Thomas Angell "the Immigrant"

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Thomas Angell

Birthplace: of St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England
Death: Died in Providence, (Present Providence County), Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
Place of Burial: Unknown, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of James Angell and Mary Angell
Husband of Alice Angell and Sarah
Father of Amphyllis Smith; John Angell; Mary Arnold (Angell); James Angell; Alice Whipple and 3 others
Brother of Mary Seely; James Angell; Katheren Angell; Ann Angell; Judith Angell and 1 other
Half brother of Mary Angell and William Angell

Occupation: One of the founders of Rhode Island
Managed by: Edna Richards Baker Cahoon
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Thomas Angell


  • Find A Grave Memorial# 33987990
  • Note that despite the memorial for him in FindAGrave, his exact place of burial is unknown (although it is undoubtedly in Providence County, RI). The FAG memorial contains a detailed biography and links to other family members.


  1. Annphillis or Amphillis or Anphyllis Angell (ABT 1643 - AFT 21 Oct 1694) m. Edward Smith
  2. Mary Angell (1645 - AFT 23 May 1695) m. Richard Arnold
  3. John Angell (ABT 1646 - 27 Jul 1720) m. Ruth Field
  4. Deborah Angell (ABT 1648 - AFT 21 Oct 1694) m. Stephen Seabury
  5. Alice Angell (1649 - 13 Aug 1743) m. Eleazer Whipple
  6. James Angell (1651 - 3 Mar 1710/1711) m. Abigail Dexter
  7. Hope Angell (AFT 1650 - BEF 23 May 1685)
  8. Margaret or Margery Angell (ABT 1660 - AFT 1 Mar 1702/1703) m. Jonathan Whipple

Note: Sister Alice and Margaret Angell married brothers Eleazer and Jonathan Whipple.

Thomas Angell was one of the four men who wintered with Roger Williams at Seekonk, Plymouth Colony, in early 1636, and then joined him in founding the settlement of Providence in what became the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Though he was a minor at the time of his arrival, his name appears on several of the early documents related to the settlement of Providence. In the early 1650s he became active in the affairs of the town, serving as commissioner, juryman, and constable. In 1658 he began his service as the Providence Town Clerk, and held this position for 17 years.

from: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Get this book in print EBOOK FREE Thomas Angell Deputy to the General Court of Rhode Island 1652-1653

Register of the Society of colonial wars in the District of Columbia, 1904

By Society of colonial wars. District of Columbia


Get this EBook free Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas Angell, who Settled in Providence, 1636 (Google eBook)

Avery F. Angell A.C. Greene, 1872 - Providence (R.I.) - 205 pages _______________________________________________________________________________ 602 Thomas Angell.375,376,257,377 b. St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England on May 1, 1618. d. Providence, RI in 1693.

No certain facts are known of the English ancestry of Thomas Angell despite extensive research by many genealogists. He may have come to New England on ship Lyon with Roger Williams, who was reputed to be his cousin. Some family traditions assert that he was a servant or hired man of Roger Williams, but there is little documentary proof of this. He first resided at Salem from 1631-1635. Next he fled from Massachusetts as a religious dissenter with Roger Williams in January 1636 to Sowams, where Massasoit lived. He was one of the original settlers of Providence in June of 1636. He had one of the original home lots in the town of Providence. He was a forceful and opinionated man and held many office in Providence, including Town Council, surveyor, commissioner and constable, despite the fact that he was illiterate.

He was constable at the time of a confrontation with the Massachusetts colony about the jurisdiction over a prisoner being taken by deputy Richard Wright from Providence. At the confrontation there were several Cary ancestors involved - Thomas Angell, Richard Wright, Arthur Fenner, Roger Mowry. He and Thomas Harris were charged with treason by Roger Williams over a question about the nature of "liberty", but the charges were eventually dismissed. His home, along with all the others in Providence, was burned by the Wampanoags in the hostilities of King Phillip's War after the neutrality of Providence had been violated. The leader of the attack, Canonchet, was later captured and taken to Stonington, where he was shot and dismembered. Thomas was one of five men chosen to determine the fate of Indian captives after the war which was that there were committed to servitude (slavery) for a number of years. This was more lenient treatment than that of other colonies at the time which either executed their captives or sold them into permanent slavery. He acquired a considerable amount of property during his life, having begun it as a relatively poor man. In his will he gave to his five daughters two shillings in silver apiece, the rest to his wife and sons.

