryside. They were chased down, killed or captured by Cromwell’s cavalry as far as eight miles behind the original Scottish line. In Scottish history, the defeat became known sarcastically as “the Race of Dunbar.”
The English booty included Leslie’s entire baggage train, all of the Scottish artillery, 15,000 stands of arms and 200 regimental pennants. When news of the victory reached London, ecstatic members of the Rump Parliament resolved that a Dunbar medal should be struck for both officers and men. It was the first such military medal ever issued in Britain. There was no other until the Battle of Waterloo, a century and a half later.
In addition to the 3,000 Scots killed at Dunbar, another 10,000 were taken prisoner. Some English historians say Oliver Cromwell lost only 40 men killed and wounded. But that has to be taken with a grain of salt, given the intensity of the first hour of fighting. After the battle ended, Cromwell simply could not handle 10,000 prisoners.
About 5,000 Scots described in an English document as “those wounded and those fatigued by flight” were released almost immediately on parole. But Cromwell ordered 5,100 Scottish soldiers marched south from Dunbar into captivity in England as quickly as possible, fearing the Scots might organise a counter-attack aimed at freeing and re-arming the prisoners.
The English also had big plans for the prisoners they kept. A document from the English Calendar of State Papers issued during the period spells out the disposition of “Scotch rebel prisoners.” Initially, the plan was to “execute all ministers and officers.” That was subsequently changed to execution of one in 10 “of the common sort . . . one forced to confession . . . the rest sent to the plantations.”
There is no evidence of arbitrary executions. Instead, the Scots were all to be enslaved, sold and deported to Ireland or across the Atlantic for indentured servitude in the New World colonies. Fighting men from the losing side had suddenly become beasts of burden, a marketable commodity on a grand scale. But first came what could well be called the Durham Death March, a disgusting stain on English military and social history generally glossed over by British historians then and now.
Instead of counter-attacking, General David Leslie prudently fled with the skeleton of his once-mighty army to easily defended Stirling, the gateway to the Highlands. He left Edinburgh undefended and open to a triumphant Oliver Cromwell. The victorious New Model Army took possession of the city on Sept. 7, 1650, four days after Dunbar, but the Scottish garrison in Edinburgh Castle above the city held out until December.
A much different fate awaited the 5,100 Scottish prisoners, who began a brutal eight-day march of 118 miles south to the English cathedral city of Durham. In the hours that followed the battle, Cromwell put his Newcastle commander Sir Arthur Haselrigge, Member of Parliament for Leicester, in charge of the prisoners. The march began at the crack of dawn on September 4th, and the prisoners finally arrived in Berwick, 28 miles to the south, well after dark that night. Scots escaped in droves along the road to Berwick and their English captors offered those recaptured no quarter, killing dozens of the unarmed escapees.
The English foot soldiers and cavalrymen escorting the prisoners had little food, eating mainly Scottish supplies captured from Leslie’s baggage train. There was virtually nothing to feed the Scots. Civilians along the route occasionally risked English vengeance and tossed them bread or whatever else could be spared, which wasn’t much after a summer of fighting in the area.
The prisoners quenched their thirst from puddles of rainwater and fetid ditches. They began dying — first from wounds, then from sickness, and later starvation. It turned into a death march, a forerunner of the Bataan death march endured by American prisoners captured by the Japanese after the fall of Corregidor in the Second World War.
Three days after the forced march to Berwick, the bedraggled and drenched Scots shuffled into Morpeth, where they were quartered in a farmer’s large walled cabbage field. Many had gone without food for several days, thanks to a Scottish soldierly habit of fasting for a day or two before a major battle to sharpen the reflexes. At Morpeth, “they ate up raw cabbages, leaves and roots,” Haselrigge wrote in a letter to Parliament. “So many, as the very seed and labour at four-pence a day was valued at nine pounds. They poisoned their bodies.
As they were coming from thence to Newcastle, some died by the wayside.” By the dozens, then the hundreds as uncontrolled dysentery and typhoid fever swept through the Scottish ranks.
At Newcastle, Haselrigge had them put into “the greatest church in town” — St. Nicholas’ Church — for the night. More prisoners died among the pews, and 500 others were unable to continue the march the following morning. The last agonising stretch took those who could still walk from Newcastle down to Durham, leaving a trail of dying men and corpses stiffening in the early fall frost along the side of the road. Approximately 1,500 prisoners were lost during the march. Some escaped, but most died of disease and wounds or were killed by their captors while attempting to flee home to Scotland.
Late in the afternoon of September 11, about 3,000 surviving Scots staggered into Durham Cathedral, a magnificent Norman structure on the site of an abbey originally built by monks more than 1,000 years ago, in 997. Built by Catholics and taken over by Anglicans during the era of Henry VIII, the cathedral fell on hard times a century later because of religious ferment between Puritans and Presbyterians on both sides of the border.
Even before the civil wars, the region was regularly raided by the quarrelsome border clans. A Scottish army occupied the city in 1640 and held it for two years. The Scots confiscated money from the church to feed their troops. When the gold and silver coins were slow in coming, the Scots broke into the cathedral, smashing its priceless font and cathedral organ to pieces as a warning. Ten years later, when the defeated Scots of Leslie’s army were herded into the cathedral, they were given no fuel and little food.
“I wrote to the mayor [of Durham] and desired him to take care that they wanted for nothing that was fit for prisoners,” Haselrigge later insisted. “I also sent them a daily supply of bread from Newcastle . . . but their bodies being infected, the flux [dysentery] increased.”
Haselrigge proudly told his fellow members of parliament back in London that his cathedral prisoners were provided with “pottage made with oatmeal, beef and cabbage — a full quart at a meal for every prisoner.” He also told how his officers set up a hospital for the sick and wounded in the adjoining Bishop’s Castle, where patients were stuffed with “very good mutton broth, and sometimes veal broth, and beef and mutton boiled together. I confidently say that there was never the like of such care taken for any such number of prisoners in England.”
That may have been what Haselrigge ensconced in Newcastle thought was happening, but his rank-and-file English guards in Durham were getting rich quick by getting away with murder. Tons of supplies coming in from Newcastle and “60 towns and places” in the Durham area were being stolen by the cathedral guards. Some of the food was sold to the prisoners for whatever money or personal jewelry they had managed to retain.
Most of the prisoners’ rations went at cut-rate prices to merchants and grocers in the area. There is general agreement among British historians that Haselrigge did his best for the prisoners, and had no real idea of what was actually going on. The harsh reality is that very little of the food ever found its way into Scottish stomachs. “Notwithstanding all of this, many of them died — and few of any other disease than the flux,” a perplexed Haselrigge wrote. “Some were killed by themselves, for they were exceedingly cruel one towards the other.
