Knowles Family File

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  • ID: I1648
  • Name: Henry Knowles 1 2 3
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: ABT 1609 in Hull, Co York, England
  • Death: bet 2-20 Jan 1670 in Warwick or Kingstown, RI 4 1
  • Religion: Society of Friends 3
  • Note: 2Henry came to New England on the Susan & Ellen in 1635 at theage of 25. The Susan and Ellen sailed from London soon afterthe middle of May, 1635, and crossed the Atlantic in 6 to 8weeks. She carried 96 passengers and was commanded by EdwardPayne. Many of those on board including Richard Saltonstall,Simon Crosby, and Ralph Hudson had come from Yorkshire. Hudson,a draper at Hull, brought his wife, three children, and five"servants" with him. Two of these "servants" were HenryKnowles, aged 25, and Benjamin Thwing, aafed 16. Hudson settledin Boston, where he made his will in Sep 1638. At that timeThwing was still his apprentice but as Knowles is not mentionedin the will, he had no doubt come to terms with Hudson for hispassage and had been released from any contract he may havemade. John Thwing of Kingston-on-Hull, Yorkshire, mentioned inhis will his son-in-law Ralph Hudson, the draper. His wife,Ellen or Helen mentioned her daughter Marie and her son-in-lawRalph Hudson. This suggests Hull as the possible business homeof Hudson and also of his "servants", Benjamin Thwing and HenryKnowles. Hudson is probably the person mentioned in the"Visitation of Yorkshire" of 1612, as aged 21 in 1612, the sonof William and Ann (Tankard) Hudson of Normandy, Yorkshire, atown some twenty miles north of Hull. It is probable,therefore, that this Henry Knowles was related to other Knowles'who were living in Yorkshire at the time of Henry's migration toNew England. It may be worth mentioning that a William Knowleswas mayor of Hull, 1525-1534, that a John Knowles was sheriff in1543, and that in 1554 Sir William Knowles presented to theCorporation of Hull a gold chain, to be worn by the mayor everySunday. Henry was in RI possibly as early as 1638. "Hen Knol" was on a grand jury in Newport 3 Dec 1643 and"Knolls" was a member of a grand jury at the Portsmouth court 7Mar 1644. Henry Knowles was ordered 27 May 1644 to cut shorterhis lot in Portsmouth. In the winter of 1648, he was one of 50men who attested their submission to the government of OliverCromwell. He was a juryman in 1650. On 21 Jan 1654/55 HenryKnowles of Portsmouth sold to Thomas Lawton (Scranton?) "my nowedwelling house," with three house lots adjoining, the fruittrees [etc] , "sittuate in portsmouth, the sayed land being byestimation nyne ackers more or lesse." In 1655 Henrie Knowleswas placed on the "Roule of ye Freeman of ye Colonie ofWarwicke". Warwick was a more recently settled town thanPortsmouth, and he had moved from the northern end of the islandon which Newport now stands westerly across Narrangansett Bay tothe mainland. On 20 Nov 1657 he sold a house and lot to ThomasScranton. In 1660 a six acre lot was laid out to him, on landadjoining his own. During the winter of 1661/2 Knowles seems to have been inconstant trouble. He was not an educated man, for he made hismark in place of a signature. But he was to be authorized in afew years to keep a tavern, and therefore he must have beensomething of "a man about town."In Jan 1661/2 Randall Holden accused him of trespass. The casecame before a local jury, and he was declared not guilty,receiving damages of two pence from Holden. About the same timehe served on a jury for other cases in Warwick. In MarchEleazer Collins brought suit to collect ten pounds from Knowles.A compromise was effected, and the suit was withdrawn. FrancisDerby of Warwick also brought a suit in April. The case was putover to a later court, and was withdrawn in August. The recordhere given is for one winter and spring. If other years wereanywhere nearly as active, Henry Knowles must have lived a busylife.On 23 Mar 1664/5 Knowles and three others were authorized by thetown to keep ordinaries (a tavern) for the entertainment ofstrangers during the time the King's commissioners held court inWarwick. In Jan 1666/7 he was on a jury which reported that adead Indian came to his end by being beaten.In his will of 2 Jan 1670/1, Henry Knowles gave to his wife(whose name was not mentioned), for life, the northeastern halfof the house in Warwick, which his son John was to fitconveniently for his mother's use, the meadow in front of thehouse, which John was to mow annually , certain other land forlife, two cows and a hog, and 40s. annually. To his daughterMary, 15 pounds, of which she was to receive 5 pounds from herbrother John three years after the death of the testator and 5pounds annually afterwards. To his daughter Marth, 20 pounds,of which 5 pounds was to be paid by John 2 years, and 5 poundsannually after that. To his son John half of the house and therest of the lands and meadows at Warwicke and Potowomut, etc.,and on the decease of the testator's wife, her part of thelands "of my now dwelling" (at Kingstown?) and a calf. To hisson William the other half of these lands. To his sons Williamand Henry the rest of all lands equally, "as Robert Hazard andJohn Albro shall divide it for their convenience." The rest ofthe cattle and hogs and a mare were to remain to the farm, butwere eventually to be divided as his wife should see cause, thebest bed at Warwick, however, to be for his wife and the otherone for John, and , of "those which are here," the best was tobe for Henry and the other for Martha. He charged William to becareful over Henry until the latter came of age, and then togive him full and quiet possession of the house and half of allappertaining, for two years after Henry should come of age, andWilliam haaving half the nursery to plant if he should see fit.He appointed his son William executor. The will was apparentlywritten at Kingstown but was proved in Warwick.It was testified by witnesses that they heard deceased say,after signing his will, that, if his son John did not take whathe gave him, he was to have his brother William's right, andWilliam was to have John's share, except the executorship, andwhoever should enjoy the Warwick estate was to providesufficient wood for their mother during her life. The 40s. wasto be paid by William to his mother until Henry should come ofage, and then he was to pay 20s of it.The abstract of this will was published by Austin in his"Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island, P 334. Austin statesthat Henry Knowles was apparently living in Kingstown when hemade his will, although it was proved at Warwick 20 Jan 1671.The Church of Jesus Christ LDS also has Henry married to aMartha Potter, b abt 1623 in England, m abt 1644 in Warwick,Kent, RI, and listed with the same children. Her father isunknown. Finally, they also have him married to ElizabethMolly Williams, b abt. 1609 and of Hull, Humberside, England.
  • Change Date: 25 SEP 2002



    Marriage 1 Elizabeth Potter b: ABT 1620
    • Married: 1640 in Warwick, Kent, RI 4
    Children
    1. Has Children William Knowles b: ABT 1645 in Warwick, Kent, RI
    2. Has No Children John Knowles b: ABT 1647 in Warwicke, RI
    3. Has Children Mary Knowles b: ABT 1649 in Warwick, Kent, RI
    4. Has Children Martha Knowles b: ABT 1651 in RI
    5. Has No Children Henry Knowles b: ABT 1654 in RI

    Sources:
    1. Text: Henry Knowles of Rhode Island and some of his descendants by
      Text: Stanwood Knowles Bolton, A.B. published in the NEHG Rigister,
      Text: Vol 87, Oct 1933.
    2. Text: Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island by John Osborne Austin,
      Text:
    3. Text: The American Genealogist, Vol 20, Pgs 226-7
      Text:
    4. Text: Church of Jesus Christ Ancestral File v 4.19
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