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Marker for John Howland on Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts Born c. 1591 Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, England Died February 23, 1672/3 Plymouth Colony Nationality English Known for Signing the Mayflower Compact

John Howland (c. 1591 – February 23, 1672/3) was a passenger on the Mayflower. He was an indentured servant [1] who accompanied the separatists, also called the Pilgrims, when they left England to settle in Plymouth, Massachusetts. He signed the Mayflower Compact and helped found Plymouth Colony.

Having outlived John Carver, the first governor of the Plymouth Colony, to whom he was indentured, Howland became freeman in 1621 and perhaps inherited some of Carver's estate.[2] In 1626, Howland was one of eight settlers who agreed to assume the colony's debt to its investors in England in exchange for a monopoly of the fur trade.[3] He was elected deputy to the General Court in consecutive years from 1641–1655 and again in 1658.[4]

Howland married fellow Mayflower passenger Elizabeth Tilley, and together they had ten children and 88 grandchildren.[1] The couple founded one of the three largest Mayflower progenies and their descendants have been "associated largely with both the 'Boston Brahmins' and Harvard's 'intellectual aristocracy' of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries."[5]

John Howland died February 23, 1672/3 at the age of 80, having outlived all other male Mayflower passengers except John Cooke, who died in 1695.[6][7] The location of his grave is unknown, but it presumed that he is buried on Burial Hill in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Elizabeth Tilley outlived her husband by 15 years. She died December 21, 1681, in the home of her daughter, Lydia Brown, in Swansea, Massachusetts, and is buried in a section of that town which is now in East Providence, RI.[8]

Contents [hide] 1 Early life and voyage 1.1 Signing the Mayflower Compact 2 Elizabeth Tilley 3 Kennebec trading post 4 Death 5 Notable descendants 6 References 7 External links

[edit] Early life and voyageJohn Howland was born in Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, England around 1591.[9][10] He was the son of Margaret and Henry Howland, and the brother of Henry and Author Howland, who emigrated later from England to Marshfield, Massachusetts.[5][9] Although Henry and Arthur Howland were Quakers, John himself was a member of the Orthodox Puritan church.[11]

William Bradford, who was the governor of Plymouth Colony for many years, wrote in Of Plymouth Plantation, that Howland was a man-servant of John Carver. Carver was the deacon of the separatist church while the group resided in Leiden, Netherlands. At the time the Leiden congregation left the Netherlands, on the Speedwell, Carver was in England securing investments, gathering other potential passengers, and chartering the Mayflower for the journey to North America. John Howland may have accompanied Carver's household from Leiden when the Speedwell left Delfshaven for Southampton, England, July, 1620. Ansel Ames in Mayflower and Her Log, said that Howland was probably kin of Carver's and that he was more likely a steward or a secretary than a servant.[12]

The separatist planned to travel to the New World, on the Speedwell and the Mayflower. The Speedwell proved to be unseaworthy and thus most of the passengers crowded onto the Mayflower. During the voyage there was a turbulent storm during which John Howland fell overboard. He managed to grab a topsail halyard that was trailing in the water and was hauled back aboard safely.[1]

[edit] Signing the Mayflower Compact William Bradford's transcription of the Mayflower CompactThe separatist had considered hiring John Smith to provide military leadership in their new settlement, but opted for Myles Standish instead.[13] They had also considered heading for New England, the coast of which was mapped several years earlier by Smith, but were unable to secure a patent, or grant from the king. So they set out for the mouth of the Hudson River, present day New York, which was the northern most part of the Virginia Colony.

Having travelled for 65 days against the force of the Gulf Stream and westerly winds, at an average speed of two miles per hour since leaving England, the crew of the Mayflower first spotted land on November 9, 1620. They were 220 miles north of the Hudson, off the coast of Cape Cod. With no way of calibrating latitude, the ship's captain had not known how far off course the storms they had encountered had tossed them. When it became apparent where they were, the captain attempted to head south to the Hudson. There was at that time no charts of the course they were attempting to traverse. According to Nathaniel Philbrick, author of Mayflower: a Story of Courage, Community, and War the Pilgrims apparently did not have Smith's charts with them as they would have realized that they were much closer to the mouth of the Charles River which lay to the north. Locating a river on which to settle was not the only consideration, however, they also needed to land somewhere with a governing patent.[1]

In order to finance the voyage to the New World, the separatist had investors back in England, they also had accepted non-separatists to join them on the journey. These passengers, whom the separatists referred to as "strangers", made up half of those on the Mayflower. When it became apparent that they were going to land in territory for which they had no patent, tension began to arise between the two groups. It was decided that before they set foot on the continent, they had to draw up some type of governing document. On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower Compact was signed. John Howland was the thirteenth of the 41 "principal men" to sign.

