William Morrell Emery.

The Howland heirs; being the story of a family and a fortune and the inheritance of a trust established for Mrs. Hetty H. R. Green online

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testator's real estate, livestock, farming tools, and house-
hold goods, his clock, chaise and harness, sleigh and "tack-
ling" being especially mentioned.

To his seven sons, after the death of their mother, all
his real estate (except certain privileges to the daughter
Desire and granddaughter Judith Hathaway in his house,
etc.), also all money on hand, notes, book debts, livestock,
and farming and carpenter's tools.

To heirs of deceased daughter, Judith Hathaway, name-
ly, Charles, Pardon, Lydia and Judith, two hundred dollars
to be paid by his six eldest sons.


To grandson Pardon Hathaway, one great silver spoon.

To granddaughter Judith Hathaway, one great silver
spoon and one cow.

To daughters Rebecca, Lydia, Sylvia and Sarah, eight
hundred dollars to be paid by the six eldest sons.

To daughter Desire, three hundred dollars to be paid by
the said six sons ; one good cow after her mother 's death ;
two feather beds; six silver teaspoons "marked for her
already;" testator's best side saddle and bridle; loom and
weaving gears of all kinds; after her mother's death the
clock, all great silver spoons not otherwise given away;
one-third of the household goods.

To daughter Desire and granddaughter Judith Hathaway,
during the time they should remain unmarried, the use
and improvement of "the new part of my dwelling house,
being an addition lately built, except the northeast room,
after the death of my said wife, they to live with her till
her death;" also various articles and supplies to be pro-
cured by the said six sons every year for the support of
Desire and Judith. "In fine it is my will and meaning
that my daughter Desire Howland should have sufficient
out of my estate together with what I have herein given
her, while she remains unmarried. And I order my said
sons to keep her with a horse to ride, and Judith also, as
may be reasonable."

To his five daughters, all his printed books except Sewel 's

To son Pardon, a good horse, sleigh and "tackling,"
after his mother's decease; also saddle and bridle.

To son John, a good cow after his mother's decease.

To son Gilbert, chaise and harness after his mother's

To sons Gilbert and Pardon, all of testator's wearing ap-
parel, except his watch and buckles.

To son Gideon, testator's silver shoe buckles, knee
buckles, and Sewel 's History.

To daughter Rebecca Russell and to her son Gideon
Russell, two great silver spoons.

To grandson Gideon Howland, son of Gilbert, silver
watch and gun, all shot moulds, and implements for gun-
ning, with the chest they were kept in.

To grandson Gideon Allen, one of the best silver spoons.

To testator's seven sons, after their mother's decease, all


of the rest and residue, real and personal, to be divided

The inventory of Mr. Rowland's estate showed a
total valuation of $8120.35, divided as follows:
Realty, $7153; personal property, $967.35. The
homestead farm was appraised at $5300; four-
sevenths of the Stephen Rowland farm lying next
west at $1503 ; and the remaining real estate com-
prised a lot of land "at a place called Kock-
dundo," one lot of cedar swamp at Smith Mills, and
one lot in the Deerfield swamp. Mr. Rowland and
some of his sons had bought the Stephen Rowland
farm (once owned by his brother Benjamin) from
their kinsman a few years previously, and in 1801
he purchased the farm of his father-in-law, Captain
Thomas Ricks, on Smiths Neck, but sold it subse-
quently to his son Gilbert Rowland. The personal
property included a note signed by Gideon Rowland,
Jr., for two hundred dollars ; one of one hundred
dollars, signed by Pardon Rowland, on which fifty
dollars had been paid ; nine large silver spoons, val-
ued at twenty dollars ; ten silver teaspoons, at four
dollars, and Sewel's History, at two dollars and fifty
cents. It is not surprising that Mr. Rowland set
especial store by this book when we learn that it was
"The history of the rise, increase and progress, of
the Christian people called Quakers; with several
remarkable occurrences, intermixed. Written or-
iginally in Low-Dutch, and also translated into
English, by William Sewel. ' ' The third edition, cor-
rected, was published in Burlington, New Jersey, in
1774, and there were editions also printed in London


in 1795, 1799, and 1800. It is not known what event-
ually become of all the silver spoons, but two of the
larger size are now in possession of a descendant,
Mrs. Mary W. Bennett, of Fall River, Mass. One is
lettered "S. H. to J. H.,' : and the other is thus
marked :




Miss Clara M. Perry of Syracuse, N. Y., is the
owner of another of these spoons, and is also in pos-
session of a fine old brass-handled bureau which
belonged to Gideon Howland.

