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"John Bowne: Pioneer of Freedom"


This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
"John Bowne: Pioneer of Freedom"
Call Number:
06 Linear feet
Cite as:
"John Bowne: Pioneer of Freedom" by John Cox Jr. (MC.975.07.026), Quaker & Special Collections, Haverford College, Haverford, PA.
PDF Version:

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John Bowne (1627-1695) was born March 9, 1627, in Matlock, England, the son of Thomas and Mary Bowne. He emigrated with his father to Boston, Mass, in 1648. Bowne married Hannah Feake (ca. 1637-1678) in 1656, and the couple soon became convinced Quakers. John and Hannah Bowne had eight children: John (b. 1656), Elizabeth (b. 1658), Mary (b. 1660), Abigail Willets (b. 1662), Hannah Field (b. 1665), Samuel (b. 1667), Dorothy (b. 1669), and Martha Johanna (b. 1673). In 1661, the couple moved to Flushing, Long Island to join a Quaker community there. In 1662, Bowne was arrested by the Governor of New Netherland, Peter Stuyvesant, for hosting a Quaker meeting in his house, and after refusing to pay a fine, was sent to Holland for a trial. Bowne was later released and returned to the newly British colony of New York. Bowne married his second wife, Hannah Bickerstaff in 1679 or 1680, and the couple had six children, though the first two children died shortley after their birth: Sarah (b. 1680), Sarah (b. 1681), John Bowne (the younger) (b. 1683), Thomas (b. 1684), John (b. 1886), Abigail (b. 1888). In 1693, Bowne married his third wife, Mary Cock, and the couple had two children: Amy Hallet (b. 1694) and Ruth (b. 1695). John Bowne died on December 20, 1695 in Flushing, New York.

Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised of John Bowne's single volume typed manuscript biography, "John Bowne: Pioneer of Freedom," written by John Cox Jr. The biography of John Bowne Flushing is based on his letters, journals, and public records, and describes his early life in England, his emigration to the colonies, the arrival of the Quakers, his marriage and his convincement (i.e. conversion to Quakersim).

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections,  September 2015

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Kara Flynn

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17).



Processing Information

Processed by Kara Flynn; completed September 2015.

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Related Materials

Related Materials

MC 1184 Families of Philadelphia collection

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Controlled Access Headings

  • Biographies
  • Manuscripts
Geographic Name(s)
  • Quakers--New York (State)
Personal Name(s)
  • Bowne, John, 1627-1695
  • Quakers
  • Quakers--History

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Collection Inventory