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John and Agnes (Prowse) Trowbridge, Sr.

John Trowbridge was born July 25, 1570 in Taunton, Somersetshire, England where he died on July 25, 1649. John married on July 31, 1597 in Taunton to Agnes Prowse who was born April 14, 1576 in Tiverton, Devon, England and died June 6, 1622 in Tuanton, Somerset England. After Agnes's death, John married an Alice Read.

To the union of John and Agnes, nine known children were born: 1) Thomas 2) Elizabeth 3) John 4) Prudence 5) Agnes 6) William 7) James 8) Joan 9)Tacy.

John Trowbridge Sr. took a lease of his fathers house probably in 1620, and a reversionary lease of the property was granted on Oct. 16, 1628 to John's son John Trowbridge junior, woollen draper, for a rent of 53s 4d. This showed that the house was to be held for 99 years or the lives of his son, his wife Judith, and his brother James, and also that John Trowbridge Sr had given up his adjacent wool shop, the burgage on the west being occupied by Edith Woodroe, widow, and that on the east, under the Portmans, by Elizabeth Hurley, widow. This reversion never operated as John Trowbridge Jr. died in 1630, before his father.

John Trowbridge Sr. was as prominent a man of business as had been his father. Monies collected in 1611 for the relief of plague victims at Minehead and Dunster were brought to his house, and in 1625 he supervised the repair of the Taunton house of correction, and provided a field at West Monkton for tents to quarantine travellers suspected of bringing the plague from London to Taunton. He was regularly churchwarden of St. Mary Magdalene, twice mayor of Taunton in 1629-30 and 1637-8, traded with London and Bristol, and apart from lands in the vicinity of Taunton, also held property in Strogursey and Cannington. He also arranged commercially important marriages for his children. His son John Jr. married the daughter of a Lyme Regis merchant, his son Thomas wedded the daughter of John Marshall, successively sheriff and mayor of Exeter, and his daughters were married to other merchants of both Taunton and Exeter.

The will of John Trowbridge of Taunton, woolendraper, published by word of mouth on 1 July 1649 in the presence of George Serle, esq., and Thomas Trowbridge his son, and John Trowbridge his grandchild. He left to his eldest son Thomas Trowbridge his messuage and tenement near Barthpoole Bridge in the parish of West Munckton, occupied by Henry Beale, to hold to Thomas for the remainder of his term therein after the deaths of the testator and Alice his wife. To his son Thomas his land in Stogursey, viz. certain tenements from which the testator received high rent. All his goods and chattels he left to his son Thomas whom he made sole executor. The will was proved on 25 Feb 1649/50.

The will of John Trowbridge is found at the Public Record Office in London, the complete text can be found under ref. P.C.C. 32 Pembroke, Prob. 11/211.


"June 25, 1611. The justices ordered money to be collected for the relief and maintenance of the towns of Dunster and Minehead latelie infected with the pestilence (the plague), and the same to bring unto Taunton unto Mr. John Trowbridge his house there on Saterdaie the 13th of July next, and to paie yt unto the Constables of the hundred of Carhampton."

"1625, John Trowbridge of Taunton, gent., to be paid 10 pounds 0s, 5d, towards the reparations of the house of correction in Taunton."

"July 19, 1625. For preventinge the greate danger of infeccon of the plague in and about the towne of Taunton, Mr. John Trowbridge agreed to the erection of booths and tents to quarantine people coming from London or other infected places in a four acre field called Tunwayes at Bathpool in West Monkton, belonging to the said John Trowbridge."

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