At the foot of Hovey Street along the Ipswich River is a plaque dedicated to the memory of Daniel Hovey, placed there by his descendants. Daniel Hovey was born in 1618 in Waltham Abbey, Essex Co., England. Hovey’s home and wharf were across the river on what is now Tansey Lane. He served as a surveyor of highways in 1648 – 50, was constable in 1658, and was chosen as a selectman in 1659.
Hovey’s first wife, Abigail Andrews, was born about 1618 in Norwich, Norfolkshire, England, the daughter of Capt. Robert Andrews owner of the ”Angel Gabriel” which sank in the Great Colonial Hurricane, and his wife Elizabeth.
In 1637 the town of Ipswich granted Daniel Hovey six acres of land on Muddy creek plus a one acre house lot on the South side of the Town River. In 1639 two lots were conveyed by William Holdred to “Daniel Hovey of Ipswich, planter,” and, also, one dwelling house built on the house lot and all the fencing belonging to both lots. This was Daniel Hovey’s first known home. For many years it was the oldest house in Ipswich, eventually used as a barn until it burned in 1894.
The town granted Hovey right to build a “highway” to go to his lot in 1650 and two years later gave him liberty to build his fence down to the river “at his ground which he bought of William Knowlton.” A 1659 town meeting granted him liberty to build a wharf and building on this same ground.
In June 1660, Daniel purchased 20 acres on Pye Brook in Topsfield. Hovey’s wife Abigail died in 1665. Hovey acquired the title of “Deacon” but he appeared as a defendant in Ipswich court on September 24, 1667, accused of “speaking falsely to the prejudice of General Denison” and was fined 20 shillings.
In May, 1668, Daniel Hovey and two of his sons, James and Thomas, joined a group who had departed from Ipswich to the Indian town Quaboag in western Massachusetts, which the settlers renamed Brookfield. They received lots of land laid out to the father and sons. On June 13, 1671, he conveyed to his son John, his farm in Topsfield, a piece of marshland and other property.
Daniel Hovey relocated to Hadley, where he was reimbursed 11 pounds by the Governor’s Council for contributing to the defense of the town. In 1675, he held the office of selectman for one term. His son James and remained in Brookfield, where they were among the residents massacred in the Indian attack on Brookfield at the beginning of King Philip’s War.
On September 26, 1676, Daniel Hovey was complained of for failure to pay rent to the estate of Henry Clerke of Hadley, refused to pay, but was eventually fined and forced to pay by the court. Hovey in turn filed charges against one of the executors of the estate for slandering him and his wife. The jury returned in favor of Deacon Hovey
Ssoon thereafter, Hovey returned to Ipswich with his younger son, Nathaniel. Daniel Hovey died in 1692. In his will he bequeathed his lands in Brookfield to son Joseph. His farm in Topsfield was continued by son John. His second wife Ester was given one room and all of the goods in the house, plus the cows.
The Last Days of the Daniel Hovey House
Excerpts from Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony by Thomas Franklin Waters:
- Daniel Hovey Sr., then of Quabaug, now Brookfield, sold John Dane Sr., a small lot, four rods wide, six rods long, bordering on Labour-in-Vain Road and the old way to the wharf on May 1, 1677 (Ips. Deeds 4: 99).
- Another lot was sold by Hovey to Thomas Hodgkins.
- William Lakeman of Smutty Nose Island sold Rev. John Emerson, a house, barn and a fifth part of a wharf which Daniel Hovey Sr., deceased, gave in his will to the children of Joseph Hovey in Labour-in-Vain fields, April 13, 1703 (19: 204).
- The Daniel Hovey homestead, which had been owned by his heirs for many years, was sold by Thomas Hovey to William Fuller, “my house he now lives in,with half an acre, Jan. I8, 1719-20 (38 : 272).
