Sergeant Edmund Towne

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Edmund Towne

Birthdate: (49)
Birthplace: St. Nicholas Par, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, Eng.
Death: May 3, 1678 (45-53)
Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
Place of Burial: Topsfield, Essex Co, Massachusettes, Colonial Usa
Immediate Family:

Son of William Towne, of Topsfield and Joanna Towne
Husband of Phebe Towne and Mary Towne
Father of Thomas Towne; William Town; Joseph Towne; Abigail Perley Peabody; Benjamin Towne and 6 others
Brother of Rebecca Nurse; John Towne; Susanna Towne; Jacob Towne, Senior; Mary Estey (Towne), Salem Witch Trials and 2 others

Occupation: apprenticed to Henry Skerry of Great Yarmouth
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Sergeant Edmund Towne


A Genealogical history of early New England settlers:

These books are still regarded as the authority on early New England genealogy;

Written by James Savage;

Vol. IV

He came, 1637, prob. in the Rose of Yarmouth, aged 18,

as apprent. to Henry Skerry of Salem,

m. Mary, d. of Thomas Browning,

had Thomas;

William, b. 1658;

Joseph, 1661;


Benjamin, 1666;


Samuel, 1673;




and ano. d. and he d. early in 1678.

From FTM WWW site of Tami K Barton:


238 Probate Records of Essex County

Estate of Edmond Towne of Topsfield

The intent and purpose of Edmond Towne presented by Mary his wife Conscernin his state presented to this Hounored Court now sitting Imprimis

The minde of the deceased was as is mine allsoe; and is consented too by all partys conscerned that the four sonns shall have all the Lands Equally devyed amongst them. And the rest of the estate to be Equally devyed amongst the 5: garles only Sarah the second Daughter is already marryed and hath rescieved to the vallue of twelve pounds already.

So leaveing my Cause to God, and your Honnors scarious Consideration I subscrybe myselfe mary Towne. Only provided the widow's thirds of the whole be taken out furst.

Jacob Towne deposed that Thomas Towne, eldest son of Edmund Towne, deceased, declared himself to be satisfied with an equal share with the rest of his brethren"

Sworn in court, 27: 4: 1678.

Proved by the widow, 27: 4: 1678, with the consent of all the surviving persons concerned.

Essex County Quarterly Court Files, vol 29, leaf 30

Administration upon the estate of Edmond Towne was granted 27: 4: 1678, to Mary, the relict, who was to dispose of the estate according to the mind of the deceased, as by mutual agreement of all surviving persons concerned, which writing was allowed.

An inventory was also presented and sworn to.

Salem Quarterly Court Records, vol. 5, leaf 117

Inventory of the estate of Sargeant Edman Towne, taken at Topsfield, May 3, 1678, by Frances Pabody and Thomas Baker:

Books, 1li.;

wearing clothes, 7li. 14s.;

linning sheetes and neckpins, 11li. 6s.;

house and landes on the north of the Riuer, 220li.;

upland and mado on the south side River, 72li.;

five oxen and seven coues, 52li.;

young Cattel,19li. 17s.;

shepe and lambes, 6li.;

two horses, 6li.;

swine, 8li.;

iron tooles, 3li.;

kittels and potes and other iron ware, 4li. 4s.;

gones, 4li. 6s.;

wheles and other lumbur, 6li. 3s.;

a cubbard and cheastes, 2li. 10s.;

bedsted and beddin, 16li. 10s.;

pillin and saddel, 2li.;

wooll and flax, 17s.;

five barrels of sider, 2li. 10s.;

woolin and linninyarne, 2li. 10s.;

home spon cloath, 7li. 10s.;

corne and porke, 4li.;

for halfe the farme which was given to Sargent Toune in Revertion by Thomas Browning; total, 453li. 12s.

Depts owing, 26li. 3s. 3d.;

by the death of one cow, 3li. 10s.

Allowed in Salem court 27: 4: 1678.

Essex County Quarterly Court Files, vol. 29, leaf 31.

Selectman, 1673;

town constable, 1675;

tything-man, 1677;

took oath as freeman, 1664;

corpl. Topsfield mil. co., 1666;

helped form mil. guard during King Philip's War. from Fredrick A. Virkus, The Compendium of American Genealogy Vol V,(1930), 206.

From The Ancestry of Lieut, Amos Towne 1737-1793 3.

SERGT. EDMUND3 TOWNE (William2, John1) was baptized in the church of St. Nicholas, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, June 28, 1628.

He came to New England when he was nine years old as an apprentice of Henry Skerry on the ship "Rose" which sailed from Great Yarmouth in 1637. Skerry settled in Salem.

Edmund Towne married Mary Browning, daughter of Thomas and Mary Browning, about the year 1652, when he was twenty-two and she fourteen years of age, and settled in Topsfield.

He served on the trial jury of the County Court in 1655, wasmade a commoner in 1661, sat on the grand jury in 1663 and took the oath as freeman in 1664.

He was appointed corporal of the Topsfield military company in June, 1666, and in 1675, during King Philip's War, he was one of the committee from the town which presented a petition to the General Court asking permission to form a military guard to protect the settlers at their work.

He was a selectman in 1673, town constable in 1675, and tythingman in 1677, when he is called Sergeant Towne.(*)

Sergt. Towne died in 1678. He left no will, but his widow, Mary, proved a statement covering his "Intent and purpose,"saying "The minde of the deceased was as is mine allsoe; and is consented too by all partys conscernd that the four sonns shall have all the Lands Equally devyded amongst them, And the rest of the estate to be Equally devyded amongst the 5 : garles only Sarah the second Daughter is already marryed and Hath rescieved to the vallue of twelve pounds already."

Administration was granted to Mary Towne on 27 : 4 : 1678.

The inventory, taken by Francis Peabody and Thomas Baker, lists real estate, exclusive of the Browning lands, worth œ292, books worth œ1, etc.(+)(*)

Records and Files, etc., I : 397; III : 84, 137, 336. (+)

Probate Records of Essex County, III : 238.

Edmund Towne & Mary Browning were never married.

With respect to the apprenticeship of Edmund Towne to Henry Skerry, the Towne Family Association has come out with the position that the Edmund associated with William Towne's family was not the apprentice listed as boarding ship with the cordwainer father of the future Salem town marshal. From a forum entry on 3 September 2007:

In 2006 it was determined Edmund Towne, son of William, was not apprenticed to Henry Skerry. There is no apprenticeship found in England by a professional researcher hired by Towne Family Association. The age of the Edmund Towne who boarded the ship with Skerry was much older than William's son Edmund. The original book has been viewed to determine if the age reported in the History of Salem and other publications is correct. The age entered in the boarding book is the age published. Because there was only one Edmund Towne in Salem/Topsfield, it has been determined the Edmund who left England with Skerry must have died on the trip over.

I believe Henry Skerry was a cordwainer. Check the History of Salem, MA by Sidney Perley.

Lois Payne Hoover

Genealogist - Towne Family Association, Inc.

view all 39

Sergeant Edmund Towne's Timeline

June 28, 1628
St. Nicholas Par, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, Eng.
June 28, 1628
St. Nicholas, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
June 28, 1628
St. Nicholas, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
July 28, 1628
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk County, England, (Present UK)
Age 22
Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
Age 26
Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
April 26, 1657
Age 28