My eighth great grandfather was born January 31, 1635 in Plymouth, Massachusetts and died January 21, 1676 in Tiverton, Rhode Island.
Born the son of Henry Howland and Mary Sarah Newland from Fen Stanton, England.
Henry Howland is listed as follows:
FIRST RESIDENCE: Plymouth
REMOVES: Duxbury 1636
FREEMAN: In the “1633” list of Plymouth freemen Henry Howland appears immediately before those admitted on 1 January 1632/3 [ PCR 1:4]. In the 6 March 1636/7 list of Plymouth Colony freemen [PCR 1:52]. In the Duxbury section of the 1639 and 1658 lists of Plymouth freemen (with his name erased from the 1658 list)
Zoeth’s sister – Abigail – was born in 1629 in England. Zoeth was born in January and his sister Elizabeth in December of 1635 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Mary in 1637, Nicholas in 1639, Sarah in 1645, Samuel in 1646 and Joseph in 1653 all in Duxbury, Massachusetts.
Zoeth married Abigail October in October 1656, according to the Friends’ records at Newport, Rhode Island.
Abigail gave him eight children. Nathaniel (1657-1723), Benjamin (1659-1727), Daniel (1661 – 1714), Mary (1665-1743) [my 7th great grandmother] , Sarah (1668 – 1768), Nicholas (1670 – 1722), and twins Abigail (1672 – 1700) and Henry (1672 – 1729).
“Sometime around 1656, Henry and his wife Mary became Quakers as did his recently married son Zoeth, and Zoeth’s wife Abigail, and Henry’s older brother Arthur Howland and Arthur’s wife. And so began a series of conflicts with the townsfolk of Duxbury…”
“About a fortnight before the date hereof, being at the house of Zoeth Howland, hee said hee would not goe to meeting to hear lyes, and that the diuill [devil] could teach as good a sermon as the minnisters; and that a 2cond time being att the house of the said Zoeth Howland, and his brother, John Hunt, and Tho Delano being with him, hee questioned with the said Zoeth Howland whether hee would not goe to the meeting, because the minnesters taught lyes, and that the diuill could teach as good a sermon as the minnesters; and hee said hee denied it not. Also, Tho Delano questioned him whether the minnesters taught lyes, and hee said yes, and lett him looke in teh Scriptures and hee should find it soe.”
For this audacious utterance, Zoeth was arraigned at the term of Court in March 1657-58 “for speaking opprobriously of the minnesters of Gods Word,” and was sentenced to sit in the stocks. (Howland Heirs, p.4)
“By 1668, the persecution of Quakers had lessened, and Zoeth’s father Henry Howland was appointed surveyor again. Henry died in 1671, and his wife Mary died in 1674. Zoeth had left Duxbury about 1662, and settled in Dartmouth, MA, on land his father had purchased. Zoeth and his wife had nine children, beginning in 1659. Now we come to King Philips War, which was roughly 1675-76, and involved the settlers of Massachusetts and the Wampanoag Indians.
King Philip was the son of the famous Massasoit; Massasoit made a treaty with the pilgrims after they landed at Plymouth, and helped them through the first winter. After Massasoit’s death in 1661, his son Philip and the other Wampanoags felt the pressures as the settlements expanded and game retreated, and they fought back.
During that period, Zoeth was in Tiverton (then called Pocasset), Rhode Island, possibly en route to or returning from a Quaker Meeting. He was waylaid by a small group of hostile Indians, and was killed in March of 1676. The murder was retaliation for a previous attack by the colonists upon the Indians in Rhode Island.
Zoeth’s death caused great fear among the people in Tiverton. In July of 1678, Zoeth’s widow Abigail was granted all of his estate by the Plymouth Court, as “she having many Male children to bring up & the estate but small.” In December, she remarried to a Richard Kirby. ”
from “The Opprobrious Zoeth Howland” by Kathryn Wells.
According to Franklyn Howland, Daniel, one of Zoeth’ sons, “was the proprietor of Howland’s ferry at the place where the present Stone Bridge now crosses to Portsmouth, RI. At the east end of the ferry he kept a tavern in which he lived, and in the same building the town-meetings were held for years. It was the custom then to hold the town-meetings in a room of a dwelling-place.” (page 80)