[edit] Elizabeth TilleyThe first winter in North America proved deadly for the Pilgrims as half their number perished. The Carver family with whom John lived, survived the winter of 1620-21. However, the following spring, on an unusually hot day in April, Governor Carver, according to William Bradford, came out of his cornfield feeling ill. He passed into a coma and "never spake more". His wife, Kathrine, died soon after her husband. The Carvers' only children died while they lived in Leiden and it is possible that Howland inherited their estate. Since he no longer owed indenture to Carver, he became a freeman.[2] In 1624 he was considered the head of what was once the Carver household when he was granted an acre for each member of the household including himself, Elizabeth Tilley, Desire Minter, and a boy named William Latham.[14]

Until Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation was discovered in 1856, it was presumed that John Howland's wife, Elizabeth, was a daughter or granddaughter of Carver's. This mistake was even recorded on a gravestone that was erected for Howland on Burial Hill, in 1836.[14][15] However, the Bradford journal revealed that she was, in fact, the daughter of John Tilley and his wife, Joan (Hurst). Elizabeth Tilley was born in Henlow, Bedfordshire, England where she was baptized in August, 1607. She and her parents were passengers on the Mayflower. Her parents did not survive the first winter in Plymouth and so she joined the Carver household. In 1623/24, she married John Howland.[3] At that time she was about 16 years of age while he was about 30.

The Jabez Howland House in Plymouth, Massachusetts, built c. 1667 and photographed in 1921. Elizabeth (Tilley) Howland lived there for five years.In Plymouth the Howlands lived on the north side of Leyden [Leiden] Street.[6] They lived for a short time in Duxbury [16] and then moved to Kingston where they had a farm on a piece of land referred to as Rocky Nook.[6] The farm burned down in 1675 during King Philip's War.[17] By that time, John had died and Elizabeth moved in with her son, Jabez.[18]

Together Elizabeth and John had ten children[19] and 88 grandchildren.[1] They founded one of the three largest progenies of Mayflower decedents. John and Priscilla (Mullins) Alden, and Richard Warren founded the other two.[5] The Howland's son John married Mary Lee, Oct 26, 1651 and settled in Barnstable as did his sister, Desire Howland Gorum (1623–1683) who married John Gorham abt 1643. Elizabeth Howland Dickerson and her sister Hope also settled in Barnstable. Hope married John Chipman. Jabez married Bethia Thatcher and settled in Bristol, R.I. Isaac married Elizabeth Vaughan and settled in Middleborough. Ruth Howland Cushman and her brother, Joseph settled in Plymouth. He married Elizabeth Southworth in 1664. Hannah married Jonathan Bosworth and settled in Hull. Lydia Howland Browne settled in Swansea.[20] Elizabeth was living with Lydia in Swansea at the time of her death, December 21, 1687.[15]

Before moving to Rhode Island, Jabez Howland owned a home in Plymouth at 33 Sandwich Street. The house was built by Jacob Mitchell about 1667 and was sold to Jabez Howland. John and Elizabeth had wintered in the house, and Elizabeth lived there from 1675, when the Rocky Nook farm was burned down, until Jabez sold it in 1680. It is the only house standing in Plymouth in which Mayflower passengers lived.[18]

[edit] Kennebec trading postWith the death of Carver, to whom he was indentured, Howland became a freeman in 1621. Over the next several years, he served at various times as selectman, assistant and deputy governor, surveyor of highways, and as member of the fur committee. In 1626, he was asked to participate in assuming the colony's debt to its investors to enable the colony to pursue its own goals without the pressure to remit profits back to England. The "undertakers" paid the investers £1,800 to relinquish their claims on the land, and £2,400 for other debt. In return the group acquired a monopoly on the colony's fur trade for six years.[21]

Howland accompanied Edward Winslow in the exploration of Kennebec River (in current day Maine), looking for possible fur trading sites and natural resources that the colony could exploit. He also lead a team of men that built and operated a fur trading post there. While Howland was in charge of the colony's northerly trading post, an incident occurred there that Bradford described as "one of the saddest things that befell them."[22] A group of traders from Piscataqua (present day Portsmouth, New Hampshire) led by a man named John Hocking, encroached on the trading ground granted to Plymouth by a patent, by sailing their bark up the river beyond their post. Howland warned Hocking to depart, but Hocking, brandishing a pistol and using foul language, refused. Howland ordered his men to approach the bark in a canoe and cut its cables setting it adrift. The Plymouth men managed to cut one cable when Hocking put his pistol to the head of Moses Talbot, one of Howland's men, and shot and killed him. Another of the Howland group shot Hocking to death in response.[22]

[edit] DeathHowland died on 23 February 1673, and was "with honour interred" on Burial Hill. This was accorded only to the leaders of the Colony, and meant that a squad of soldiers fired a volley over his grave. He is described in the records as a "godly man and an ardent professor in the ways of Christ."

