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Suffix  GOVENOR 
Birth  BET 1599 AND 1600  Lechdale, Gloucestershire, England  [4,5,6
Sex  Male 
Died  29 Mar 1673  Eastham, Barnstable County, Massachusetts  [7,8,9
Buried  8 Apr 1673  Burial Hill, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts  [10,11,12
Person ID  I3830  Default Tree 
Last Modified  17 Jul 2007 
Father  THOMAS PRINCE, b. 1575, Lechlade, Gloucestershire, England 
Mother  ELIZABETH TOLDERBY, b. 1577, Lechlade, Gloucestershire, England 
Group Sheet  F1416  Default Tree 
Family 1  Patience Brewster, b. 1603, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England 
Married  15 Aug 1624  Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts  [13,14
 1. Rebecca Prence, b. Abt 1625, Plymouth, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts
 2. Thomas Prence, b. Abt 1627, Plymouth, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts
 3. Hannah Prence, b. 1629, Plymouth, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts
 4. Mercy Prence, b. 4 Jan 1631, Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Group Sheet  F1516  Default Tree 
Family 2  MARY COLLIER, b. 1612 
Married  1 Apr 1635  Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts  [15,16
 1. Hannah Prence, b. 1628, Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts
 2. JANE PRENCE, b. 1 Nov 1637, Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts
 3. Elizabeth Prence, b. Abt 1638, Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts
 4. Mary Mercy Prence, b. Abt 1639, Duxbury, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts
 5. Sarah Prence, b. Abt 1643, Duxbury, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts
Group Sheet  F1517  Default Tree 
Family 3  Apphia Quick 
Married  Aft 1638  Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts  [17
 1. Judith Prence, b. Abt 1645, Eastham, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts
 2. Elizabeth Prence, b. 1647, Eastham, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts
 3. Sarah Prence, b. 1649, Eastham, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts
Group Sheet  F1518  Default Tree 
Family 4  Mrs. Mary Howes 
Married  Aft 1667  Plymouth, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts  [18
Group Sheet  F1519  Default Tree 
  • [AUS.FTW]

    Thomas Prence Governor was born in 1601 in Lechlade, England. He died on 29 Mar 1673 in Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. He married Patience Brewster on 5 Aug 1624.

    Governor Thomas Prence, the immigrant, was born in England about 1600, came to America in 1621 and settled in Plymouth, later removing to Eastham. He married 1st to Patience Brewster, August 5, 1624 (this was the ninth marriage in Plymouth Colony). She died in 1634, and the records show three subsequent marriages of Prence.

    He was Treasurer of the colony from 1637 to 1640; Governor's Assistant from 1632 to 1656, except for two short intervals; member of the Council of War in 1637; Commissioner for the United Colonies in 1645, and was eighteen times chosen Governor of Plymouth Colony. "A man of commanding presence and tried integrity." He died at Plymouth, March 29 1673.
    Gov. Thomas Prence
    Thomas Prence was born in 1599 at Lechlade, Gloucestershire, England, the son of Thomas Prence and Elizabeth Tolderby. Thomas emigrated to America in 1621 on the ship Fortune, and arrived in Plymouth in November 1621, just days after the first Thanksgiving. He was was allowed to join with Bradford, Allerton and Standish as a member of the Trade Monopoly. Later, in 1644, he and several other prominent families left Plymouth for better land and founded the community of Eastham, Massachusetts. He became governor in 1634; and after the death of Governor Bradford in 1653, he became the undisputed leader of the Plymouth Colony.

    Thomas first married Patience Brewster, daughter of Elder William Brewster, in 1624. They had the following children:

    Rebecca, b. 1627
    Mercy, b. 1631, who married Maj. John Freeman.
    Hannah, b. 1633, who married Capt. Jonathan Sparrow.
    Thomas also married Mary Collier and Apphia Quick.

    Thomas Prence died at Eastham on 29 March 1673

    Thomas Prince, Senior, carriage maker of All Hallows, Dorking, London, England, in his will of 1630 mentions, "my son Thomas Prence now remayninge in New England in parts beyond seas." The proper spelling of this surname is Prince and it was so written by his immediate and collateral forebares, but Gov. Thomas chose to write it as Prence.

    Thomas Prence came to America on the ship Fortune in 1621 and settled in Plymouth. In 1635, he moved to Duxbury, in 1644 to Eastham, and in 1663, was induced to move back to Plymouth by a gift of a large farm at "Plain Dealing." He was governor of the Plymouth Colony eighteen years, assistant thirteen years, treasurer one year, member of the Council of War five years, commissioner twelve years, alternate commissioner several years.

    George Willison in Saints and Strangers noted that in 1646, Thomas Prence was opposed to religious tolerance and, in 1657, was a leader in Quaker and Baptist persecutions. In Duxbury, the policy of Gov. Prence "met stiff opposition led by Henry and Arthur Howland and others. Henry Howland was up on the malicious charge of 'improperlie entertaining' a neighbor's wife, and his young son, Zoeth, was put in the stocks for saying that he 'would not goe to meeting to hear lyes, and that the Divill could preach as good a sermon as the ministers,' with which many townspeople seemed to agree, choosing to pay a fine rather than attend public worship." Imagine Gov. Prence's feelings when he discovered that "one of his chief enemy's sons, young Arthur Howland, was surreptitiously courting his daughter Elizabeth. As the law forbad 'making motion of marriage' to a girl without her parents' consent, the irascible old governor promptly hauled the 'impudent' youth into court and fined him five pounds for 'inveigeling' his daughter. The young lovers were not discouraged and remained constant, for seven years later Arthur was again in court, was fined and put under bond of 50 pounds 'to refrain and desist.' The couple continued to behave 'disorderlie and unrighteously,' finally breaking the iron will of the old governor." They were married and, "in good time the names of their children, Thomas Howland and Prence (Prince) Howland, were inscribed on the baptismal roll of the church."

