Capt. Henry Dow, III

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Henry Dow, III

Birthdate: (73)
Birthplace: Ormsby, Norfolk, England, (Present UK)
Death: May 6, 1707 (73)
Hampton, (Present Rockingham County), Province of New Hampshire, (Present USA)
Immediate Family:

Son of Henry Dow, of Hampton and Joan Dow
Husband of Hannah Dow (Page) and Mary Dow
Father of Joseph Dow; Samuel Dow; Simon Dow and Jabez Dow
Brother of Thomas Dow; James Dow; Joseph Dow, Sr.; Unknown Dow and John Dow
Half brother of Daniel Dow; Mary Richards; Hannah Gregory; Thomas Dow; Jeremiah Dow and 1 other

Occupation: Farmer, boat building, general store, lawyer, selectman, Captain
Managed by: Douglas L Whitlock
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Capt. Henry Dow, III

•Name: Capt Henry DOW

•Sex: M

•Birth: ABT 1634 in Ormesby, Norfolk, England

•Death: 06 MAY 1707 in Hampton, New Hampshire


Captain Dow was a farmer who later became part owner of a saw mill, a store keeper, a land-surveyor, selectman, town clerk, deputy to the General Assembly, clerk of the House and speaker pro tem. He was also marshall of Norfolk County, Massachusetts in 1673 until the close of the Massachusetts government in New Hampshire. He was then deputy marshall under the royal government, and in 1680 appointed marshall for a limited time. He became an attorney in October, 1686. He was made Ensign of the Hampton company of militia in 1689, then promoted to Captain in 1692. During the administrations of Andros and Dudley, he was one of the justices of the court for New Hampshire. In 1695 he was justice of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas, and was reappointed to the same office in 1697. He was senior justice in 1699, a position which he held until his death in 1707. He was known as a man of strict integrity and piety.

Father: Henry DOW b: ABT 1608 in Runham, Norfolk, England

Mother: JOANE

Marriage 1 Hannah PAGE b: ABT 1641

Children 1. Capt Jabez DOW b: 08 FEB 1672 in Hampton, New Hampshire

2. Dea Samuel DOW b: 04 NOV 1662 in Hampton, New Hampshire

3. Simon DOW b: 04 MAR 1667 in Hampton, New Hampshire

Marriage 2 Mary HUSSEY b: BEF 02 APR 1638 in Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts

Source: rootsweb


Joseph Dow's History of Hampton CHAPTER 8 -- Part 12

CAPTAIN HENRY DOW On the 6th of May , 1707, a vacancy occurred in the officer of town clerk, by the death of Henry Dow, who had held the office a quarter of a century. At a special town meeting two weeks afterward, his son Samuel Dow, was chosen his successor. In all his public life, Captain Dow had been a leader among men --now called to inspect accounts; now as Receiver, under the Treasurer, of rates and duties; and now, to hear and lay before governor and council, the claims of individuals against the province;--at one time, as commissioner, to meet the Massachusetts commissioners for running the vexed province lines; and again, to establish the bounds between town and town; --now, as special pleader in the courts; and now, as judge on the bench. In the disturbances which rent the province, he was ever found with the patriots. In command of his company against the savages, or as officer of supplies for the army, he was quick and skilful. In remonstrance against the usurpations of Mason, Allen, Usher and their fellows; in resistance to the unjust taxation by Cranfield (for which the latter ordered his imprisonment); and in his connection with Mr. Weare's mission to the king, he was fearless and firm.

On the 27th of March, 1707 Captain Henry Dow attended the council-board for the last time. Forty days later, he died.


Henry Dow 1634 - May 6, 1707 Dictionary of American Biography Edited by Allen Johnson & Dumas Malone, Vol. V, Page 409 Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1930.

