Hewes, George Robert Twelves
- Alfred F. Young
Hewes, George Robert Twelves (25 August 1742–05 November 1840), shoemaker and rank-and-file participant in the American Revolution, shoemaker and rank‐and‐file participant in the American Revolution, was born in Boston, the son of George Hewes (1701–1749), tanner, soap boiler, and tallow chandler, and Abigail Seaver (1711–c. 1755). George Robert Hewes told a biographer that his education “consisted only of a moderate knowledge of reading and writing” (Hawkes, p. 17). An orphan at fourteen and short in stature—only five feet one inch tall at full height—he was apprenticed to a shoemaker, a trade for boys who could not handle heavy work. He eventually became owner of a small shop near Griffin 's Wharf, where he mended shoes and crafted them to order. In January 1768 he married Sarah Sumner, the daughter of a church sextant and a washwoman. They had fifteen children, eleven of whom survived childhood. In a trade that was low in status and prospects, Hewes remained poor; in 1770 he was imprisoned briefly for an unpaid debt to a tailor....