Mrs. Howland survived her husband somewhat
more than a year, dying Sept. 16, 1824 at the age of
eighty-eight years and six months. By her will she
gave to her five surviving daughters and her grand-
daughter Judith Hathaway all of her wearing
apparel and other personal property, and such
household furniture as was hers to dispose of.

When the sons came to divide their father's real
estate, Captain Joseph Howland purchased his
brothers' shares in the Round Hills homestead farm,
which he sold to his brother Gideon in 1834. Gideon
also eventually acquired the Stephen Howland farm,
which in turn he subsequently bequeathed to his
brother Joseph, and after him to the latter 's children
three of whom were living in 1918. The Round Hills
farm was inherited by Sylvia Ann Howland, grand-
daughter of the senior Gideon, and on her death
descended to her niece, Mrs. Hetty H. R. Green,
being retained by her throughout her life as a matter


of family pride. The present owner is her son,
Colonel Edward H. R. Green. For a number of
years the descendants of Gideon Rowland were
accustomed to gather there for family reunions.

The ancient farm house has long remained un^r-
cupied. It stands at a considerable distance from
the shore, well placed on the upland by the first Ben-
jamin Rowland, with a pleasant southern exposure,
the large addition being to the east. A painting of
the house, by William A. Wall, was presented by
Mrs. Mary Jane Taber to the Old Dartmouth His-
torical Society a few years ago. Beached by a shady
road through the woods from the main highway on
Smiths Neck, the farm is situated amid most attrac-
tive surroundings, offering a delightful view of
Buzzards Bay and the Elizabeth Islands. Visiting
the spot in 1917, Colonel Green decided to develop
the property for a summer residence. He planned
to erect a breakwater and a wharf of sufficient
dimensions to accommodate his large ocean-going
yacht; to build some very comfortable cottages to
house his farmer and assistants; to crown the
Bounds Hill with a water-tower; and to remove a
scrub growth which covered the once well-tilled
acres in order to set out an extensive apple and
peach orchard and also afford opportunity to raise
his own vegetables. A large force of workmen was
at once engaged to put these plans into effect.
Colonel Green also purchased the Stephen Howland
property to be added to his estate, thus reuniting
two component parts of the original Bound Hills


The paternal ancestry of Sarah (Hicks) Rowland
has been traced back for several generations in
England from Kobert Hicks, the first of the line to
come to America. Descent is proved from John
Hicks of Tortworth, County Gloucester, who died
in 1492, and who was a lineal descendant of Sir Ellis
Hicks, knighted by Edward, the Black Prince, on the
field of Poitiers. John Hicks left two sons, Thomas,
and Eobert, who was the father of Sir Michael Hicks,
and of Baptist, Baron Hicks, Viscount Camperdeen.
The son Thomas Hicks of Tortworth, who died in
1565, by his wife Margaret Atwood, had two sons,
of whom Baptist Hicks of Tortworth, born about
1526, married Mary, daughter of James Everard,
Esq. His son, James Hicks, married Phoebe, daugh-
ter perhaps of Rev. Ephraim Allyn of Herts. They
had several children, among them Robert, who came
to America. This family is undoubtedly the same
as that from which Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, subse-
quently Viscount St. Aldwyn, the famous English
statesman, descended. The Hicks arms were : Gules,
a fesse, wavy, between three fleur-de-lis, or.

Robert Hicks, son of James and Phoebe, and fifth
in descent from John Hicks of Tortworth, was born
in England in 1580, and died in Plymouth, Mass.,
March 24, 1647, leaving a descent that now covers
many states and embraces among phases of religious
belief that exemplified by the Hicksite Quakers. He
was a fellmonger, or dealer in hides, in Bermondsey
Street, Southwark, Surrey, in 1616, as shown by a
deposition made by Clement Briggs at Plymouth.
Properly of the Pilgrim party, he came to Plymouth
colony in the ship Fortune in 1621, and two years













