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Biography

Gov. Thomas Prence was born 1601 in Lechlade, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom to Thomas Prence (1576-1630) and Elizabeth Todlerby (1577-1630) and died 29 March 1673 Plymouth Colony, Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States of unspecified causes. He married Patience Brewster (1600-1634) 5 August 1624 in Plymouth Colony, Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. He married Mary Collier (1612-1672) 1 April 1635 in Plymouth Colony, Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. He married Apphia Quicke (1603-1668) 1648 in Plymouth Colony, Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. He married Mary Burr (c1622-1695) 1 August 1668 in Plymouth Colony, Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts.

Thomas Prence was an English born colonist who arrived in Plymouth Colony in November 1621 on the ship Fortune. In 1644 he moved to Eastham, which he helped found, returning later to Plymouth. For many years he was prominent in Plymouth colony affairs and was colony governor for about twenty years covering three terms.

After Governor Bradford's death in 1657, Prence became the most important person in Plymouth,[36] winning unanimous election to succeed Bradford as governor.[37] He held the post until his own death in 1673.[38] He was described as being fairly friendly in informal situations, but when he presided over the colonial court he was strict and authoritarian.

Early Life

Thomas Prence was probably born in the area of Lechlade a town, in the county of Gloucestershire in about 1600 to Thomas Prince and Elizabeth Todlerby.[1] The Prince family moved to the London parish of All Hallows Barking, near Tower Hill, where Thomas' father was a carriage maker." Prence's father, in his will of July 31, 1639, mentioned "my son Thomas Prence now remayninge in New England in parts beyond the seas", and bequeathed him a "seale Ringe of Gold", indicating the family may have been armigerous.[3] Prence's ancestors spelled the family name "Prince", but, after his emigration, Thomas used the spelling of "Prence".[3]

Prence lived in Ratcliff, at that time a hamlet in the parish of Stepney, which is where he was probably living when he decided to emigrate to the New World.[3]


Marriage & Family

Thomas Prence married 4 times. He had three more children: Judith, Elizabeth and Sarah but it is not certain which wife was the mother.

1st Marriage: Patience Brewster

He married his first wife, Patience, on August 5, 1624. Patience was the daughter of William Brewster. They had four children before she died of a "pestilent fever" in 1634. The children were named Rebecca, Thomas, Hannah and Mercy.

2nd Marriage: Mary Collier

He next married Mary Collier, daughter of William Collier, on April 1, 1635. They had at least two children before her death, circa 1644. Their names were Jane and Mary.

3rd Marriage: Apphia Freeman

His third wife was Apphia Quicke (1603-1668), ex-wife of Samuel Freeman (1595-1639), whom he married sometime between 1644 and the 1660s. The couple had a daughter Judith Prence born May 1645. She was his wife when he became governor in 1657.

According to recent analysis in the Great Migration Begins series, she is perhaps the mother of Thomas' last three children.

4th Marriage: Mary Burr

Sometime in the 1660s (before either 1662 or 1668)[36] Prence married for the fourth and final time. He married, fourth, by August 1668, Mary Burr (c1622-1695), the widow of immigrant Thomas Howes (1601-1665).


Children


Offspring of Gov. Thomas Prence and Patience Brewster (1600-1634)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Rebecca Prence (1627-1651) 22 May 1627 Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts 18 July 1651 Barnstable County, Massachusetts Edmund Freeman (1620-1673)
Thomas Prence (1628-)
Hannah Prence (1629-1698) 12 December 1629 Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts 1698 Eastham, Barnstable County, Massachusetts Nathaniel Mayo (1625-1661)
Jonathan Sparrow (1632-1707)
Mercy Prence (1631-1711) 28 September 1631 Plymouth County, Massachusetts 28 September 1711 Eastham, Barnstable County, Massachusetts John Freeman (1626-1719)


Offspring of Gov. Thomas Prence and Mary Collier (1612-1672)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Jane Prence (1637-1712) 1 November 1637 Plymouth County, Massachusetts 1712 Massachusetts Mark Snow (1628-1695)
Mary Prence (c1639-1711) 1639 Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts 28 August 1711 Eastham, Barnstable County, Massachusetts John Tracy (1633-1718)


Offspring of Gov. Thomas Prence and Apphia Quicke (1603-1668)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Judith Prence (1645-1738)
Sarah Prence (1646-1707) 1646 Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts 3 March 1707 Dennis, Barnstable County, Massachusetts Jeremiah Howes (1637-1708)
Elizabeth Prence (c1648-)



Siblings


Offspring of Thomas Prence (1576-1630) and Elizabeth Todlerby (1577-1630)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Mercy Prence (1598-1650)
Thomas Prence (1600-1673) 1601 Lechlade, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom 29 March 1673 Plymouth Colony, Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States Patience Brewster (1600-1634)
Mary Collier (1612-1672)
Apphia Quicke (1603-1668)
Mary Burr (c1622-1695)
Susanna Prence (1601-1673)
Rebecca Prence (1604-1688)
Katherine Prence (1606-)


References

Brewster12.jpg
  • The Brewster Genealogy, 1566-1907 - a record of the descendants of William Brewster of the "Mayflower," ruling elder of the Pilgrim church which founded Hampshire colony in 1620;2 Volumes Paperback – September 7, 2010 by Emma C. Brewster Jones (Author). This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923.
  • Prence in Plymouth County, Massachusetts - first families
  • Thomas Prence - disambiguation
  • 1623 Plymouth Land Census

   







Footnotes (including sources)

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