Born: June, 1568, Taunton, Somersetshire, England
Baptism: June 24, 1568, Taunton, Somersetshire, England
Died: unknown, Taunton, Somersetshire, England
Marriage: unknown, Taunton,Somersetshire, England
Husband: Benedict Webb
Born: unknown, England
Died: unknown, England
SOMERSET RECORD OFFICE, DD/SAS, TN/15:
"Mr Thomas Trowbridge the elder of Taunton, merchant tailor, founded his charity by deed of 4 Dec. 11 James
EXTRACT FROM THE SOMERSET ARCHAELOGICAL AND NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY, VOL. 119 (1975)
The house now known as the Tudor Tavern,
no. 15 Fore Street (the Thomas Trowbridge house in Taunton)
is acknowledged to be the oldest surviving domestic dwelling
in Taunton. Its main structure has been dated to the 14th century.
Picture of Tudor Tavern, courtesy of Charlie Scott.
Beneath the front
window on the second floor of no. 15 is a board inscribed T.T. 1578
I.T. These initials can be identified as those of Thomas
Trowbridge, described variously as a mercer or merchant tailor, and his
wifeJoan. Trowbridge stated in 1610 that he had held the premises
for nearly thirty years. (Note, on Thomas wife, was her name Joan
or Johanna? Somerset Record Office, DD/PM, box 7, makes mention of the
facade panelerected by Thomas Trowbridge, this reads: T.T. 1578
I.T. Thomas and Johanna or Johane Trowbridge - (the letters I and
J being interchangeable at that time).
Trowbridge or Strobridge was buying up a number of properties within
Taunton Deane manor from1572 onwards. The remodelingo f th e
Fore Street property was evidently carried out at the commencement
of Trowbridge's lease, and his involvement in the commercial life
of the town is indicated by his purchasing five successive
licences to prosecute for debt beyond Taunton Deane manor court between
1579 and 1584, and taking a lease for six years in 1585 of
the right to prosecute any tenant for debts over 40s.Thomas Trowbridge
used the shop at 15 Fore Street for the trade of selling "Mercerye
wares" and evidently lived with his family behind and above
his business. Thomas' only son, John Trowbridge, baptized at St.
Mary Magdalene on March 25, 1570, became a wool merchant
and took a shop next to his father, probably that on the west
(no. 16). The two shops was beneficial to both father and son:
reason that such as come to the one shoppe to buye cloth
wil be and are incited to buie the mercery and silk wares and other
requisites of convertinge the same cloth into apparrell, and
those that came to Thomas' shop to buye the mercery comodityes of
apparell would be and have been incited the sooner to buye their
woollen clothes at John's shop".
Trowbridge retired from his shop at 15 Fore Street around 1606, and
sub-let it to Benjamin Cosyns, another Taunton mercer.
the will of Thomas Trowbridge (dated July 6, 1619, proved May 6,
1620; he was buried at St. Mary Magdalene Feb. 20, 1619/20).
The will refers to the furnishings and fittings of his Fore Street
house. To his nephew, Thomas Trowbridge, he left:
three great chestes in the shoppe, sixe greate ringed boxes, one
case of small boxes, one fayre glasse boxe, with all the shelfes
in the shoppe, the great spruse chest in the hall,
one table borde and forme in the hall with all the seilinge and
benchinge, and boards under feete in the hall, twelve platters in
the buttery, with sixe candelstickes, one bason and ewer, the
chayre in the hall, and all other things belonginge to the hall.
To his kinswoman Joan, wife of Stephen Parrye, he bequeathed the
square wroughte table boarde and frame standinge in the dyninge
chamber, and the carpet twroughte with copper, and
cruellbelonginge to it, the cypers cheste in the Rayne chamber,
the bedsteade wherein I lye in the Rayne chamber,performed with
feather bed, boulster, pillowes, the second best coverlette, and
sheetes, my best guilt salte, the eleaven silver spoones with
rounde knobbes and the newest wharminge
in life is indicated by bequests to Richard Mercer,schoolmaster
of the castle school in Taunton, to Richard Davies, vicar of St.
