Gowlett Family of Uxbridge in the Parish of Hillingdon, Middlesex 

                                                       Robert Gowlett [1623-1686] of Uxbridge, Middlesex, England
                                                       The ParnesFamily of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire [from 1619-1661]

                                                        YE BATTLE OF AYLESBURY - 1st hand report from a Parlimentarians View - Published 1662.


                                                                                                              Robert Gowlett 
                                                                                          [c.1623-1686] 
                                                                               of Uxbridge, Middlesex, England
                                                                                                             Spouse: Dorcas Parnes
                                                                                                                     [1637-1714]

                                      1623      Robert Gowlett is considered baptised at Harrow on the Hill, 8 miles N of Uxbridge on the 1st Oct. 1623 
                                                    the son of Andrew Gowlett. 

                                                    There were barely a handful of fragmented entries for the Gowlett Name throughout England during prior to this 
                                                    period, emerging firstly in the early 16th Century in Essex and in Middlesex during the early 17th Century.
                                                    Subsequent entries in later periods allow little room for more than one or at the very most two early 
                                                    progenitors in Britain.  Considering the extreme rare occurrence of the name throughout England during 
                                                    and prior period and the vicinity of his later settlement at Uxbridge 8 miles south of Harrow, Robert is 
                                                    almost certainly the son of Andrew Gowlett of Harrow.                                                     

                                                    His mother was possibly his father's second wife Alice, although the considered death of his father's 1st wife 
                                                    Elizabeth nee Pedley in 1616, followed by a baptism seven months later, could imply that this entry may have
                                                    been their twelve year old daughter.  Certainly his father had remarried before 1627.  
                                                  
                                      1645-1663  It would be assumed that Robert would have married and some evidence of issue from 1645 however
                                                    although it is evident that his two brothers had married before this time, by the time Robert had reached 
                                                    the age of nineteen the Civil War had erupted throughout the Empire.  By the time Robert reached the age
                                                    of twenty-one the Parliamentary Forces were already occupying Hillingdon Manor at Uxbridge.  
                                                    Over fifty thousand Englishmen in total rallied in this Conflict, depending on where their sympathies lay.  
                                                    See The Gowlett Family and the Civil War 

                                                    Robert's marriage to Dorcas Parnes. the daughter of Frances Parnes of Aylesbury on the 21st September 1663
                                                    at Uxbridge is a testament to Robert's Political, Aylesbury had  been strongly sympathetic to Parliamentary 
                                                    during the Conflict when she was a child.  Dorcas with her family had witnessed the slaughter of their kin
                                                    and endured merciless persecution by the Royalist Army the week prior to the Historic Battle of Aylesbury
                                                    in early 1642 and her father was undoubtedly one of the citizens, numbering two hundred, known to have 
                                                    fought alongside the Parliamentarians, ultimately restoring the Township. 
                                                    It would be unlikely that Dorcas would have endeared the affections of a Royalist. 
                                                    
                                                                                                
                                                                                
                                                                                Copied from the Original Parish Records at the National Archives, Kew.

                                                    Robert would have been aged thirty-six at his marriage and Dorcas aged twenty-six.  Whether he had married
                                                    previously and had issue is not known. 

                                     1662-4   Robert Gowlett was next recorded in the 1662/4 Hearth Tax for Uxbridge.

                                                                                
                                                                                Copied from the Original Hearth Tax Records at the National Archives, Kew.
                                                    The Hearth Tax was one of the most unpopular Taxes of the Era: 1662 usually collected an Appointed
                                                    Local and delivered to the Justice at the Quarter Sessions. Householders were liable to pay 2s per fireplace 
                                                    or stove per annum, unless their houses were valued at below 2s per year. 
                                                    In 1663, a further Act required all hearths to be listed even if exempt. The latter were exempt due to 
                                                    considered poverty recorded as 'paup'  [pauper].  'Stopt up' [Stopped up chimneys]  if found resulted in 
                                                    doubling the tax. [OPC Winterborne Steepleton] 
                                                    It was the occupiers [not owners] of houses who were responsible for the Tax. The rate was constant at
                                                    two shillings for each hearth per annum, payable in two installments, the first on Lady Day [25th March] and 
                                                    the second, the Feast of Michaelmas [29 September].  The poorest were always exempt.