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later his wife Margaret and children joined him.
He became a freeman in 1633. Prosperity smiled
upon him and he acquired property, holding lands
in Scituate and Duxbury as well as Plymouth. So
great was his admiration for Dr. Charles Chauncy,
second president of Harvard College, that he gave
to the president's son, Elnathan Chauncy, fifty acres
of land at his birth, and this grant was subsequently
confirmed by Mr. Hicks ' widow. In 1639 he deeded
his homestead to his eldest son, Samuel. He made
his will in 1645, leaving among other bequests a
"cow calfe" to the town of Plymouth. He was
twice married, first to Elizabeth Morgan, and second
to Margaret Winslow, and there were six children.
Mr. Hicks figures as one of the characters in Jane G.
Austin's historical novel, "Standish of Standish".
Samuel Hicks, son of Robert and Margaret
(Winslow) Hicks, married Sept. 11, 1645, Lydia,
daughter of Deacon John Doane of Plymouth and
Eastham, Mass. Mr. Hicks lived successively at
Plymouth, Eastham, Barnstable and Dartmouth,
and in 1649 was a deputy from Nauset (Eastham).
His name was listed among the original purchasers
of Dartmouth in 1652, as owning one thirty-fourth
of the land, but his claim thereto was disputed by
his brother-in-law, George Watson, who at the May
term of Court in 1660, "requested the Court in
behalf of his son John Watson and nephew John
Bangs, that upon a mistake Samuel Hicks' name
was entered in the Court records as purchaser of
lands in Cushenah and Accoaksett, etc., whereas
Eobert Hicks should have been entered, that the
mistake be rectified." Arbitrators were appointed


to decide the matter, but the result has not been
preserved. Samuel Hicks, in any event, retained
possession of the Dartmouth lands, the deal for
which, it would seem, was begun prior to his father's
death in 1647. We find Samuel Hicks a constable
of Plymouth in 1654, and eventually he settled in
Dartmouth, where he passed the remainder of his
life. His home was at Newlands Neck, in the south-
eastern part of Fairhaven. He was a leader in the
affairs of the new settlement, twice serving as
selectman, and was also a receiver of the excise.
The Court records for 1666 show that Samuel Hicks
of "Acushena" had an unpleasant experience with
an Indian called Daniel, alias Tumpasscom, alias
Pumpanaho, who assaulted him, "soe as the said
Samuel Hicks languisheth and is in danger of death."
The Indian confessed striking Mr. Hicks with an axe
or helve, but claimed the white man struck him first.
Tumpasscom, after languishing in jail for several
months until his victim recovered, was ordered to
pay to Mr. Hicks a fine of four pounds and forty
shillings, with forty shillings additional for loss of
time. Mr. Hicks died about 1676. He had several

Thomas Hicks, son of Samuel and Lydia (Doane)
Hicks, was a carpenter, and removed from Dart-
mouth to Portsmouth, R. I., where he died in 1698,
aged probably about fifty years. He was a large
landholder. His wife was Mary Albro, daughter of
Major John and Dorothy Albro, who died in 1710.
Major Albro, who was born in 1617 and died in 1712,
came to America in 1634 in ship Francis from Ips-
wich, England. He was very active in the affairs of


Portsmouth, holding many offices, and in 1686 was a
member of the council of Sir Edmund Andros, gov-
ernor of New England. Thomas and Mary Hicks
had sons Thomas, Samuel and Ephraim and four

Thomas Hicks, son of the foregoing, was a promi-
nent citizen of Portsmouth. For eleven years he,
represented the town as a deputy to the General
Assembly. He married first, Sept. 22, 1704, Ann,
daughter of Weston and Mary (Easton) Clarke of
Newport and they had seven children. His second
wife was named Elizabeth, and the marriage was an
unfortunate one. At his death, which occurred Nov.
20, 1759, he left an estate valued at 2263 pounds, a
large fortune, indeed, for that period. Among the
provisions of his will was the following : 1 1 Whereas,
my wife Elizabeth hath eloped from me and carried
away considerable quantity of my goods I give her
nothing but what she can get by law. ' ' His eldest son,
Thomas, to whom he had previously given part of the
homestead, received a bequest of wearing apparel.
The legacies included three slaves, a negress, Betty,
and also a negro boy and girl, and to one of his
grandsons he left a large Bible and fifty pounds.

Captain Thomas Hicks, son of Thomas and Ann
(Clarke) Hicks, was born in Portsmouth, Dec. 12,
1705, and died in Dartmouth in 1791. He was a suc-
cessful master mariner and made many voyages. He
married Oct. 1, 1731, Mrs. Judith (Akin) Gatchell,
widow of John Gatchell, and daughter of Captain
John and Mary (Briggs) Akin, born in Dartmouth
Oct. 17, 1708, who survived him, dying in June, 1800,
in her ninety-second year. The will of Captain


Hicks appointed his unmarried daughter, Deborah,
as executrix, charging her with the care of his wife,
and named eight daughters and two sons. His
daughter Sarah married Gideon Howland and an-
other daughter, Ruth, married Gideon's cousin,
Abraham Howland.

