Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
The records of the Stow family are very extensive. They contain not only the history of the parent family for many centuries in England, but also that of its numerous descendants in America. Like many of those other purely English families, it includes the names and deeds of those who have been prominent in the civil and political history of the two countries, and of those other families, equally distinguished, with which it is connected by marriage. From these records, so far as they may relate to that branch from which the late Mrs. Jane Stanley (Stow) WARREN was descended, the following is condensed:
Stowe or Stow, for the name is spelled in both ways, is a very ancient name in England. It is found particularly in Middlesex and Lincolnshire. Some of the facts which have been collected in regard to the family, previous to the settlement of this country, are herewith given.
In 1285 King Richard II presented John de Stowe, of London, to the living of Rotherfield. In 1297 Henry Stowe, draper of London, bought of Sir John Abel a lot of land on the Thames, in All Hallows ad Forenum, where goods were landed. Two centuries after this Thomas Stowe, tallow chandler, dwelt in St. Michael's parish, Cornhill, London. He died in 1526, and his will, which is recorded in the register of the bishop of London, is as follows:
"In the name of God, Amen. In the year of our Lord, 1526, the last of September, I Thomas Stowe, Citizen and tallow-chandler of London, in good and hole mynd, thanks to our Lord Jesu, make this my present testament.
"First, I bequeath my soul to Jesu Christ, and to our blessed lady, Seynt Mary, the virgin, etc. My body is to be buried in the little grene churchyard of Seynt Mychel, Cornhill, between the crosse and the churchwall, nigh the wall as may be, by my father and mother, and sisters and brothers, also my children.
"Also, I bequayth to the hygh altar of the foresays chuch for my tythes forgotten, 12d. Item, to Jesu's Brotherhedde, 12d. I give to Christopher and St George, 12d. Also to the seven sltars in the church aforesaid in worship of the seven sacraments, every year, during three years, 20d.
"Item 5 shillings to have on every altar a washyng candel burning from 6 of the clock till it be past 7 in the worship of the seven sacraments. And this candel shall begin to burn, and to be set upon the altar from All-halloween day until it be Candelmassday following; and it shall be washing candel, of 7 in the lb.
"Also I give to the brotherhedde of clerks to drink, 20d. Also I give to them that bayre me to church, every man, 4d. Also I give to a pore man or woman every Sunday in each year, 1d, to say five paternosters and aves and a credo for my soul. Also I give for the separation of pales, 8d.
"Also I will have six new torches, and eleven torches of St. Mychel and St. Anne, and eleven of St. Christopher and eleven of Jesu of the best toryches.
"Also I bequaith to Thomas Stowe, my son, 20lbs. in stuff of household, as here followith, that is to say, my great melting panne with all the instruments that longesth thereto.
"Also I bequaith to my sonne Thomas, 6lb, 13s, 5d, as hereafter followeth. Item, a nest of silver and gilt, 55s. Item, a pounced piece weighing 6 ozs, and more 40s. Item, a mass of a pynt, 26s. 8d. Item a lyttle maser, 13s. 4d.
"Item. Of this my present Testament I make Elizabeth, my wife, executrix, and Thomas Stowe, my son, my overseer, and Mr. Tyndal as a solicitor with my son Thomas, and he to have for his labor, 10s."
Thomas Jr., being thus enriched with his father's "great melting panne and all the instruments belonging thereto," purchased his tallow-chandler's trade with such success that, besides his city house in Cornhill, for his pleasure and diversion he rented a garden and cottage in the country, situated on the bankside of Throckmorton street in Broad street near to the place where Draper's hill now stands. This garden, which was five and forty feet in length, he rented of Sir Thomas Cromwell, King Henry VIII's great minister and secretary of state, for the yearly sum of six shillings and eight pence. This Stowe died in 1599, and was buried in St. Michael's, Cornhill. His widow, Margaret, however, left a will, bearing date June 29, 1568, which affords many graphic illustrations of the times. She bequeathed her body to be buried by her husband in the cloister, and 30s. to bury her decently, and 10s. for her children and friends to drink withal after her funeral. To the poor 5s. worth of bread, to the company of tallow-chandlers 6s. and to follow her corpse to the church.
