John Trowbridge, 1684-1740.


John went to Hopkins, graduating in 1696. He was a joiner (carpenter) and owned a warehouse near the head of Union Wharf. An active citizen in the community, he was chosen often for various positions after he was made a freeman in 1712; a lister in 1715, constable 1716, fence viewer of “Coopers Quarter and plainfield” in 1722 and in that year was on a committee to correct any errors in the laying out of lots, as claimed by some men. In 1724 he was chosen sheriff of New Haven County. John acquired land in town and on the Neck (Fair Haven West). He married Rebecca Eliot, daughter of the Rev. and Mary Eliot of Guilford. When John died, Rebecca married Ebenezer Fisk of New Milford. She married a third time Capt. William Dudley of Guilford. John and Rebecca joined Center Church in 1724.

My own research shows that John was born on November 2, 1684, to John and Anne (Leete) Trowbridge.  His mother Anne was the daughter of William Leete, who was one of the original settlers of Guilford as well as the only person to have served as governor of both the New Haven Colony (1661-1665) and the Connecticut Colony (1676-1683).  The New Haven Colony was finally merged into the Connecticut Colony in 1665, so Leete was its last governor.

John’s stone is the only one in the crypt to feature a sundial engraving — instead of the usual winged death’s head or soul effigy — under a striking Latin inscription, also singular in the crypt: “Sic transit gloria mundi”…another reminder that time on earth is fleeting.  (For another beautiful example of a one-of-kind tombstone engraving in our basement, check out Katherine Dana’s cinerary urn with willow branches.)


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