John Bowne, Sr.

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John Bowne, Sr.

Also Known As: "bowen/"
Birthdate: (68)
Birthplace: Lime Tree Farm, Matlock, Derbyshire, England
Death: December 20, 1695 (64-72)
Flushing, Queens, New York Colony
Place of Burial: Queens, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Bowne and Mary Bowne
Husband of Mary Hannah Bowne and Mary Cock
Father of John "the elder" Bowne; Elizabeth Bowne; Mary Johanna Thorne; Abigail Willets; Hannah Field and 9 others
Brother of Dorothy Farrington; William Browne; Truth Bowne and Ellin Bowne

Occupation: Quaker proselytizer
Managed by: Chad Bouldin
Last Updated:

About John Bowne, Sr.

in wikipedia


History and Genealogy of the Cock, Cocks, Cox Family By George William Cocks, John Cox

JOHN BOWNE was b. Matlock, Derbyshire, England. 9th of Third month (? Mar. or May) 1627 and bapt. in Matlock parish church 29th same month, son of Thomas Bowne, bapt. there May 25, 1595. Thomas Bowne with his children John and Dorothy came to New England in the latter part of 164S or early in 1649. In October 1650 John, leaving behind his father and sister, returned to England, and again arrived in Boston in May 1651. In June of the same year he visited Flushing, L. I., In company with his brother-in-law Edward Farrington (who had m. his sister Dorothy, probably during his absence in England) and seems to have been much pleased with the place, as he removed thither shortly after to live. On the 7th of May, 1656, he m. Hannah Feake, b. (supposed) at Watertown, Mass., about 1637, and after living for a time at Greenwich, Conn., and New London, came to Flushing, with her mother, brothers and sisters, before 1649. She was dau. of Lieut. Robert Feake and Elizabeth (Fones) Win- throp his wife, (see Feake Lineage).

John Bowne was at this time In the 29th year of his age, and his worth and personal attractions were such as to elicit the favorable notice and commendation of Capt. John Underbill, then living at Southold, L. I., who, writing from that place under date of April 12, 1656, to John Winthrop Jr., at Pequot (New London), thus acquaints him with the new engagement: "Sir, I was latli at Flushing, Hannah Fcke is to be married to a verri jentlele young man of grud abilliti, of lovli fetture and eud behafior." As Hannah had made the acquaintance of some of the Friends who were holding meetings for worship In the woods, she soon became a member ; and her husband, as he himself relates, on occasion going out of curiosity to look at them when assembled together, was so powerfully affected by the beauty and simplicity of their worship that he invited them to hold their meetings for the future at his house. It was not long before he joined them himself, not merely, as he states, from kindness and affection to his wife, but his judgment was convinced of the truth of the principles they held forth. Meetings had not long been held at John Bowne's house before complaints were made "by the Magistrates of Flushing Aug. 24, 1662, that many of the inhabitants are followers of the Quakers who hold their meetings at the house of John Bowne." An ordinance of the West India Company of 1662 provided that "besides the Reformed religion no conventicles should be holden in houses, barns, ships, woods or fields, under the penalty of fifty guilders for the first offence, double for the second and arbitrary correction for every other."

Under the authority of this ordinance we find that great numbers, Including many women, suffered severely both by direct action of the Governor, and hie courts held at Gravesend. John Bowne was arrested, ninth month 1st, 1662, charged with "harboring Quakers and permitting them to hold meetings at his house."

He was then taken a prisoner to Fort Amsterdam, and on the 14th of the same month the "court held by the Lords, Director General and Council at Fort Amsterdam In the Netherland" entered the following judgment : "Because John Bowne, at present prisoner, dwelling at Flushing upon Long Island, has made no scruple In vlllpendatlon of the orders and mandates of the Director General and Council of the New Netherland, we do in justice to the high and mighty states of the United Provinces and the administrators of the West India Company of the Chamber of Amsterdam having heard the demand of the substitutes, and the acknowledgement of the prisoner, have condemned and do condemn the said John Bowne by these present boete [penalty]—5 and 20 pounds Flemish with the charges of the Justician, and with express admonition and Interdict to abstain from all such forementioned meetings and conventicles, or else for the second boete. he be condemned in a double boete, and for the third boete to be banished out of this province of New Netherland." John Bowne refused to pay the fine, and was then confined in a dungeon and restricted to bread and water, no person whatever being allowed to speak with him.