A compariosn of her will with that of her father-in-law, above recited, shows the progress which the ideas of the Reformation had already begun to make among the common people. She writes, "I bequeath my soul to Almighty God, my maker and Creator, and to his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, my only Saviour and Redemer, with the Holy Ghost and into the fellowship of the Holy Host of Heaven." She makes no provision for altar candles, aves and paters. Her father-in-law had left five shillings for altar candles and one penny a year for some poor person to say aves and paters for his soul; but she leaves ten shillings for her friends and children to havg a drink withal, after her funeral, and five shillings to buy bread for the poor without either aves and paters in return.
John Stowe, the famous chronicler of the kings of England, and surveyor of the city of London, a painstaking and voluminous writer, was the oldest son of Thomas and Margaret. He belonged to the honorable company of merchant tailors, a company which has now the most splendid and well conducted school in the Old City of London. He endeavored to make his living as a draper and tailor, but by his enthusiastic devotion to the study of antiquities, he exposed himself to many suspicions and persecutions, was all his life plagued with poverty, and after a long life spent in hard labor died in the depths of poverty, leaving little behind him except piles of Mss., to which posterity has paid all desirable honor.
His first trouble was, that in the reign of that capricious tyrant, Henry VIII, he was accused by a priest of disaffection to the government, and inclination to Lutheranism, and brought to trial. He defended himself so well, however, that he was not only acquitted, but his accuser was condemned to stand in the pillory, and to have the letters "F.A." (false accuser) branded into his cheek with a hot iron.
Stowe neglected his trade and studied with great assiduity the antiquities of England. He went on foot from cathedral to cathedral throughout the kingdom and especially in London, in which pursuit he was greatly animated by the praises of Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester, and Dr. Parker, archbishop of Canterbury, who gave him good words and flattering commendations, but very little of material aid. Living much in his solitary chamber and collecting great quantities of curious old publications and Mss., his neighbors, not knowing how else to account for his conduct, thought he must be secretly in favor of popery, and a worshipper of popish books. Accordingly he was denounced to Queen Elizabeth's council as a suspected person, and Grindal, bishop of London, sent three commissioners to arrest Stowe, the tailor, and search the premises. He had been in danger of dying for suspicion of Lutheranism in King Henry's time, and was now being persecuted for poperty in the reign of Elizabeth. To Stowe's great vexation the three commissioners entered his house without ceremony, tumbled over his precious collection of parchments and Mss., dearer to him than his heart's blood, ransacked his closets, eviscerated his bundle of papers, and reported to the bishop, "That they found books in defense of the Papistry which showed him to be a great favorer of that religion." [trans. note: beware when church & state co-mingle!]
His friends, the earl of Leicester and Archbishop Parker, did him good service and interposed for his acquittal. A discarded servant, however, again accused him before the archbishop, and drew up charges in one hundred and forty articles; but the learned prelate still stood by him, and he was again declared innocent.
After publishing several large books he became so poor and needy that he peititioned the lord mayor and aldermen of London for help. He tells them that he is of the age of three score and four; that he has for the space of about thirty years last past, beside his Chronicle dedicated to the earl of Leicester, set forth divers works to the honor of the city of London. He therefore petitioned them to bestow upon him some yearly pension, whereby he might reap somewhat toward his great charges. This seems not to have been very liberally responded to, for he was soon found at his talor's board again, and that too in circumstances which exposed him to great annoyance from his illiterate neighbors. They were somewhat envious; they disliked it that one of their own rank in life should have the presumption to write and publish folios, and number among his friends earls and archbishops, especially one who had no more sense than to spend all his earnings in buying old books and now in his old age have nothing to live upon. So many were the insults and abuses that came upon his harmless old head, that he was fain to petition the magistrates for protection. This was in the reign of Elizabeth, and probably no attention was given to it. Once long before the poverty of Stowe was anticipated, or the despicable meanness and shameful hertlessness of King James was established beyond dispute by his own sign manual, Ben Johnson told his friend Drummond, of Hawthornden, that he and Stowe when walking together met two lame beggars, and Stowe, as if with some half presentiment of how he was to end his days, gaily asked them, "what they would have to take him to their order." Speaking of his great literary labor, Stowe says, "It hath cost me many a weary mile's travel, many a hard-earned penny and pound, and many a cold winter's night's study." In writing to the Rev. Dr. Warren the late Professor C. E. Stowe, of Andover Theological Seminary, said, "I have visited London three times and have always made a pilgrimage to the old church of St. Andrews at Landaff, where John Stowe is buried. His monument is preserved with the greatest care, and my wife and all my friends who have seen it say that there is a strong family resemblance to me and mine. The old lady who takes care of this church calls him her "quiet old gentleman," and always puts a fresh bouquet of flowers in his hand every Christmas. On his monument his name is spelled "Stowe." It occurs several times as the name of a place (the word in Saxon means Place), and there I think it is always spelled Stowe. This I believe was the old Saxon orthography, "Waltham Stowe, Stowe in the Wold," etc.
