Francis Bacon Trowbridge.

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Mr. Jolm Burrington &c and said Robert Gray did receive from Mr Randall Manning a
Bill or obligacon of Mr .Joseph Trowbridge upon said JIanuing and also other bonds
&c and yC Said Orator at and by the direccon of said Robert Gray did in addition pay
certain other somes of money to dyuers persons &c &c and yor Said Orat" not now
having so many dealings with sd Robert &c. sd Robert lias put the sayd I5il]s in a
suite of lawe &c and harassing your sd orator," &e. Answer of Roljert Gray. [Chancery
Proceedings. Charles I. B & A,'t 1, 42.]

Thomas Trowbridge a few years later decided to go to America. He probably
did not intend to settle permanently in the new country, for when he sailed he
left his oldest son in England, probably in the care of his father in Taunton.
He and his wife and two youngest sons on landing in New England went to live
in Dorchester, near Boston, in Massachusetts. They may have arrived as early
as 1636, and their choice of Dorchester as a residence may have been made
through the advice of Thomas Jeffrey,! a friend of Mr. Trowbridge, who had been
living there since 1634.

Thomas Trowbridge and his wife are noted in the records of the town and
church as "Mr." and "Mrs.," a distinction confined at that time to persons of
established gentility. His wife was a member of the Dorchester church in 1638,
perhaps in 1637, and their youngest son, James, was baptized there in one of
those years. The age given for James at the time of his death indicates that he
was bom in 1636, and as he was baptized in Dorchester, the probability is that he
was not born in England.

* Mr. McClintock's article.

t Or Jeffries, which was the mode of spelling the name in Somersetshire at that time.


In the list of members of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of
Boston in 1638 appears the name "Thomas Strawbridge." It seems quite reason-
able to suppose that this was an incorrect entry for Thomas Trowbridge, as his
social position and business relations would have made membership in such an
organization attractive to him.

The land records of the town of Dorchester contain the following references
to Thomas Trowbridge. The parcels of land described seem of trifling value in
comparison with his known means and business interests, and these extracts are of
importance only in so far as they indicate the approximate time of his arrival
at and removal from Dorchester.

"The 2d of January 1637[-8]. It is ordered that the p'tyes vnderwrittPn shall haue
each of them satisfaction in lieu of the calues pasture from the Burying place towards
John Phillips — Mr. Trobrige 1 aker."*

"It is ordered that M^. Trobridge have 2 acres of Marsh in Mr- Ludlowes necke where
its out of p'priety."

"March IStli. [1037-8]. The Proportion which each man is to haue in the necke
[according to estate and number of persons] Mr. Trobridge. 7 akers, 1 quarter, 20 rodes."
"The proportion of Cowes Pasture and other lands this side the Riuer. 7 acres, 1 rood,
20 rods."

"February 13. ll)3S[-9]. It is ordered that M''^ Clarke shall haue libertie to take in
fower goads of land next his pale towards the meeting howse which is neere the barne
that was lately JI"'- Trobidgs."

"October 31, KJSO. It is ordered that M'- Joanes shall haue 1 aker of land nere his
owne in leiu of an aker which hee bought of M"'- Trobridge which was appoynted him
neere the burying place."

"Nathaniel Duncan Senior sould vnto Anthony Gulliver the IS'i^ of the 11th moneth
lf>44 about 4 akers and half of land on Capt" neck which was belonging to M'- James
Marshall of Exeter in old England and was late in the possession of Thomas Trowbridge."

Thomas Trowbridge and his wife must have found it a considerable hardship
to live in the newly settled town of Dorchester, accustomed as they were to the
comforts of a home in a city like Exeter. Their residence in the Massachusetts
village, however, was not of long duration.

Thomas Trowbridge probably removed liis household to the plantation of New
Haven in 1638, but his name is not found anrong those subscribed to the articles
of agreement at the organization of the church or body politic there in June,
1639. He may have been absent from New Haven at that time, or, as this
Fmidamental Agreement, as it was afterwards called, required that, "church
members only shall be free burgesses," he may not have been eligible to sign it,
for there is no evidence that he ever severed his connection with the Church of
England and became a member of the Puritan Church.

In the New Haven records his name again appears nearly always with the
prefix of respect, "Mr." In the list of proprietors of the plantation in 1G41 he
is credited with five heads in his family. These are supposed to have been him-
.self and wife and three sons, Thomas, William and James. His estate is given
as £500, a large sum for that place and time, and it was among the larger of the
123 estates mentioned in tlie schedule. His house lot was on the west side of what
is now lower State street, just south of George street, Mr. Henry Eutherford,t a
prominent shipping merchant, being his neighbor on the south.

