Henry Brown, #9 on “The Dunbar Prisoners” List

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Published on: 24 May 2016
Updated: 05 Feb 2017

Find his descendants and researchers here.

First Generation in the New World

1. HENRY BROWN, was born presumably in Scotland.

Scots at Oyster River
Henry Brown (d. bef. 1692)
James Orr (d. aft. 1692)
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.

Henry Brown
#9 on “The Dunbar Prisoners” list

James Orr aka Ore, Oar, Carr
#82 on The Dunbar Prisoners list

GDMNH 114 lists Brown, Orr, and “Urine” [Erwin] together. Brown and Orr stated that they learned the sawmill trade from Valentine Hill.
[HTDNH 77] Brown, Orr, and Erwin were presumably part of Mr. Valentine Hill’s 7 Scots. [GDMNH 114]
10 Nov 1658 – Brown and Orr admitted inhabitants Oyster River  [HTDNH 77]
1659 – taxed [HTDNH 77]
1662 – Brown, Orr, and “Errin” [Edward Erwin] bought “a farm at Bradboate Harbour in Pischataq River at the Wadeing place, with 50 acres of upland.” (between Kittery and York, long called “Scotchman’s Neck.”) [HTDNH 77]
1667-1668 – Brown and Orr may have operated mills at both upper Kittery and Saco falls with Thomas Doughty [HTDNH 77]
1667-1669 – Brown and Orr sold out at Oyster River [GDMNH 114]
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. [GDMNH 114]
8 Dec 1692 – James Orr of Wells, logger and sawyer, sold the grant that belonged to him and Henry Brown [GDMNH 114], so presumably Henry Brown had died.

  1. E. Bourne, in his 1875 book, The History of Wells and Kennebunk, offers his imagining as to how their lives together may have been:

Bourne, The History of Wells and Kennebunk, p. 117 

Bourne, The History of Wells and Kennebunk, p. 118

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.