(I) The first member of the Stowe family in America, of which there are records, was John Stowe, who brought over his wife, Elizabeth (Bigg) Stowe, and their six children in the ship "Elizabeth" in 1634. He came from Hawkhurst, Kent, "a parish partly in the hundred of Henhurst, rape of Hastings, Co. of Sussex, but chiefly in the eastern division of the hundred of Barnfield, lathe of Scray, Co. of Kent, five miles S.S.W. from Cranbrooke." He came over in one of the Winthrop companies, settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and took the freeman's oath Sept. 3, 1634. He was a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, which was instituted in 1638, and was a representative of Roxbury, 1639. In the same year he owned two hundred and twenty-five acres of land, and had twenty-one persons in hs family, and also owned "twenty goats and eight kids." In the History of Roxbury he is called, "an old Kentish man."
Thomas, Elizabeth, John, Nathaniel, Samuel and Thankful.
John Pierpont, who married Thankful, youngest daughter of John Stowe, had a son James, called in an old agreement, "a student of ye liberall artes," who was a preacher and settled in New Haven, Connecticut.
Rev. James Pierpont's daughter, Sarah, married Jonathan Edwards. His eldest daughter, Esther, married Aaron Burr, president of New Jersey College, and father of Aaron Burr, vice-president of the United States. His daughter, May, married Timothy Dwight, and was mother of Timothy Dwight, late president of Yale University.
(2) Thomas, of Middleton, son of John Stow, was born in England, and died in 1664. He married Mary Griggs, of Roxbury, who died in 1680.
Samuel, Thomas, Nathaniel, John, Mary, Elizabeth and Thankful.
Thomas Stow removed to Concord, Mass. in 1639, in the first company who settled there. He then owned two houses in Roxbury, which he sold to John Pierpont in 1648 for 110lbs. When a meeting of the military company attemped to settle disputes about divisions of lands, Thomas Stow was dissatisfied and moved to Connecticut. His estate was valued at 42lb, 5s, 6d. He was schoolmaster before 1650, and gave three acres of land for a schoolhouse. Thomas and his brother Samuel Stow owned jointly six hundred acres of land between Fairhaven and the Sudbury line.
(3) Thomas, son of Thomas Stow, of Middleton [trans note: Middletown?], was born in 1651, married Bethia Stocking in 1675, who died in 1732, aged seventy-five. He died in 1729-30, aged seventy-nine.
Bethia, Samuel, Bethia, Mary, Thomas, Hannah and Joseph.
(4) Joseph, of Middletown, Connecticut, son of Thomas Stow, was born Aug., 1703, married Sarah Buckley March 14, 1734-35. He died Nov. 1, 1776, in the seventy-fourth year of his age.
Rebeckah, Sarah, Joseph, Dorothy, Joseph and Zebulon.
His will was probated April 14, 1777, in which he gives his wife, Sarah, the improvement of one-half of the whole estate while remaining his widow; to his son Joseph his dwelling house and two and one-half acres at Furneck; to his son, Zebulon one acre where his new house stands; also legacies to his daughters, Sarah Savage and Dorothy Frary, and to his granddaughter, Lydia Russell, one red cloak and after his wife's decease all the estate that belonged to Catherine Russell. He appointed his sons, Joseph and Zebulon, executors.
