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 Edward Gove

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Edward Gove

  • Birth 14 Apr 1630 Greater London, England
  • Death 29 May 1691 Hampton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, USA
  • Burial Hampton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, USA
  • Memorial ID 7376023

American Colonist, Colonial Assemblyman, Revolutionary. Born in England sometime between 1630 and 1637, Edward Gove arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony most probably in 1642 with his brother John, undoubtedly as a servant for a household in Salisbury (Massachusetts). He was a planter, weaver, husbandman, Assemblyman, and large land holder, in Hampton, New Hampshire. Edward holds the distinction of being the only known New England colonist convicted of treason and sentenced to be drawn and quartered. For he, along with a number of his sons and sons-in-law, on January 27, 1683, rode through Exeter (New Hampshire) calling out to their neighbors to rise and unseat the unpopular Royal Lieutenant Governor of New Hampshire, Edward Cranfield. Appointed in May 1682, Cranfield set about to transform New Hampshire into the familiar landed gentry plantations that existed in England at that time. By 1682, the New Hampshire Colony had been operating semi-autonomously with a President and Council, the Mason family having departed the colony many years before. Cranfield attempted to nullify deeds and titles issued in New Hampshire, collect rents through intimidation for property the owners thought to be their own. He dissolved the longstanding Council, which the colonists viewed as an arbitrary act and contrary to their rights. Into this highly charged environment rose Edward Gove, a Deputy from Hampton, who was "determined to revolutionize the government or at least to effect a reform." On Thursday February 1, 1682/3, Gove with his companions were brought before a Court of Oyer and Terminer in Portsmouth (New Hampshire). The Court found them all guilty of treason , however, most had their sentences commuted. Edward was sentenced : "You, Edward Gove, shall be drawn on a hedge to the place of execution, and there you shall be hanged by ye neck, and when yet living be cut down and cast on the ground, and your bowels shall be taken out of your belly, and your privy members cut off and burnt while you are yet alive, your head shall be cut off and your body divided in four parts, and your head and quarters shall be placed where our Sovereign Lord the King pleaseth to appoint. And the Lord have mercy on your soul." However, the commission to New Hampshire did not include the authority to enforce this sentence and Edward was moved to Boston and awaited transportation to England. On April 2, 1683, Edward embarked on the ship "Richard" for England. Upon his arrival, he was committed to the Tower of London, where he would remain until Sept. 14, 1685. After numerous petitions, on August 26, 1685, King James II issued a pardon to Edward Gove. James II, the last Stuart and Catholic monarch of England, ascended the throne in February 1685, ruled a kingdom with great political divides. It is quite probable that James II issued the pardon in an attempt to quiet growing troubles in the American Colonies. Edward returned to his adopted home and began the process of recovering his property which had been seized at the time of conviction. His family and friends had laid claims against his estate in an attempt to prevent Cranfield from profiting from this affair. Cranfield had written the Masons indicating that he anticipated 3000-4000 pounds to be garnered by this affair and in the end reported only 200 pounds could be gained. Why did Edward take such action against an unpopular and despised Royal Governor, when other leaders of New Hampshire remained silent or quietly working to mitigate the actions of Cranfield? Perhaps the answer lies within the 1683 petition to King Charles II, by Hannah, his wife, which reads, in part, "... her husband, who by means of a distemper of Lunacy or some such like, which he have benn Subject unto (by times) from his youth, and yet is untill now (as his mother was before him) (though at some times seemingly very Rationall) which have occationed him Irationally and evily to demeane himselfe (by means of some unhappy provocation) to such actions .." The standards of behavior at that time can not be compared to those of today. There is little evidence to suggest that Edward was chronically mentally ill or unbalanced, given the positions of authority he was entrusted and his accumulation of large land holdings. Gove himself described the event as something that had regularly occurred in the past. However, Cranfield determined it to be rebellion. The Gove Rebellion precedes the American Revolution by almost 80 years.

Bio by: Ken - TN

Family Members



Here Lyes Ye Body of Edward Gove Aged 55 Years Dyed May ye 29 1691





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 22 Apr 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7376023
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Edward Gove (14 Apr 1630–29 May 1691), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7376023, citing Pine Grove Cemetery, Hampton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .