Conficted of High Treason! Oh No, 9th Great Grandfather!

Edward Gove, a well-respected, hot-headed assembly man, was born in England to John Gove and Sarah Mott.  According to The Gove Book : History and Genealogy of the American family of Gove and notes of European Goves by Ira Gove 1891, John married three times, but others have since said he only married once, to Mary Shard.

His father brought him to America around 1647 when he was 17.  He gradually moved north from Charlestown, Mass., to Salisbury, Mass., and finally into Hampton in what is now New Hampshire.  He was opposed to the British Government.

His father, John, was a brazier, a dealer in brass, in London.  Gove is one of those tradesman’s surnames; an occupational surname.   It is an ancient Cornish term for a smith, a craftsman in metal, one who forges with a hammer in metal.

John was born about 1604.  It is said that John is the common ancestor of all who bear the Gove surname.  Unfortunately, John only lived one year after moving to Charlestown, now Boston, Massachusetts.

John’s parents were Henry and Jone Goffe, according to the article A Note on the Antecedents of John and Mary (Shard) Gove, of London and Charlestown (New Hampshire Genealogical Record Oct 1987), 11:174-179 by Wheeler, Richard S., in the Baptismal entry: John Goffe sonne of Henry Goffe deceased borne of the body of Jone Goffe widowe in the house of Samuel Goffe in Chiswellstreet (St. Giles Cripplegate Register 1561-1606, G.L. Ms 6419/1, Guildhall Library, London).

John’s first son, John, married three times and had ten children.

John’s third child was a daughter, Mary.  At the time of John’s will, he gave her up for adoption with “full consent of my wife”.  She must have been very young.  It is unknown why she was given up for adoption, we can only speculate that, for the 1640’s, she was too young and the wife too old (about 35) to raise her on her own.  Mary was adopted by Deacon Ralph and Alice Mousall, a deacon in the church that John attended.  Not much more is known about Mary.

pg 152

His second son, our 9th great-grandfather, Edward, moved to Salisbury as a bachelor when he “bought a right of commonage” in 1657.  Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 1, leaf 101

He began buying land and farming.  In 1660 he married Hannah Partridge.  Edward was still of Salisbury, March 23, 1663, when, for eighty-five pounds, he bought of Eliakim Wardell of Hampton (in that part of the town which is now Seabrook), thirty acres of land bounded by Salisbury common and land of Nathaniel Wyer and Nathaniel Ware, with the dwelling house; cowhouse, etc.; a share in the cow-commons; and eighty acres of upland at the new plantation in Hampton, March 23, 1665. [Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 2, leaf 47.]   Mr. Gove removed to Hampton (now Seabrook) in the spring of 1665; and resided in this house as long as he lived. After his death in 1691, it remained in the possession of his widow, and upon a division of the homestead, in 1712, it went to his son Ebenezer. The farm has continued to be in the Gove name ever since.

[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 1, leaf 147.]
[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 3, leaf 372.]
[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 2, leaf 44.]
[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 2, leaf 41.]
[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 2, leaf 85.]
[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 2, leaf 47.]
[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 2, leaf 55.]
[Norfolk Registry of Deeds, book 2, leaf 233.]

He made himself first known to the courts when he sued his mother and stepfather in order to obtain the 50 shillings that was owed to him.  The issue was resolved on 5 December 1655 when Edward’s brother, John, agreed to pay the 50 shillings on behalf of their mother and stepfather.

Most notably, Edward was the leader in “Gove’s Rebellion”.  The Rebellion was a short uprising in 1683 in the Province of New Hampshire, in which men of the towns of Exeter and Hampton took up arms against the Royal Governor, Edward Cranfield.

Background from Wikipedia, New Hampshire had recently been partitioned from Massachusetts by Charles II after almost 40 years of being governed by the neighboring colony, and made into a royal province. From 1679 to 1682, New Hampshire was governed by a locally elected council until James II installed a royal governor, Edward Cranfield. The colonists resented having a governor appointed to them, and Cranfield was particularly unpopular for his enforcement of the mercantilist trade laws of the time. In 1683, when Cranfield attempted to force a revenue bill through the council (which they continually vetoed), he had the council dissolved. He assumed complete control of the colony, and issued a direct tax.

Edward was riled.  He wanted to rebel against Cranfield.  Other leaders were against it, but Edward had been drinking and decided to do it anyway.  He convinced his son and his servant to join him.  He armed himself, his son, and his servant, and rode his horse to Exeter in an attempt to muster the citizens to rebel against the governor. Along the way, he was stopped by a justice of the peace, Nathaniel Weare.  If that names sound familiar, read  https://loganalogy.com/2018/09/30/family-feud-the-case-of-the-stolen-turnips  , Nathaniel was our 11th great-uncle.

