Early Colonial Settlers of Southern Maryland and Virginia's Northern Neck Counties

Mary MNU Fowler

Female - Aft 1653

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  • Name Mary MNU Fowler 
    Gender Female 
    Death Aft 1653  Lower Norfolk County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I60465  Tree1
    Last Modified 29 May 2023 

    Family 1 Robert Fowler   d. 23 Feb 1653, Lower Norfolk County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F32843  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 29 May 2023 

    Family 2 Nicholas Mason,   b. Bef 1631   d. Aft 1653, Lower Norfolk County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location (Age > 24 years) 
    Marriage Bef Nov 1663  Lower Norfolk County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F18160  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 29 May 2023 

  • Notes 
    • ===
      Lower Norfolk County Records, Wills and Deeds C, 15th December 1651 - Beverly Fleet.

      23 Feb 1652/3 Will of Robert Fowler devises to his son Robert Fowler 200 acres part of the land bought of Mr. Christopher Reynolds. Recorded 16 May 1653. [Lower Norfolk County Minute Book 1637-1646, p47 abstracted in Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Beverley Fleet, Vol. 31, p60]

      10 May 1653 At a court in Lower Norfolk County In dif between Mary Fowler, widow, extrx of Robert Fowler decd, and Henry Snayle, concerning 350 acres a the head fo the southern branch of the Little Creek, and assigned over by X’pofer Reynolds to the sd Fowler in his lifetime. The court orders that Henry Westgate, Giles Collins, Thomas Workeman and Henery Brakes lay out the 350 acres according to agreement betw Snayle and Reynolds dated 18 Feb 1642 (? - this date blotted and impossible to read). [Lower Norfolk County Minute Book 1637-1646, p46 abstracted in Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Beverley Fleet, Vol. 31, p58]
      Lower Norfolk County Records, Wills and Deeds C, 15th December 1651 - Beverly Fleet.

      p.65. A Court held 15 December 1653. Present: Leift Coll Cornelius Loyd, Mr Wm Moseley, Major Tho. Lambert, Mr Francis Emperor, Leift: Coll: John Sidney, Mr Tho: Bridge, Mr Lemuel Mason, Mr Tho: Goodrich, Com'rs.

      p.67. On petition of Nicholas Mason, who married the relict of Robert Fowler, showing that Oct last it was ordered that Mr Emperor and four others lay out a certain tract of land in dif betw Henery Snayle and the widow and extrx of Fowler, which was done. Snayle is now ordered to make a firm bill of sale to Nicholas Mason for the use of Robert Fowler, son of the said Robt Fowler, deceased. [Note: There is a certain literary convention of the cruelty of step parents to the children of former marriages. I see no sign of this whatsoever in these old Virginia records. Again and again I've come upon suits instituted by step-parents, and wills left by them, in which the children were always being protected and cared for by them. While of course there were such cases, I never happen to have seen any record of any thing that would indicate that the children were treated in any way but with regard and affection. B. F.]
      Author: Bruce, Philip A.
      Title: Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century: An Inquiry into the Material Condition of the People, Based on Original and Contemporaneous Records.
      Citation: New York: MacMillan and County, 1896
      Subdivision: Chapter XVIII



      It was in glass-making that the first step was taken in Virginia to promote manufactures in the wider sense of the word. The explanation of this fact lay in the necessity of providing a large quantity of beads for the use of the settlers in their trade with the Indian natives. There was doubtless a subordinate expectation that Virginia might be able to export raw glass for the English market. One of the most serious obstructions in England to all forms of manufacture involving the consumption of much fuel, was the growing scarcity of wood in consequence of the heavy inroads on the forests. This was felt most severely in the manufacture of iron, but it was also felt in glass-making. The abundance of trees in Virginia was thought to be a notable element of success in the manufacture of this latter commodity in the Colony. When Newport arrived in Virginia in the fall of 1608,1 he was accompanied by a number of Dutch and Poles, who formed a part of the Second Supply, the object for which they had been sent out being, among other things, to make a trial of glass. A glass-house was accordingly erected about a mile from Jamestown.2 The first material of this kind was made during the absence of Newport on his excursion into the country of the Monocans, and it was made under the supervision of Smith; when Newport returned to England, he carried with him as a portion of his cargo, the specimens of glass which had been thus produced. In the spring of 1609, the manufacture was continued with success. During the memorable Starving Time following on the departure of Smith from the Colony, the work which had been in progress at the glass-house must have ceased entirely. Nothing more was heard of glass manufacture in Virginia until 1621, in which year there was an effort to reestablish it on a permanent footing.