- The house fell into decay, and was used by Mr. Foss for the storage of hay, until it was destroyed by fire in 1894. Josiah Mann purchased the lot, and built his mansion a little to the eastward of the spot formerly occupied by the ancient Hovey dwelling.
The will of Daniel Hovey, 1691-1692
- To my oldest sons Daniel and John Hovey and my daughter Agnes, I have given them their portions of that estate I had to our mutual concent. The one at Ipswich, the other at Topsfield, now in their possession, Abigail paid by my son John to my son Ayers.
- To my son Thomas and James his son Daniel, I give all that my upland called Hovey’s Island which with the thatch banks and low marsh belonging to me on the other side of the creek which I allowed Quarter Master Perkins to improve, holding my possession till I had occasion for the same. Also all the houses and Land in Ipswich that I shall not dispose of before death.
- I give to my sons Joseph and Nathaniel Hovey one hundred rods of ground apiece. Joseph bounded next to Mr. Emerson’s land from the highway to that land Daniel Ringe. Nathaniel one hundred rods of my land next to my son Daniel with the dwelling house, barn, part of the orchard to butt on Daniel Ringe, half planting lot, about three acres, with a way to it over the bridge I made to go to it. Three acres at Plumb Island also, which lands I leave in the hands of my executor and over-seers that is left after my death to be disposed of as follows: The children of Joseph Hovey to have an equal proportion of what is left after my death as to their father legatee. The children of my son Nathaniel to have an equal proportion among them, only Nathaniel Hovey the son of Nathaniel Hovey to have a double proportion if he live to the age of one and twenty. If not, then to be divided amongst the other children of that family.
- My movables to my son Nathaniel, those sheep he hath of mine, to his children; my cart and plow, irons, chains, great tramell, great brass Kettle, iron Kettle, little iron pot, my pewter porringer and drinking cup, with one chamber pot, my wife’s wearing apparel to Nathaniel Children.
- The other to Joseph his brother’s children: all my wearing cloaths, my great brass pot and pewter quart pot, and my great Bible and books as follows: Come to Christ and Welcome, Cotton on the Covenant, Mather’s seven sermons, to Nathaniel Children.
- To Daniel, grandchild those sheep with which ———- and books also, Christian Warfare, Calvin on Job, Ten Divines, The Golden Scepter, with what other books undisposed of by me of mine and such tools for his trade as a suitable of mine.
- To Abigail Hodgkins wife of Thomas Hodgkins the brass pan and pewter salt seller; my part of the mare and colt to grandchild Daniel and Ivory.
- My interest of Brookfield and Swampfield I give to my son Joseph and Nathaniel children.
- I make my son Thomas Executor and would have his Nephew (Daniel) in case he lives to age of capable to join in the same with him–and he pay out of his part to his brother James and sister Pricilla and John Ayers ten pounds apiece within three years after his possession, and in case of his death I put James Hovey in his room and let them four equally divide his part.
- My bed, bolster and pillow with my green rug, a pair of blankets with the bed stead to Daniel grandchild.
- I would have my son John at Topsfield to take his possession with his books.
- I would appoint my loving sons Daniel Hovey and John Hovey to be my overseers of this my last will and see to discharge my funeral charges which I allow four pounds estate and to take and inventory of my estate and to discharge all of my debts and make probate of my will and see his nephews have their equal proportion, Joseph and Nathaniel children who have lately deceased for which I allow my overseers three pounds apiece for their care and trouble.
This is my will as witness my hande and seale: DANIEL HOVEY, SEN’R., Aged 73, and going into my 74, this 21 of March 1691-2. Witnesses: Philemon Dane, and Thomas Hodkins, Proved Oct. 3, 1692.
- The Hovey Book: The English Ancestry And American Descendants Of Daniel Hovey Of Ipswich, Massachusetts
- The Last Will and Testimoney of Daniel Hovey
- Ipswich Antiquarian Papers
- Waters, Thomas Franklin: Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony
- West Brookfield site