(5) Zebulon, son of Joseph Stow, was a sea-captain, who did a large business, and traded in vessels, etc. He lived in Cromwell, Conn., in a house standing on the corner where in 1855 the Baptist church was located.
He married (first) Rosetta Riley, April, 1773, who died Jan. 7, 1792; (second) Hannah Warner, Oct. 24, 1792, who died June 10, 1831. His will was probated April 24, 1809, and the inventory was $8,371.42.
Zebulon, William, Thomas, Edward, Rosetta and Russell.
(6) Thomas, son of Zebulon Stow, of Cromwell (now Middletown) Connecticut, born May 12, 1777, died Aug. 14, 1845. He married Phoebe Stanley, Sept. 18, 1800, who died Sept. 27, 1857.
Caroline Rosetta, Thomas, Jane Stanley, and Anna North.
Thomas Stow, on his marriage, built a house in Cromwell, which he occupied until his father's death, when he removed to the house of the latter, where his children were born and where he died. He first learned the trade of a printer, but never pursued it. He was a merchant in Cromwell, of the firm of Dewey & Stow, Dewey being his wife's brother. His health failing him, he went to sea as a supercargo for his father, and afterward pursued a seafaring life as a captain. He made many voyages to the West Indies, England, Ireland, France, Spain, etc., suffered several shipwrecks, and once nearly starved to death in a calm. He was for several years the captain of the steamer "Oliver Ellsworth," on the Connecticut river, and was captain of a tugboar on the Hudson. He was also captain of a vessel employed by the government for the removal of the Seminole Indians from Florida. His last sea voyabe was to Malaga, Spain in 1839, after which he retired from active life and resided at home in Cromwell.
Captain Stow united wih the church in Cromwell Aug. 5, 1827, when about fifty years old, and in the latter part of his life was a devoted Christian. He was a man of rather more than medium stature, quiet of temper and movement, exceedingly kind and tender in his feelings, devotedly attached to his family, an esteemed citizen and a good man. He had not been fortunate in his business pursuits, and therefore left but a small property consisting only of his homstead and furniture, which he left by will to his widow, to be divided at her death equally between his daughters, Jane and Anna.
(7) Jane Stanley Stow, second daugher of Thomas Stow, was born in Cromwell, Conn., Dec. 13, 1811; married Rev. Dr. Israel Perkins WARREN, Aug. 25, 1841; died in Portland, Maine, Feb. 26, 1881, aged sixty-nine years.
The following record of Mrs. Warren is taken from "The Stanley Families," and prepared by her husband, Rev. Dr. Warren:
"Mrs. Jane Stanley Warren inherited in an eminent degree the sterling qualities of her New England ancestry. She became interested in religion at about the age of fifteen, and united with the Congregational church in her native village in June, 1827. Her piety was characterized by active benevolence. Her care was to do good, live for others, her family, her friends, her associates in the church and all who needed sympathy and help. In the various fields opened to her as a pastor's wife, in efforts for the poor and sick, in missionary circles and institutions of all sorts, she was ever most active. She was one of the founders, and for many years the corresponding secretary of the Union Maternal Association of Boston. During the civil war she was one of the foremost in that circle of ladies in the Mount Vernon church, Boston, so distinguished for their efforts in behalf of our soldiers in the field an in hospitals. In anti-slavery and temperance work her heart was never weary. The cause of missions was especially dear to her. Her mind was well stored with general literature, especially in the line of her husband's profession. Before her marriage she went through a systematic course of theological reading, transcribing, in her beautiful handwriting, two large quarto volumes of nearly twelve hundred pages, the entire lectures of the theological department of Yale College. During her husband's connection with the Tract Society she rendered him much valuable assistance with her pen, chiefly in the department of juvenile publications. One of her books, the history of the missionary vessel, the "Morning Star," passed through many editions.
She had all her life been subject to much bodily suffering. When a child she received a kick from a vicious horse, from which she lay many weeks near to death, and the mark of which upon her face she bore through all her life. Nervous pain and disease lavished upon her their multiplied woes. Her last and fatal illness resulted from senile gangrene, and was attended with severe and protracted suffering, but her Christian fortitude and patience never failed her. The last conscious hours were more than peaceful; they were full of hope of joy."