On page 29 of the original rate book appears the following :

"Mr. Thorn : Trowbridge is Dr

for 5 persons & 500f Estate

for 37 acres* within 2 miles at 4 pence pr acre 00:12 :0(>

for 7 acres* in ye Neck at 4 pence pr acre 00 02 :0G

for 27* acres of Meddowe at 4 pence per acre 00 09 :02

for 110 acres in the 2'^i division at 2 pence pr acre 00 IS :04

2. 2. 6"

* This and the following extracts are from Dorchester Town Records, vol. 1. pp. 33. 35. 41.
45, 61.

t His daughter Sarah became the wife of Mr. Trowbridge's son Thomas.



"The schedule, though prepared before April, 1641, is found in the record book
amid the records of 1643. It is not easy to determine whether it was copied into
the record book in 1643, after some changes had been made corresponding with
changes of title, or was recorded when first prepared, the secretary reserving for
his report of the court's proceedings the tliirty pages which precede it. There is
so much probability that the schedule was recorded before the collection of the
rate due in April, 1641, tliat it will be designated as the schedule of 1641."*

The estate of Thomas Trowbridge appears in the schedule thus.f

Names of the


CO 0)

a ^





03 —
















The: Trobridge








Thomas Trowbridge appears to have spent but little time in this country,:):
but during his sojourn here he continued to be occupied with extensive trade
between England, the West Indies and the Colonies. No record was found
proving the exact date of his return to England, but it was prior to tlie fall of
1641. He probably was recalled to England on account of business or some
event of importance, and it may have been business in connection with tlie settle-
ment of the estate of his wife. The exact date of her death was not found,§ but
it is to be inferred that she did not long sui-vive her arrival in New Haven, for
it is not reasonable to suppose, from what is known of her character, that if she
had been living she could have returned to England with her husband and left
her three little sons in the care of strangers, and the records show that before
leaving New Haven Thomas Trowbridge placed his lands, houses, chattels and
estate in New Haven in trust with his servant or steward, Henry Gibbons,
for the benefit of his three sons, whom he also left in Gibbons' care. It does not
appear that he ever returned to America.

Gibbons gave so little attention to his master's affairs at New Haven and the
care of his sons, that as early as November, 1641, the colony court ordered an
attachment to be placed on Mr. Trowbridge's property "to pay the town's rates
and satisfy the demands of those persons to whom he is indebted." The court
placed the children under the care of Sergeant Thomas Jeffrey and his wife, who
were to keep tiem in their home until such time as "their father shall come over
or send to take order concerning tliem," when tlie court should determine "what
is equal for him to have for the keeping of them and in the meantime he will
take care that they be well educated and nurtured in the fear of God." jNlr.
John Evance took the house, which Gibbons had allowed to fall into need of
immediate repairs, at £100, and settled the claims of the creditors.

The references to Thomas Trowbridge in the New Haven records for the next
few years consist of accounts of the legal complications arising from his
steward's malfeasance. They are merely teclmical and are not of sufficient
interest or importance to demand reprinting here.]! That he did not return to
New Haven and personally take charge of his affairs there was probably because
matters of greater importance kept him in England.

• Atwater's "History of tbe Colony of New Haven." p. lOS.

t New Haven Colony Records, vol. 1. p. 4S.

t "Thomas Trowbridge, gent., late of New Haven," is mentioned in Aspinwall's Notarial
Records, Boston.

§ The record of deaths in New Haven does not extend as far back as that period.

|[ They were printed in "Records of the Colony and riautation of New Haven from 1G38 to
1649" by Charles .1. Hoadly.


