| Life & Times
DOWIE is a well established name in Scotland and particularly in the county of Fife. Newburgh is a parish on the coast of Fife, and members of the Dowie family are recorded as inhabiting the parish as far back as the 1660's.
Hercules Dowie was born about 1780, and was baptised in Newburgh. He was the son of William Dowie and Catherine Cragie, and a younger brother to William and Robert.
His uncle Robert Dowie was a ship master, and at some time before the end of the 18th Century Hercules and his uncle left Scotland, settling in Liverpool, Lancashire.
A number of events occurred around the turn of the century:
Uncle Robert died in 1800. Hercules is not mentioned in the will.
Hercules married his first wife, Alice Layland in June 1801
Hercules moved from Liverpool to Wigan., where he worked as a weaver.
BETWEEN 1804 and 1813, Hercules and Alice had four children; John, Margaret, Catherine and Mary. Sadly, only John survived infancy. Tragically, their mother also died of "consumption" a number of weeks after the birth of Mary, the child surviving her by only another two months.
This must have been a truly wretched time for Hercules, who at the age of 33 was a widower struggling to maintain his nine year old son John. Almost his entire family had been wiped out by consumption and small pox.
Just over a year after the death of his first wife, Hercules remarried to Ann Rigby at Wigan Parish Church just after Christmas 1814. Over the next sixteen years the couple parented another seven children: Catherine, Robert, William, Fanny, Mary, Frances and Ann.
DURING this period Hercules was in receipt of Poor Relief on several occasions, when he was too sick to work, or when there was simply no work available. In 1828, the Overseers of the Poor from Ince, Wigan, attempted to have the family removed to Liverpool, as they had failed to obtain appropriate authority to settle in Wigan originally. The removal order would appear to have been the subject of an appeal which must have been successful, as the family remained resident in Ince.
On March 9th 1851, Hercules Dowie died at Broom Street, Ince, aged 71. He was buried at Wigan Parish Church four days later in an unmarked grave.
Records & Documents
Transcriptions of surviving documents which I have found which relate to this branch of the Dowie family. There are also some copies of sections of the original papers.