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New England Families: Genealogical and Memorial

Source: William Richard Cutter, New England Families: Genealogical and Memorial, Volume 2 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company for Clearfield Company, 1994, [originally published in 1913]).

[page 535]

HOWE* The surname of HOWE is found at an early period in several counties in England as appears in the records of about the time of Henry IV. to that of Elizabeth, as HOWE, HOW, HOUGH, HOWES, HOO, and similar spelling, and in or about the reign of Edward III. the designations were variously DE LA HOW, DE HOW, AT HOW, DE LA HOO, DE HOO, etc.

John HOWE, born about 1420, was the father of William HOWE, of North Weald Basset, Essex, died 1518. Of this William was born William HOWE, of Hatfield Broad Oak, died 1558, father of John HOWE, of Much Hallingbury Hall and Hatfield, How’s Green, died 1601; and he was father of Robert HOWE, of Hatfield, Broad Oaks, etc., living in 1601, of whose descendants more will be said later. William HOWE, of North weald Basset, mentioned above, was the father also of Henry or Harry HOWE, ancestor of the Lord HOWE branch of the family. One of the eminent men in the history of England bearing the name of HOWE was the Rev. John HOWE, Oliver CROMWELL’s chaplain, one of the most noted ministers of his time, and author of several well-known books. Three HOWEs, brothers, were prominent not only in English history, but in that of America. One of them, General George Augustus HOWE, killed at Ticonderoga, had a monument erected to his memory in Westminster Abbey, for which the general court of Massachusetts made an appropriation. General William HOWE commanded the British forces at Bunker Hill and held Philadelphia while WASHINGTON was at Valley Forge. And Admiral Richard HOWE (“Black Dick”) was in command of the British naval forces during the revolution, and was one of the most famous of the English sea fighters. His victory over the French fleet in 1794 on “The Glorious Fourth of June” is one of the cherished traditions of the Royal Navy of the British nation.

Among the early Puritan settlers in Massachusetts were four by the name of HOWE, and it is from them that the great majority of those now bearing this name in America are descended. These four were James of Roxbury and Ipswich, Abraham of Roxbury, John of Sudbury and Marlborough, Abraham of Watertown and Marlborough, and Edward of Lynn. All of them were Puritans and were in Massachusetts soon after the arrival of Governor John WINTHROP in 1629. James and Abraham, of Roxborough and Ipswich, were probably brothers, and John of Sudbury was of near kinship to them.

From John, of Sudbury and Marlborough, was descended that line of HOWEs whose name was closely associated with the Red Horse Tavern, which LONGFELLOW made famous as the Wayside Inn. Several generations of HOWEs were successive proprietors of this well-known hostelry. In the prelude to the “Tales of the Wayside Inn” is described the

“coat of arms well framed and glazed,

Upon the wall in colors blazed,”

and the legend upon it states that the wolves’ heads appearing thereon are the family arms. These three wolves’ heads are to be found as charges upon the escutcheon of nearly all the

______________________

*Facts and dates compiled from various sources by Alfred Leighton Howe, November, 1911.

[page 536]

HOWEs mentioned in “Burke’s General Armory.”

The armorial bearings of John HOWE in heraldic parlance are described as follows: Argent, a chevron between three wolves’ heads couped sable. Crest: Out of a ducal coronet or; a unicorn’s head gules, attired and crined of the first. Motto: Utcunque placuerit deo.

James HOWE was born in England about 1606. He was the son of Robert HOWE, of Broad Oak Hatfield, county Essex, England. He settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts, about 1637, where he was admitted freeman, and married Elizabeth, daughter of John DANE. He was a commoner 1641; one of Major DENNISON’s subscribers 1648. With the designation of James Sen’r. he had a share in Plum Island 1644, tithingman 1677, and in 1679 was a voter in town affairs. He settled before 1648 in Ipswich, Massachusetts, where his wife died January 21, 1693. He died May 17, 1702. His children were James, born about 1634 (the unfortunate Elizabeth who was executed at Salem, Massachusetts, July 10, 1692, for alleged witchcraft is said to have been wife of this James); Mary, married Nehemiah ABBETT; John; Sarah, married John BRIDGES, of Andover, Massachusetts; Abraham, born about 1649; Rebecca, married Stephen BARNARD.

Abraham, son of James HOWE, was born about 1649. He married, March 26, 1678, Sarah PEABODY, daughter of Lieutenant Francis PEABODY, who came from St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England, to New England in the ship “Planter,” Nicholas TEARICE, master, in 1636. Abraham settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts. “A seat in the meeting house was assigned to Corporal Abraham HOW in 1700.” He died January 21, 1717. His widow died September 20, 1732. His children were Love, born January 13, 1679, married Samuel PORTER; Increase, born April 12, 1680, married (first) Mary WHIPPLE, (second) Susanna KINSMAN; Sampson, born March 1, 1683; Abraham, born June 27, 1686, married Hepsibeth ANDREWS; Abijah, born about 1689, married Hannah DOW; Israel, born January 24, 1692-93, married Mercy WARNER; Mark, born March 28, 1695, married (first) Hepsibeth PERKINS, (second) Margaret PERLEY, (third) Elizabeth BRADSTREET. He died February 17, 1777.

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