John Gower was poet, a follower of John of Gaunt and friend and mentor to Chaucer and according to George Markham Tweddell, William Hall Burnett and Cunningham, had his birth in Stittenham, Yorkshire and according to Tweddell resided at Sexhow near Stokesley.
"John Gower was born at Stittenham, in the Parish of Sheriff Hutton in the archdeaconry of Cleveland about 1320, six hundred and forty years after the death of Caedmon." says George Markham Tweddell in 1872
William Hall Burnett in 1886 adds "Evidence is not wanting, however, that his family resided in Yorkshire, and though some accounts describe him as being born in Norfolk, Cunningham, in the English Nation, boldly asserts that he was born in Stittenham, in Yorkshire..Tweddell alleges the Gowers were resident at Sexhow, near Stokesley."
Below are some local 19thC texts on John Gower.
Chapter on John Gower from George Markham Tweddell's Bards and Authors of Cleveland and South Durham 1872. Click arrow to enlarge and read on line or download free.
John Gower by William Hall Burnett 1886
Other sources on John Gower http://home.gwu.edu/~jhsy/gower.html
From The Cleveland Hall of Fame.