William Fowler, Sr., of Milford

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William Fowler, Sr., of Milford

Also Known As: "Magistrate Fowler", "Judge", "Hon. William Fowler"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: probably Aylesbury, County Bucks, England (United Kingdom)
Death: January 25, 1660 (84-93)
New Haven, Milford, New Haven County, Connecticut, United States
Place of Burial: BURIED IN PETER PRUDDEN'S GARDEN, NO TOMBSTONE REMAINS, Milford, New Haven County, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Husband of Sarah Neeld Fowler
Father of Mary Fowler; Capt. William Fowler, Jr. of Milford; Dea. John Fowler; Sarah Fowler; Ambrose Fowler and 1 other

Occupation: Judge William Fowler
Managed by: Geoffrey David Trowbridge
Last Updated:

About William Fowler, Sr., of Milford

Judge William Fowler

  • BIRTH 1571 - England
  • DEATH 25 Jan 1660 (aged 88–89) - Milford, New Haven County, Connecticut, USA
  • BURIAL Milford Cemetery, Milford, New Haven County, Connecticut, USA
  • PLOT BURIED IN PETER PRUDDEN'S GARDEN --NO TOMBSTONE REMAINS
  • MEMORIAL ID 29788365

Biography

William Fowler was born about 1572, inf Dalbury-With-Lees, Derbyshire, England, to William Fowler (1550-1626) and Ann Heawood (1551-1617 and married Sarah Neeld, in England, before 1620. He reportedly traced his heritage to Sir RichardFowler of Foxley, Bucks County, England.[3] William was a Puritan and a prisoner in Bridwell in 1592. He came to New England on 26 June 1637, arriving in Boston with Rev. John Davenport. In April 1638 he sailed from Boston to New Haven, CT. He was at the famous meeting in Mr. Newman's Barn on 4 June 1639 when the New Haven Colony was agreed upon. He was named first trustee of Milford Countyand was the only member with the honorable prefix "Mr". He was then chosen Judge. He was a old man when he settled in Milford.[4]

"It is probable that Mr. Fowler was one of the first settlers who had received a classical education in his native country. He is reported to have enjoyed a high reputation for wisdom and piety, and had the confidence of the Colony as a magistrate.[5] On 26 June 1637 they landed in Boston; his group travelled in two ships, one of which was named the "Hector"[5] On 30 March 1638 they sailed from Boston to Quinnipiac, the Indian name for New Haven, and arrived in about a fortnight.[6] By 1639 they were living in Milford, Connecticut [7] and by 1640 built a mill in Milford. "Fowler's Mill" was so important to the town that when it was damaged in 1645, the General Court voted that everyone in the town should help him rebuild it. On 26 October 1643 he was chosen magistrate of the colony of New Haven then on 25 January 1660 he died age 88 in Milford.[8]



William Fowler is mentioned as a prisoner in Bridewell with other Puritans in the year 1592. The list of prisoners is immediately preceded by a petition addressed to the Lord Treasurer by many of the “poor Christians imprisoned by the Bishops in sundry prisons in and about London.” About this time a congregation of Puritans were discovered at Islington, and 56 were sent to prison. William Fowler came to New England in the company of Rev. John Davenport, Gov. Eaton and others, and arrived at Boston the 26th of June, 1637. William Fowler came over in a ship that sailed from London. There were those of the name in Islington, which was then and now is a part of London in fact. He was an old man when he settled in Milford, having died 68 years after, and if he was, say, twenty at imprisonment, this would make him 88. Therefore there is nothing improbable in the supposition that the prisoner was the William Fowler who came to New Haven. If so, he was probably from Islington or New London.

