Henry Howland, Jr. of Duxbury

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Henry Howland, Jr., of Duxbury

Also Known As: "Richard Dewe"
Birthplace: Fen Stanton, Huntingdonshire, England
Death: Died in Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Henry Howland, of Fen Stanton; Henry Howland; Anne Margaret Howland and Ann Margaret Aires
Husband of Mary and Mary "Sarah" Howland
Father of Henry Holland; Elizabeth Howland; Abigail Young; Zoeth Howland; John Howland and 3 others
Brother of Edward Howland; John Howland, "Mayflower" Passenger; Margaret Phillips; Humphrey Howland; Arthur Howland, Sr., of Marshfield and 5 others

Occupation: draper, constable, grand juror, road surveyor, farmer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Henry Howland, Jr. of Duxbury

Henry "The Quaker" Howland (1605 –1671), was born in 1605 in Fen Stanton, Huntingdonshire, England, the son of Henry Howland of Fen Stanton by his wife Margaret. He died at the age of 66 on 17 January 1671 at Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts.

He married Mary, whose maiden name is unknown. No marriage record has been found; it is assumed that they married in England prior to emigration. There is an apparent conflict between the supposed 1629 birth of their eldest child in England, and the records placing Henry in Massachusetts by 1624. Further research is warranted.

Children of Henry and Mary Howland

  1. Abigail Howland (born 1629 England – 7 April 1692 Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts), married John Young on 13 December 1648
  2. John Howland (16 November 1633 Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts - 18 August 1687 Freetown, Bristol County, Massachusetts). William Davis says John married Mary Walker on 12 January 1684/5 Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts; other sources say he never married
  3. Joseph Howland (born c1635 Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts – 15 June 1691/2), married 4 April 1683 Rebecca Huzzey, daughter of John Huzzey of Hampton, New Hampshire. Rebecca married (2) Samuel Collins on 6 March 1695
  4. Zoeth Howland (31 January 1636 Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts – 1 January 1675/6 Puncatest, Newport County, Rhode Island killed by Indians), married 10th month 1656 to Abigail at Dartmouth, Bristol County, Massachusetts. Abigail married (2) 2 December 1678 to Richard Kirby, Jr.
  5. Mary Howland (c1640 Duxborough, Plymouth County, Massachusetts – after 4 November 1699 Scituate, Plymouth County, Massachusetts), married James Cudworth of Duxbury before 1665 at Scituate, Plymouth County, Massachusetts
  6. Samuel Howland (born c1646 Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachussetts – 7 May 1716 Freetown, Bristol County, Massachusetts), married (1) Mary Sampson before 2 June 1681, (2) Mary Merrihew on 17 July 1708
  7. Elizabeth Howland (1647 Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts – after 15 September 1711 Shrewsbury, Monmouth, New Jersey), married Jedediah Allen in 1668 at Sandwich, Barnstable County, Massachusetts. He was probably son of George Allen.
  8. Sarah Howland (c1650 Duxborough, Plymouth County, Massachusetts – 2 October 1712 Portsmouth, Newport County, Rhode Island), married 16 November 1672 Robert Dennis of Portsmouth, Rhode Island


Wakefield published an article on Henry Howland in the National Genealogical Quarterly ca. 1998 which stated that Henry did not marry Mary Newland, and that she married someone else. Henry married a Mary, last name unknown. It is believed that Henry married in England prior to coming to the colony. He first shows up in Plymouth records in 1634.

Henry is the son of Henry of Fen Stanton, England. We know this from the will of his brother, Humphrey a draper in London. Humphery mentions his brother John, Arthur and Henry in his will. Humphery's will was discovered in 1955, and is the cite to the relationship of the three.

Biographical Sketch

Henry Howland is thought to have come to Massachusetts with his brother Arthur aboard the Fortune in 1621, or the Anne in 1623. Their brother John had preceded them to Plymouth as one of the Mayflower Pilgrims in 1620. A fourth brother, Humphrey Howland, a draper of the parish of St. Swithin, London, whose will was proved on 10 July 1646, left bequests to his three brothers, Arthur, John and Henry, in New England. Henry had been apprenticed to Humphrey prior to emigrating.

Still another brother, George, was of St. Dunstan's parish. The family's original home in England was unknown until 1957, when a will for Humphrey Howland was discovered. Extensive research has failed to reveal the parentage of the brothers.

The earliest Massachusetts record for Henry Howland is in the allotment of cattle in Plymouth in 1624, where he appears as owner of the "black cow."