In the Fourth mo. John Bowne was released. He returned to America by the way of England and the Island of Barbadoes. but did not reach Flushing until First mo. 30th, 1664.

The authorities In Amsterdam sent to the officials in New Netherlands the following decision, dated Amsterdam, April 16th, 1663: "We, finally, did see from your last letter, that you had exiled and transported hither a certain Quaker named John Bowne, and although It Is our cordial desire that similar and other sectarians might not be found there, yet as the contrary seems to be the case, we doubt very much If rigorous proceedings against them ought not to be discontinued except you Intend to destroy your population, which however, In the youth of your existence, ought rather to be encouraged by all possible means.

Wherefore It Is our opinion that some connivance would be useful that the consciences of men. at least, ought ever to remain free and unshackled. Let every one be unmolested as long as he Is modest, as long as he does not disturb others or oppose the government. This maxim of moderation has always been the guide of the magistrates of this city, and the consequence has been that from every land people have flocked to this asylum. Tread thus In their steps and we doubt not you will be blessed.

(Signed) The directors of the West India Company Amsterdam Department.

Abraham Wllmandonk

David Von Baerle."

This document has peculiar historic interest because of the fact that It was one of the first official proclamations of religious liberty for any part of America, the establishment of religious liberty In Maryland by Lord Baltimore, (a Catholic), having antedated it. With this decree the persecution of Friends on Long Island ceased.

Children Of John And Hannah (feake) Bowne:

I John, b. 13/1 mo. (Mar.) 1656; d. 30/6 mo. (Aug.) 1673.

II Elizabeth, b. 8/8 mo. (Oct.) 16Б8 ; m. 1st, John Prlar; m. 2d, Samuel Titus.

III Mary, b. 6/11 mo. (Jan.) 1660; m. Joseph Thorne.

IV Abigail, b. 5/12 mo. (Feb.) 1662; m. Richard Willlts.

V Hannah, b. 10/2mo. (Apl.) 1665; m. Benjamin Field.

VI Samuel, b. 21/7 mo. (Sept.) 1667; m. let, Mary Becket ; m. 2d, Hannah

Smith ; m. 3d, Grace Cowperthwalte.

VII Dorothy, b. 29/1 mo. (Mar.) 1669; m. Henry Franklin.

VIII Martha Johannan, b. 17/6 mo. (Aug.) 1673; m. Joseph Thorn.

Children of John And Hannah (bickerstaff) Bowne:

IX Sarah, b. 14/10 mo. (Dec.) 16SO; d. 18/3 mo. (May) 1681.

X Sarah, b. 17/12 mo. (Feb.) 1681; m. ?Thomas Foord.

XI John, b. 10/7 mo. (Sept.) 1683; d. 25/8 mo. (Oct.) 1683.

XII Thomas, b. 26/9 mo. (Nov.) 1684; d. 17/10 mo. (Dec.) 1684.

XIII John, b. 9/7 mo. (Sept.) 1686; m. Elizabeth Lawrence.

XIV Abigail, b. 5/6 mo. (July) 1688;

Children Of John And Mary (Соcк) Bowne:

XV Amy. b. 1/2 mo. (Apl.) 1694; m. Richard Hallett.

XVI Ruth, b. 30/11 mo. (Jan.) 1695/6; d. young.

Second generation of Bowne of Interest to Cock descendants.

ELIZABETH (2) (BOWNE) PRIAR, b. 8/8 mo. (Oct.) 1658; d. 14/12 mo. (Feb.) 1721; m. 9/2 mo. (Apl.) 1678, John Priar of Matthew and Mary. (See Prlar Lineage.)

John Bowne was born in Matlock, Derbyshire, England, on Wednesday, May 9, 1627, and died in Flushing, Long Island, New York, on December 20, 1695. Hannah Feake was born in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, in June, 1637, and died in London, England, on January 31, 1677/8. They were married in Flushing on Wednesday, May 7, 1656. She took the name Hannah Bowne. He is the son of Thomas Bowne. She is the daughter of Robert and Elizabeth (Fones) Feake. They had eight children:

i. John Bowne was born in Flushing on March 13, 1656/7, and died in Flushing on August 30, 1673.

ii. Elizabeth Bowne was born in Flushing on October 8, 1658. She married first John Priar and second Samuel Titus, son of Edmund and Martha (Washborne) Titus.