William Fowler was at the famous meeting in Mr. Newman’s Barn, 4 June 1639, when the peculiar constitution and policy of Mr. Davenport, which afterward characterized the New Haven Colony, was agreed upon. Mr. Fowler subscribed to that agreement. In the spring of 1639 the settlement of Milford had been arranged and Mr. Fowler is the first named of the trustees, and the only one bearing the honorable prefix “Mr.” of the New Haven Company, was the founder of Milford, Connecticut, and ancestor of all the Fowlers of Milford, New Haven, Guilford, and Windsor. He settled in Milford; was chosen Judge/Magistrate in 1639.

He had had a classical education and was a man of prominence and influence in his native land, and was therefore well qualified for the honor and responsibility conferred upon him as judge in the new world. He was a planter, and builder of a mill, first magistrate of New Haven, Judge, and freeplanter. He was a Lieutenant and Assistant of the Colony. He was the founder of the Church of Christ of Milford in 1639. His name is on a memorial stone on the Bridge over the Wepawaug River. Here is the memorial given for William Fowler at the 250th anniversary celebration of Milford:

“Mr. Fowler held the three important positions of Trustee, Pillar of the Church, and Judge, at the combination of Milford and Guilford with New Haven, in 1643, and the establishment of the jurisdiction of “the New Haven Colony,” Mr. Fowler was selected as the Chief Magistrate of Milford, which he held for several years, and was succeeded at his death by Mr. Benjamin Fenn. He was evidently a man of much practical knowledge, energetic and persevering. He early discovered the advantages and facilities furnished by the river or stream running through the town, and at once determined to secure them to the community.

Since that period nine generations of the Fowlers have successfully conducted its operations, and recently the eighth William Fowler has complete the fifth mill in succession on the precise spot, confirming the wisdom of his honored ancestor whose keen eye discerned the advantages and facilities presented, when single handed in a country scarcely a year old. He accepted the situation and at once proceeded to control the water power in its natural condition, to block out a location, to build the dam, quarry out the millstones and obtain the iron and other necessary materials with the limited means of transportation the wilderness afforded, and all this was to be done in the midst of arduous duties thrust upon him, filling various offices, and a leading citizen in the numerous projected improvements in progress.”

The stone presented to the committee by the present energetic proprietor and bearing the inscription, tradition says, has lain dormant about the premises for centuries, and which on examination by geologists and antiquarians, has been pronounced as doubtless the original millstone quarried and hewn out by Mr. Fowler and used temporarily, until a better substitute could be obtained. It is now acknowledge to be the oldest business establishment of its kind in the country; and the present proprietor’s grandson is the 10th William Fowler in a direct line. On the buttress is cut “Law, Order, Morality, Liberty, Charity,” to typify the principles that buttress our institutions. The gift, a special contribution of Charles H. Trowbridge, Esq. Among the monumental remains of Islington, England, are found those of his family, bearing this inscription after some names and dates: “Divers of this family lie here interred; the ancestors of Sir Thomas Fowler, Knight and Baronet, living 1630.”

William Fowler died 25 January 1660, Milford, New Haven, Connecticut, age 88. His will was executed in 1661. He left two sons, William and John. His wife Sarah Neeld was born about 1600, in Dalbury, England. She married William Fowler in England, before 1620 she immigrated with her husband, William Fowler, to New Haven with the Davenport Company in 1637 and left the following year to settle Milford. They were Puritans. Their children were all born in England.



William & his wife, Sarah (unknown), came to New Haven with the Davenport Company in 1638 and left the following year for settle Milford. He was a founder of the Church of Christ of Milford in 1639. He died at age 88, leaving his two sons, William & John. His name is on a memorial stone on the Bridge over the Wepawaug River given for William Fowler at the 250th anniversary celebration of Milford states: Mr. Fowler held the three important positions of Trustee, Pillar of the Church and Judge.

At the combination of Milford and Guilford with New Haven, in 1643, and the establishment of the jurisdiction of "the New Haven Colony," Mr. Fowler was selected as the Chief Magistrate of Milford, which he held for several years, and was succeeded at his death by Mr. Benjamin Fenn. He was evidently a man of much practical knowledge, energetic and persevering. He early discovered the advantages and facilities furnished by the river or stream running through the town, and at once determined to secure them to the community.