In 1633 he became a freeman, and indentured a servant, Walter Harris. On the 25th of March of the same year he is taxed "s.9 for the publike vse...rated in corne at vi s p bushell." One year later he was taxed 18 shillings. He was among the earliest settlers of Duxbury, where he was chosen constable in 1635, and was described as "one of the substantial landholders and freemen."

In 1640 he purchased five acres of upland and an acre of marsh meadow in Duxbury, the price paid being "twelve bushells of Indian Corne." For several years he was surveyor of highways in the town, and for nine years served on the grand jury. But in 1657 he refused to serve further on the grand inquest, apparently because he had become a Quaker and could not conscientiously perform the duties required of him.

The law against heretics in general was first enforced against the Friends, and then special laws were enacted against them. A fine of 5 pounds or a whipping was the penalty for entertaingin them, and for attending their meetings one was liable to a fine of 2 pounds. At this time the laws against the people of this society were being enforced, and Henry being one of them, he could not conscientiously sit on the jury before which his own brother Arthur, who had joined the society, his brethren in the faith, and himself, were liable to be brought as transgressors of the civil laws of the colony.

Thereafter he was persecuted by the authorities of the Colony. On the 3rd of June 1657, Ralph Allen, Sr. of Sandwich refused to serve on the grand jury, and at the next session of the court three days later he was brought before the jury for entertaining Quakers, fined and imprisoned. Within a few weeks Henry Howland, his brother Arthur, and his son Zoeth met the same fate. Henry entertained Nicholas Upsall, an earnest and courageous defender of the Friends, who visited the area in 1657. Public proclamation was made that for every hour Nicholas Upsall was entertained "a severe fine was to be exacted" from his host.

At the court of October 1657, Henry "was summonsed to appear at the next March Court to answare for intertaining Quakers meetings in his house." He appeared and was fined 10 shillings.

In March 1659, his wife; their son Zoeth and his wife; and Arthur Howland and wife, were fined ten shillings each for "frequently absenting themselues from the publicke worship of God." At the October court of 1659, "William Newland and Henry Howland appeared, being summoned, and were convicted by law and sentanced by the court to bee disfranchised of theire freedome of this corporation...for theire being abettors and entertainors of Quackers."

In May and again in October 1660, Henry was fined for "p'rmitting a quaker meeting in his house twise... and for entertaining a forraigne Quaker contrary to order of the court." He was also charged with entertaining another man's wife in his house at the May court, which he stiffly denied, and the court noted that the evidence 'did not appeer to make it out,' but he was convicted on the Quaker charges. Once, when refusing to pay his fine, his house and lands were seized by the marshal.

In 1652 Henry Howland was among the original purchasers of Dartmouth, where his son Zoeth and four of his six grandsons became settlers. He was the owner of half a share, or one sixty-eighth of the purchase, which was acquired from the Indians.

On the 2nd of April 1659, together with twenty-six others, he bought from Wamsutta and Pattapanum what was then called Assonet [present Freetown], for which they paid 20 coats, 2 rugs, 2 iron pots, 2 kettles and one little kettle, 8 pairs shoes, 6 pairs stockings, 1 dozen hats, 2 dozen hatchets, and 2 yards broadcloth. At the division of this purchase in 1660 of "ye ffreeman's land att Taunton River," he received for his share the sixth lot.

Roger Williams, who had already been banished from Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth Colonies, had established in Rhode Island a government the charter of which guaranteed that everyone should be free to enjoy his own opinions, as long as they did not mitigate against the general good. Into and on the borders of this land of religious liberty the Friends fled. Henry's property was near the boundary line of that state, but within the jurisdiction of Plymouth Colony. On the land he owned at Freetown his son Samuel settled probably as early as 1665, as his last appearance in Plymouth Colony records is in 1664.

In 1664 Henry bought a large tract of land at Swansea. It is probable that he lived for a time at Apponegansett, on his share of the Dartmouth purchase, as his will of 1670 gave to two of his children his horses and cattle "now running" there, and his wife's will, four years later, made this bequest: "Unto my son John Howland my house at Apponegansett." His old homestead at Duxbury was left to his son Joseph, excepting the "new room," which was reserved for his widow.

He made his will 28 November 1670, and he named his wife Mary (her surname is not known; they were possibly married in England), his sons Zoeth, Joseph, John, and Samuel, and his daughters Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary, and Abigail. He died in Duxbury on 17 January 1671,and his will was probated on 8 March 8, 16771.

Although her surname is not recorded, his wife may have been Mary Newland, a sister of William Newland, who came from Lynn in 1637 and settled in Sandwich. Mary died in Duxbury on 17 June 1674. Their four sons and four daughters were all mentioned in the wills of both parents.

