THOMAS BLOWER (Thomas?) a tanner of Lavenharn, Suffolk, England, came from a family that had lived nearby for many generations. In 1464, Thomas Blower of Bildeston made his will and bequeathed to his son John Blower, his son [in-law?] John Cowper of Boxford, and to Thomas Blower who was another son. The will was proved on 23 September of that year. On 7 September 1503, Peter Blower of Melford made his will. No children were mentioned. On 8 October 1481, Mawte [i.e. presumably Maud] Blower of Lavenham made her will and bequeathed her estate to several church and charitable entities, but named no relatives. These were surely relatives of Thomas, perhaps ancestors.
Nicholas Blower of Lavenhana was probably Thomas' brother. Nicholas had the following children recorded there.
NICHOLAS, bapt. 8 Jan. 1575/6; buried 6 Oct. 1577
RACHEL, bapt. 27 April 1578; buried 6 Aug. 1580
RACHEL, bapt. 18 Oct. 1580; buried 26 Oct. 1581
WILLIAM, prob. a twin; buried 25 Oct. 1581
ANNE, bapt. 23 Sept. 1582
SAMUEL, bapt. 2 May 1585
ISAAC, bapt. 26 Nov. 1587
ELIZABETH, bapt. 1 Feb. 1589/90; buried 23 Oct. 1590
Another probable brother to Thomas was Robert Blower of Lavenham whose first wife, Joan, was buried there on 2 March 1563/4. He married secondly, on 12 June 1567/8, Joan Hareknop. Robert Blower was buried 4 June 1585. A Joan Blower, probably his widow, married on 7 April 1591, Edmund Yates. Joan Blower, who was baptized 18 June 1559, was probably the youngest sister of these three Blower men. There is no more record of her. Who were their parents? Rose Blower, wife of Thomas Blower of Lavenham, was buried there on 2 April 1568. She was probably their mother and Thomas, her husband, their father.
Thomas Blower married first, on 10 August 1574 at Long Melford, Suffolk, Alice Sparpointe. She died in 1581, and he married secondly, on 27 February 1581/2 at Bildeston, Susan Vincent, daughter of Andrew and Alice Vincent of Bildeston. Alice was born about 1560.
On 28 September 1597, sick and knowing that death was near, he made his will and died, probably the next day. He was buried at Lavenham on 1 October 1597. Except for the religious preamble, his will is given in full below. No further record of Susan can be found.
28 September 1597 - I Thomas Blowere of Lavharne in the countie of Suff tannere Beinge sycke in bodye But hail in rnynd ... Item I will that Sussana my wyfe paye unto John Blower my eldest sonne when he shalbe of the age of xxiiij yers the surne of thyrtie pounds of good & lawfull monye of England & xx~ when he shalbe of the age of ~ocv years & yf ye said John soo lange shall lyve But yf the forsayd John doo dye befor eyther of ye payments growe dewe then I wyll his porcione to be equalye devyded amongst my sonnes & daughters then shalbe lyvinge Item I will that my land lyinge in Melforde holden~ of the parsones of Melford ase these landes be equaiiye devided Betwene my ii sonnes John It Thomas Biowere eyther of them payinge out of it unto ye childe that now Sussan my wyfe is wthall yf it happene to be a sonne & iyve to ye age of xxiiij yers at ye age of xxiiij yers xv~ apece & yf it hapene to be a daughter then eyther of them to paye unto yt fyftye shyliLynge in good & lawfuil monye of England and soo then further to pay unto there other fower systers Sussana Alice Racheli & Mary Blowere fyftie shillynge apece of lyke Englyshe monye when they shalbe of the age of xxi yers & yf eyther of my sayd daughters dye before then there porcione to be devd then £ will that those of them that lyve untiii it be dewe shall equallye Injoye there partes Item I will that Susana my wyfe shall have to here & here heyres forevere all that my tenment wth ye lande & pasture thereunto belonging syttuate lying & being in Stanstede wythe all my debtes & other my movabell goods what soo ever yeldynge & payinge to that chylde that now she is wthall yf it be adaughter at the age of xxi yers the sum of vpds of lawfull English monye & allsoo to my other fower daughters Susana Alice Rachell & Mary lyke sums of v~ ape cc to bee payd unto eyther of theme at ye lv-ke age of xxj yers And to this my last will I apoynte and ordayne for my executors Susana Blower my wyfe & Nicholas Vincent Brother unto ye for named Susana and in testymonye that this is my wyll & testament I the forsayd Thomas have setto my hand thes beinge witnesses
JohnDay by me Tomas blower
John Wright (Proved 27 October 1597)
(Reference: Blomfield 313)
Children, all baptized at Stanstead:
THOMAS, bapt. 10 Oct. 1576; buried 20 Oct. 1576
MARGARET, bapt. 17 Nov. 1577; buried 16 Dec. 1577
JOHN, bapt. 14 June 1579; eldest son alive in 1597.
The will abstracted below is probably his.
10 May 1642 . the will of JOHN BLOWER, clerk, of Mildenhall, Suffolk ... to undutiful daughter Emily whom I beseech God to forgive & make her his servant £5 ... daughter Mary already given unto ... to son John now in St. Christopher £10 one month after his arrival in England ... to Thomas my son £25 within 3 months after the expfration of his apprenticeship ... to my son William £20 when he has served his apprenticeship ... all the rest of my goods to my wife Audry, she to be executrix ... signed John Blower. Proved 5 September 1642.
SUSANNA, prob. b 1581; m 20 May 1602 at Lavenham, George Rugle
----- by his second wife-----
JOSHUA, bapt. 16 Dec. 1582; d.y.
THOMAS, bapt. 15 Dec. 1585; d.y.
6 THOMAS, bapt. 23 April 1587; m 19 Nov. 1612 at Stanstead, Alice Frost, dau. of Edward & Thomasine (Belgrave) Frost, bapt. 1 Dec. 1594; he came to N.E. in 1635 in the Truelove, aged about 50
CALEB, bapt. 7 July 1588; buried 16 July
ALICE, bapt. 15 March 1589/90; alive in 1597
RACHEL, bapt. 12 Oct. 1591; buried 13 Dec. 1595
MARY, bapt. 25 Feb. 1592/3; alive in 1597
RACHEL, bapt. 13 Dec. 1595 at Lavenham; m 22 Oct. 1615 at St. Gregory's, Sudbury, Mark Salter; ch.: John bapt. 24 May 1618 - buried 2 Nov. 1618, Samuel bapt. 8 Sept. 1633, Matthew bapt.1 March 1625/6 at All Saints, Rachel buried 11 Sept. 1626
CHILD, posthumous, b 1597-8
Ref.: Parish Registers & Bishop's Transcnpts of same; Suffolk County, England Probate Records