It must be remembered that the Civil War in England began soon after
Thomas Trowbridge left America. Taunton was taken by the Parliament
forces in Aug-ust, 1642, and the principal gentiy of the neighborhood, the
trained bands, the mayor and principal inliabitants of the town, aided with
horse and foot the intention of securing this place for the Parliament. The
attempt to secure' and fortify Taunton in the interest of the Parliament soon
niet witli a temporary impediment and defeat, for in the next year the marquess
of Hertford drove out the Parliament forces and took possession of it in favor
of the king. But the fruits of this victory were not lasting, for on July 8,
16-14, soon after the battle of Marston Moor, Colonel Blake and Sir Robert Pye
again took Taunton for the Parliament. For some months things remained in a
quiet state at Taunton, but early in the spring of 1645 an army of ten thousand
of the king's forces under Lord Goring marched to the attack of the town and
began what is known as the siege of Taunton. The histoi-y of the siege, ending
with the final relief of the town, is well known.*

Thomas Trowbridge after the death of his father came into his inheritance,
being the only surviving son. He succeeded his father as the chief Trowbridge in
Taunton, just as the latter had succeeded his father, and that he was a man of
consequence there, is shown by the prominence given him in the pedigree of his
wife's family which has been previously quoted. He wrote often to the authori-
ties at New Haven to bring Gibbons to an account for his breach of trust, but
Gibbons kept possession of the Trowbridge estates in New Haven for many
years, and affairs remained thus until the sons came of age.

They had continued in the meantime to pass their boyhood under the care of
Sergeant Jeffrey, their father evidently being satisfied with that arrangement.
They had received a good education mider the instruction of Mr. Ezekiel
Cheever, the famous colonial sehoohnaster.f who taught the first school in New
Haven. In the colony records it is noted that at a court held February 8, 1643-4,
"Mr. Cheever desired 4—3-6 out of the estate of Mr. Trowbridge w'^h is justly
due to him for teaching y^ children." The course of instruction to be pursued
by the schoolmaster for his scholars at that time was '"after they are entered
and can read in the Testament; to perfect them in English; and teach them
their Latin tongiie as they are capable; and to write."

Soon after he came of age William Trowbridge endeavored to have an account-
ing made of his father's estate that was left in New Haven, and for this end
presented to the court two letters from his father, one dated March 6, 1655, and
the other March 4, 1658, wherein his father wrote that he "marvells that there
is not an account of it given." This attempt to recover from Gibbons was a
failure, but finally, on January 19, 1663-4, Mr. Trowbridge executed and sent to
his three sons a power of attorney, making over to them jointly and severally his
property in New England wherever found, to be retained and equally divided
between them, and bring the said Gibbons to account and punisliment.

"To all Christian people to whom this present wrltins shall come Greeting.

Know yf that I Thomas Trowbridge of Taunton in ye County of Somersett. Gent, doe
hereby make ordaine, ooustitute and depute and in my place and stead put my three sons
Thomas Ti'owbridge and William Trowbridge of Newhaven and James Trowbridge of
Dorchester in ye Bay in New England in y? ports of America beyond ye seas, to be my
true and lawfull attornies, jointly and severally for me and in my name to aske, sue for.
levy, recjuire recover and receive all and singular my estate, houses, lotts. goods, cattle
and chattels whatsoever, which I left in trust in New England aforesaid with Henry
Gibbence, sometimes my servant, or doe otherwise belouge unto me and upon detaining
thereof or of any particular parcell thereof, to arrest, attach, call to an account, sue,
implead and imprison ye said Henry Gibbence and all and every other person and persons
whatsoever, in whose hands, custody, or posse.ssion, my said estate, houses, lotts. goods,

* Historical facts are copied from Savage's "History of Taunton."
t He continued in charge of the school there until 1650.


cartel and chattels whatsoever is are or have or hath beene in any way or course of law
or equity. And y^ same suit or suits to prosecute and issue to judgment, sentence and final
execution, until recovery shall be had of my said estate, houses, lotts, goods, cattle and
chattels whatsoever with all costs and damages to be had for detaining the same. And
upon receipt thereof or of so much thereof as my said atturneys or any or eyther of them
shall agree for and accept by way of comi)(«ition. the said person or persons soe by my
said atturneyes or any or eyther of them sued and imprisoned, out of prison to
and discharge and also to make seale ami deliver acquittances or other sufficient
discharges to and for the same or any part thereof, and I do hereby give and grant unto
my said attornies jointly and severally, my full and whole power and authority in and
about the premises and by the aforesaid or any other lawful waies and means whatever to
get in and recover my said estate, houses Iott.s, goods, cattle and chatties whatsoever in
as full and ample manner in every respect, to all intents considerations and purposes as'
I myself might or could doe in the same if I were there personally present, ratifying,
allowing and confirming whatsoever my said atturnies or any or either of them shalllaw-
fully doe or cause to be done in ye premises by virtue of these presents, and I do alsoe
hereby order and appoint that all and whatsoever of ray said estate, houses lott, goods,
cattle or chattels whatsoever shall be recovered and received by my said attornies or any
or either of them shall be had kept and enjoyed by my three sons Thomas ^Yillianl and
James equally divided between them to their own use and behoof without any account to
be rendered unto me for yc same. In witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and
seale, the nineteenth day of January in ye fourteenth .year of ye reigue of King Charles
the second et Anno gr. deus 1663.

