The Flowers Family
JACOB FLOWER, JOHN WILLIAM's 5th great grandfather, the immigrant ancestor, was born in 1635 in Ratcliffe, Stepney Parish, Middlesex, England and died after April 1670 in Virginia. It may be assumed that he was educated, since Ratcliffe School was across the street from his home in Figtree Yard.

In 1656 JACOB's father settled his lands in Virginia on his sons JOHN and JACOB.  Son JACOB came to Isle of Wight, VA, in 1656 on the
Increase, with his brother, JOHN, leaving London in Sept. 1656.  Records of the High Court of Admiralty provide evidence of their stormy passage.  JACOB and JOHN were witnesses to a suit brought to recover goods lost on the voyage. Also a witness and fellow passenger was 27 year old THOMASs UNDERWOOD, returning to Virginia from his home also in Stepney Parish, whose granddaughter, JANE, would marry JACOB�S son HENRY. [JOHN WILLIAM's 4th great grandparents.]

It is assumed that JACOB settled on the 500 A plantation near Upper Chippokes Creek, near Swan's bay on James River near Claremont Manor in what became Surry Co., VA, that his father bought in 1640.  There are few records for JACOB.  29 Apr 1670 JACOB FLOWER of Isle of Wight Co. settled an account of "his late father, Capt. JOHN FLOWER of Ratcliffe, mariner" with WILLIAM READE.  The READE brothers were in the business of shipping and trading tobacco.  They were also from a Stepney Parish family.

JACOB came from a shipping family - builders and mariners.  

JACOB's great grandfather, CHRISTOPHER probably came to London as a young man.  He was born circa 1542 in Potterne, Wiltshire, England and died before 1622 in Ratcliffe, Stepney Parish, Middlesex, England. At the time CHRISTOPHER moved Stepney Parish was just outside of the walls of the City of London.  Ratcliffe was one of a series of villages stretching eastward along the River Thames from the Tower of London, called the "Tower Hamlets".  Ratcliffe located at the great bend of the Thames, was the port of London. 

CHRISTOPHER is shown in the 1st Stepney Register of 1580 as being a shipwright and living in Ratcliffe.  He was a member of the Worshipful Company os Shipwrights. He married ELIZABETH LANCASTER 10 Oct 1565 in St. Dunstan's in London. Records of the family in the parish continue through Jacob's time. ELIZABETH's father, WILLIAM, was a well known merchant. The family lived in the parish of St. Dunstan's of the East.

JACOB's grandfather, JOHN, died on 11 Oct 1626 in Ratcliffe, Stepney Parish, Middlesex, England, and was buried in St Dunstan & All Saints, Stepney Parish, Middlesex, England.  His wife was KATHERINE. He was a Mariner.

It is recorded in the parish register that JOHN II, son of JOHN and KATHERINE, was christened 29 Jan. 1595 by The Rev. SAMUEL COTTESFOR, St. Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney Parish,  Middlesex, England. He died on 2 May 1657 at his townhouse in Figtree Yard in Ratcliffe, Stepney Parish, Middlesex, England and was buried in St Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney Parish, Middlesex, England.  JOHN married ANNE BRADLEY [1600-1646] 21 Nov 1617 at St. Dunstan's. ANNE was the daughter of WILLIAM and MARGARET, and the family lived in the village of Poplar in the Eastern section of Stepney.

JOHN was Master of the
Dorset of London, Virginia Merchant, Gillyflower/Julyflower, and the James; a partner in Trading Companies John Alcock & Co.., John Flower & Co., Bermuda Co., Marmushan Co., Virginia Co.   He was an investor in East Country English mines.  From 1632 to 1646 he transported settlers to Bermuda and Virginia.  He was a pioneer land owner in Bermuda in the 1630's and settled plantations in Virginia in 1640 and 1645.  He was dispatched on a trade mission by Parliament to Newfoundland in 1650.  He owned rental property in Ship Alley in Ratcliffe. The dates and ships Capt. JOHN was Master of and the record of his voyages are part of the records of the Port of London [located in Ratcliffe]

Judging from his estate he was of the middle-class, comfortable, providing education for his children, wearing good clothes, with a well furnished home and library. 

Capt. JOHN was busy sailing the seas during the English Civil War.  He was a business partner of OWEN ROWE, a Cromwell supporter, but also transported Royalists.  There is no record of any Flower soldier on either side.  As devoted as the family was to St. Dunstan's, he was probably not a disenter, as the Puritans stalled horses in St. Dunstan's. Politics as well as opportunity probably influenced him in settling his lands in Virginia on his sons and encouraging their leaving England.

It was the immigrant, JACOB's great grandaughter, PRISCILLA FLOWERS, daughter of JACOB and grandaughter of HENRY FLOWERS and JANE UNDERWOOD, who married
JOHN N COHOON and was the ancestor to the Cohoons/Calhouns who went to Kentucky.

For more information on the Flowers family see The Flowers Chronicles by P.B. Flowers. See also by the same author A Nevada Confederate at Queen Elizabeth's Court - an account of the descendants of Jacob Flower presenting a memorial plaque to Capt. John Flower, mariner, for the John Flower Door to St. Dunstan's. Note also there is a memorial to Capt John in St. Peter's Church in St. George Bermuda and a record of his ship SeaVenture which was wrecked off  Bermuca in 1609.
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Pictures from above named books.
Hamlet of Ratcliffe, from Gascoyne's Map of Stepney Parish 1703.
"Vischer's View of London" 1616, Folger, Washington, DC, showing St Dunstan's in the East [tall spire].
Flower Porch, St. Dunstan's
St Dunstan's  1755
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