Since that period nine generations of the Fowlers have successfully conducted its operations, and recently the eighth William Fowler has completed the fifth mill in succession on the precise spot, confirming the wisdom of his honored ancestor whose keen eye discerned the advantages and facilities presented, when single handed in a country scarcely a year old.

He accepted the situation and at once proceeded to control the water power in its natural condition, to block out a
location, to build the dam, quarry out the millstones and obtain the iron and other necessary materials with the limited means of transportation the wilderness afforded, and all this was to be done in the midst of arduous duties thrust upon him, filling various offices, and a leading citizen in the numerous projected improvements in progress.

The stone presented to the committee by the present energetic proprietor and bearing the inscription, tradition says, has lain dormant about the premises for centuries, and which on examination by geologists and antiquarians, has been pronounced as doubtless the original millstone quarried and hewn out by Mr. Fowler and used temporarily, until a better substitute could be obtained.

It is now acknowledged to be the oldest business establishment of its kind in the country, and the present proprietor's grandson is the 10th Wm. Fowler in a direct line. On the buttress is cut Law, Order, Morality, Liberty, and Charity, to typify the principles that buttress our institutions. The gift, a special contribution of Charles H. Trowbridge, Esq.[11] FOWLER. This is one of the oldest New England names, and has had many worthy representatives in America, who were active in the struggle for American independence, and in various ways have contributed to the welfare, prosperity and happy condition of the country now the abode of their posterity.[12]

William Fowler, a native of England, was a member of Rev. John Davenport's company, which came to Boston in 1637. He was imprisoned with other Puritans, in the efifort to suppress the spread of their religious belief, or heresy, as it was then called, in England. He arrived at New Haven, Connecticut, April 16, 1638, and participated in the famous meeting in Mr. Newman's barn, June 4, 1639. In April of that year he settled at Milford, same colony, of which place he was one of the first trustees and was a magistrate.

Spouse
Sarah Neeld died after 1638, in Milford, New Haven, CT at about age 38.

Children all born in Dalbury-With-Lees, Derbyshire, England
Capt. William Fowler 6/2/1622-1683, buried in Milford Cemetery, New Haven, CT[10]
Mary Fowler Caffing 1624-1657 m. John Caffing
Ambrose Fowler 1626-10/18/1704 in Westfield, MA ca 78. immigrated 1637. m. Jane Alvord, 26 May 1646.
John Fowler, b. 16 Sep 1626,; d. 13 Sep 1676.
Joseph Fowler, d. 19 May 1667.

Notes

William Fowler’s wife’s name and his parentage are unknown. Fowler Family History: record says a William Fowler, a Puritan, was imprisoned in the year 1592 by the Bishops in or around London. ...probable ancestor unconfirmed. William was born about 1606. He was the son of John Fowler and Frances Webb. He passed away in 1661. <ref>Unsourced family tree handed down to Heather (Fishbaugher Dierkop) Martell. </ref>

References

1. http://history.rays-place.com/ct/early-milford-ct.htm

2a. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/29788365/william_fowler

2b. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=29788365

Sources

3. "Cleveland Family Book Vol I"

4. The History of the Fowlers. Batavia, NY: Miller-Mac Printing Company Inc., 1950. Page 582.

3. Families of Early Milford, Connecticut by Susan Emma Woodruff Abbott, page 280 (Google Books). Gives date of birth and age at death (88) and date of death. Also says "probably from Aylesbury ..."

4. Fowler, Christine Cecilia, “The History of the Fowlers,” Miller-Mac Printing Company, Inc., Batavia, New York, 1950.)

5. An Historical Sketch and Genealogical Record of the Fowlers of Milford, Connecticut. New Haven, CT: The Stafford Printing Co., 1887 by John William. Page 12.</ref>

6. Descendants of Capt. William Fowler, New Haven, Connecticut. Milwaukee, WI: Starr & Son, 1870 by Daniel W. Page 9-12.

7. "Cleveland Family Book Vol I"

8. Families of Early Milford, Connecticut. Genealogical Publishing Co., 1979. Page 280.</ref>

9. History of the Old Town of Derby, Connecticut, 1642-1880. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 1998. Page 693 by Orcutt, Samuel.