iii. Mary Bowne was born in Flushing on January 6, 1660/1.

iv. Abigail Bowne [#295]: She was born in Flushing on February 5, 1662/3, and died in _____ on June 16, 1688.

v. Hannah Bowne was born in Flushing on April 10, 1665. She married Benjamin Field in 1691.

vi. Samuel Bowne was born in Flushing on September 21, 1667. He married first Mary Beckit on October 4, 1691, in Falls of Delaware; they had ten children: Samuel, Thomas, Esther, Hannah, John, Mary, Robert, William, Elizabeth, and Benjamin. He married second Hannah Smith on December 8, 1709, in Flushing; they had five children: Sarah, Joseph, Emy, Benjamin, and Elizabeth. He married third Grace Cowperthwait on November 30, 1734; they had no children. More details available in EQG.

vii. Dorothy Bowne was born in Flushing on March 29, 1669.

viii. Martha Johanna Bowne was born in Flushing on August 17, 1673. She married Joseph Thorn in 1695.

His second marriage was to Hannah Bickerstaff in Flushing on Monday, February 2, 1679/80. She took the name Hannah Bowne. She was born in England and died in Long Island, New York, on June 7, 1690. They had six children:

i. Sarah Bowne was born in Flushing on December 14, 1680, and died in Flushing on June 18, 1681. She died in infancy.

ii. Sarah Bowne was born in Flushing on February 17, 1691/2. There is no marriage information for her in the EQG.

iii. John Bowne was born in Flushing on September 10, 1683, and died in Flushing on October 25, 1683. He died in infancy.

iv. Thomas Bowne was born in Flushing on November 26, 1684, and died in Flushing on December 17, 1684. He died in infancy.

v. John Bowne was born in Flushing on September 9, 1686. He married Elizabeth Lawrence, daughter of Joseph and Mary (Townlay) Lawrence, in Flushing on July 21, 1714.

vi. Abigail Bowne was born in Flushing on July 5, 1688, and died in Flushing on July 13, 1688. She died in infancy. Her half-sister Abigail had died only a month earlier at the age of 26, six months after the birth of her only child.

His third marriage was to Mary Cock probably Flushing on Monday, June 26, 1693. She took the name Mary Bowne. She was born probably Setauket, Long Island, America, in 1655. Per Long Island Genealogies, her parents were James and Sarah (_____) Cock. They had two children:

i. Amy Bowne was born in Flushing on April 1, 1694. She married Richard Hallett in 1717.

ii. Ruth Bowne was born in Flushing on January 30, 1695/6, and died in Flushing. She died young.

John Bowne came to Boston in about 1648 with his father and sister Dorothy. Per the NEHGR:

7 Jan 1649, John says in his journal "I entered Mr. Phillips service." (William Phillips, vintner and innholder at Charlestown). Oct 24, 1650, "we came abord the shipp charles at Nantaskett, that day I parted with my deare father at boston, the 25th day my sister Dorothy come abord at Nantasket to take her leave of me." &c.

John Bowne, Born 1627, married (1) 7 May 1656, Hannah Feake, daughter of Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Fones and widow of (1) Henry Winthrop and (2) Robert Feake of Watertown. In 1663, John Bowne was banished to Holland but was allowed to return. He lived at Flushing, Long Island, from 1650 until his death in 1695, having had numerous children.

Per the EQG, vol. 3 (New York Monthly Meeting), p. 41: "John most active mbr; treasurer for mtg 1691; his banishment brought religious liberty"


Encyclopedia of Quaker Genealogy, 1750–1930, vol. III, pp. 39–43; "New York Monthly Meeting"

New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. 55, Jan. 1901, pp. 300-1, in an article titled "New York Settlers from New England".

Bunker, Mary Powell; Long Island Genealogies, Joel Munsell's Sons, Publishers. Albany, NY, 1895. (as found on CD-ROM: Tracking Down Our Family Heritage)

Ancestry of Timothy Titus Robbins, assembled by Gayle Ellingsworth on

John Bowne

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John Bowne (1627–1695) was an English immigrant residing in the Dutch colony of New Netherland, who is honored today as a pioneer in the American struggle for religious liberty.