    It is believed that Gov. Thomas and his first wife Patience (Brewster) Prence had five children. However, information given to me by Barb Schoch, who is descended from Sarah Prence and Jeremiah Howes, suggests that daughter Sarah was born after the death of Patience, and could be the daughter of the second wife, Mary. Hopefully, this will be resolved in the near future. At the moment, the five children of Thomas and Patience that I have are:

    Thomas, died as a young man; went to England and married Susanna -----, who was called, in 1677, a single woman of "Catheren Gate" near the Tower, London.
    Rebecca, m. in 1646, Edmund Freeman, Jr.
    Mercy, m. in 1659, John Freeman.
    Sarah, m. in 1650, Jeremiah Howes.
    Hannah, m. (1) 13 Feb. 1649, Nathaniel Mayo; m. (2) Jonathan Sparrow.
    Gov. Thomas and his second wife Mary (Collier) Prence had four children:

    Jane, b. 1 Nov. 1637; m. 9 Jan. 1660, Mark Snow.
    Mary, m. John Tracy of Duxbury, MA.
    Elizabeth, m. Arthur Howland, Jr.
    Judith, m. (1) 28 Dec. 1665, Isaac Barker of Duxbury; m. (2) in 1691, William Tubbs.

    The Prence Family Bibliography
    Banks, Eng. Ancestry and Homes of Pilgrim Fathers, p. 125.

    Gilmore, Albert F., Keene Descendants, 1975.

    Hinchman, Lydia, Early Settlers of Nantucket, 1901.

    New England Historic and Genealogical Register, Vol. VI, p. 234.

    Savage, James, Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986, Vol. III, pp. 477.

    Willison, George, Saints and Strangers, New York: Reynal and Hitchcock, pp. 380, 381, and 445.

    Winsor, Justin, History of Town of Duxbury.


    Links to Sites of Interest
    The New England Historic Genealogical Society
    Home page for the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS).
    Thomas Prence 16001673, American colonial governor, b. England. His Puritan family joined the Pilgrim community in Leiden in Thomas's youth. In 1621 he went to Plymouth Colony, where he gained prominence and was one of eight colonial "undertakers" who assumed (1627) the colony's debt to the London merchants who had backed the establishment of the colony. He held various offices, including the governorship (163435, 1638, 165773). Prence supervised (1641) the building of the first bark constructed in the colony and established (1650) the Cape Cod fisheries. As governor he served with credit through a period of Indian wars and internal religious troubles and was noted for his successful effort to secure public revenues in support of schools.
    The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia

    Patience2 Brewster (William1), married Thomas Prence. His first wife.
    Children of Thomas and Patience Prence
    Rebecca Prence3, married Edmund Freeman.
    Thomas Prence3, married --- ---.
    Mercy Prence3, married John Freeman.
    Hannah Prence3, married, 1st, Nathaniel Mayo; married, 2d, Jonathan Sparrow.

    MB&D, Roser I:261, 262, Footnote 6: Christopher's wife Mary died in July of 1676. Connecticut county court records at New London, September,1673, however, tell an interesting story. About three years before Chistophers wife's death, it seems that Elizabeth "Brawly" [Bradley, by then a widow with four children] was found guilty of fornication with Christopher Christophers who was a "married man," the second of such offenses, and she was now "neare the time of delivery." Delaying punishing due to her condition, the court nonetheless noted the "haniousness" of this crime and stated that she was to appear in public at a later date displaying the notice: "Let the punishment of my whore dome be a warning to others; or else to pay fifteen pound fyne." Elizabeth chose to pay the fine. Despite this fact the Brewsters recorded the birth of John Christopers as the son of Christopher and his wife Elizabeth
Sources  1. [S03666]   HINKLEY.FTW
"Date of Import: May 28, 2004"
2. [S03666]   HINKLEY.FTW
"Date of Import: Jul 3, 2004"
3. [S03668]   AUS.FTW
"Date of Import: Nov 19, 2004"
4. [S03666]   HINKLEY.FTW
"Date of Import: May 28, 2004"
5. [S03666]   HINKLEY.FTW
"Date of Import: Jul 3, 2004"
6. [S03668]   AUS.FTW
"Date of Import: Nov 19, 2004"
7. [S03666]   HINKLEY.FTW
"Date of Import: May 28, 2004"
8. [S03666]   HINKLEY.FTW
"Date of Import: Jul 3, 2004"
9. [S03668]   AUS.FTW
"Date of Import: Nov 19, 2004"
10. [S03666]   HINKLEY.FTW
"Date of Import: May 28, 2004"
11. [S03666]   HINKLEY.FTW
"Date of Import: Jul 3, 2004"
12. [S03668]   AUS.FTW
"Date of Import: Nov 19, 2004"
13. [S03666]   HINKLEY.FTW
"Date of Import: May 28, 2004"
14. [S03668]   AUS.FTW
"Date of Import: Nov 19, 2004"
15. [S03666]   HINKLEY.FTW
"Date of Import: May 28, 2004"
16. [S03668]   AUS.FTW
"Date of Import: Nov 19, 2004"
17. [S03668]   AUS.FTW
"Date of Import: Nov 19, 2004"
18. [S03668]   AUS.FTW
"Date of Import: Nov 19, 2004"
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