Scope and Contents
This collection is comprised of John Bowne's single volume typed manuscript biography, "John Bowne: Pioneer of Freedom," written by John Cox Jr. The biography of John Bowne is based on his letters, journals, and public records, and describes his early life in England, his emigration to the colonies, the arrival of the Quakers, his marriage, and his convincement (conversion to Quakersim).
John Bowne (1627-1695) was born March 9, 1627, in Matlock, England, the son of Thomas and Mary Bowne. He emigrated with his father to Boston, Massachusetts, in 1648. Bowne married Hannah Feake (ca. 1637-1678) in 1656, and the couple soon became convinced Quakers. John and Hannah Bowne had eight children: John (b. 1656), Elizabeth (b. 1658), Mary (b. 1660), Abigail Willets (b. 1662), Hannah Field (b. 1665), Samuel (b. 1667), Dorothy (b. 1669), and Martha Johanna (b. 1673). In 1661, the couple moved to Flushing, Long Island, to join a Quaker community there. In 1662, Bowne was arrested by the Governor of New Netherland, Peter Stuyvesant, for hosting a Quaker meeting in his house, and after refusing to pay a fine, was sent to Holland for a trial. Bowne was later released and returned to the newly British colony of New York. Bowne married his second wife, Hannah Bickerstaff, in 1679 or 1680, and the couple had six children, though the first two died shortly after their birth: Sarah (b. 1680), Sarah (b. 1681), John Bowne (the younger) (b. 1683), Thomas (b. 1684), John (b. 1886), and Abigail (b. 1888). In 1693, Bowne married his third wife, Mary Cock, and the couple had two children: Amy Hallet (b. 1694) and Ruth (b. 1695). John Bowne died on December 20, 1695, in Flushing, New York.