Born in Matlock, Derbyshire, in 1627, Bowne emigrated with his father and sister to Boston, Mass. in 1648. Bowne became a merchant and married well, his wife Hannah Feake (ca.1637–1678), whom he married in 1656, being a great-niece of Governor John Winthrop of Massachusetts. Bowne and his bride, however, soon became adherents of the new doctrine of Quakerism, which was then being actively repressed in most of the English colonies of New England. Accordingly by 1661 they had relocated to Flushing, Long Island, where a small group of English-speaking Quakers were attempting to practice their faith in defiance of the Dutch governor of New Netherland, Peter Stuyvesant.

From Scribner's Magazine

In 1662 Bowne was arrested on orders of Governor Stuyvesant for allowing a Quaker meeting in his house. Refusing to pay the assessed fine, or to depart from the province, he was sent to Holland for trial before the Dutch West India Company. There, he successfully exonerated himself by appealing to the guarantees of religious liberty contained in the Flushing patent of 1645 granted by Governor William Kieft. Winning the respect of his judges by his uncompromising stance, he was released, and returned triumphantly home in 1664, Governor Stuyvesant being ordered to extend tolerance to all religious sects.

Although the New Netherland was soon to become the English colony of New York, the ideal of religious freedom for which John Bowne had stood up was upheld by the province's new rulers, serving as an example for the other English colonies in North America, and ultimately to the framers of the American Constitution as well.

A 1672 letter from Bowne and other Quakers to the Governor of New York explaining their conscientious refusal to contribute funds for the repair of the fort of New York is one of the earliest examples of American Quaker war tax resistance.[1]

Bowne Park

Bowne House

John Bowne later served in the provincial assembly of New York, dying in Flushing in December 1695.

John Bowne's first wife Hannah Feake (or Feke) was the daughter of the Elizabeth Fones who served as the title character in Anya Seton's historical novel "The Winthrop Woman". They had 8 children.

John Bowne's second wife was Hannah Bickerstaff (married 2 Feb 1679/80) and had 6 children (2 died soon after birth).

John Bowne's third wife was Mary Cock (married 26 June 1693) and had two children.

A park, high school and an elementary school in Flushing, Queens are named in his honor.

His house at Bowne Street and 37th Avenue in Flushing still stands, and is open to the public as Registered Historic Place.

John Bowne (1627-1695)

Although the Bownes of England could trace their ancestry back to William the Conqueror's time and were connected to many titled and powerful families, we do not know what caused John Bowne with his father, Thomas, and sister, Dorothy, to leave Lime Tree Farm in Matlock, Derbyshire, England to travel to Boston in 1649. After a few years, John left Boston for New York, and by 1661 had built his home in Flushing on land purchased from the Matincock Indians for eight strings of wampum (about $14). He married Hannah Feake, the niece of Governor John Winthrop of Massachusetts and cousin of Governor Robert Winthrop of Connecticut. John and Hannah had 8 children. After Hannah's death in 1677, he married again and had 8 more children.

John Bowne is best known for his courageous defense of religious freedom. Flushing was then part of the colony of New Netherland, and its town charter, granted by the Dutch West India Comapny in 1645 guaranteed "liberty of conscience." When Governor Peter Stuyvesant prohibited the practice of religions other than the Dutch Refored Church, town leaders delivered the Flushing Remonstrance to Stuyvesant, challenging his edict, which was aimed chiefly at Quakers. In 1662, John Bowne openly defied the ban and allowed Quakers to hold services in his home. Bowne was arrested and imprisoned, and when he refused to pay a fine or plead guilty, Stuyvesant banished him to Holland, where he argued his case successfully before the Dutch West India Company. Stuyvesant was ordered to permit dissenting faiths to worship freely. John Bowne returned home victorious in 1664, and the principle of religious freedom was established in the New York Colony. His actions and those of his fellow residents of Flushing established principles that evolved into the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.

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John Bowne, Sr.'s Timeline

May 9, 1627
Lime Tree Farm, Matlock, Derbyshire, England
Age 21
To Boston, MA, USA
Age 21
To Boston, MA, USA
March 13, 1656
Age 28
Flushing, Queens, NY
October 8, 1658
Age 31
Vlissingen, Nieuw-Nederland
January 6, 1660
Age 32
Flushing, Queens, New York
December 5, 1662
Age 35
Vlissingen, Long Island, Nieuw-Nederlanden
April 2, 1665
Age 37
Flushing, Queens, NY
September 21, 1667
Age 40
Flushing, Queens, NY