William Fowler, Jr. (1622 - c.1683) MP

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Nicknames: "Captain Fowler"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Dalbury, Derbyshire, England
Death: Died in Milford, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Managed by: Geoffrey Trowbridge
Last Updated:

About William Fowler, Jr.

Mr. William Fowler had a son William, who appears at New Haven in 1644, where he took the oath of fidelity at that time, and was admitted to the General Court, March 16, 1645. He appears to have remained there, where he spent much of his early life, and where he was a large land-holder, but eventually returned to Milford and inherited his father's possessions, and died there in 1682. His will was probated in New Haven, June 13, 1683.

At East Haven, "Fowler's Cove" and "Fowler's Creek," now so called, derived their names from him. About two miles from New Haven, now the village of Whitneyville, and on the site of the establishment for the manufacture of firearms erected by Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin, William Fowler, Jr., built a mill in 1645, which the town of New Haven bought of him, January 3, 1659, f°r £100. We shall say more of him hereafter.

William Fowler, Jr., first married, in 1645, Mary, daughter of Edward and Anna Tapp, sister of Jane Tapp (wife of Governor Robert Treat), by whom were born to him all his children. He married, second time, November 1, 1670, at Milford, Elizabeth, widow of Richard Baldwin. Her maiden name was Alsop. She was living at the date of his death, and, as we learn from his will, was "a tender, dutiful and loving wife," and he desired that "she might continue to live with his children, to be a guide and help to them as a mother and head of a family." The last codicil of his will is dated December 3, 1682, and his will was probated in New Haven, June 18, 1683. She died in 1688.

From the colonial records of Connecticut we gather he was appointed by the General Court "lieutenant" of militia in 1666, and "captain" in 1673, and he was a member of the House of Deputies from 1673 to 1680 inclusive, from Milford, serving on various important committees, and on a secret committee or council of war in reference to hostilities with the Dutch upon the eastern end of Long Island and the main land.

William Fowler's children were:

I. Sarah (3), birth not recorded. Married John Smith (ye Smith) July 19, 1665.

II. Hannah (3), birth not recorded. Married Daniel Buckingham, an elder in the church at Milford. Ch1lren: Hannah, born Oct. 11, 1663; Daniel, born February 28, 1665. He was associate executor of his fatherin-law's will, and died May 2, 1711.

III. John (3), baptized in New Haven, March 5, 1649. * He married Sarah, daughter of Thomas Welch, and died in 1693.

IV. Jonathan (3), baptized at New Haven, February 8, 1650, where he lived in 1681, but was at Norwich in 1683 and '84, and afterwards at Windham, where he died in 1696.

V. Mark (3), baptized at New Haven, January 17, 1655, and died there in 1688.

VI. Deborah (3), baptized at New Haven, June 1, 1658. Married Jesse Lambert of England, May 10, 1688.

VII. Abigail, (3), born at Milford, November 27, 1660 Married John Elderkin, of Norwich, in 1685, and died in March, 1713.

VIII. William, (3), born at Milford in 1664. Married Anna Beard, of Milford, where he lived and died February 23, 1728. His wife died June 25, 1740.

IX. Mary, (3), birth not recorded. Died, unmarried, in 1685, at Milford.

X. Mercy, (3), born April 1, 1669. Married John Bills, and settled in New London, and subsequently removed to Lebanon, Conn.

John Fowler, (3), third child of William, Jr., who married Sarah Welch, lived and died in Milford. He received by deed from his father one-half the mill and his brother, William, the other half, and "the house at the east end of the mill, built for a conveniency of tending the mill, is to descend equally to those two brothers; yet so that it shall be to the longest liver of those, he that doth outlive paying to his brother or his assigns the value of his half." Those two brothers received the bulk ot their father's possessions in Milford, the other children having been otherwise provided for.

This John died early, at about 42 years old. His will is probated May 15, 1693, in which he mentions " his only son John, whom he gives two-thirds of all his estate, both real and personal, and the other third to his loving wife, Sarah Fowler, requesting her to " take care of him and educate him in the fear of God and provide for him what will be necessary while he is under age; to improve what may be improvable for her advantage till her son shall arrive at the age of 21, and then hold her own part as abovesaid in houses, lands, mills, goods and chattels." "And I do entreat my Honorable Uncle, Robert Treat, Esq., the Governor, and my brother, Elder Daniel Buckingham, to be helpful to my dear wife when they may." The boy was then less than three years old. We shall see what a mother did. 14 Captain John Fowler, (4), or "Esquire Fowler," as he was commonly called, son of John and Sarah (Welch) Fowler, was baptized April 5, 1691, and from what will be seen of his weight ot character, his mother faithfully discharged the duty enjoined upon her in her husband's will, for he became a man of prominence and sterling qualities and merit, filling various offices of trust and acquiring large landed property. The Town Records and Connecticut Colonial Records show that he began public life at an early age and continued engaged in it up to his death. He was chosen Town Clerk in 1718 at 27 years of age, and filled that station without interruption till his death, August 30, 1756, 38 years.

In 1726 he was elected to the General Assembly, also in 1729, 1734, and 1735, and from 1737 to 1756 inclusive, and Clerk of the House, with but two exceptions during the same period, literally dying in the harness. This assembly held two sessions each year at Hartford, May and October, occupying the greater part of those months. In 1739he wasappointed by the said assembly captain of the first company "Milford Train Band," and in 1744 and in 1746 was appointed with five others, viz.: Robert Treat, Gurdon Saltonstal, Andrew Burr, Thomas Wells and Hezekiah Huntington, as "Commissaries to make all necessary provisions for fitting out and setting forth the troops now to be raised in this Colony for His Majesty's service in the expedition against Canada;" also to raise effective men to the number of two hundred, including officers, if they judge needful, and send them to the assistance of His Majesty's subjects in the Colony of New York, and also for the defense of our frontier, to be sent into the County of Hampshire in case of an invasion or imminent danger thereof."

On the 28th of February, 1711, this John Fowler married Susannah Burwell, by whom he had four children, one son and three daughters. She died March 18, 1744:

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William Fowler, Jr.'s Timeline

1622
June 2, 1622
Dalbury, Derbyshire, England
June 2, 1622
Holy Trinity, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England
June 2, 1622
Holy Trinity, Ely, Cambridge, England
1645
1645
Age 22
Milford, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
1646
1646
Age 23
New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
1647
1647
Age 24
New Haven, New Haven Co, Connecticut,
1649
March 5, 1649
Age 26
New Haven, New Haven, CT, USA
July 15, 1649
Age 27
New Haven, New Haven, CT, USA
1650
1650
Age 27
Milford, New Haven Co, Connecticut,
1651
February 8, 1651
Age 28
New Haven, New Haven, CT, USA