If any man was perceived to have any money, it was two to one he was killed before morning and robbed. If any had good clothes that [a prisoner] wanted, he would strangle the other and put on his clothes. They were so unruly, sluttish and nasty that it is not to be believed. They acted like beasts rather than men.” No wonder. The prisoners were dying at an average rate of 30 a day in the cathedral. That rate probably hit 100 or more daily by the middle of October, as starvation and murder set in and the dysentery infection rate peaked.
The English commandant also insisted from Newcastle that his prisoners were getting an ample supply of coal to warm them as winter drew closer — at least that’s what the men in charge of the cathedral were telling him. “They had coals daily brought to them, as many as made about 100 fires both night and day. And straw to lie on.” But it appears the coal, like the food, was ending up everywhere except inside Durham Cathedral.
Simply to stay alive, the Scots burned every sliver of wood in the church — the pews, the altar, anything that would keep them warm, regardless of religious significance. Strangely, the only combustible object that survived was Prior Castel’s Clock, installed in the cathedral in the early 1500s under the great Te Deum Window. It was made primarily of wood, and running perfectly the following spring when most of the surviving Scots were shipped out to the New World as indentured slaves.
The one-handed clock may have been left intact because of the decorative Scotch Thistle carved into the top of its wooden casing. It is running to this day in Durham Cathedral, its face divided into 48 segments to measure the day in quarters of an hour rather than the much more familiar 60-minute format.
The Scots also savaged the cathedral tombs of one of England’s most prominent families – the Nevilles, who had defeated King David II and his Highlanders at the Battle of Neville’s Cross in 1346. The Nevilles became the Lords of Raby in the early 13th century, and remained one of the most influential families in England throughout the Middle Ages.
The plundered and wrecked tombs were those of Ralph, fourth Baron Neville, who died in 1367, and Alice, his wife; John, fifth Baron Neville who died in 1388, and his wife Matilda. Theirs were the first lay burials allowed in the cathedral. The desperate Scots were probably searching for jewels buried with the Nevilles that could be traded for supplies with their English captors. The Nevilles’ tombs were ripped apart, their bones scattered or burned.
By the end of October 1650, approximately 1,600 Scots had died horrible deaths in Durham’s much-revered House of God. Only 1,400 of the 5,100 men who started the march from Dunbar in September were still alive less than two months later, when England’s traders in human flesh came for them. Nine hundred of those survivors went to the New World, mainly Virginia, Massachusetts and Barbados colony in the Caribbean. Another 500 were indentured the following spring to Marshall Turenne for service in the French army, and were still fighting seven years later against the Spanish, side by side with a contingent of English soldiers sent over by Cromwell.
The shocking reality is that far more Scots died as English prisoners than were killed at Dunbar. In Durham, disposal of the bodies had become a major problem. The mystery of what became of them was not solved until almost three centuries later, in 1946, when workers installed a central heating system in the cathedral’s music school. They came upon a mass grave while digging a trench for heating pipes on the north side of the cathedral. That grave went in a straight line from the cathedral’s North Door under a line of trees and then under the music school. The bodies had been buried without coffins or Christian services. The corpses had been tossed into the trench, one on top of the other, like so much garbage.
To this very day, there is no memorial of any kind to these unknown Scottish soldiers. They rest in anonymity in what they would have regarded as foreign soil, far from their homes and the graves of their loved ones.”
“William Gowen, alias Smith,” Philip Chesley and Thomas Footman were convicted of quarreling with James Middleton at Oyster River [later called Dover], New Hampshire, according to “History of Durham, New Hampshire.” This volume reports that “William Gowen, alias Smith,” was taxed at Oyster River in 1659.
“William Smith, alias Gowin,” was fined “for fighting and bloodshed on ye Lords day after ye afternoone meeting,” June 30, 1668. “Elaxander Gowing,” who “History of Durham, New Hampshire” reported as the same man, was taxed at Oyster River in 1661.
William Alexander Gowen was married May 14, 1667 in Kittery to Elizabeth Frost, daughter of Nicholas Frost and Bertha Cadwalla Frost, according to “John Salter, Mariner,” a volume, written by W. T. Salter and published in 1900. Nicholas Frost is believed to be the earliest documented ancestor of the Gowen family in New England. He died in 1663, and Elizabeth Frost Gowen brought to her marriage a dowry of £105:12:6.
William & Elizabeth (Frost) Gowen
William Gowen b. 10 May 1640 Scotland d. 2 April 1686 Kittery, Maine Married Elizabeth Frost 14,
May 1667, Kittery, York, Maine.
B. 1667: Kittery, York, Maine
M. 1694: Abigail HODSDON: York, Maine
B. 19 Nov 1668: Kittery, York, Maine
M.12 Oct 1691: Mercy HAMMOND:
D. 9 Jan 1733: Kittery, York, Maine .
3. William Jr.
B. 1672: Kittery, York, Maine
D. 12 Oct 1691: Kittery, York, Maine .
B. 1673: Kittery, York, Maine
M. 11 Feb 1694: Alexander FERGUSON: Kittery, York, Maine
B. 29 Mar 1675: Kittery, York, Maine
M. 3 Mar 1701: Mary WHEELWRIGHT:
D. 1728: .
B. 15 Nov 1678: Kittery, York, Maine
M. 17 Mar 1695: Daniel EMERY: Kittery, York, Maine
D. 21 Nov 1751:
B. 9 Feb 1680: Kittery, York, Maine
M. 5 Jan 1709: Sarah MOUNTFORD: Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts
D. 21 Apr 1727: Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts (Granary Burying Grounds)
B. 30 Mar 1684: Kittery, York, Maine
M. 1698: William SMITH:
Elizabeth Frost was a daughter of
B. 25 April 1585 at Tiverton, Devonshire, England
M. January 1630
D. 20 July 1663 at Kittery, York, Maine
B. 14 February 1610 at Tiverton, Devonshire, England
D. 4 July 1650 at Kittery, York, Maine
There is conclusive evidence that Nicholas Frost was on the coast of Maine as early as 1632. He probably returned to England for his family [Bertha and two sons, Charles and John] as they sailed to America in April of 1634 on the ship ‘Wulfrana’, mastered by Alwin Wellborn, which left Plymouth, Devonshire, England in April arriving at Little Harbor in America in June 1634.
Within the next two years, the family removed to Leighton’s Point at the head of Sturgeon Creek in Kittery. They were the first settlers in the upper Parish of Kittery. Soon afterwards, Nicholas purchased 400 acres of land on the northeast side of the Piscataqua River, on which he built a small log house, then in 1640 a large two-story house of large hewn logs, which was known as the Frost’s Garrison. He owned one of the largest estates in Kittery on the southern slope of Frost’s Hill. There, Nicholas made his home until his death. In 1640, Nicholas was chosen constable.