He m. Alice Ashton378,257, before 1642 in Providence, RI.

They had the following children: 301 i. Anphyllis (~1642->1694) ii. Mary (~1645->1685) iii. John (~1646-1720) iv. Deborah (~1648->1694) v. Alice (1649-1743) vi. James (~1650-1711) vii. Hope (~1653-~1685) viii. Margaret (~1660->1703)

603 Alice Ashton.378,257 d. Providence, RI on December 24, 1694. bpt. St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England on February 1, 1618.

She was baptized February 1, 1617/18 at St. Albans Abbey. She may have come to New England with her sister Marie and brother-in-law Thomas Olney. The sister's family was one of the first settlers to Providence and it is likely that Alice came with them or with her brother, James Ashton who came before 1642. In her will of 1695, she bequeathed to her daughters all her wearing apparell both wollen and linen and "so much of my pewter as may be for a remembrance of me."

2544. Thomas Angell (1) was born on 1 May 1618 in Liverpool, England. (20) He died about 23 May 1694 in Providence, Providence, RI. (20) Thomas Angell ( May 01, 1618 - Abt. May 23, 1694 )

Thomas Angell was born England before 1619 and likely much earlier since he calls himself "very Aged" in his 1685 will. He died in Providence, RI between August 1688 (Providence estate tax) and 18 September 1694 when his will was proved. He married possibly at Providence before 1642, Alice Ashton. He came from London as servant or apprentice of Roger Williams, as one tradition has it, but another tradition says, of Richard Waterman.

On 27 July 1640 Angell was one of the thirty-nine signers of an agreement for a government. He took his status as an inhabitant and Freeman of Providence very seriously and was politically active until the last decade of his life. He was one of the twelve signers of the Providence Oath of Allegiance, making his curious circular mark. A forceful and opinionated man, he held many town offices, despite being illiterate (or at least unable to write). He was a member of the Town Council in 1650 and was also surveyor and commissioner that year. He was one of the six jurymen in 1650, 1652 and 1659.

In December of 1652, Angell filled an important position as one of the six Providence commissioners at the General Assembly at Hugh Bewitt's trial for high treason. Bewitt had been found guilty by the Court of Trials and he appealed to the Court of Commissioners, and Angell and the five other commissioners acquitted him, sparing Bewitt the dreadful punishment reserved for traitors.

Angell was frequently associated with matters of defense, upholding of the law, and other physical matters.

On 25 3mo 1653, he was ordered a commissioner to meet with the Warwick commissioners regarding Captain Underhill and Mr. Dyer and the manner and means of making war upon the Dutch. Due to the merchant trade up and down the coast, there were several inter-marriages between Dutch and Providence colonists. This did not prevent the Council of State from directing the people to annoy the Dutch and forbidding them to send provisions. In one of the most aggressive responses from a New England colony, Rhode Island voted cannon and small arms and twenty volunteers be sent to the English on Long Island.

Thomas Angell acted as constable for the town of Providence in the precedent-setting case of Richard Chasmore, in which Rhode Island's sovereignty over its citizens versus the authority of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was tested. The men of Rhode Island took exception to the Massachusetts Bay Colony authorities assuming that they had jurisdiction on Rhode Island land. They further resented the implication that Roger Williams was the only man in Rhode Island with any power. By standing strong and silent in this altercation, Thomas Angell and his four deputies withstood the implied challenges of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Roger Williams brought a presentment against Thomas Harris, William Wickenden and Thomas Angell on 13 March 1656/7, charging them as ringleaders in the new division in the colony. Harris was charged with treason as a result of his view of liberty, which differed from those of Williams but the charge was dropped.