Thom. Trowbridge (Seai-e)
Sealed and delivered in ye
presence of Henry Chase Notary Publick, Robert Chase, John Chambers.

The above written is a true record of the originell composed therewith and recorded yo
26tii day of February, 1683.

By John Nash Recorder."
[New Haven Land Records, vol. 1, p. 202.]

The sons sued Gibbons for possession, but as matters were found, a settle-
ment could not easily be effected before Mr. Trowbridge's death, which occurred
in Taunton, February 7, 1672-3. The suit was finally settled in 1680 by Gibbons,
"for sundry good causes best kno\vn to myself," who made a deed of the
property to Thomas Trowbridge, the younger, to take effect after the death of
Gibbons. This deed included his house and lot, and sundry other property,
including "the bed and bolster I lie on."

"To all people to whom this present writing shall come greeting

I Henry Gibbons of Newhaven in Xew England husbandman send greeting. Know ye
that I the said Henry Gibbons for and in consideration of sundry good caiLses and
reasons (best known to myself) have given, granted, conveyed made over. And by these
presents doo give, grant convey & make over unto Thomas Trowbridge of Newhaven
merchant, in New England aforesaid merchant as follows viz : Imprimis my houses home-
lott & yard, scituate lying & being in the towne of Newhaven aforesaid, bounded on ye
South with the house & homelott now belonging unto Nathan Andrewes. on the AS'est
by ye homelotts now belonging unto John Winston & W™ Johnson, on the North with a
homelott belonging unto Allen Ball and on the East with the streete or highway. Alsoe
foure acres of meadow lyeing by the old ferry & three acres & a half of upland lying in
the suburbs quarter alsoe in ye towne of Newhaven aforesaid as also the I)ed & bolster
I lye on. To have & to hold after my decease all & singular, the houses land meadow
and bed as aforesaid to the aforesaid Thomas Trowbridge his heirs, executors, adminis-
trators or assignes for ever to his & their proper use and behoof, thereof & therewith
to doe & dispose at his will and pleasure. In witnesse whereoff I have hereunto sett my
hand and seal, dated at Newhaven this fifth day of February in the yeare of our Lord, one

thousand six hundred & eightye. Henry | = | Gibbons.

Signed sealed & delivered in presence of us (
John Nash. William X Gibbons < Henry Gibbons appeared in Newhaven this

his mark (

5th of February 1680 & acknowledged the above written deed to be his voluntary act
according to Law. Jn" Nash Assistant." [New Haven Land Records, vol. 1, p. 162.]

Gibbons died in 1G86, and as his brother, William Gibbon."?, refused to take out
letters of administration, Thomas Trowbridge was appointed administrator; and
as the said Henry Gibbons had no children the matter was concluded.


The family register of Thomas Trowbridge to conform to the plan adopted for
this genealogy is printed as follows :

1. Thomas TBOWBRrocE,* bom , [159-?], in Taunton, Somersetshire,?

England; buried February 7, 1672-3, in Taunton ;t mai-ried March 26, 1627, in
Exeter, Devonshire, Eng-land,J Elizabeth Marshall, daughter of John and Alice

(Be^^^s) Marshall, baptized March 24, 1602-3, in Exeter ;:t died ,

16 [41?], in New Haven, Conn.?


i. Elizabeth, bapt. Mar. 6, 1627-8, in Exeter, England;! buried May 10, 1030,

in Exeter. §
ii. John, bapt. Nov. 5, 1629, in Exeter ;§ buried Feb. 16, 1653-4 in Taunton,
England ; unmt ||
2. iii. Thomas, bapt. Dec. 11, 1631, in Bxeter.§
100. iv. William, bapt. Sept. 3, 1633, in Exeter. §
1000. V. James, b. , 1636.**

* His parentage and immediate ancestry has been printed in the Introduction.
t Parish Register of St. Mary Magdalen, Taunton. England.
i Parish Register of St. Mary .\rohi>s, Exeter, England.
§ Parish. Register of St. Petrock's, Exeter. *
II His will is printed on page 35.
*• Place of birth not proved, but it is supposed that it was Dorchester, Mass.. where he was
baptized, probably the following year.