In 1649, Nicholas Frost, Captain Nicholas Shapleigh, and, John Heard, were elected the first selectman of the newly in-corporated town of Kittery.
In 1651, he with Nicholas Shapleigh, and Anthony Emery served in the same capacity. Also in 1651, the town of Kittery granted to Nicholas Frost 340 acres of land. In 1653, 20 more acres were granted to him.
Nicholas Frost’s wife, Bertha, and daughter Anna, were captured by Indians and taken to a camp at the mouth of Sturgeon Creek. Nicholas and his son Charles were at York the time, and on their return attempted to rescue them but were unsuccessful; Charles, however, killed a chief and a brave. The next day Charles, his father and some to the neighbors went back to the camp but were too late; the camp was deserted, only the bodies of Bertha and Anna were found there. They were buried near the old Garrison.
Nicholas died in 1663 leaving an estate that inventoried at £640:15:7. There were 1,042 acres of land, 27 head of cattle, 19 hogs, 4 horses, and one Negro boy, besides personal property. Nicholas was illiterate and signed documents with his mark, which was a combination of the letters N and F.
Nicholas was a man of force and leadership, he reared a distinguished family.
Children born to Nicholas Frost and Bertha …..
Charles, John, Anna, Catherine, Elizabeth, Nicholas Jr.
Nicholas Frost was a son of
born – 17 November 1558 at Cornbre Hill, Cornwall, England
married – 10 May 1582
born – 8 October 1565 at Caer Bran, Cornwall, England
Children of John and Anna ….. all born at Tiverton, Devonshire, England ….
John Jr., Nicholas, Anna, Charles, Samuel, Elizabeth.
This file was donated by Yvonne Gowen
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Nicholas Frost was born in 1592 in England, at Tiverton, Devonshire. He was a son of John Frost who was born November 7, 1558 in Cornwall, according to “Ancestors and Descendants of James Gowen” by Edna Marion Nye Gowen. She wrote:
“In a letter dated October 19, 1897 addressed to the Eliot Historical Society, Mr. George W. Frost of Washington, D. C states that he has in his possession an old writing of which the following is a copy”
“Dec’br ye 27th 1640
Accts of Births, Marriages ffrom the Olde Booke 1546
John ffrost, Borne Nov’br ye 17th 1558 near Carnbro Hill, Cornwall
Anna Hamden, Borne Oct’r ye 8th 1565 near Caer Bran, Cornwall
John and Anna Maride May ye 10th 1582
John Borne July ye 10th 1583 in Tiverton
Nicholas Borne Aprill ye 25th 1585 in Tiverton
Anna Borne Oct’r ye 11th 1587 in Tiverton
Charles Borne Dec’r ye 15th 1588 in Tiverton
Samuel Borne Jan’y ye 28th 1591 in Tiverton
Elizabeth Borne ffeb ye 12th 1593 in Tiverton
Nicholas marride Bertha Cadwalla Jan’y 1630 [she] from Tavistock, Bertha Cadwalla Borne ffeb’y ye 14th 1610
Aprill Sailed for America; Arrived in June 1634 in the same year On ye Shipp Wulfrana, Alwin Wellborn, Master from Plimouth, Devon See Olde Book, Charles ffrost
In his family record Nathan Goold wrote that his ancestor Nicholas Frost resided in Tiverton ‘near Lemon Green over against the Beer Garden’ and further that ‘he had a sister who married Charles Brooks, a brazier in Crown Alley, London.’
Wilbur D. Spencer, writing in “Pioneers of Maine Rivers” reports that Nicholas Frost was born April 25, 1585 at Tiverton and was married in January 1630 to Bertha Cadwalla. They sailed from Bristol in 1632, according to “Maine Historical & Genealogical Records.”
Nicholas Frost was recorded as “trading” at Damerill’s Cove in 1632, and he was fined and punished by the General Court of Massachusetts Bay “upon the complaint of Dorchester traders.” On October 3, 1632 the court ordered:
“It is ordered that Nicholas ffrost for thefte comitted at Damerill’s Cove upon the Indeans, for drunkenes and fornication of all which hee is convicted, shall be find £5 to the court and £11 pounds to Henry Way & John Holman [his employers] shall be severely whipt & branded in the hand with a hott iron & after banished out of this pattent with penalty that if ever he be found within the limits of the said patent, he shall be put to death; also it is agreed that he shall be kept in bolts by Henry Way & John Holman, till his fines be paid, during which time he is to bear his own charges”
He was banished from Massachusetts Bay Colony October 9, 1632, shipped back to England and ordered not to return, according to “Pioneers on Maine Rivers”. In June 1634 he returned to New England, sailing out of Plymouth on the “Wulfrana” with his family and, carefully avoiding Damerill’s Cove, settled at Kittery, Maine.
Charles Thornton Libby writing in “Genealogical Dictionary of Maine & New Hampshire,” suggests that Nicholas Frost did not leave New England when he received the sentence of banishment.
Thomas Wanneton of Strawbery Bank Colony [later Portsmouth] befriended them and invited them to live in his home. Later Wanneton gave Nicholas Frost land in area which later became Eliot, Maine.
He was prosecuted again in 1636, according to “Massachusetts Collections of Records.” He was “fined, whipped, branded on the hand and banished for stealing from the Indians and other crimes,” according to “New England Frontier.” One of his associates, John Dawe, was led to the whipping post for “intiseing an Indian woman to lye with him.” The prosecution referred to might relate to his 1632 trial which was possibly assigned an erroneous date of 1636.
He had the distinction of being the first settler of Eliot in 1636. By June 25, 1639-40 he was located at Kittery. At Kittery he signed a petition addressed to the governor July 27, 1639 seeking a pardon from his conviction. His signature was “Nicholas Frost, of Pascattaquay, mason.” His second petition was successful, and Massachusetts removed the decree of banishment. The bounds of his land at Sturgeon Creek were set down about 1640, according to a deposition given by John White, an early settler of that area.
In 1640 he was named constable, and in 1648 he was elected a selectman in the first election at Kittery. In 1648 he made a seven-year lease of his “new house and ground at Kittery” to Jeremy Sheeres.
A legend concerning the death of Bertha Frost and her daughter, Anne was included in “The Frost Genealogy” by Norman Seavor Frost published in 1926:
“July 4, 1650 Nicholas Frost’s wife Bertha and daughter Anna were captured by the Indians and taken to their camp at the mouth of Sturgeon Creek. Nicholas and his son Charles were at York at the time and on their return attempted to rescue them, but were unsuccessful. Charles is said to have killed a Chief and a brave. The next day Charles, his father and some of the neighbors went back to the Camp but they were too late. The camp was deserted, only the bodies of Bertha Frost and Anna were found there. They were buried near their home.”