      In 1621, the Company entered into a contract with Captain William Norton, who had decided to emigrate to the Colony with his family, under the terms of which he was to carry over with him four Italians skilled in glass-making, and also two servants, the expense of transporting these six persons to be borne by him, while the Company was to furnish their general equipment. In the course of three months after his arrival in Virginia, Norton was required to erect a house for the manufacture of every variety of glass. The privilege of exclusive manufacture was to be enjoyed by him during a period of seven years, and he was expected to give not only his personal superintendence to the work, but also to instruct apprentices in the art of making glass. As a reward for this, he was to receive one-fifth of the moiety of the product reserved for the Company and was to be allowed in addition, four hundred acres of the public land. It was expressly provided that no beads were to be retained by Norton, for these could only be useful as a medium of exchange in the Indian trade, in which the Company alone had the right to engage.

      The contract with Captain Norton was reconsidered at a Quarter Court convened at a later date. Attention had in the meanwhile been called to the fact that the Company was at this time in no condition to undergo the heavy charge of supplying eleven persons—the number constituting the hand of Captain Norton with apparel, tools, victuals, and other necessaries, and of transporting them to Virginia. It appeared, moreover, that the calculation of the expense in the beginning had not been sufficiently accurate. It was decided to recommend the proposed manufacture to private subscribers, the Company, however, to advance one-fourth of the amount required to set the enterprise on a firm basis. The patent to be granted was to continue in force for a period of seven years, and was to include the right to make not only glass but also soda, as a necessary ingredient of that substance. Fifty acres were to be allowed for every person sent over by the private adventurers. A roll was drawn at the same court at which the proposition was broached, and received the signatures of the proposed investors.1 Having by this means secured the fund needed for the equipment of himself and his followers for the enterprise in which they were to engage, and to meet the charges for the ocean passage, Captain Norton, his family, and workingmen set sail for Virginia. There he succeeded in erecting a glass furnace. Unfortunately, Norton died, and the Treasurer, Sandys, who had been appointed to take his place in that event, came in charge of the works but soon met with disappointment, as he found it difficult to obtain the proper variety of sand. On one occasion, he sent a shallop to the Falls for a supply, but none adapted to his purpose was found there. He was successful in obtaining the kind which he required from the banks at Cape Henry, but its quality proved so unsatisfactory that Sandys wrote to Ferrer in England requesting him to forward two or three hogsheads of the proper material. The difficulty did not lie only in securing the sand. The Italian workmen employed in the glass-house were wholly intractable; Sandys, in the violence of his anger and disgust, went so far as to say "that a more damned crew hell never vomited,” a character which their actions justified his attributing to them.2 The Italians were anxious to return to Europe, and in order to effect their release, not only proceeded so slowly in their work as to accomplish nothing of consequence, but cracked the furnace by striking it with a crowbar. Their studied efforts to obtain permission to leave the country by breaking up the industry in which they were engaged ended in failure, for among those who were enumerated in the census of 1624-25 as residing on the Treasurer’s lands, were Bernardo and Vicenso, two of the four Italians who had come out with Norton in 1621.

      There is no positive evidence to show for how great a length of time the glass-house remained in existence after the massacre. The land upon which it was situated was conveyed during Governor Harvey’s administration to Anthony Coleman. By the heirs of Coleman, it was assigned to John Senior; from Senior it passed first to John Pitchett, then to John Phipps and William Harris. Phipps having conveyed his interest to Harris, Harris in turn conveyed the tract to Colonel Francis Morrison. This was done in September, 1655.

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