Thomas and Elizabeth (Marshall) Trowbridge
Thomas Trowbridge was born February 8, 1598, in Taunton, Exeter, England and died there on February 7, 1673. Thomas married on March 26, 1627 in Taunton. The diocese of Exeter recordes the following: "26 March 1627 Mr. Thomas Trobrige and Elizabeth daughter of Mrs. Alice Marshall widoe married, Jeremy Short parson." Elizabeth Marshall who was born in 1603 in England and died in 1640 in New Haven, Connecticut. Both the Trowbridge and Marshall families were prominent and well to do families in Taunton, England. The Trowbridges were identified with woolen trade and manufacturing. This Thomas is also listed as a wool mercer.
To this union two known children were born: 1) John 2) William.
Thomas Trowbridge left his son John in England and with the rest of the family came to Dorchester, Mass. sometime about 1636. It is believed his wife died in New Haven, Conn. about 1641. He returned to England to settle his affairs, leaving his sons with a servant. The Civil War in England it is believed kept him from returning to America. Thomas served as a Captain, Blake's Taunton Regiment, Parliamentary Forces "Roundheads" in the English Civil War. During this time back in England, Thomas married a second time. He married Francis Shattuck after 1641.
An unknown Trowbridge descendant wrote the following, "For what reason did Thomas Trowbridge come to America? First let me go over some oral history passed down over the years in our branch of the Trowbridge family. Thomas Trowbridge came to this country to start a trade route, it was a business reason only. He planned to return to England after his business was fully established. The reason he brought his family was he would be here for a few years. Note, he left his oldest son John in England under the care of his father, why? When Thomas Trowbridge's wife died in America, it was believed that the reason he left his sons here under the care of a former servant, was that he planned to return. Our oral history has Thomas returning to England to settle the estate of his late wife. Why did he remain in England, and leave his sons in America? Or why didn't he send for his sons and have them return to England? This was a mystery for our branch of family. Note, on January 19, 1663-4, Thomas Trowbridge executed and sent to his three sons a power of attorney, making over to them jointly and severally his property in New England wherever found, to be retained and equally divided between them."
"In 1991 I wrote to the Somerset County Council, Taunton, England. I was sent a packet of material from which I found the following on Thomas Trowbridge, which gives a clue to his return from America, circa 1641. It states, Thomas Trowbridge served as a Captain in the Parliamentary Army during the English Civil War. This suggests that his reasons for leaving England in 1636 were religious and that he returned to England to take part in the resistance to King Charles I. The document is clear that he served directly under the Roundhead leader, Robert Blake, commander of the besieged garrison of Taunton in 1645, and probably remained in England to enjoy the more liberal regime of Cromwell's Commonwealth. By the time the restoration of Charles II took place in 1660 he would have been at least 60 years of age and probably too old to remove himself to America."
"In the Quarter Sessions records for Somerset (Somerset Record Office) are a number of petitions, mostly undated but of about 1650, addressed to the Justices of the Peace from Parliamentary supporters of King Charles I. Among them is that of Emanuell Butler of Taunton, cordwainer (shoemaker) part of which reads as follows: 'That Emanuell Butler during the several seiges of Taunton was a faithfull souldier in the States service under the command of Captain Thomas Trubbridge in the regiment of Collonel Robert Blake in which service he received a shott from the enemy through the bodie and stood in great hazard of his life. By the meanes he is in a great measure disenabled to gett maintainance for himselfe and his wife and child and he hath lost three sonnes in the States service' - The petition is supported and signed: Thos. Trowbridge."
"There can be little doubt that the Captain under whom Butler served was our ancestor after his return from America and before his death in 1672. There can be little doubt, having this evidence, that it was the oppressive regime of Charles I that decided Thomas Trowbridge to emigrate to the New World circa 1636 and that he returned to England to fight as a 'Roundhead' officer in the Parliamentary army. Robert Blake was one of the most famous Parliamentary leaders and under Cromwell's Commonwealth became Admiral of the English navy. Despite appalling siege conditions he held Taunton against superior forces which destroyed at least a third of its houses, until its relief in 1645. The inference of the above petition is that Thomas Trowbridge was present in Taunton throughout the siege."
From The Emperor Charlemagne thru Trowbridges to President Rutherford B. Hayes