                       1666      Three years after their marriage Robert & Dorcas would have been witnessed billowing smoke on the horizon
                                                    issuing from the Great Fire of London [20 miles from Uxbridge] said to be visible from Hillingdon Hill 
                                                    2nd to 5th September 1666. 
                      
                                                    No issue has been found recorded for them mostly due to difficulties with  legibility of the Parish Records at 
                                                    St. Margaret's, Uxbridge during this period, however there is evidence that they very well may have.

                                                    The next Parish Entries are for Thomas Gowlett who began recording Issue at Uxbridge from 1794 to 1705.
                                                    Thomas was buried at Uxbridge 15th November 1741 'Thomas Gowlate. Senr.'

                                                                                      
                                                                                Copied from the Original Parish Records at the National Archives, Kew.
                                                           Note: Some entries for him were in the name Gowlate and others Gowlett depending on the venue.
  
                                                   It is felt that it Thomas was the son of Robert Gowlett and Dorcas [nee Parnes], considering the age of his 
                                                   mother [1627-1714], the date of the baptism of his first recorded child at Uxbridge and his death year, 
                                                   Thomas would have been born between 1664-1672 more likely the latter.  
                                                   Born in 1672 would make him aged sixty-nine at his death.  Certainly the newspaper clipping below
                                                   published 1703 would imply that he was their son and that the name is very rare that they were very likely
                                                   the only Gowlett Family in Uxbridge at this time. 
                                                   
                                                   There are several other possible sons who settled in the nearby villages however separating them from
                                                    the progeny of his two brothers has proved a somewhat formidable task.  
                                                    Also see Gowlett Parish Entries in the Hillingdon Parish.

                       1686     Robert Gowlett was recorded buried at Uxbridge on the 13th March 1686 at the estimated age of sixty-three.                         

                                      1703     Dorcas and her son Thomas were one of a number of persons at Uxbridge indicted of the Robbery and Murder
                                                   of and later discharged by Royal Proclomation on the 4th February 1703;

                                                                               
  
                                      1714     Dorcas Gowlett [nee Parnes] was buried at Uxbridge 22nd August 1714 at the estimated age of seventy-seven.

                                      The Parnes Family
                                                                                                          of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
                                      1619    In 1619 Francis Parnes settled at the Vale of Aylesbury in the County of Buckinghamshire.  
                                                  The peaceful dairy-farming community offered a wooded and fertile valley where a river ran through the 
                                                  township.  Pigs and calves were also bred in the ancient Burrow.  
                                                  The village boasted the ancient Church dedicated to St. Mary.
                                      Issue; 1620     A daughter was born in 1620, daughter of Francis, baptized in nearby Dinton.  
                                                                    The infant did not live longer than a month. 
                                     1627     Martha Parnes baptised at St. Mary's, Aylesbury 30th September 1627 daughter of Francis.
                                     1628     Francis Parnes baptised 11th January 1628, daughter of Francis, at Aylesbury.
                                     1630     Thomas Parnes baptised 20th February 1630, son of Francis,at Aylesbury. 
                                     1637     Dorcas Parnes baptised at the same venue 7th  May 1637, daughter of Francis. 
                                     1645     Elizabeth Parnes baptised 9th April 1645 same venue, daughter of Francis.

                                     Possible children or more likely grandchildren; 

                                     1651     Joseph Parnes baptised 28th September 1651 same venue, son of Francis. 
                                     1657     Elizabeth Parnes baptised 29th January 1657 same venue, daughter of Francis.
                                     1639     During this time there was unrest within the Realm.  
                                                  While King Charles I argued the divine right of Kings, Parliamentarians were gathering strength within 
                                                  their ranks.  By 1639 Civil War erupted, Royalist and Parliamentarians setting brother against  brother, 
                                                  father against son and the lives of many young British citizens fell in the wake of the two armies.
                                     1642    The County of Buckinghamshire was strongly sympathetic to the Parliamentary Forces and a small stronghold
                                                   was established at Aylesbury.  Early in 1642 "the small garrison of the newly raised Militia had been moved to
                                                   another quarter more closely threatened and the town and its rich pastures were left unprotected.”   