[edit] Notable descendantsJohn and Elizabeth Howland's direct descendants include notable figures such as:

U.S. presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush. U.S. first ladies Edith Roosevelt and Barbara Bush Continental Congress President Nathaniel Gorham Former Governors Sarah Palin (Alaska) and Jeb Bush (Florida) Poets Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, an Florence Earle Coates (a 9th generation descendant and a founding member (1896) of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (SMDPA))[23] Actors/actresses Christopher Lloyd, Humphrey Bogart, Maude Adams, Lillian Russell, and Chevy Chase.[5][24][25] Prophet and founder of the Latter Day Saint movement Joseph Smith, Jr., his wife Emma Hale, and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young Opera singer and music educator William Howland Descendants of John Howland's brothers Arthur

U.S. presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford British prime minister Winston Churchill and Henry (Churchill).[5][25][26] The genealogical society, The Pilgrim John Howland Society, is open for membership to all who can claim Howland as an ancestor. It is based in Plymouth, Massachusetts.[27]

[edit] References1.^ a b c d e Philbrick, Nathaniel (2006). Mayflower: a story of courage, community, and war. Viking. pp. 32–37. 2.^ a b Philbrick. Pg. 102 3.^ a b Philbrick, Pg. 168 4.^ Hurd, Duane (1884). History of Plymouth County, Massachusetts. J. W. Lewis & Co.. pp. 103. 5.^ a b c d e Roberts, Gary Boyd. "#55 Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources: Notable Descendants of Henry and Margaret (----) Howland of Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, Parents of John Howland of the Mayflower". New England Historic Genealogical Society. Retrieved October 3, 2010. 6.^ a b c Hurd. Pg. 125 7.^ "Ancestry Rootsweb". 8.^ "Elizabeth Tilley Howland". The Pilgrim John Howland Society. 9.^ a b Roser, Susan E. (1997). Mayflower Increasing. Genealogical Publishing Company. pp. 68. 10.^ "John Howland of the Mayflower". Pilgrim Hall Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 11.^ Pilgrim John Howland Society (1911). The Howland Homestead. Society of the Descendants of Pilgrim John Howland, of the Ship Mayflower. pp. 7–8. 12.^ Ames, Ansel (2008). Mayflower and Her Log. BiblioBazaar. pp. 36. 13.^ Philbrick, Pg.59 14.^ a b Marble, Anne Russell (1920). The women who came in the Mayflower. Pilgrim Press. pp. 85–88. 15.^ a b "John Howland". The Pilgrim John Howland Society. Retrieved October 4, 2010. 16.^ Hurd. Pg. 357 17.^ Beaudry, Mary C. (1993). Documentary Archeology in the New World. Cambridge University Press. pp. 86. 18.^ a b "The Jabez Howland house". The Pilgrim John Howland Society. Retrieved October 4, 2010. 19.^ George Ernest Bowman, ed (1990). Mayflower Descendant. II. Boston, MA: Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants.,M1. Retrieved 16 June 2009. 20.^ Stone, Edwin Martin (1857). The Life and Recollections of John Howland. G.H. Whitney. pp. 10–11. Retrieved 16 June 2009. 21.^ Stone. Pg. 7 22.^ a b Bradford, William, Of Plymouth Plantation. Edited by Harold Paget. E.P. Dutton & Company. 1920. Pg. 253-256 23.^ Register of Members: Philadelphia Society of Mayflower Descendants in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 1996, p. 57. 24.^ William Stocking and Gordon K. Miller. The city of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922, Volume 5, pg 562-563. 25.^ a b Mayflower History: Famous Descendents of Mayflower Passengers 26.^ The Pilgrim John Howland Society: Famous Descendents 27.^ The Pilgrim John Howland Society [edit] External linksPilgrim John Howland Society Howland Family Tree 1 Howland Family Tree 2 Howland Family Tree 3 Pilgrim Hall Museum Persondata Name Howland, John Alternative names Short description Mayflower Pilgrim Date of birth c. 1591 Place of birth Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, England Date of death 1673 Place of death Plymouth Colony Retrieved from ""