An American Family History

Jonathan Stanhope, Sr. and Susannah Ayres

Sudbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts

Various spellings of Stanhope
Stanape, Stanup, Standhope, Stanhop, Stanop, and Stannup

Middlesex County, Massachusetts was created on May 10, 1643. The county originally included Charlestown, Cambridge, Watertown, Sudbury, Concord, Woburn, Medford, Wayland, and Reading.

Ensign Jonathan Stanhope, Sr. and Susannah Ayres were married at Charlestown or Sudbury on April 16, 1656.

Their children were born in Sudbury. According to A History of Framington Massachusetts, the Stanhope place was near How's Tavern.

Jonathan Stanhope, Jr. was born on February 2, 1657, Sarah Stanhope was born on March 25, 1658. Hannah Stanhope Jennings was born about 1660, Joseph Stanhope was born on September 13, 1662, Jemima Stanhope Rutter was born on June 24, 1665, Mary Stanhope was born on January 29, 1667, and Rebecca Stanhope Hemenway was born on October 29, 1670. 

On April 21, 1676, Jonathan participated in the Sudbury fight of King Philip's War where Native American warriors attacked Sudbury. The colonists living west of the Sudbury River fled to garrisons and none of them were captured. The most severe attacks were at the Haynes garrison which was set afire by rolling a wagon full of flax down a hill to it. The colonists were still able to defend it. Eventually soldiers arrived from nearby towns.

Susannah died on June 2, 1676 in Sudbury.

Jonathan died in 1702.

Mary White Rowlandson,Talcot
was captured by Native Americans
during King Philip's War (1675-1676).
Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

European and indiginous American fought fierce battles as the Europeans expanded their territory.


King Philip’s War was a bloody and costly series of raids and skirmishes in 1675 and 1676 between the Native American people and the colonials. King Philip was the Native American leader Metacom.

Genealogical and Family History of the State of Maine by George Thomas Little, Henry Sweetser Burrage, Albert Roscoe Stubbs published by Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1909

Ensign Jonathan Stanhope, immigrant ancestor, settled early in Sudbury, Massachusetts, where he died October 22, 1702, aged seventy years. Therefore he was born in 1632, doubtless in England. He married, at Charlestown, April 16, 1656, Susanna Ayer.

He married (second) Abigail, who died at Sudbury, his widow, September 17, 1722.

Children, born at Sudbury:
1. Jonathan, February 2, 1657, married, May 11, 1674, Sarah Griffin;
i. Isaac, born June 27, 1675;
ii. Jonathan, November 5. died November 19, 1681.
2. Sarah, March 25, 1658.
3. Hannah, married, April 1, 1686, Stephen Jennings.
4. Joseph, September 13, 1662, mentioned below.
5. Jemima, June 5, 1665.
6. Mary, January 29, 1667, married William Wesson. [I don't think that the Mary Stanhope who married William Wesson was the daughter of Jonathan and Susannah since she was considerably older than William]
7. Rebecca, October 29, 1670.
8. Jemima, married, October 15, 1689, Thomas Rutter.

Early European settlers in the American colonies were mostly farmers and craftsmen. They had to work hard to provide daily neccesities for themselves.
During the Indian wars, some colonists were taken captive. They were killed, ransomed, or adopted into the tribe.

Sudbury in Middlesex County, Massachusetts was incorporated in 1639 with a population of 476. A major battle of the King Philip's War was fought in Sudbury in 1676.

from Year Book 1898 by Society of Colonial Wars in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Among the early settlers was one John How, a glover by trade. He was admitted a freeman in 1641 and was chosen selectman the next year. In 1655 he was appointed "to see to the restraining of youth on the Lord's day." He was a petitioner for Marlborough plantation in 1657, moved there about the same year, and was elected a selectman. He was the first tavern keeper in that town, having a public house as early as 1661....

The proximity of John How's house in Marlborough to the Indian plantation brought him into direct contact with his savage neighbors, and by his kindness he gained their confidence and good will, and they accordingly not only respected his rights, but often made him their umpire in cases of difficulty. He acquired, I have read, the reputation of a Solomon by his decision of a dispute where a pumpkin vine sprang up within the premises of one Indian and the fruit ripened upon the land of another. The question of the ownership of the pumpkin was referred to him, when he called for a knife and divided the fruit, giving half to each claimant. This struck the parties as the perfection of justice, and fixed the impartiality of the judge on an immutable basis. John How died in 1680, at the age of seventy-eight years, and left an estate valued at £511.

His son Samuel [How], a carpenter by trade, born in 1642, married, in 1663, Martha Bent, daughter of John Bent, of Sudbury, the first of that name; and later widow Clapp, of Hingham. He is described as a man of great energy and public spirit. ...

In 1702 Samuel How gave his son David [How], born in 1674, a tract of one hundred and thirty acres of the so-called "new grant" of Sudbury, and on one of the lots of this grant, bounded easterly on the highway and westerly by Marlborough, David How began immediately to build a house. During its erection tradition says that the work-men resorted at night for protection against Indian attacks to the Parmenter garrison house, half a mile away. Soon after its construction How opened it as a public house, the fifth tavern on the road from Boston westwards.

In a letter to an English lady, dated Dec. 28, 1863, Longfellow gives his version of the genesis of this house.

Some two hundred years ago, [he says,] an English family by the name of Howe built there (in Sudbury) a country house, which has remained in the family down to the present time, the last of the race dying about two years ago. Losing their fortune, they became innkeepers, and for a century the Red Horse has flourished, going down from father to son. The place is just as I have described it, though no longer an inn. All this will account for the landlord's coat of arms, and his being a justice of the peace, and his being known as the squire, things that must sound strange in English ears....

Nor do I find that David How was compelled by a reverse of fortune to open his house to the public. He was one of a family of thirteen children of Samuel How....

It may be supposed that David How, one of so large a family, found it necessary to earn his living by a respectable calling, and the business of his grandfather in Marlborough would naturally suggest that of an innkeeper. He accordingly opened his house to the public, not the first man in Sudbury to do so, but destined to eclipse them all in the celebrity of his inn and the fame of his descendants. His house, then called simply "How's Tavern in Sudbury" to distinguish it from How's Tavern in Marlborough, soon became known...The original house was a small one...

David How kept the tavern until his death in 1746, when it passed into the hands of his son Ezekiel, by whom it was enlarged as increased business made necessary. Receiving the custom of the great highway and mail route from Boston westward, the old inn of one story was merged in a more elaborate structure of two stories with a gambrel roof and arms spreading on either side, receiving through its seventy-nine windows alike the summer's and the winter's sun.

Early American taverns were important town meeting places and were strictly supervised. Innkeepers were respectable members of the community.