Ann Clarke, mother of Captain Thomas Hicks, and
grandmother of Mrs. Gideon Howland, born about
1681, came of stock that played an unusually conspic-
uous part in the early history of Rhode Island. Her
father, Weston Clarke, was a freeman of Newport in
1670, and held many offices, being for one year a
deputy, for eight years attorney general, five years
general treasurer, and for twenty-two years general
recorder of the colony. In 1698 he was a member of
the commission to adjust the boundary dispute
between Rhode Island and Connecticut, and the fol-
lowing year was chosen as the colony's agent to go
to England to maintain the liberties granted in the
charter, but declined to serve. He married, first,
Mary Easton, and second, Mrs. Rebecca Easton,

Captain Jeremiah Clarke, father of Weston
Clarke, came from England, was admitted as an in-
habitant of the Island of Aquidneck in 1638, and
the following year signed the compact at Portsmouth
preparatory to the settlement of Newport, where in
1640 he had one hundred sixteen acres of land. He
was treasurer of the town and also of the four towns
of the colony, and in 1648 was president regent, act-
ing as governor under this title, pending Governor
William Coddington's clearance of certain accusa-
tions. Captain Clarke married in England, Frances,


daughter of Lewis Latham and widow of William
Dungan, who survived him. She was four times

Mary Easton, wife of Weston Clarke, was a grand-
daughter of Governor Nicholas Easton of Ehode
Island, whose family name is perpetuated in
Easton 's Beach at Newport. Mr. Easton, who was
born in 1593, came to America from Lymington,
Herts County, England, sailing in 1634 with his sons
Peter and John. After residing in Ipswich and
Newbury, Mass., and Hampton, N. H., he was in 1638
banished from Massachusetts as a follower of Anne
Hutchinson, " prophetess of doleful heresies,"
migrating to Portsmouth and subsequently to New-
port. It is recorded that in December, 1639, he was
fined five shillings for coming to public meeting with-
out his weapon. He owned about four hundred
acres of land. For five years he was assistant, for
three years president, then deputy governor, and for
three years, 1672-74, was governor of the colony.
He died in 1675.

His son Peter Easton (1622-1694), was likewise
prominent in colonial affairs, being for eight years
deputy from Newport, six years general treasurer,
and three years attorney general. He married Ann
Coggeshall, and their daughter Mary, born Sept. 25,
1648, died Nov. 16, 1690, married Dec. 25, 1668,
Weston Clarke.

Anne Coggeshall was a daughter of John and Mary
Coggeshall of Essex County, England. Her father,
a silk merchant, came to this country in 1632, and
lived at Boston and Newport. While in Boston he
was selectman and for four years deputy, but in 1637


was deprived of the latter office for affirming that
Eev. John Wheelwright was innocent of heresy
charges and that he was persecuted for the truth.
Being disfranchised he departed with the Wheel-
wright and Hutchinson party for Rhode Island,
where he became in 1647 the president of the colony.

Judith Akin, wife of Captain Thomas Hicks and
mother of Mrs. Gideon Howlancl, married, first, John
Gatchell of Dartmouth, and of this union there were
two daughters. She and Captain Hicks were the
parents of eight daughters and three sons. Her
father, Captain John Akin, was one of the most
active figures in the early days of Dartmouth. He
probably came from Rhode Island and lived first at
Nomquid Neck and later at what is now Padanaram.
It has been asserted that he was of Dutch ancestry,
while others claim him as Scotch. Of the best type
of the colonial yeoman he was for many years town
clerk and a selectman of Dartmouth, and also repre-
sentative to the General Court. Finally there came
a day when the town, imbued with the Quaker spirit,
refused to pay taxes for the support of an estab-
lished minister, and Captain Akin, with other lead-
ers, was thrown into prison. On an appeal to the
King the town's refusal was upheld, and the prison-
ers, after a year's incarceration, were released.
Captain Akin took part in the Indian fighting, being
an officer in Colonel Benjamin Church's company.
He died June 14, 1746, in his eighty-third year. His
wife was Mary Briggs, who was born Aug. 9, 1671,
and they reared a large family.