In the crypt below are monuments of many of the earlier generations of Trowbrklges.


Of New Haven, Coijn.,

2. Thomas TROWBRmcE (^), baptized December 11, 1631, in Exeter,
Devonshire, England; died August 22, 1T02. in New Haven, Conn.;* married^
first, June 24, 1657, in New Haven, Sarah Eutherford, daughter of Henry and
Sarah ( ) Kutherford, born July 31, 1641, in New Haven; died Jan-
uary 5, 1687, in New Haven.f He married, second, April 2, 1689, in New Haven,
Hannah (Nash) Ball, widow of Eliphalet Ball of New Haven and daughter of
Major John and Elizabeth (Tapp) Nash, born July 24, 1655, in New Haven;
died February 3, 1707-8, in New Haven.

Thomas Trowbridge^: came in childhood with his parents from England to
Dorchester, near Boston, in the colony of Massachusetts Bay, and then to the
plantation of New Haven in New Haven colony. He received his early edu-
cation from Ezekiel Cheever,§ the famous colonial schoolmaster, and probably
was under his tuition throughout his school days. When his father was called
back to England, 'J'homas and his brothers were left in charge of Henry Gibbons.
a former servant,|| who was so unfaithful to his trust that the property left by
their father for their maintenance was greatly impaired, and in April, 1644, the
remainder of the property and the cliildren were placed liy the town authorities
under the care of Sergt. Thomas Jeifrey** and his wife, friends of their father,
"to be well educated and nurtured in the fear of God." Under their care Thomas
Trowbridge passed his boyhood. He later succeeded in obtaining some recovery
of his inheritance from Gibbons.ft

On April 4, 1654, not long after his coming of age, the "oath of fidelity"
was administered to Thomas Trowbridge. About three years later he married the
daughter of a leading merchant in the colony, and settled down to a life of
business activity and social and political prominence in New Haven. His home"
stead was on the north side of the present Water street, between Meadow and
State streets.:j::|: Across the highway was the sandy beach of the harbor and

• By monument in the Center Church crypt.

t By gravestone In the crypt.

t In New Haven Colony, Proprietors, Town. Church and Land Records will be found the
authorities for statements in this sketch that have no specific footnote.

§ "At a Court heid at New Haven the 8th of February. 164."!. Mr. Cheever desires 4-3-6 out
of the estate of Mr. Trowbridge which Is Justly due to liim for teaching ye children.*'

II This fact is noted in New Haven Colony Records in 1648.
•* He came from Somersetshire. England. He died in lOtll in good esteem, and Thomas
Trowbridge as executor under his will administered his estate.
tt See account of same in his father's sketch.

tt "Thomas Trowbridge of New haven standing & having stood quietly possessed of a cer-
tain homelott with a dwelling house & other buildings upon it. for divers many years last
past without any interruption demand, challenge, claime or prosecution doth now record
them to himself his heyeres & assigncs for ever (viz ;) a homelott containing in quantity one
acre & sixty rods be it more or less, part of it being upland & part of it marrlsb ground,
with all ye buildings both dwelling house & out houses, being & standing thereupon, lyelng
& being situate in ye town of New haven & by ye water or sea side bounded southward by ye
street next yc sea, westward with ye homelott that was William Holt's, now in ye possession
of .John Holt, eastward with ye homelott that at first belonged to Francis Browne, now In ye
possession of .Tno Tod & northward with land that did belong to ye aforesaid William Holt


there was an unbroken view across to the east shore of the bay. His means
pemiitted him to buy a home-lot and build a home for each of his sops in the
neighborhood of his own home.

Thomas Trowbridge's immediate ancestors, on botli sides, were prominently
engaged in domestic and foreign trade, as was also his father-in-law. It was
natural, therefore, that he should turn to a mercantile life and he early entered
upon a business career. He was an enterprising man, and became a successful
nierchant and shop owner, trading with England, the West Indies and the Colo-
nies. By 1662 he had become a prominent merchant, and on June 16 of that year
"Mr. Eutherford, Mr. Hodshon and Mr. Thomas Trowbridge did freely engage
to leave and not expo'rt, each of them, twenty bushels, at least, of wheat and
Indian corn that shall here remain for the supply of such as are in needs,

Online LibraryFrancis Bacon TrowbridgeThe Trowbridge genealogy. History of the Trowbridge family in America (Volume 3) → online text (page 6 of 115)