On October 14, 1651 Nicholas Frost was indicted for conspiring with James Bunker, William Ellingham and others to steal from Mr. Shapleigh. At the same court Nicholas Frost was presented for “saying he hoped to live so long as to wet his bullets in the blood of the Saints”
On November 16, 1652 Nicholas Frost took the oath of allegiance to the Massachusetts government. On August 12, 1656 he signed a petition addressed to Oliver Cromwell.
In 1658 he was appointed on a committee to “Pitch and lay out the dividing line between Yorke and Wells townships,” according to “Massachusetts Collection of Records.”
On April 30, 1658 he gave a deposition regarding the possession of land by Thomas Crockett in the area some 16 or 17 years earlier. His age at that time was shown as “about 70,” according to “Yorke Documents” Volume II.
Nicholas Frost took Thomas Orchard into his service by indenture at Bristol, England on March 25, 1662. Upon the death of Nicholas Frost, Thomas Orchard, after arriving in Kittery, transferred himself July 10, 1663 to William Scadlocks and later to Thomas Littlefield, the elder, before May 6, 1664, according to “York Documents,” Volume I.
Nicholas Frost died July 20, 1663, and the inventory of his estate was returned to court September 24, 1663. The inventory included over 1,000 acres of land.
His wearing apparell £15:06.00
A homestall of dwelling house, barne and other
outhouses, orchards, cornfields, meddows and
pastures adjoining, contayneing in all
300 acers more or less 205:00.00
A former grant of land of 300 acers frome ye
proprietor’s agent joyneing to his home land 18:00.00
The long marsh, by estimate tenn acers and the
grants of land belonging to itt,
300 acers more or less 60:00.00
Two acers and an halfe of sault marsh in
York bounds 5:00.00
The house and land at Kittery, joyneing to
William Leighton by estimation 30 acers 20:00.00
A grant, 100 acers on the south side of
Sturgeon Crk. 10:00.00
One hogshead of wheat, one hogshead of maulte 3:00.00
7 acers and 1/2 sowed with Inglish grasse 15:00.00
Pease and oats at Kittery 1:16.00
Indian corne and fruite on the grounds 6:00.00
Corn and oats up in ye chamber 1:00.00
Hay at home and abroad 16:00.00
6 oxen att 44:00.00
7 cows att 32:00.00
Cattle in the woods ?:00.00
One cowe one heffer, one calfe 9:00.00
3 heffers, 3 Stears, 1 bull 18:00.00
One Steare, a bull 3 yeares 1-2 oulde 10:00.00
One Steare of 4 years ould 7:00.00
An ould Ox att 7:00.00
11 ould swine att 12:00.00
2 sows 2:05.00
Three Shoatts and 3 piggs 2:00.00
Two ould Carts, one peyre wheels, 1 slead,
Copp irons and roape att 2:00.00
Three Plows and ould Hodgeds 1:00.00
3 yoakes, 3 chaynes, 1 wheelbarrow 1:10.00
3 Hows, 2 spades, one shovell 11.00
1 iron crow, 5 forke tines, ould rakes 14.00
1 Dung forke, 1 cross cutt saw, 1 mattacke,
2 playnes att 10.00
In the kitchen
One muskett, one fowling piece & rest 2:00.00
2 Iron potts, 1 iron kettle, 2 pott hooks att 4:6.00
2 brass kettles skellet & 1 bayson att 3:15.00
2 andirons, one trammell & one peyre of Tonges 10.00
One frying panne, 1 gridiron, 1 spitt, 1 flesh fork 8.00
3 tynn pudding panns, 11 wooden trayes, laddles 9.00
1 scimmer, one lampe all att ?.00
1 wooden morter and pestell, 3 payles 5.00
1 curry come, 12 Trenchers & lumber 8.00
Nicholas Frost was a mason by trade
1 mortessing axe, 2 adzes 7.00
3 Mayson’s Hammers att 7.06
4 augers, 3 chissells, 3 gowges, one square,
1 fore playne 3.00
In the Inner Chamber
1 bedsteade, 1 featherbedd & bowlster, 2 pillows, 1
blankett, 1 peyre of sheets, 1 rugg & coverlidd 9:11.00
One Trundle bedstead & featherbedd & feather
bowlster & pillow 5:00.00
1 peyre of sheets, 1 blankett and Rugg 1:00.001
1 chest, 1 ould blankett and 4 yds of blanketting 1:11.00
Two blanketts and thread 14.00
A remnant of canvice 1.00
1 chest, 2 ould chests 13.00
1 peyre of Compasses, 1 peyre of sheers,
1 Hammer 7.00
1 Table, 1 frame, 1 chayre 5.00
5 pewter dishes and 10 small pieces of pewter all att 15.00
9 pewter spoons 3 Oceanry spoones 6.00
1 Tinn drippine pann 1 brish & 1 Runlett all att 3.00
Prickers compasses and lumber 7.00
Two peyres of Sheetes 1:05.00
2 Bowlsters cases, 1 pyr of sheetes 13.00
2 peyre of Dimitty sheetes 2:00.00
2 pillowbearers att 4.00
12 Napkines, 1 Tablecloth 14.00
6 Course napkins 1 Tablecloth 15.00
1 Warmeing pann att 3.06
In Ye Upper Chamber
2 corne sives 3 meale sives 06.00
8 Sackes @ 40s 1 bedsteade, 1 canvas bed
1 feather bowlster, 1 oulde blankett, 1 ould
rugg 20s 3:00.00
2 saws 16s 5 syths 3 seadds and Tackeling att 15 1:11.00
4 reape hookes 4 Howpes att 11.00
3 bush’s of ground mault att 12.00
3 bush’s of wheate meale & 1 bushel of
Indian meale 13.00
1 Winnowing Sheete,_1 pecke, 1 saddle,
ould one with a bridle 13.00
3 Tubbs and some lumber 5.00
3 pecks of sault and some hopps 1:00.00
In the Cellar
One Chyrne, 2 Kellers 8.00
A milke Ceene 2 Kellers 4.00
2 beere barrells and some rope 8.00
7 yds 1-2 of Course Cayrsey 1:00.00
3 blanketts 1 pillow case ?.00
In the Darie
30 pounds of butter att 15.00
17 cheeses att 1:05.00
4 Cheese fatts & covers & 30 Trayes att 1:08.00
5 earthern panns 6 earthern potts 5.06
4 small earthern vessells 1.06
1 peyre of scales 6 pounds 2 weights 3:03.00
Tallow candles and sugar 5.00
One cheese presse att 8.00
In silver 14:13.07
A servant boy 7 yrs 3-4 14:00.00
Debt due to the estate p book or bill 11:02.00
The estate is Dr to severall persons
On the Whole 24:11.06
p: Edw Risworth
John Wincoll Apprizers”
Charles Frost attested upon oath this inventory to be correct Oct. 3 1663. The Court was held at Wells Sept 24, 1663, and Charles Frost’s bond as Administrator was set at £1000. The addition of the figures in the above inventory brings the value of the estate to about £640:15.7, according to Edna Marion Nye Gowen.
