John Hovey

John Hovey was born in Hadley, Massachusetts on August 21, 1684. He was a resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts at an early age and worked as a baker. On April 1, 1709, John bought from his brother Joseph Hovey, the old Blue Anchor tavern, which stood on the corner of Dunster and Mt. Auburn streets in Cambridge. From that point on John conducted the tavern. The Hovey book records various deeds from the Middlesex Registry of Deeds and the Essex Registry of Deeds, regarding purchases of land which John conducted at various times.

John married Abiel Watson of Cambridge in 1706. She was born about 1687. John died Sept. 13, 1714 at the age of thirty. The following is a copy of the inscription on his gravestone in the old burial ground at Harvard square: --

Here Lyes Buried

The Body of


Aged 30 Years 1 Month

and 3 Weekes Decafed

September The 13th 1714

Mr. Hovey's estate was valued at £389, 0s, 8d. The real estate included house, barn, etc. The house mentioned as having a hall, kitchen, parlor, hall chamber, kitchen chamber, parlor chamber and garrets. The real estate was assigned by the probate court to the eldest son of John Hovey. The widow was appointed administratrix of the estate Dec. 10, 1715.

Mrs. Hovey married, secondly, Edmund Angier of Cambridge on April 9, 1717. He died in Cambridge on April 24, 1724, at the age of thirty-nine. She married, thirdly, Isaac Watson of Cambridge on Aug. 27, 1725. He died in the destruction of his house by fire on Feb. 25, 1741 at the age of fifty-four. She died in Cambridge as a widow on Sept. 18, 1753, at the age of sixty-six.

Mrs. Hovey and her then husband, Isaac Watson of Cambridge, listed as a yeoman, conveyed for thirty pounds to her son John Hovey of Cambridge, her interest in the estate of her deceased husband John Hovey, on Nov. 1, 1736. John Hovey, for seventy pounds, bought the interest of his brother Ebenezer Hovey of Cambridge, listed as a housewright (one who builds houses), in the estate of his father and also of his brother Thomas Hovey, both real and personal, on Nov. 1, 1736.

For fifty pounds, Mr. and Mrs. Watson released her interest in thirty acres of land which had belonged to the estate of John Hovey, her first husband, Nov. 12, 1736.

John Hovey, for seventy pounds, also bought the interest of his brother James Hovey of Plymouth, listed as a joiner (a skilled carpenter), in the real and personal estate of his father and also of his brother Thomas Hovey, on Nov. 1, 1737.

The historical context of John Hovey's life coincided with the end of the English ruling family of the Stuarts. When John was born, Charles II was on the throne. The next year, following Charles' death, Charles' brother, James II assumed the throne. James punctuated his short reign with a bloody reprisal against Protestants which only solidified all England to oppose, and depose, this son of Charles I. James' Protestant daughter, Mary, was invited to assume the throne, which she did only with the insistence that he husband, William of Orange, reign with her. Thus began the only dual monarchy of England -- William and Mary. Mary died in 1694 of smallpox. Although Puritanism was dead in England, it still held a tight grip in America and led to the tragedy of the Salem Witch trials in 1692, the year Daniel Hovey, John's grandfather, died. John was only eight years old at the time. (See Appendix 5). King William III continued his reign alone until he died in 1702 following a fall from his horse. In 1702, another daughter of James II, Anne, assumed the throne. One of the most important events of her reign was the Act of Union in 1707, which created Great Britain by finally uniting England and Scotland (Ireland joined the union in 1801). Queen Anne died the same year that John Hovey died, 1714, at age forty-nine, following a life-long battle with a blood disease porphyria. All of her children died in infancy or childhood -- thus ending the English ruling family of the Stuarts.

The five children of John and Abiel Hovey were born in Cambridge as follows:

I. John, born June 12, 1707 and died in 1773 at the age of sixty-six. He was an ordained minister, graduate of Harvard college in 1725 and taught school a number of years in Cambridge. He married, first, Elizabeth, daughter of John Muzzey of Lexington, about 1727. She died in Cambridge Dec. 17, 1729 at the age of nineteen, after 2 years of marriage. He married, second, Susannah, daughter of Joseph Levett of York, Maine, in or before 1736. They had 7 children. John died at the home of Col. Richworth Jordan after returning from a visit to Plymouth. His candle not having been extinguished all night, they entered his chambers and found him sitting in his chair, partly undressed, and lifeless.

II. Sarah, born Feb. 28, 1708-9 and died Oct. 11, 1720 at the age of eleven.

III. Thomas, born Sept. 2, 1710 and died in April of 1732. He was a physician and sailed with Captain Deckerson as mate and physician to Africa. He never married and died at the English Factory, on the river Gambia at the age of twenty-one.

IV. James, born Dec. 1, 1712 and died in Plymouth Jan. 7, 1781, at the age of sixty-eight. He was a joiner by trade (a skilled carpenter). He was a prominent town officer in Plymouth, Massachusetts, as well as a justice of the peace and attorney. He married, first, Lydia, daughter of John and Sarah Atwood of Plymouth, on March 20, 1734. She was born June 6, 1715. She died Feb. 23, 1771 at the age of fifty-five. He married, second, Mrs. Mary, widow of Capt. Samuel Harlow of Plymouth, on June 2, 1771. She died there on June 2, 1774, at the age of forty-three. Finally, Mr. Hovey married Mrs. Margaret Connel (Correll?) Of Boston. She died at Boston in 1787. James was a carpenter and joiner in Cambridge from 1733 to 1742, and a preacher from 1742 to 1767.

V. Ebenezer, born July 12, 1714.