                                                  A surprise attack on the village of Aylesbury is recorded 'first hand' thus; 

                                                  “On Tuesday 25th January 1642 at 6am, the Royalist Army, some ten thousand” (later modified to six thousand) 
                                                  “men on horse and foote began to converge on the Vale to the great amazement and fear of the inhabitants, 
                                                    who, little expecting such a sudden greeting from the enemy, were unprovided for defense, what remained 
                                                    of the faithful Militia of the town, being unable to make resistance against such a multitude.”
                                                   It is considered that Francis [who was later recorded living in the village], as all the men, feared their families.  
                                                   Dorcas was five years old that year, her brother Frances aged eleven and her sister Martha barely fourteen.  
                                                   The soldiers gathering around the town and the fears of the residents were not unfounded and the soldiers 
                                                   knowing where sympathies of the people lay;

                                                   “plundered the area for six days, stripping the produce and laying waste more than they secured.”  

                                                   Although historically the dignitaries of the town held silent their differences in an attempt to secure the 
                                                   safety of their people, offering the army hospitality;

                                                   “the inhabitants were made to suffer all sorts of outrages from the soldiers.”
                                                   A week later on the last day of January word came from the Royalist Scouts, the Parliamentary forces, 
                                                   hearing of the plight of the good people of Aylesbury  set to march upon the town, some fifteen hundred 
                                                   brave men knowing they were outnumbered by four to one.
                                                   In the early hours of Tuesday 1st November 1642, the Historic 'Battle of Aylesbury' had begun.  

                                                   If there was any loyalty to the King amongst the people it now found no sympathy in the township.  
                                                   While the battle was being fought near the township, every adult male in the village rallied to the call of 
                                                   the Parliamentary forces.  Numbering just over two hundred;

                                                  “The townsmen rushed forth upon the rear, with whatever arms, haste and fury could supply to them.” 

                                                  Fighting valiantly they lost 90 men, a great loss to them, the Royalist’s rear ranks, caught by surprise lost hundreds.  
                                                  Francis, who was now estimated aged forty-three [recorded in the village a short time later] was almost certainly 
                                                  among them and possibly his sons aged thirteen and eleven.  The citizens daring not to venture to far into the 
                                                  thick of the battle had to fall back fearing the more sophisticated weaponry and training of the opposing army
                                                   but they had done their job valiantly and had significantly weakened the spirit of the Royalist army.
                                                  Nearly two hundred years later in 1818, the bones of 247 persons buried in a common grave in a field adjoining
                                                  Holman’s Bridge, just outside Aylesbury, considered the bones of those officers and men of the Parliamentary 
                                                  forces who, in a mass slaughter by Royalist forces, were buried in a common grave. 
                                                  Their bones were later carefully removed and buried in Consecrated soil.  
                                                  In spite of the overwhelming odds the Parliamentarian Forces won the Battle at Aylesbury and under the 
                                                  Military prowess of Oliver Cromwell and within a few short years won the war.
                                                  Although there has been no burial record ever found for Francis, a subsequent baptism recorded in St.Mary’s 
                                                  Parish Book at Aylesbury Elizabeth Parnes on the 9th April, 1645 the father’s name given as 
                                                  Francis would imply that Francis and his family did survive the battle.   Francis would then have been about 46 years old.
                                                  The Register continues with assumedly the baptisms for the issue of his son 'Francis'.

                                     1661/3  Francis [the younger] recorded assumedly 2nd Marriage ten years later on 29th May 1661, at St.Mary’s Aylesbury
                                                  to Mary (nee unknown), he would  have been aged thirty-three at that time. He soon after recorded one child
                                                  in nearby Hillingdon Parish just before his sister Dorcas, by now aged twenty-six, married Robert Gowlett at 
                                                 Uxbridge on the 21st September 1663. 

                                                    No entries have been found to date for siblings Elizabeth, Martha, Thomas, Joseph or Elizabeth[2].


                                                                                     The Battle of Aylesbury from a Royalist view  
                                                                                     [a shorter version than the published Parlimentarian view below]

                                                    A first hand report of the Battle of Aylesbury, the account taken from Lord Nugent's 'Life in Hampden' 
                                                    and can be found online at  Wikipedia from which most of the excerpts in this page have been taken. 

                                                 A first hand appraisal of the Battle of Aylesbury from a 'Parlimentarian' Point of View;

                                                                                               See Genuki:     YE BATTELL OF AYLESBURY, 1642