Much data is given on the Frost Family by Wright W. Frost in his book “Frosts and Related Families of Bedford County, Tennessee” in which he seeks to link the Tennesseeans with their progenitor Nicholas Frost.
In April 1942 John Eldridge Frost, Frost Garrisons, York Village, Maine had in preparation a manuscript of Nicholas Frost.
The life of Nicholas Frost “of Piscataquay” has also been written by Usher Parsons. His manuscript entitled “Descendants,” 34 pages of handwritten material is on file in the library of the Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence, Rhode Island.
“The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-33” compiled a file on Nicholas Frost:
“At Saco Court 25 June 1640, he was sworn as constable of Piscataqua. He was fined 8 September 1640 for non-appearance. He was a Kittery constable, 3 July 1660. He served on a Petit jury, 2 July 1647, 2 July 1650, 17 October 1650, 25 October 1650 and 28 June 1655. He was called for Grand jury duty, 16 October 1649, 11 March 1650/1, 28 June 1655, 4 July 1659, 7 July 1663. He was Timber warden from the mouth of the Piscataqua to the upper part of the river, 27 June 1648.
Estate: Philip Swaddon deposed on 27 August 1673 that thirty-eight or thirty-nine years earlier [i.e., 1634 or 1635] Thomas Wannerton granted to Nicholas Frost “a parcel of land up in Piscataqua River, now known by the name of Kittery which tract of land Mr. Thomas Wannerton gave to the said Nicholas Frost to come to be his neighbor.” On 30 March 1649 Nicholas Frost gave a seven-year lease to Jeremy Sheires on “his new house and ground at Kittery”.
At a court at Wells on 29 September 1663 “Lt. Charles Frost of Kittery, the eldest son & heir unto Nicho[las] Frost lately deceased, hath presented a certain instrument in the nature of a deed of gift made in September 1650 conceiving the said instrument to be the last will & testament of the said Nicholas his father.” The court considered this and other documents, declared this not to be a valid will, appointed Charles Frost administrator of the estate, and ordered distribution of the estate as follows:
Eldest son Charles Frost to have a double portion [including the homestall] and £30 more; the residue of the estate to be equally divided among the other four children, each share to come to £105 12s. 7d.], and specifically William Leighton is to “have liberty to cut 3 loads of hay against the next winter out of Sturgeon Creek Marsh which was formerly his father-in-law’s, John Frost is to have “the long marsh with that 300 acres of land belonging to it, & lying within York bounds 2 acres & ½ of salt marsh, “William Leighton shall have disposed unto him in the behalf of Katterne Leighton his wife’s part,”
“Elizabeth Frost at 18 years of age or when she marries is to have her part,” and
Nicholas Frost at twenty-one years of age is to have his part” including “a house & land at Kittery” and “in the meantime may choose his guardian if he see cause.”
On 5 March 1663/4 Charles Frost [on behalf of himself and his brother Nicholas], William Leighton, John Frost and Elizabeth Frost consented to the division of the estate that had been made, and Charles Frost was released from his administrator’s bond. At a court at Wells on 6 October 1674 there was a report of a dispute over the settlement of the estate, and a committee was ordered to resolve the matter.
The inventory of the estate of Nicholas Frost, taken 24 September 1663, was untotalled and included £318 of real estate: “homestall of dwelling house, barn & other out houses containing in all three hundred acres,” £205; “former grant of land of three hundred acres from the proprietors’ agent joining to his home land,” £18; “the Long Marsh by estimation ten acres & the grants of land belonging to it, three hundred acres,” £60; “two acres & a half of salt marsh in York bounds,” £5; “house & land at Kittery joining to William Leighton’s by estimation 30 acres,” £20; and “a grant of one hundred acres of land on the south side of Sturgeon Cricke,” £10.
He was born about 1595 [aged about 60 on 30 June 1658; aged about 70 on 16 April 1662. He died between 7 July 1663 [grand jury service] and 24 September 1663, the date of his inventory. He was married by about 1632, wife’s name unknown. It is believed that he was married twice.”
John Eldridge Frost published a genealogy of this family when he was still a young man [“The Nicholas Frost Family”]. He was preparing a revision of that volume in the years before his death, but it remains unpublished.
Children born to Nicholas Frost and Bertha Cadwalla Frost [or Mary Bollen Frost] include:
Charles Frost born July 30, 1631
John F. Frost born August 7, 1633
Anne Frost born April 17, 1635
Catherine Frost born December 25, 1637
Elizabeth Frost born May 10, 1645
Nicholas Frost, Jr. born May 30, 1646
Charles Frost, son of Nicholas Frost and Bertha Cadwalla Frost, was born July 30, 1631 in Tiverton. On March 24, 1646-47 he was acquitted by the court “for shooting Warnick Heard for a goose,” according to “Genealogical Dictionary of Maine & New Hampshire.” He was married about 1660 to Mary Bowles, daighter of Joseph Bolles.
In 1663 Charles Frost was named executor of his father’s estate, and being the eldest son, received a double share of the estate for his “care and former trouble.” He received the homestead and 500 acres of land.
In 1682 he was promoted to captain in the militia and appointed a magistrate. In 1692 he was appointed judge of Common Pleas Court. He wrote his will January 7, 1694 while in active military service as sergeant-major for all of Maine. He served as a Deputy to the General Court of Massachusetts for five years.
He was commissioned captain of the militia July 6, 1668. He was commissioned Lieut-Major Aug. 23, 1698. He was actively engaged in military service during most of his life. He served for many years as Justice of the Peace, was one of the Associate Judges of the Province of Maine and was a member of the Governor’s Council of Massachusetts in 1693. On March 4, 1696-97 “Maj. Charles Frost, Sr.” served as a justice of the peace in Kittery.
He was ambushed and killed by Indians on his way home from church. “The Frost Genealogy” states:
“On Sunday afternoon July 4 1697, Major Frost, his wife Mary, his two sons John and Charles, John Heard and his wife, and Dennis Downing were returning from a church service. A mile from his garrison home, a party of Indians had formed an ambush near a large rock at the side of the road. They had stuck some bushes in the ground in front of a log behind which they were concealed. and when the party approached, fired upon them. Maj. Frost and Dennis Downing were killed, and Mrs. Heard mortally wounded. Her husband tried to put her on a horse, but she begged him to leave her and save the children at home. The rest of the party escaped.