10. "Cleveland Family Book Vol I">Cleveland, Edmund Janes. The Genealogy of the Cleveland and Cleaveland Families, Volume I. Hartford, CT: Case, Lockwood, and Brainard Co.,1899. [https://archive.org/stream/genealogyofcleve01clev#page/932/mode/2up. Page 931-932].</ref>
John

11. Caroline Fowler [Barbee/Lee family ties], A FAG Contributor Book about William and his family in Milford, CT: http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89066141250

12. "Genealogical and family history of the county of Jefferson, New York; a record of the achievements of her people and the phenomenal growth of her agricultural and mechanical industries"

GEDCOM Note

13. Puritan Great Migration

Additional Data

William was probably from Aylesbury, County Bucks, England.<ref name=Abbott /> He reportedly traced his heritage to Sir RichardFowler of Foxley, Bucks County, England.<ref name = "Cleveland Family Book Vol I" />
William was a Puritan and a prisoner in Bridwell in 1592. He came to New England on 26 June 1637, arriving in Boston with Rev. John Davenport. In April 1638 he sailed from Boston to New Haven, CT. He was at the famous meeting in Mr. Newman's Barn on 4 June 1639 when the New Haven Colony was agreed upon. He was named first trustee of Milford Countyand was the only member with the honorable prefix "Mr". He was then chosen Judge. He was a old man when he settled in Milford.<ref>Fowler, Christine Cecilia. The History of the Fowlers. Batavia, NY: Miller-Mac Printing Company Inc., 1950. Page 582.</ref> "It is probable that Mr. Fowler was one of the first settlers who had received a classical education in his native country. He is reported to have enjoyed a high reputation for wisdom and piety, and had the confidence of the Colony as a magistrate."<ref name=Fowler /> 26 June 1637 landed in Boston; his group travelled in two ships,one of which was named the "Hector"<ref>Fowler, John William. An Historical Sketch and Genealogical Record of the Fowlers of Milford, Connecticut. New Haven, CT: The Stafford Printing Co., 1887. Page 12.</ref> 30 March 1638 sailed from Boston to Quinnipiac, the Indian name for New Haven, and arrived in about a fortnight. <ref name=Fowler>Fowler, Daniel W. Descendants of Capt. William Fowler, New Haven, Connecticut. Milwaukee, WI: Starr & Son, 1870. Page 9-12.</ref> by 1639 living in Milford, Connecticut.<ref name = "Cleveland Family Book Vol I" /> 1640 built a mill in Milford. "Fowler's Mill" was so important to the town that when it was damaged in 1645, the General Court voted that everyone in the town should help him rebuild it.<ref name=Fowler /> 26 October 1643 chosen magistrate of the colony of New Haven<refname=Fowler /> 25 January 1660 died age 88 in Milford<ref name=Abbott>Abbott, Susan Woodruff. Families of Early Milford, Connecticut. Genealogical Publishing Co., 1979. Page 280.</ref>

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William Fowler, Sr., of Milford's Timeline

1571
1571
probably Aylesbury, County Bucks, England (United Kingdom)
1604
December 1, 1604
Leighton Buzzard, Eng
1622
June 2, 1622
Dalbury, Derbyshire, England (United Kingdom)
June 2, 1622
Age 51
Ely, Cambridgeshire, England, United Kingdom
1623
1623
Dalbury Lees, Derbyshire, England
1624
1624
Dalbury, Lees, Derby, England
1625
May 6, 1625
Dalbury, Derbyshire, England
1626
1626
Derby, Derbyshire, England (United Kingdom)
1638
March 30, 1638
Age 67
New Haven, Connecticut, United States