(Including East & West)
Home | Township
VINCENT TOWNSHIP | WEST VINCENT
On Holme's "Map of the Improved Parts of
Pennsylvania," constructed by Thomas Holme, surveyor-general of William
Penn,--the earliest map of the province,--the territory now constituting the
Vincents is given in the names of "Sr. Mathias Vincent, Adrian Vrouzen,
Benja Furloy, Doctr. Daniel Cox." It appears that Benjohan Furly, of
Rotterdam, in Holland, as agent for William Penn, on March 7, 1682, conveyed
5000 acres of land in Pennsylvania to Burgomaster Adrian Vroesen, of the same
place, who on June 10, 1704, conveyed the same lands to Benjohan Furly,
merchant, son of the first named. By letters from Furly to Thomas Penn, as
late as 1736, it seems that nothing had been done towards a confirmation of the
land to him, but he expresses a hope that it will be laid out in the best part
of the grant of 30,000 acres made in 1687.
From an original document in the possession of Dr. George Smith, author of the
"History of Delaware County," the following is taken:
Nov. 22, 1686, Dr. Daniel Coxe, of Loudon, being seized of a
tract of 10,000 acres in Pennsylvania, lying between two rivers, now called
Vincent river and Skulkill river, ordered the same to be divided into two equal
parts, on one of which, containing 5000 acres, several families are already
planted. From the remaining 5000 acres he now grants to John Clapp, of the
province of Carolina, in America, gentleman, 1000 acres, one-tenth of which was
to lie on Skulkill river, paying to the said Coxe a grain of corn yearly for the
first six years, and afterwards the yearly rent of 4[pounds] 6[shillings].
This deed does not appear to have been executed, but it gives some
historical facts. Dr. Coxe was largely interested in West New Jersey
lands, and was at one time Governor of that colony. In 1691 he conveyed to
an association styled "The West New Jersey Society," among other
lands, 10,000 acres in Chester County, which he had purchased from William Penn
by deed of April 20, 1686.
William Penn also sold to Maj. Robert Thompson, of Newington Green, in the
county of Middlesex, England, 10,000 acres in Pennsylvania, April 20, 1686,
which land was to be set out and divided into two several townships, which were
to lie contiguous, and to be seated with ten families apiece within twelve
months next ensuing the date of sale. Robert Thompson, by will dated April
14, 1691, entailed the land. We next find deeds of lease and release, June
29 and 30, 1775, from Robert Thompson, Esq., of Elsham, in Lincolnshire, only
brother of William Thompson, Esq. (who died without issue), eldest son of
William Thompson, Esq., only son of William Thompson, late of Hackney, in
Middlesex, Esq., eldest son of Maj. Robert Thompson, aforesaid, to Joseph Reed,
Esq., Thomas Willing, Esq., and Robert Morris, Esq., all of Philadelphia, for
the above 10,000 acres. The price paid for this was 5500 [pounds].
Dec. 10, 1783, Joseph Reed sold his interest to the other partners for 2000
[pounds], and a patent was granted to Morris and Willing, June 28, 1787, for
10,098 acres in Vincent, called "Westover." Morris sold out to
Willing, Dec. 1, 1789, for 12,000 [pounds]. This patent covered the parts
of East and West Vincent adjoining Coventry. A patent was granted to the
West New Jersey Society for the remainder of the land in Vincent, or 10,098-1/2
acres, Dec. 5, 1791.
Vincent townships were leased and settled much in the same manner as Pikeland,
the settlers in many instances taking leases with the reserved right of
purchase. For a number of years the improvements in these townships did
not keep pace with those in other parts of the county. The houses were
generally very inferior, and the progress of agriculture was slow. This
general indisposition to improvement was, in a large measure, owing to the
nature of the tenures by which much of the land was holden. The stimulus
to active industry was wanting, but when the tillers became the absolute owners
of the soil the face of things was changed and wore a more animating
aspect; improvements were rapidly made, and Vincent and Pikeland soon
contained an enterprising class of citizens. After the land in
Vincent became valuable, and considerable improvements had been made, several
claimants appeared, and there was a long litigation concerning the fee simple
title before it was finally adjusted.
The township derived its name from Sir Matthias Vincent, and the tracts of land
constituting it were for some time known as "Cox and company's 20,000
acres." French Creek, which passes through the township, was
originally Vincent River, and retained that proud title for many years.
Benjohan Furly, one of the original owners of the lands in Vincent township, was
very intimate with William Penn, and traveled much with him in Germany. He
was a gentleman of considerable estate, fine acquirements, and of such influence
among the Germans as to induce numbers of them to settle in Pennsylvania.
William Penn was much pleased that a man of his wealth, family, and character
should take an interest in his new province.