The Major was buried near his garrison home. The next night the Indians disintered the body and suspended it on a stake on the top of Frost’s Hill. A party was gotten together who drove the Indians off, and recovered and again buried the body. The grave was covered with a large flat stone on which was cut the following inscription:
“Here lyeth Interred the body of Mr. Charles Frost. aged 65 years Dec’d July ye 4th 1697.”
Mary Bowles Frost died in 1704.
Children born to them include:
Mary Frost born about 1661
Sarah Frost born about 1662
Abigail Frost born about 1663
Mehitable Frost born about 1665
Lydia Frost born about 1668
Mary Frost born about 1670
Charles Frost, Jr. born about 1673
Elizabeth Frost born about 1678
Nicholas Frost born about 1683
John F. Frost, son of Nicholas Frost and Bertha Cadwalla Frost, was born August 7, 1633 in Tiverton. He was married June 1, 1668 to Mehitable Buttolph, daughter of Thomas Buttolph. Their first child was born in Boston January 9, 1669. He was remarried August 24,1680 to Maria Davis. Their first child was born in Boston May 16, 1681, according to the family bible cited by John E. Frost.
Anne Frost, daughter of Nicholas Frost and Bertha Cadwalla Frost, was born April 17, 1635 at Strawbery Bank while the family was living in the home of Thomas Wanneton. She was reportedly killed by Indians along with her mother in 1650.
Catherine Frost, daughter of Nicholas Frost and Bertha Cadwalla Frost, was born on Christmas Day in 1637. She was married about 1654 to William Leighton. Later she was remarried to Joseph Hammond, son of William Hammond. He died in 1697. She died August 15, 1715 at age 82, according to Edna Marion Nye Gowen.
Elizabeth Frost, daughter of Nicholas Frost and Bertha Cadwalla Frost, was born May 10, 1645 at Kittery. One source showed her birthyear as 1640. Edna Marion Nye Gowen wrote that Elizabeth Frost Gowen stated by deposition on two occasions that she was born in 1645.
She was married there May 14, 1667 to William Gowen. For details of her life, see his section below.
Elizabeth Frost Gowen was the great great grandmother of James Gowen of Westbrook and Catherine Frost, her sister became the great-great-grandmother of James Gowen as well, being his great- great-aunt.
Nicholas Frost, Jr, son of Nicholas Frost and Bertha Cadwalla Frost, was born May 30, 1646 at Kittery. He became a mariner and a merchant.
Nicholas Frost, Jr. wrote from “Patoxen in Mary Land” [Patuxent River, Maryland] April 28, 1673 to his brother Charles Frost, concerning shipment of tobacco and supplies, adding that, in case of his death he desired his property to be divided between the children of Charles and those of “brother Leighton, when of age”, according to “York Documents,” Volume II.
Apparently his premonition of death was correct because he died in Limerick, Ireland August 1, 1673, according to “Genealogical Dictionary of Maine & New Hampshire.” His estate was settled in Kittery July 6, 1675 by his surviving brothers and brothers-in-law, Charles Frost, John F. Frost, “William Gowine, alias Smyth” and Maj. Joseph Hammond. Elizabeth Gowen, his sister, was granted 60 acres of land at the mouth of Sturgeon Creek for her share.
William Alexander Gowen was a coroner’s juror at Oyster River in 1659, according to “History of Durham”, Vol. I, p. 83:
“James Morrey, or Murray, was received as an inhabitant in 1658. He died at Oyster River, November 11, 1659. A jury of inquest, impaneled by John Bickford, found that James Morrey was killed by the limb of a tree falling on his head. Among the jurors were William Smith [Gowen], Niven Agnew, Jonas Bines, James Bunker, Thomas Stevenson, Matthew Williams and others, all of Oyster River.”
James Bunker had built the Bunker Garrison soon af-ter 1652, when he bought the land on which its ruins now lie . The walls, except the gable ends, were of hewn hemlock logs, nine inches in thickness. There were loopholes for defence, afterward enlarged into windows. This was the last remaining garrison of Oys-ter River that was attacked by the Indians in 1694. It seems to be decayed and fallen beyond the power of restoration.”
In Kittery William Alexander Gowen frequently signed his name as “William Smith.” His use of the alias suggests that he might still have some dread of the English authorities. His sons also used the alias from time to time. It was a natural application since the name “Gowen” in Gaelic means “Smith.”
William Alexander Gowen received a land grant at Kittery in 1666 and a grant of a house lot in 1670. On April 13, 1672 “William Gowine, alias Smyth” received a deed from Abraham Tilton “of growing timber of Abraham Conly’s land at Spruce Creek, Kittery,” according to York Deed Book 3, folio 64. He received another grant there in 1674.
William Alexander Gowen was a freeholder in Kittery in 1675. On September 16, 1676 “William Gowine, alias Smith bought all right to lands on the Kennebec River from James Middleton,” according to York Deed Book 3, folio 67. “William Gowine, alias Smith” was appointed administrator of the estate of Tristram Harris, deceased,” October 15, 1677, according to York records. Harris, his comrade-at-arms was killed in a battle with the Indians. The controversy swirled for another 20 years, even after the death of William Alexander Gowen.
Apparently Tristram Harris had promised his estate to the Gowens. A summary was published in “Province and Court Records of Maine:”
“Harris, a bachelor during his lifetime, indicated that he wished to leave his estate to his neighbor, William Smith, for the use of the latter’s children. Smith’s eldest son, Nicholas, was particularly favored, and he was to receive the house and home lot. Harris was killed in action against the Indian enemy sometime before or during the summer of 1677. In September of that year the Court of Associates granted administration of the estate to Smith; two months later a County Court at York reviewing the matter provided that one half of the estate should be to the use of the children, but that the remainder should be left in the hands of the County Treasurer in Order to satisfy other claims which might be made. One such claim, by John Brady, had already been entered; others followed during the next few years. John Turner, said to be Harris’ brother-in-law, was one claimant. Philip White of Portsmouth, the deceased man’s first cousin, was another. Out of this litigation came a multitude of papers, depositions, copies of court orders, letters of administration. Two of the depositions given below hint at a last minute change of feeling on the part of Harris towards Smith and his eldest son. The present case stemmed from White’s attempt to obtain the “Smith” portion of the estate from Smith’s widow as administratrix to her husband’s estate; thus nearly 20 years after Harris died, litigation still swirled about his estate, which he had wished to dispose of as he pleased.”
Eliza Gowens reason of appeall versus White
The Reasons of Appeal of Eliza Gowen alias Smith, Administratrix to the estate of her late husband, William Gowen, alias Smith of Kittery, deceased, Apellant against Philip White, Defendant, from Judgment of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas held at York for the County of York on the first Tuesday of July last to the Superior Court of Judicature to be held at Boston for the said County of York on the last Tuesday of October Anno Domini 1695.