The rebels were arrested while attempting to muster more rebels.  Edward Gove was sentenced to death for high treason, and shipped off to London for sentencing and imprisoned in the London Tower.  He was to be hanged, drawn and quartered.  He was pardoned three years later by King James II and returned to New Hampshire. The rebellion took place during a period when many American colonists were rebelling against their respective provincial governments.

                                                                                            The Tower of London

Below is the trial deposition of a 70 year old neighbor, John Stephens,

That Edward Gove now of Hampton in the Province of New Hampshire was some years since in a Strange Distemper, Seemingly Lunatick, and did attempt to kill the wife of George Martin, Saying that shee bewitched him and did to that end charged his pistolls and endeavored it of which condition of his the Court at Hampton being enformed did sent for him and understanding his condition, ordered that he should be committed into safe custody to prevent his doeing hurt to himselfe or others. Ipswich prison was the place intended, but the said Steephens, out of respects to Gove, undertook to look to him, with this condition that, if he could not rule him, he should be assisted to carry him to the aforesaid Prison.

The said Steephens saith that he did abide with him about three weekes, in which time he did humor him as a child, to keep him quiet and from doeing hurt to himselfe or others; sometimes he was seemingly Rationall, and at other times seemingly distracted, that the said Steephens was forced to lock up the dores and lock him in, sometimes he would take a booke and read an houre or two, sometimes he would be more like a mad man, and would not medle with it, Mr. Dolton the minister of Hampton being there one time, advised that we should keep bookes from him, that he might not read too long to trouble his head, which wee carefully observed.

After a while he grew pritty well and went from the said Steephens house, But the said Steephens do further declare that he did look upon him as a man that was always subject to that distemper. He thinks it was naturall to him for his mother lived and died in that kind of Distemper…

And, forty-three year old John Steephens, a son of the above Stephens, gave deposition,

He doth well Remember that when Edward Gove was at his fathers house, he was in generall as his father hath above affermed… doth affirme and declare that the said Gove was distracted and unsafe in his actions and motions and that his father attended him and followed him alway day and night during the time of his aboad at his house, for none of the house besides him could prevail with him, he lay with him at night and he hath heard his father often say that he was often fourst to hold him in his arms to keep him from rising and going about in the night…

There be also many more that can testifie to the like; if need be, & some that can sweare they were in company and did many times help to bind the said Edward Gove hand & foote (when he was out in his head) for feare he should doe hurt to himselfe or others.”

When Edward was in the Tower of London, his wife, Hannah, petitioned the king and begged for the life of her husband “who by means of a distemper of Lunacy or some such like, which he have benn Subject unto (by times) from his youth, and yet is untill now (as his mother was before him) (though at some times seemingly very Rationall) which have occasioned him Irationally and evily to demeane himself (by means of some unhappy provocation) to such actions whereby he may have incured until himselfe the Sentence of Death…”

A petition from another colonial to King Charles II documented that after Governor Cranfield imposed custom on merchant ships,

“hereupon the said Edw. Gove was much troubled in mind and these and the other violent proceedings of Mr. Cranfield had such an influence upon him that it hindered by his ordinary Rest, neither had he above 2 hours Sleep in 18 days, whereby he became almost distracted… scarce knowing at that time what he either did or said”.

Like I said above, he was a hot-head.  I am sure drink did not help.  But, maybe because of his “lunacy”, he was pardoned.   Below is his letter of pardon.

You can read more about his land holdings, his court dealings, and all his Colonial and State court papers from conviction to pardon at Lane Memorial Library: Hampton, NH History  Also, if you type in “Gove” in their search box, many articles on the family are there.

The library also mentions that there was a gun in the possession of the late J. H. Gove of Hampton Falls and a sword cane owned by the late E. S. Gove of Pittsfield, as heirlooms of Edward Gove. The cane is mounted with a silver ferule and Edward Gove’s initials are engraved on it, though it has become so much worn that the engraving is barely legible. The cane was presented to him by a friend for his stand against Cranfield.

Ira Gove, the early genealogist of the family, says that Edward Gove brought from London, in 1686, a pear tree, which he set out on his estate in Hampton, where it is now.

Image result for Edward Gove, High Treason

Edward and Hannah had 13 children.  Our ancestor from this marriage is Ebenezer.  He and his wife, Judith Sanborn, had 11 children; 5 sons and 6 daughters.  His daughter, Mary is our ancestor.  She married John Green and had 5 children.  One of the daughters, Abigail Green is our ancestor.  She married Thomas Chase and had our ancestor, Stephen Chase.  They had Abia, our ancestor, who married John Bean and had Lois Bean.  She married Lemuel H. Logan…

You can read more about the Bean’s at William Bean- 6th Great Grandfather Trans-Appalachian pioneer; Longhunter and Silas H. Logan and Native American Heritage? as well as the Logan’s on my other blogs.

As always, please let me know if you see any errors.

Thank you for reading!

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