Brown, Henry

Battle:Battle of Dunbar in Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland
Ship/Arrival:Unity, Dec 1650
Prisoner and List:
Name Variations:
Residences:
Other SPOW Associations:
Every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy; please independently verify all data.

Published: 24 May 2016
Updated: 13 Apr 2020
Researchers: Rosann Beauvais, Andrew Millard, Teresa Rust, B. Craig Stinson
Editors: Teresa Rust and Rosann Beauvais


Henry Brown, #9 on George S. Stewart’s Captured at Dunbar list1

First Generation in the New World

1. HENRY¹ BROWN, was born presumably in Scotland; d. ca. 1692 perhaps in Wells, Maine. Unmarried.

Biographical Notes:
1. Contributed by Dr. Andrew Millard in July 2018:
According to Christopher Gerrard, Pam Graves, Andrew Millard, Richard Annis, and Anwen Caffell, Lost Lives, New Voices: Unlocking the Stories of the Scottish Soldiers at the Battle of Dunbar 1650, (England: Oxbow Books, 2018),2 on page 248, Henry is categorized as: Probable [that he is a Dunbar prisoner transported on the Unity] Brown/?Brounell, Henry. Residences: Oyster River NH, Wells ME. Appears: 1658. D.1677×1692. Unmarried. Lived with James Orr. One of Valentine Hill’s Seven Scots. It is just possible that he is the Henry Brounell on the John and Sara. [Exiles; DR; BCS; SPOWS; Ch.7 & 8]3 4 5 1 6 7

For explanations of the category, abbreviations and references see List of Dunbar prisoners from Lost Lives, New Voices.
2. In 2016, Carol Gardner said:
“I’m a researcher for Thomas Doughty. I know that there was a Henry Brown in Maine who lived much of his life with James Orr. They were both Dunbar prisoners and both started as slaves of Valentine Hill at Oyster River. Later, they moved to Wells, Maine where they operated a mill with another Scot, Robert Stewart. Thomas Doughty had a couple of lumber contracts with them, and may have resided with, or near them, during King Philip’s War.”


Scots at Oyster River
Henry Brown (d. bef. 1692)
James Orr (d. aft. 1692)
by
Craig Stinson
July 31, 2016

Henry Brown and James Orr Henry Brown and James Orr appear to have been among the “Seven Scots” who belonged originally to Valentine Hill and worked his sawmill at Oyster River. They eventually located in Wells, Maine, where for several years they owned and operated a sawmill and blacksmith enterprise. Neither ever married; they lived together their entire lives, often at the very edge of civilization, legally binding themselves to one another so that if one died the other was to inherit all their common property. Henry Brown seems to have died before 1692. Because neither married or had children, their stories are seldom retold by later generations.5

Also see: James Orr aka Ore, Oar, Carr, #82 on “The Dunbar Prisoners” list

The Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire often listed Henry Brown, James Orr, and “Urine” [Edward Erwin/Irwin – possible Worcester survivor] together. Brown and Orr stated that they learned the sawmill trade from Valentine Hill. They were presumably part of Mr. Valentine Hill’s 7 Scots whose indentures he had acquired.8 9 7

Timeline:

10 Nov 1658 – Brown and Orr were admitted as inhabitants Oyster River and taxed in 1659. They lived together as unmarried men. 10

1662 – Brown, Orr, and “Errin” [Edward Erwin/Irwin – possible Worcester survivor] bought “a farm at Bradboate Harbour in Pischataq River at the Wadeing place, with 50 acres of upland” for 100 pounds (between Kittery and York, long called “Scotchman’s Neck.”) They also had a grant in 1662 for “eight score acres near “Moharmitts marsh.” 10 7

Abt. 1663- “Layd out and Bounded to Henrey Brown and James Ore fower ackers [four acres] which were given and granted unto Mr. Valentine Hills seven Scotes in the yeir 1652… It bordered on the “freshet” that is, the mill-pond above the dam at Durham Falls, and was on the south side of the river, and on the Newmarket road.” 11

1667-1668 – Brown and Orr may have operated mills at both upper Kittery and Saco falls with Thomas Doughty 10

1667-1669 – Brown and Orr sold out at Oyster River on 8 Aug 1667 to Teige Riall of Oyster River for 30 pounds for four and one half acres with a house and fences. Tiege Riall then sold it to James Smith, a tailor, on 28 Mar 1670.9 10 12

1675 – Brown and Orr left Doughty, who was now married at Saco, and moved to Wells where at first they got out logs for the Sayward mill, later for their own at Mousam, now Kennebunk village, where it was known as The Scotchmen’s mill. They became residents in the township of Wells, 3 June 1675, buying 200 acres at “Mowsome” from Henry Sayward. “Brown and Orr lived many years in Wells, Me.” 9 10