1. That the Judgment rendered at the sd Inferiour Court of Pleas for the now Defendant against the present appellant is erroneous and contrary to Law and ought to be reversed for that an action of Detinue cannot by Law be maintained against an Administrator for withholding goods, chattells etc.
2. That if the Appellant was liable to such action as the Defendant commenced against her there is no evidence to make her lyable to respond the defendant’s demaund for the proof against her if a Judgment of a Generall Court which is still in force for any that appears to the Contrary to the Court and the Defendant must either bring a Scire facias or commence a new action upon the Judgment but cannot bring that originall action and make that Judgment his evidence and ground of action.
3. That there is such uncertainty in the writt for the things in Demand as no Judgment can be rendered for any Execution granted upon such Judgment the Law requires certainty in all actions and the things sued for must be certainly set forth & expressed in the writt so that the same may be plain and intelligible to the Court and Jury and the writt claims only one half part of the reall and personall Estate of one Trustrum Harridon, which is as great an uncertainty what it is as may be for. There is no certainty of what the reall Estate sued for is, how many numbers of acres, or wheather they are upland or meadow, what houses, mills or buildings or in what County Town province or territory they lye in or how butted and bounded all which ought to have been particularly specifyed & set forth in the attachment other wise the reall Estate sued for is as uncertain as the Land in the moon. That the personall Estate is as incertainly specified in the writt as the Reall there being no mention made therein of any particular nor of any value not so much as the name of beds Chairs pewter brass or any manner of the household stuff which ought to have been set forth in the writt otherwise right can not be administered to either party.
4. That the Defendant Doth not shew forth any title to the Reall Estate for he derives his Right from an Administration granted him by the prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury which can give him no interest in the Reall Estate.
5. That the Action commenced is both for a reall and Personall Estate which cannot be connexed in one processe all which being duly weighed and Considered by the Honourable Court and Jury the Appellant hopes they will see good Reason to reverse the former Judgment and allow her Reasonable Cost.
Thos. Newton, Attorney
for the Appellant”
From “Province and Court Records of Maine”
Inferior Court of Common Pleas, October 1, 1695
The Deposition of William Gowen, alias Smith, aged 51 years: I, being in the Garrison at the house of Capt. Charles Frost in the time of the Indian Warr upon information received by Capt. Frost that the Enemy were near skulking for advantage he gave orders to as many of his men as he thought meet to prepare themselves for a march. Trustrum Harris, now deceased, being one of the number so appointed: he called me out of the house: & declared his mind to me on this manner following: we are now going Said he to hunt the woods after the Enemy & if it be our fortune to meet with them we may expect that some will fall on our Side as well as some on theirs & it may be my portion as soon as another mans: therefore I desire, said he, if it be my lot to fall that you take into your possession what estate I have for the use of your children for to them it is that I design it after me: I thankt him for his good will & told him that it would not availe my children his telling his mind to me unless he signified it to others as well, for it was the manner of the Law to take Cognizance of the Estate of the deceased: he answered me and said what hath any man to do with my giving that which is properly my own to whom I please But Seeing it is so said then I shall as I have opportunity make my mind known to others also & afterward to the best of my remembrance on the Last week of his Life I came to his house where I found him alone in a time of Eminent danger I chided him for his rashness and carelessness of his own Safety & preservation, & Certifyed him of the frequent mischief Committed by the Enemy upon our Neighbours to which I thought he unnessessarily Exposed himself. I cannot help it said he for I cannot abide to see what I have to go to Ruine but if at any time God shall suffer the Enemy to Surprise me and take my life; if you escape their hands and outlive me, see that you make what best you can to take what Estate I have into your possession for use of your Children & be sure that yee possess your Eldest son Nicholas in this my home Lott & plantation for he it is for whom I have designed it & do desire may possess and Enjoy it after me. These instructions above written I receaved at & from the mouth of the deceased Trustrum in the time of his life as abovesd as witnessess my hand.
Wm. Gowen alias Smith”
June 14, 1685″
From “Province & Court Records of Maine”
“The Testimony of William Sanders, aged 23 years: That Trustrum Harris being a Garisoner at the house of my master Capt. Charles Frost, William Gowen alias Smith with his Eldest son being there also in the time of the late Indian Warr in which time I took notice that the said Trustrum would frequently have the boy in his company namely Nicholas Gowen and take him with him to his house and very often express that great Love he had for him in so much that sd Trustrum told me that the sd Nicholas Gowen should be his heir, this he told me of his own accord at least five or six times the last time whereof as near as I do remember was about a week before his Death.
May 16, 1684”
“The Deposition of John Thompson, age 22 years: I witnes that being commanded by Capt. Charles Frost Last year to hunt the woods after the Enemy that Trustrum Harris was one of the same Company also that the sd Trustrum and my self sitting at breakfast together up in the woods above Salmon Falls, I took occasion to ask him who would be the better for his Estate in case he should be taken by the Enemy he made answer and said he intended his estate for William Smiths Children, only he had somewhat a great love for Nicholas then for the Rest.
Sworn in court,
September 11, 1677″
I. John Morrell of Kittery that about twenty years [torn: several words missing] in company with Trustrum Harris and upon some discourse asked him what he Resolved to do with his Estate whenever divine Providence Should Remove him hence and whether he would not confer it on William Smith where upon he replyed that he was in daily Expectation of a sister of his from England on whom he was Resolved to [torn: several words missing] adding that no bastard alive should Inheritt or possess any thing of his,
Given under my hand John Morrell
July 1, 1695”
From “Province & Court Record of Maine”
The Deposition of Thomas Perkins aged 56 years or 55 years: saith that on the nineteenth day of April 1677 he heard Trustrum Harris Say that the goods Sarah Bredy had in her hands of his he gave freely to her & this Deponant Saith that he heard sd Harris bid the sd Sarah keep what goods she had of his and not part with it for William Smith and his Bastard should not be a farthing the better for anything he had.
Thomas Perkins took oath to the truth of this above written the 6 of September, 1677.”
Memorandum that on the fifteenth day of March 1687 Jane Perry of New Graveil Lane in the Parish of St. Pauls Shadwell in the County of Middlesex widdow Miriam Randall, wife of George Randall of the Parish of St. Pauls Shadwell, Mariner, came before me Joseph Ricroft Esquire one of the Kings Majestys Justices of the peace for the County aforesd and Joyntly and Severally made oath that one Mary Harridon was daughter of Trustrum Harridon of near Dartmouth in the County of Devon and was, while living, own sister to Trustrum Harridon who was Eldest son of Trustrum, sd Marys father which sd Trustrum the son was as these Deponants have heard killed by the Indians in New-England, & these Deponants further say that the sd Mary Harridon who when she went by the name of Mabbie Widdow, was married to one John Turner of Shadwell, marriner in the Parish church of Stepney. These Deponants very well know the same, for they were present at and privy to the marriage aforesaid.”