The earliest inhabitants of the VIncents were supplanted by the Germans, who
came at a somewhat later date, and whose descendants, to a considerable extent,
enjoy the lands of their fathers. Among early settlers were the names of
Ralston, Jenkins, Davis, Thomas, John, and Michael Paul, Gordon, Brombach, and
Dennis Whelen. Garrett Brombach (now Brownback) established in this
township the first tavern north of the Lancaster road, in a house of rude
construction, where he performed the duties of host for many years. He was
a merry German, and accumulated considerable means.
In 1738, according to a survey ordered by the court, Vincent township was
bounded as follows: northeast by Schuylkill River, northwest by Nantmell
and Coventry, southwest by Uwchlan, and southeast by Joseph Pike's land. A
draught of the township, made in 1773, shows who were then seated on the
boundaries, with a few who were inside. Bezalion's cave is noted, near the
river, opposite the lower end of the island near Spring City; Parker's tavern
and mill, in the northeast corner, on the river; Holman's mill, now the Royal
Springs mill; Baptist church near West Pikeland, etc.
The township was divided into East Vincent and West Vincent in 1832. In
1844 the line between South Coventry and East Vincnet was established as it was
supposed to have been originally run.
The borough of Springville, on the Schuylkill River, was taken from the eastern
part of East Vincent township and incorporated by decree of court in 1867.
In 1872 the name was changed to Spring City.
The rate of 1724 was as follows:
Henry Kennell, 2s.; Garrett Brownback, 2s 4.; John Rode, 2s.; Peter Pickles, 2s.
4d.; Jasper Acer, 2s. 4d.; Joseph Roger, 2s.; Thomjas Loyd, 1s.; Owen Givin, 2s.
4d.; John Bound, 2s.; John James, 4s.; Theophilus Tho., 2s 4d.; Tho. Phillipps,
1s.; Henry Griffith, 1s.; Griffith William, 1s.
In 1734, Richard Prichard petitioned the court, setting forth that he lived on
what was known as Pike's land, where he had rented a piece of land on the line
of Charlestown, but had been appointed constable for Vincent, from which he was
distant four and a half miles. Being a poor man with a large family, he,
with many others, thought it "a very Great hardship To serve so Great a
Town as Vincent is and to be Sessed among them who have their settlements
without any Rent." A number of his Welsh neighbors substantiated his
statements, but we do not know the result.
In the year 1846 the late Frederick Sheeder prepared for the Pennsylvania
Historical Society a history of Vincent, which contains a great many matters of
TAXABLES IN 1753.
Philip Arndorf, Anthony Acre, Henry Acre, Paul Benard, John Bound, Wm. Barber,
Henry Benard, Henry Brumback, Benj'n Brumback, James Barber, Joseph Bosler,
Henry Carl, Jacob Cover, Felix Chrisman, Michael Cypher, William Cowan, Conrad
Carl, Henry Chrisman, Peter Defrain John Dodson, David Davis, JOhn David, George
Deery, Henry Dasher, James Evans, Rudolph Essex (Essig?), Christian Everhart,
William Evans, David Evans, Wm. Eddy, George Fitzsimmons, Jacob Ginther, Wm.
Gordon, Nicholas Ground, Michael Holman, Casper Himes, Henry Hethery John Hause,
Lawrence Hipple, Joseph Hoskins, Jonas Hicks, Joseph Hancock, Jacob Hoffman,
James John, David Jenkin, John Jenkin, Sebastian Keely, Henry Knerr, John Lloyd,
Philip Miller, Henry Miller, Peter Miller, John McFarlan, Samuel Morris,
Alexander McAlister, John Adam, Enoch Meredith, Jacob Mawre (Mowry?), John
McCracken, John Melchoir, John Meredith, John Olinger, John Philips, John Paul,
Edward Parker, Henry Rhoades, Robert Ralston, James Rogers, John Rhodes, Joseph
Rodgers, George Row, John Shinholds, Conrad Shimer, Simeon Shunk, Peter Steger,
Hugh Strickland, Conrad Sharer, Conrad Shunk, Frederick Slider, Casper Snider,
Henry Sharadan, Owen Thomas, David Thomas, John Thomas, Hazael Thomas, Abraham
Turner, Jacob Gogdes, Ann Watkin, Thomas Wilson, Enoch Watkin, John Young,
Appended to this list is one entitled "Disputed Inhabitants,"
containing the following names: Nicholas Kyser, Tacob Hetherlin, Jhn
James, John Munshower, Henry Titlowk, Joseph Davis, Rees Evans, Richard Evans,
Morgan Morgan, Richard Evans, Peter Paul, Peter Mores, and tenant, James
History of Chester County, Pennsylvania; Futhey & Cope; Louis H. Everts;
HOME | BACK