1679 – The History of Wells and Kennebunk suggests that Henry Sayward entrusted the care of his mills to “Henry Brown and James Carr [Orr?], Scotsmen. These men in 1679, had taken a grant of the land on both sides of the river, bounding on the mill lot. The brook, always termed “the Scotchman’s Brook,” passed through this land.” The book goes on to state that the men, Henry Brown and James Carr [Orr?], “…came over to this country to engage in business of this kind, bringing with them several mechanics as auxiliaries to their work.” The book claims that Brown and Carr [Orr?] established a very successful “blacksmith’s shop on the western side of the river.” The book continues on with speculations on who the men who worked the lumber mills might have not desired a life with women. It seems very speculative and meant to grab one’s imagination. 13

1684- Henry Brown and James Oare [Orr] received a grant on the west side of Mousam river at the “head of tide water”, of four and a half acres. 14

1686- “Brown and Orr brought suit against John Bray for carrying away their grass at brave Boat Harbor.” 11

8 Dec 1692 – James Orr of Wells, logger and sawyer, sold the grant that belonged to him and Henry Brown 9 , so presumably Henry Brown had died.

— By B. Craig Stinson


Sources and Notes:
References:
GDMNH Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, Noyes, Libby, and
Davis, Portland, Maine: The Southworth-Anthoensen Press, 1928-1939, p. 114.
HTDNH History of the Town of Durham, New Hampshire, vol. 1, Everett S. Stackpole and Lucien Thompson, 1913, pp. 77.
The History of Wells and Kennebunk, E. E. Bourne, Portland, Me: B. Thurston & Co., 1875, pp. 116-118. E. Bourne offers his imagining as to how their lives together may have been.


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  1. Stewart, George Sawin. The Bartlett Collection. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts. /george-sawin-stewart-documents/ [] []
  2. Gerrard, Christopher M.., et al. Lost Lives, New Voices: Unlocking the Stories of the Scottish Soldiers at the Battle of Dunbar 1650. Oxbow Books, 2018, p. 248. []
  3. Stackpole, Everett Schermerhorn. Scotch Exiles in New England. 1922. Coll. 733 & 831, Collections of the Maine Historical Society, Portland ME. []
  4. Rapaport, Diane. Working List of Early New England Scots. 2015. []
  5. Stinson, B. Craig. “‘Oyster River Scots.’” The Scottish Prisoners of War Society, Teresa Rust, 3 June 2018, scottishprisonersofwar.com/oyster-river-scots-by-b-craig-stinson/. [] []
  6. “Dunbar Prisoners of War Profiles.” The Scottish Prisoners of War Society, Teresa Rust, 18 Feb. 2019, scottishprisonersofwar.com/battle_of_dunbar_pows_america/. []
  7. Gerrard, Christopher M.., et al. Lost Lives, New Voices: Unlocking the Stories of the Scottish Soldiers at the Battle of Dunbar 1650. Oxbow Books, 2018. Ch. 7, 8. [] [] []
  8. Stackpole, Everett S., and Lucien Thompson. History of the Town of Durham New Hampshire (Oyster River Plantation). Vol. One, Narrative, [Durham N.H.] : Published by Vote of the Town, 1913, pg. 60, Internet Archives, archive.org/details/historyoftownofd01stac/page/n8. []
  9. Noyes, Sibyl, et al. Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2012, pg. 114 [] [] [] []
  10. Stackpole, Everett S., and Lucien Thompson. History of the Town of Durham New Hampshire (Oyster River Plantation). Vol. One, Narrative, [Durham N.H.] : Published by Vote of the Town, 1913, pg. 77, Internet Archives, archive.org/details/historyoftownofd01stac/page/n8. [] [] [] [] []
  11. Stackpole, Everett Schermerhorn. Scotch Exiles in New England. 1922. Coll. 733 & 831, Collections of the Maine Historical Society, Portland ME. [] []
  12. Scales, John. Historical Memoranda Concerning Persons & Places in Old Dover, N.H. Vol. 1, Dover, N.H., 1919, Internet Archives, archive.org/details/historicalmemora00scal/page/n5. []
  13. Bourne, Edward E. The History of Wells and Kennebunk, B. Thurston & Co. Portland, 1875. pg 116-117, Internet Archives, https://archive.org/details/historyofwellske00bourrich/page/116 []
  14. Bourne, Edward E. The History of Wells and Kennebunk, B. Thurston & Co. Portland, 1875. pg 187, Internet Archives, https://archive.org/details/historyofwellske00bourrich/page/116 []