“William Gowen, alias Smyth” was appointed to a committee to settle a boundary dispute April 12, 1680, according to York Deed Book 4, folio 36. “William Gowine, alias Smyth” received a partition deed April 13, 1680 from Charles Frost, John F. Frost and Joseph Hammond, his brothers-in-law, to real estate in Kittery inherited from Nicholas Frost, Jr. according to York Deed Book 3, folio 67.
William Alexander Gowen and James Emery were appointed appraisers of the estate of Jonathan Fletcher June 12, 1685, according to York Court Book I, folio 37.
In the “fourth month, 1685, Elizabeth Gowen, alias Smith,” and Nicholas Frost posted bond to become the executors of the estate of her brother, “Capt. Frost” according to “Maine Historical & Genealogical Records.”
William Alexander Gowen made his living as a farmer and a carpenter and apparently spent his entire life in the new world at Kittery. He died there April 2, 1686.
His estate was inventoried and recorded in York Court records Part I, folio 40:
“Imprimis: his wearing cloths & apparel £05:00.0
Item: one dwelling house barne oarchard with
60 acres of land more or less with ye
Item: one hundred Acres of land lijng near
Yorke lyne 10:00.0
Item: thirty eight acres of Land by the
third hill 5:00.0
Item: Sixty Acres of Land on ye South
side of Sturgeon Cricke 25:00.0
Item: 5 oxen £15 tenn Cows £7 three
years ould £12 49:00.0
Item: 5 cattle of Too years ould, and fiue
yearlings at £10 10:00.0
Item: Too horses fiue pounds & Thirtene
swine 8 lbs: 10s 8:10.0
Item: In the fyre roume foure gunnes and a
backe sword 3:10.0
Items: 3 Iron potts & Hooks, 3 skelletts,
too friinpanes 2:04.0
Item: 14 earthen dishes & wood, a
Wodden Morter and sume ould twine 0:04.0
Item: 12 spoones, one spinning wheele &
Cards a Cettle two Chayrs & lumber 0:11.0
Item:3 Tramells, Tonges, a smothing Iron &
an hour glass at 0:10.0
Item: in the vpper chamber Wheate peas &
Indean Corne 20s, bed & bedding 40s 3:00.0
Item: Empty Caskes, bedsteads, 3 ould sives
& other Lumber 20s 1:00.0
Item: 2 sackes, 1 winnowing sheets 2 bare
skines saws 1:05.0
Item: a broad axe & Adgs 6s, 4 Augurs
4 Chissells 6s, 1 square compass &
frow, all 2s 0:14.0
Item: in ye yeard 9 hows 10s, 5 axes 8s, 4
pitchforks 3s, 6 wedgs and a rule 6s 1:07.0
Item: 5 beetle Rings 2s, a sledge 12d, An
Iron for horse tackleing 2s 0:05.0
Item: plow Irons 10s, wheels Cart & sleades,
25s 4 yoakes 4 chaines & staples 1 payre of
Hooks 30 3:05.0
Item: ould syths, sickles, tackling & an ould
Item: 1 ould saddle & bridle six shillings,
& 2 Hamers 12d 0:07.0
Item: in ye lower chamber a feather bed,
bedstead bowlster 2 pillows two peyre of
sheets & one blankett & one Rugg all at 04:00.0
A trundle bed 2 blanketts & a Rugg, and
too feather pillows 1:00.0
Item: 3 chest 10s one peyr of stillyards
& a warmeing pan 4 glass bottles 3:02.0
Item: 1 bible & diuinity bookes 20s, new
Cloath 40s Cradle gally potts & salve 2s 3:02.0
Item: 6 pewter dishes 15s, 10 small peecs
of pewter porringers & a chamberpott 1:00.0
Item: earthen potts, panns, pailes trays
cheese press 1 churne barrell & lumber 1:00.0
Item: beife & porks 15s, Tallow & Lard
10s, Wood & Cotton 40s 3:05.0
Item: boards logs at severall place 20 lbs.
debts due to ye Estate six pounds 26:00.0
Moore in the Chamber 2 peyre of
shirts & an ould hamaker & a Table
Cloth at 01:05.0
Apprised this 21th of May 1686:
John Wincoll, Nicholas frost, [his NF mark]
Elizabeth Smith alias Gowen doth Attest vpon her oath that his Inventory aboue written, Of William Smiths alias Gowen deceased is a true inventory to ye best of her knowledge & yt more do appeare afterwards vpon oath in Court this 21th of May 1686.”
On July 2, 1695 Elizabeth Frost Gowen was sued by Phillip White “for detaining and withholding one half of all ye estate, both reall & personall, belonging to Tristram Harris, deceased.” She lost the case and appealed to the next superior court, where the decision was reversed in Boston, Massachusetts in October 1695.
Elizabeth Frost Gowen on March 16, 1700 witnessed a receipt signed by her daughter Sarah Gowen Smith for a distribution of her inheritance, according to “York Court Records.”
Elizabeth Frost Gowen received in 1704 a donation of “1s. 9d” from public funds. She was mentioned as living in the home of her son, Nicholas Gowen when he wrote his will in 1733. She died shortly afterward at about age 92.
Prior to 1961 Barney Alexander Gowen corresponded with Helen Price Gowen, who at that time was 84 years old and nearly blind. She referred Barney Alexander Gowen to her cousin Viola Allen Gowen of Sanford, Maine. Viola Allen Gowen advised that the Maine Gowen family tree had been quite thoroughly worked out by Angevine Wesley Gowen of York, another descendent of William Alexander Gowen. Mrs. Leslie Freeman of York, a niece of Angevine Wesley Gowen, supplied considerable genealogical data from his research.
In several generations, thousands of descendants of William Alexander Gowen and Elizabeth Frost Gowen have been recorded since their marriage 333 years ago. Family historians spanning several generations have collaborated to research their fascinating story.
Children born to William Alexander Gowen and Elizabeth Frost Gowen include:
Nicholas Gowen born in 1667
John Gowen born November 19, 1668
William Gowen born about 1672
Elizabeth Gowen born about 1673
James Gowen born March 29, 1675
Margaret Gowen born November 15, 1678
Lemuel Gowen born February 9, 1680
Sarah Gowen born March 30, 1684
William E. Gowen was married to Florence I. Nason Gowen December 12, 1907 in Wells according to “Maine Marriage Records, 1892-1965.”
William F. Gowen was married to Hepsie E. Estey Gowen October 24, 1903 in Sanford according to “Maine Marriage Records, 1892-1965.”
William R. Gowen was married to Maxine B. Lambert Gowen October 7, 1950 in South Portland according to “Maine Marriage Records, 1892-1965.”
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