Inventory of Henry Howland

[Note: Probate] A true Inventory of the estate viz: of the goods and Chattles of Henery Howland of Duxborrow: late deceased exhibited to the Court held att Plymouth the eight of March 1670; on the oath of Joseph Howland the sonne of the said Henery Howland.

Impr: To 4 oxen att 18 00 00

Item To two steers 06 00 00

Item To 3 Cowes 09 00 00

Item To 5 heiffers 13 00 00

Item To 1 old mare att Ponagansett 02 00 00

Item To 1 younge mare and a Colt att Ponagansett 03 10 00

Item To 1 horse att home and a smale mule 06 00 00

Item To 10 swine 04 00 00

Item To Cart plow & plow Irons with 2 Cheines 2 boxes & yoakes 02 10 00

Item To goods in the new Rome as 2 beds 1 feather bed and a flocke bed with the Couerings 06 00 00

Item to six paire of sheets 05 00 00

Item To 1 Chest 1 Table 3 Chaires and stooles 01 00 00

Item To his wearing Clothes with his purse 10 04 00

Item To new cloth with silke and buttons (that was to make him a Coate) 02 10 06

Item To 23 yards of New Cloth of theire owne makeing 05 15 00

Item To one bed in the middle Rome 05 00 00

Item To 3 beds aboue in the Chambers 10 10 00

Item To one warming pan 00 04 00

Item To 2 old Chestes & 2 old boxes 00 12 00

Item To Table linnine 02 10 00

Item To pewter and some earthen potts & Cups & other smale things 01 05 00

Item To brasse and Iron 03 00 00

Item To earthen and wooden thinges 01 05 00

Item To 2 guns with one old Rapier 02 15 00

Item To 10 barrells of Sider 04 00 00

Item To 15 bushells of Mault 16 bushells of Indian Corne fiue bushells of wheate and 7 bushells of peases 07 14 06

Item To meat as beife porke bacon 03 00 00

Item To 1 old Cannooe & axes wedges old barrells hogsheds and other smale lumber as hoes sythes &c: 02 00 00

Item to a bridle saddle and a pannell 00 12 00

Item To a fier shouell Tonges gridjron Chaffing dish and one smoothing Iron 00 12 00

Item To bookes 00 10 00

Item To about 20 pound of feathers 01 00 00

Taken and aprised the 14 day of the 11th month 1670) by Constant Southworth, Samuell Nash, Iohn Soule;


Henry married a woman named Mary whose last name remains unknown. It is believed that they married in England prior to coming to the colony. Although the wife of Henry Howland is often called Mary Newland, no evidence has been found to verify this maiden name. Neither Wakefield and Sherman in the NGSQ articles on Henry Howland and his descendants, nor Robert Charles Anderson in his "The Great Migration Begins" accept Mary Newland as proven to be the wife of Henry Howland.

Wakefield published an article on Henry Howland in the National Genealogical Quarterly about 1998 which stated that Henry did not marry Mary Newland, and that she married someone else.