Mary Briggs was a granddaughter of John Briggs
of Portsmouth, who was born in 1609 and died in


1690. He was one of the signers, in 1638, of the
compact of the settlement of Aquidneck, and in
March, 1639, he was admitted as a freeman of the
town and took the oath of allegiance to King Charles.
For many years thereafter he played a prominent
part in the government of the town, serving as jury-
man, constable, town councilor, surveyor of lands,
special commissioner, and deputy to the General
Assembly. At his house the town meetings were
frequently held, and he was often the moderator of
the meetings. In 1662 John Dunham, one of the
original thirty-four purchasers of Dartmouth, con-
veyed for forty-two pounds his whole share to John
Briggs. In 1679 Mr. Briggs conveyed to his son
Thomas one-quarter of a share, the lands being
located at Apponegansett. Thomas Briggs, who was
born probably about 1650, was admitted as freeman
of Portsmouth in 1673. He was a member of Cap-
tain Pel eg Sanford's troop of horse in 1667 and
doubtless engaged in the Indian fighting. He mar-
ried Mary, daughter of Edward Fisher, and his
brother John, Jr., married Hannah, sister of Mary
Fisher. Both brothers removed about 1679 to Dart-
mouth, where Thomas Briggs died in 1720, leaving
an estate inventoried at slightly in excess of a
thousand pounds. In 1694 he was listed as one of
the fifty-six Proprietors of Dartmouth. It was his
daughter, Mary, who became the wife of Captain
John Akin.

Edward Fisher was an original settler of Ports-
mouth, where he had various allotments of land. He
served as constable, member of the town council and
deputy to the General Assembly. He died in 1677,


his wife Judith outliving him for some years. His
will appointed the senior John Briggs as "overseer"
of his estate, and made a bequest to his daughter,
Mary Fisher. A receipt for this legacy in 1682 was
signed by Mary Briggs and her husband Thomas.

We have thus seen, through our brief incursions
into the past, that from strains of sturdy ancestry
Gideon Howland and his wife Sarah both descended.
All who came before them bore their parts well in
the affairs of colonial life.

"The years have clothed the lines in moss that tell their
names and days,"

but the precious heritage transmitted by this worthy
couple to posterity still remains the heritage of fine
ideals, of stout hearts, of the "high faith that failed
not by the way," of all the attributes that give to
manhood its strength and to womanhood its charm,
after the old fashion that changeth not through all
the changing years.


On a brief December day in the year 1758 a man
well beyond three score, still vigorous and alert, sat
making his will in a Dartmouth farmhouse. His
wife had long since passed away, and it was his
simple task to dispose of his property among his
five adult children. To the eldest of his three sons
he bequeathed his homestead estate; to his two
daughters his household goods and the sum of thir-
teen pounds ten shillings each ; to his two elder sons
the cedar swamp, in equal shares; and these two
were also designated as residuary legatees. He
likewise took especial care that his desk and Bible
should pass to the first-born son. But when he came
to his youngest son and namesake, there were in-
dications of parental displeasure. While the father
did not stop, it is true, at the proverbial shilling,
yet he made the bequest only five shillings from an
estate, which although not munificent, was an ample

This stern and uncompromising Quaker father was
Isaac Howland, son of Benjamin Howland, and
uncle of Gideon Howland of Eound Hills, not far
from whom he lived. The reason for his glaringly
unequal apportionment of his property has not come
down to us. It was not given him to see the hand


of destiny working through the heir whom he cut
off. Much he would have marvelled to know that the
unforgiven son and the son's son were foreordained
to establish the beginnings of one of the most colos-
sal fortunes in America, and that a granddaughter
of his house, in generations yet to come, in the
world's greatest city of modern days, should be the
mistress of wealth untold, and accounted worthy to
cope with the master financiers of all time.

Isaac Rowland never altered his will in the re-
maining twenty years of his life. He died during
the Revolutionary War at the age of eighty-four.
An active and consistent Friend, a thrifty and frugal
farmer, he was honored by the townsmen on several
occasions with public office. In 1727 he was a select-
man of Dartmouth, in 1731 surveyor, in 1732 and '33,
constable, and in 1734 a juryman. He married Dec.

Online LibraryWilliam Morrell EmeryThe Howland heirs; being the story of a family and a fortune and the inheritance of a trust established for Mrs. Hetty H. R. Green → online text (page 3 of 38)