James, Taunton, to his overseer and good friend, the Rev.
JohnClarke, D. D., and tothree servants.
TUDOR HOUSE DOOR KNOCKER
March of 2005 I received the following email from Rosa of Maryland:
name is Rosa and I live in Patapsco Neck Baltimore County, Maryland. The
area I live in is very historical. I can look out my back window and
see the Historic Todd House. Thomas Todd settled here from
Gloucester County, VA in 1664. His family was from England. From there
they settled into our area and built the Todd House. The original
foundation was brick that was sent from England.
The reason for this email is that my friend, Vince, acquired a brass
door knocker from Todd House. The inscriptions on the knocker are as follows:
The front: Taunton
Ya Odds HG Halliddy, ltd. Ye Enos (bottom line may not
1578 is on handle
We are very interested in making a connection to anyone who may know
more about this door knocker. I looked up the name Tudor House in
Taunton England and saw a picture which looked exactly like th e
knocker. This was on your website. We were very excited!!!
I am attaching pictures of the door knocker. If there is any
information you can give to us or refer us to someone regarding the
Tudor House (Tavern) as to originality, why it came to America to be in
the possession of the Todds, is their a connection between the Todd
family and the Trowbridges, is this door knocker registered in England.
We are just so curious as to why Thomas Todd would have this door
knocker on his house. Any information you can give to us would be
appreciated. Thank you.
Detail of the inscriptions on the knocker.
Front. Note how it matches the Tudor Tavern pictured above.
Above is the house that the knocker came from.
forwarded the email to Trowbridge genealogist, Charlie Scott, a
descendent of David Trowbridge II, who was able to shed some light regarding
the possible history of the door knocker:
"The Tudor Tavern once (1578-abt 1630) was the home of the Trowbridge Family.
They also operated a woolen mill out of the building. It also was used
as a courtroom during Oliver Cromwell's uprising against King Charles
of England. Thomas Trowbridge came to America and settled in New
Haven, Conn. When the war started, he went back to England to support
Oliver Cromwell. In fact, he was an officer in Cromwell's Army. I
suspect that he brought the door knocker to his home when he came to
America. He owned land near the ocean, and it backed up to property
owned by John Todd. When he went back to England, he left his
three sons with a guardian who stole the family blind. Once again, I am
guessing but I suspect that the door knocker was either left on the
home when the family died out or when they sold their belongings
because of finances.
This plaque commemorates the donation of land by Thomas Trowbridge to the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Taunton, England.
Trowbridge's principal legacy to his town had been arranged before his
death, in 1614,when he assigned six acres of land in
West Monkton for the benefit of the poor of the parishes of St.
Mary of Magdalene and St. James.
Communion Cup at St. Mary Magdalene's Church in Taunton England dates
back to the middle of the 16th century, and may well of been used by
Thomas Trowbridge when he attended mass.
Trowbridge 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 (I) 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
(II) died in 1630, before his father.
Trowbridge (I) 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 church warden 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 ommercially important marriages for his children.
His son John 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. Thomas
Trowbridge, son of John (I) placed his eldest son, John (III)
under the care of his father and left Taunton for Exeter and sailed
with his family (1636) to New England. He returned to England
before 1641, was living at Taunton in 1663, and was buried at St.
Mary Magdalene on Feb. 7, 1672/3. Thomas's eldest son John
Trowbridge (III) predeceased him in 1653/4, his younger sons
remained in America, and thus death brought to an end the
Trowbridge connection with Taunton.
thanks to Cheryl Trowbridge-Miller for providing the pictures taken by
Charlie Scott of the Tudor Tavern and Thomas Trowbridge's
initials, to William White for the pictures of the
Thomas Trowbridge plaque and the Communion Cup, both at St. Mary
Magdalene's Church in Taunton, England, thanks
to Rosa and Steve for the info and pictures regarding their friend's
acquisition of the Tudor House door knocker.