DOW, HENRY (1634-May 6, 1707), New Hampshire soldier and statesman, the second son of Joan and Henry Dow, was born at Ormsby in Norfolkshire. His father migrated with his family to Watertown in the colony of Massachusetts Bay in 1637, and was there admitted freeman on May 2, 1638. He removed to Hampton in 1644. Henry Dow, Jr., was without formal education but became an important and financially prosperous figure in the town of Hampton and the province of New Hampshire. He was chosen selectman in 1661 and several times reelected to that office. He served as town clerk from 1681 to 1707 (Joseph Dow, post, p. 565). He was admitted and sworn as an attorney in 1686 and thereafter represented the town in litigation. He was ensign of the Hampton militia in 1689, captain in 1692, and took part in the first and second intercolonial wars. Dow was sworn in as deputy marshal of the province of New Hampshire in 1680, captain in 1692, and took part in the first and second intercolonial wars. Dow was sworn in as deputy marshal of the province of New Hampshire in 1680, and was appointed sole marshal of the province at a salary of £5 on Mar. 10, 1681/2 (Provincial Papers, XIX, 661, 663, 684).

He was appointed justice of the court for New Hampshire under the governments of Joseph Dudley and Edmund Andros, justice of the inferior court of common pleas of the province of New Hampshire in 1695, and senior justice in 1699. He repeatedly represented the town of Hampton in the lower house of the legislature of New Hampshire, serving as clerk and speaker pro tempore in 1701 (Ibid., 736). He was treasurer of the province, 1694-95 (Ibid., III, 267, 268), and a member of the Council from 1702 until his death. He was twice married: on June 17, 1659, to Hannah, the daughter of Robert and Lucy Page, and on Nov. 10, 1704, to Mary, the daughter of Capt. Christopher Hussey and widow of Thomas Page and Henry Green. By his first marriage he had four sons.

[R. P. Dow, The Book of Dow (1929); Jos. Dow, Hist. of the Town of Hampton, N.H. (1893); Provincial Papers of N. H., esp. vols. II, III, XII, XIX, XXXI.]


Nature qualified him richly for headship of the family, the responsibilities of which were shared before his father's death. He was in many ways a remarkable man and had the makings of a national figure, had his lot fallen in times of greater political freedom or in an environment where the government was shared by a people instead of under the iron fist of some thoroughly venal, conscienceless, grafting, British political appointee, and an almost equally dictatorial local minister, church and town being one. As it was, he was for his whole mature life the most powerful, the most prominent figure in Hampton, with a career not wholly local, but often touching the whole province, especially during the brief period when New Hampshire was distinct from Massachusetts. Without education, be became on the whole a scholarly man. Without training, he was a diplomat and courtier, altho never giving up the independence of his own soul, his sense of right, and the rights of his fellow citizens. He was a gentleman in all senses of the word, and was so classed in the system of caste where the gentry and yeomen we as far apart as in England.

His duties under the will of his father were fully, liberally carried out. Two months after his father's death he m Hannah Page dau of Robert and Lucy, American-born in 1641, whose father was first deacon of Hampton church. There seems no likelihood that this family was related to the Page of Hingham. Hannah d Aug 6, 1704. Her husband, then town clerk, wrote 'one just in her generation.'

After her death Capt Henry, then 70, selected within three months a second wife, a friend of 47 years standing. She was Mary Hussey, dau of Capt Christopher, wid of Thomas Page, Henry's brother in law. Of when she d age 95, Jan 21, 1732-3, the Boston newspaper said, 'a gracious gentlewoman.' She was indeed a lady of great charm. Capt. Christopher Hussey m Theodate Bachiler and thus she was of a truth grand dau of Hampton s first citizen. Her 2nd husband was Judge Councillor Henry Green, who d Aug 5,1700, Esqr, aged above 80 years, for severall years a member of the Counsill until by age he layd that place but a justice till he died. Of Christopher Hussey it my be said that John Greenleaf Whittier was fond of recalling descent from him.

