Thomas Rowley was the son of Roger Rowley a Shropshire haberdasher. Rowley had been in Newfoundland since at least 1612 when he accompanied John Guy on his voyage into Trinity Bay. In 1618 Rowley and William Hannam had gone into partnership with Sir Percival Willoughby on the condition that they settle on the Trinity Bay part of Willoughby’s lot. In January 1619 Rowley was in Bristol hiring a ship and men for Willoughby’s service in Newfoundland and by the spring he was back on the island. However, his plans to build a house at Carbonear came to naught and he spent the winter of 1619/1620 at Cupers Cove making plans to settle at New Perlican in Trinity Bay. Whether Rowley actually moved to New Perlican we do not know but it seems that he was still in Newfoundland in 1628. In his book of poems published that year, Robert Hayman, the governor of the Bristol’s Hope plantation at Harbour Grace, dedicated a verse to “my good friend Master Thomas Rowley who from the first plantation hath liv’d in Newfound-land, little to his profit”.