Notable Descendants

  • U.S. President Richard Nixon
  • U.S. President Gerald Ford

Sources and Further Information

  • American Historical Society, Inc. (AHS). The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical, 1920. For an unknown reason there are several copies of the book with the same title page, but with different contents.
    • From pages 118-20 of one edition, "Henry Howland, the founder, appeared early in Plymouth Colony, being first of record in 1624. He was made a freeman in 1633; was an early settler in Duxbury, Mass., and was there chosen constable in 1635; owned land in Dartmouth in 1652; was one of the twenty-seven purchasers of what is now Freetown, Mass., and finally ended his days in the Duxbury homestead. He married Mary Newland, and reared a large family, this branch tracing through Zoeth, their second son."
  • Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: immigrants to New England 1620-1633, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, 1995, three volumes.
  • "Eastham Mass., Vital Records," transcribed by George Ernest Bowman, Mayflower Descendant, various volumes, Also printed in Vital Records of the Towns of Eastham and Orleans, with index, edited by Leonard H Smith Jr & Norma H. Smith, 1976.
  • William T. Davis, Genealogical Register of Plymouth Families, (2nd Edition; Boston: William T. Davis, 1899), pg. 150, 327
    • pg. 154, "SAMUEL, Freetown, son of 1st Henry, by wife Mary ..."
    • Appendix p.328, [Howland] Samuel, 1st in text, 1678, m., Mary Merihew
  • Samuel Deane, History of Scituate, Massachusetts, from Its First Settlement to 1831.
  • Leon Clark Hills, History and Genealogy of the Mayflower Planters and First Comers to Ye Olde Colonie, pg 161.
  • Franklyn Howland, A Brief Genealogical and Biographical History of Arthur, Henry, and John Howland & their Descendants, of the USA & Canada,1885, pg. 69.
    • SAMUEL HOWLAND, b. ABT 1646, Duxbury, Plymouth Co, MA; d. 1716, Freetown or Middleborough, Bristol Co, MA.
    • "Sarah, m. 16,11,1672 Robert Dennis of Portsmouth, RI."
    • "Joseph, b. in Duxbury, d. 15/6/1691, m. 4/3/1683 Rebecca, dau. of John Huzzey of Hampton, NH."
    • "John, Davis' Plymouth says this John m. Mary Walker. My belief is he never married."
    • "Mary, m. James Cudworth of Duxbury."
    • "Abigail, m. John Young 2/9/1678; He was probably son of John Young who was maried unto ... 13 Dec 1648 .."
    • "Zoeth, b. in Duxbury, d. 31,1,1676, killed by Indians, m. 10th month 1656 to wife Abigall. Abigail m. 2d, 2/12/1678 to Richard Kirby, Jr ..."
    • "Elizabeth, m. Jedediah Allen in 1691. He was probably son of George Allen..."
  • Mary Louise M. Hutton, compiler. "Seventeenth Century Colonial Ancestors of Members of the National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century," pg.133.
    • "Howland, Henry (_-1671) Mass.; m. Mary Newland; juror; landowner."
  • New England Historical and Genealogical Register (NEHGR), "Mayflower Source Record", Genealogical Publicating Co, Inc Baltimore 1986, pg 30, extracted from the early probate Records of Bristol County, with note from the Registry of Deeds and Town Records.
    • "Samuel, John and Zoeth, were the sons of Henry Howland, of Duxbury, said Henry being one of the 26 origional proprietors of Freetown. Henry Howland died in 1670, and Mary his wife died June 16, 1674."
  • National Genealogical Society Quarterly; September, 1987, Vol. 75, No. 3; p.105-116.
  • Records of the Colony of New Plymouth - Vol. 8, pg 5.
  • Society of Friends, Records at Newport, Rhode Island
  • Records of the Society of Friends of Pembroke, now in the possession of the Society at New Bedford.
  • Robert S. Wakefield and Robert M. Sherman, "Henry Howland of Duxbury, Mass, 1633." National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ), June 1987: 75:105.
  • "Will of Henry Howland January 14, 1670/1671." Plymouth Colony Wills, vol. III, p. 27.


HENRY HOWLAND, the pioneer, with his brother Arthur, came to this country in either the Fortune, 1621, or the Ann, 1623.

When some researchers listed passengers on these two ships they went by land ownership. Henry and Arthur did not own land until later so they do not show up on ship lists. So going by the lists they may have come on the Fortune 1621 or Charity in 1624.

Henry Howland, the founder, appeared early in Plymouth Colony, being first of record in 1624. He was made a freeman in 1633; was an early settler in Duxbury, Mass., and was there chosen constable in 1635; owned land in Dartmouth in 1652; was one of the twenty-seven purchasers of what is now Freetown, Mass., and finally ended his days in the Duxbury homestead. He married Mary Newland, and reared a large family.


'Source: ancestry.com: Henry Howland Found 10 Records, 10 Photos and 1,137,384 Family Trees Born in Essex, England on 1602 to Henry Howland and Alice Aires.

Henry married Mary Newland and had 14 children. He passed away on 1671. Family Members


Henry Howland 1569-1656

Alice Aires 1570-1629

Spouse(s) Mary Newland 1603-1674


Elizabeth Howland 1640-1712

John Howland Unknown-1687

Joseph Howland 1638-1695

Sarah Howland 1643-1675

Zoeth Howland 1635-165

Samuel Howland 1624-1716

Abigail Howl and 1624-1692 John Howland

1643-1687 Mary Howland 1652-1699 Samuel Howland 1650-1715 Mary Howland 1651-99 Wrong


view all 40

Henry Howland, Jr. of Duxbury's Timeline

November 25, 1604
Fen Stanton, Huntingdonshire, England
November 25, 1604
November 25, 1604
of, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England
November 25, 1604
of, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England
November 25, 1604
Of, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England
November 25, 1604
Of, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England
November 25, 1604
Of, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England
November 25, 1604
of Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England
- 1623
Age 15
London, England