For a brief time his wife accompanied her 3rd husband to public functions, in which he had to take always a prominent part. The whole life of Henry Dow was political and social; he was trusted all his life with public and private interests; yet he was never accused of lack of piety or neglect of duty. He understood the art of avoiding making enemies.

Almost from the first he was as financially prosperous as one's ambition could require. After first marriage, the cost of living was met with much versatility of labor. He continued to operate the family farm, until his stepmother remarried maintained the homestead for the entire family. He acquired an interest in a home-made vessel and in a boat-building business. He kept a general store, albeit a clerk was always necessary for an over-busy man. An account book of this store is extant, giving purchases of stock, which he always made in person, and the credit granted very generally to all Hampton. Almost all farm products were listed at fixed prices and passed as currency. It was Henry Dow's business to take these products, and transport them to Boston or other wide market, taking pay in merchandise or credit. This naturally could be best done on vessels of his own. As timber was a vital constituent of the trade, he became part-owner of a saw mill, making frequent entries in his diary of the number of feet sawn and the kinds of timber. He did some land-surveying, altho his brother Joseph was the expert at that. In 1686 he was admitted and sworn as an attorney and paid his fee. Thereafter he invariably acted for the town in all litigation. His military connection from 1689 brought probably no revenue; his town offices a trifle. When he had completed ten years as town clerk, he was voted 40s as compensation for the whole time. His service as selectman was six years in all from 1661 to 1698.

His court service was long and varied. He began as an assistant clerk. During the administrations of Andros and Dudley he was one of the justices of the court for New Hampshire; in 1605 justice of the inferior court of Common Pleas, re-appointed two years later. lie was senior justice from 1609 until his death in 1707, and from 1702 a mandamus councillor. In addition to all this, he remained town clerk until two years before his death.

His military career began as a private under Capt Joseph Gardiner for the Narragansett campaign Feb 29, 1675- 6. He does not appear to have fought. He received 1 £ 16s for service, probably in transportation of troops. He was not in the Swamp fight. He was ensign of Hampton militia from 1689, captain in 1692, commissioned by Sir William Phipps, on whose staff he was; he was chosen for a naval attack on Quebec. Fighting Indians was a constant affair for years and most troublesome. He was in command of the system of block houses around the town. Sept 29, 1691, he wrote to Major Robert Pike:

Sir: We have received intelligence from Sandybeach (now Rye) that since 12 o clock this day the enemy have killed or carried away 16 persons of whom old goodman Brackett's and goodman Rand's families have the greatest blow. The messengers that brought this news, on returning home about the time the moon did rise this night, at a place called Raggyneck, about half a mile this side of Sandybeach garrison, they do affirm to me they saw, as they adjudged, about 40 enemies coming toward Hampton with five or six canoes on their heads, which caused them to come back to Hampton again, and brought us word of it; lest they should come along with their canoes in the night and do damage to houses near the sea. We are in a sad condition, the enemy is so violent. The Lord give us all wisdom to teach us what we ought to do. So with respects presented to you, I remain your loving friend and servant,

Henry Dow

A diary which he kept for many years has become famous, altho the little leather-covered book which he kept in his pocket contains much of petty personal items of no public interest. It was kept in a cipher invented by himself, a sort of short hand, the key to which has been worked out only recently, and there are many arbitrary signs, not letters, not yet understood. Some entries contain much secret political history of the time. Two pages are torn out, probably by himself, for their date is at the time of Mr. Weare's mission to England. The administration of Gov Cranfield had become too wicked for escorted out of town with a rope around his neck. The prominence and probity of Mr. Weare made him the best envoy to the King and he carried a long list of complaints charging specific dishonesties, cruelties and malfeasances. Henry Dow did his full share in drawing up these complaints. Discovery by a spy of Cranfield might have laid him liable to any degree of punishment on a charge of treason, and the high judges were appointees of Cranfield.

Sometimes the entries are the simplest: '1687:—millions of streaked worms this year.' There an details about his farm work, an account of a huge tree struck by lightning, launching of a vessel in which he was part owner, the number of cedar logs sawn at his mill during some month, items of labor on public works, details of tax rates which he had to make up and afterwards collect, the day's doings at the Assembly, consultations with high officials, hasty political or business tripe to Haverhill, Ipswich, Newbury or Boston. During the Indian fights he kept track of those who were faithful and those who skimped garrison-watching duty, those who were derelict in other ways. He records drilling his company and teaching them tactic. He is at the head of his company in the field. it is a marvel how the restless man found time to eat or sleep. He was Vice-Marshal of Norfolk Co, deputy to the General Assembly, Clerk of the House, Speaker pro tem, and more besides. From his diary or public records fifty errands are mentioned,—on committee to sue Nath Boulter for trespass on the rights of the Commons, committee to keep dry cattle off the Commons, attorney for the town in the Huggins land suit and then on committee to secure to Huggins his rights won at law from Boulter, who had foolishly bought land from Mason, the claimant whose title, if good at all, covered the whole province of New Hampshire. In 1685 he made a census of the town, - 707 humans including 5 slaves, 202 living on the south, or Seabrook side. In 1682 he was the scapegoat to resist a tax illegally levied by the Colonial Council. A warrant was issued given to the notorious Constable Barefoote to arrest Capt Henry Dow and keep him in jail until the tax was paid. What actually happened is not recorded, but a receipt for the tax is dated four months later. At this time the Government was rebuked from England. He was chairman of committees in 1689 and 1690 to consult with similar committees of other towns to fix upon common plans of government during the uncertainty whether the region should become a separate province of New Hampshire or remain part of Mass. Capt Henry favored re-union with Mass. It was voted to uphold the common law of England and the King's statutes until final decision was made in favor of the colonial statutes of one or the other.

The will of William Moulton of Hampton, dated Mch 8, 1663, says: 'I do make, Costitute and appoint my loving father in law Robert Page, yeoman and my loving Brother in law Henery Dow to bee my lawful Exequetors, etc.' It was he who had charge of paying the minister's salary, and he noted very carefully when that reverend gentleman overdrew by three months. It was his duty to tabulate the increased cost of living due to the depreciation of the currency. The minister asked for a raise and submitted a long list of simple necessities once costing 3d but risen to as many shillings. The minister got the raise. Capt Henry was on the committee to build a parsonage and was messenger of the church to assist in the ordination of a new minister in Exeter. On the side were missions to conduct the litigation over the Salisbury border, to define the boundaries of Hampton, to re-survey the Exeter-Hampton line, to fight against the encroachments of the newly organized town of Kingston, to litigate against the claims of Newcastle for a strip of Hampton land, attempting to levy taxes twice over, to serve on a committee to investigate the feasibility of a straighter, better road to Portsmouth.

Forty days before his death he sat in Council for the last time. He d at home May 6, 1707, three score, ten and 3, in times when men wore out but never had a chance to rust out. The stone over his grave in Hampton churchyard is gone long since, but the spot is known, quite close to the longest lived stone in Hampton, lasting until the present century, inscribed to Susanna, wife of Robert Smith, Slaine by ye thunder, June 12, 1680.


Title: Joseph Dow, History of the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire (Salem, Massachusetts: Salem Press and Publishing Co., 1894)

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Capt. Henry Dow, III's Timeline

January 3, 1634
Ormsby, Norfolk, England, (Present UK)
Ormsby, Norfolk, England
March 30, 1660
Age 26
Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire
November 4, 1661
Age 27
Hampton, (Present Rockingham County), North Plantation (Present New Hampshire)
March 4, 1667
Age 33
Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire
February 8, 1672
Age 38
Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire
May 6, 1707
Age 73
Hampton, (Present Rockingham County), Province of New Hampshire, (Present USA)