The three men appeared in court and three times an appeal was made for the prosecutor to come forward, but Williams did not come and no other appears to take his place, so the men were dismissed. The divisiveness in question was a matter of teachings on the nature of liberty, Angell apparently being a strong adherent of Harris' rather than an originator of the concepts involved.

Thomas Angell was a juror on the inquest upon the body of Margaret Goodwin 4 3mo 1651 [sic, more likely 1657] when the jury made the curious assessment that, "the terribleness of the crack of thunder on the second of the third month, 165[], or the coldness of the night, being she was naked did kill her."

Robert West filed a complaint against Thomas Angell on 27 August 1646 for having trapped and attacked some of West's swine with a pitchfork after they had entered Angell's property in July. Thomas killed a sow and "bruisd as black as a shoe" some of the pigs. Angell was ordered to pay damages for the dead sow and for the value of her skin, which had been torn by the pitchfork.

At the beginning of King Philip's War, the neutrality of Providence was respected by the Wampanoags, close friends to Roger Williams from the beginning of his settlement. The harm came when colonists from these two towns joined the United Colonies army as it marched through, violating the town's neutrality. The Narragansetts were wintered in a swamp of four or five acres in the area now known as South Kingston. The results of the "Great Swamp Fight" were a small number of colonists killed and well over one thousand Narragansetts and Wampanoags killed, hundreds by burning to death in their wigwams, and countless more starved when their provisions for the winter were burned in the battle. On 26 Mar 1676, a small force of colonists was attacked by the Narragansetts on the Massachusetts side. Outnumbered, the surviving colonials escaped, bringing news to Providence. Three days later, Providence was attacked, evidently the Narragansetts' first violation of the town's neutrality. Though Roger Williams pleaded for peace, the Narragansetts set fire to the town. Shortly after the burning of Providence, Canonchet, who had led the Narragansetts, was captured and taken to Stonington where he was shot and shortly thereafter, King Philip was killed and the war ended.

At the annual town meeting 5 June 1676, five Providence men were chosen to settle the question of what to do with the surviving Indians. As one of these five, Thomas Angell made his mark to the decision that they should be placed in servitude for a number of years, according to their present ages. Other colonies were not so generous, either killing their vanquished enemies or selling them to permanent slavery in distant lands. Thomas Angell dropped out of public service in the 1680's, though he appeared on the regular tax lists from 1680 through 1684. That the inventories of both Thomas and Alice Angell were taken the same day, coupled with the fact that Thomas paid no taxes after 1688, suggests that Thomas died about 1689 and that the family waited until Alice died in December of 1694 before probating their estates.

He was married to Alice Ashton on 10 Apr 1643 in St. Albans, England. (20)

2545. Alice Ashton(1) was born between 1615 and 1617 in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England. (20) She died on 24 Dec 1695 in Providence, Providence, RI. (20) Children were: John Angell


Thomas Angell and James Ashton were both appointed Commissioners in 1652, and both made freemen in 1655.

y referring to these dates it is hoped that it may be seen that the wife of Thomas .Angell was Alice Ashton, daughter of James and Alice .Ashton, of St. .Albans, Hertfordshire, and sisters of James .Ashton, early settler of Rhode Poland, and of Mary .Ashton, wife of Thomas Olney, and that this suggestion may be duly recognized or disjjroved. James and Alice Ashton, of St. Albans, Hertfordshire, recorded the baptisms of ten

children. I'he eldest son, James {2), born 1O03, married and had a son, James (3), who married Judit


Thomas Angel! was a lad wlu'ii lie caniu with Rof;(.r W'ilHatiis in Ihu ship L)'on, 1630, and he is not n-cordL'.l a? signing his name until if'^;. The date ol his marriage i? not given, but the baptism of his son, John, is 1646. (Pago 4, Gen. Diet. R. T. .Austin.)

The suggestions for consideration are: First, if, Thomas (2) Olney, named as one of the overseers of the will of Thomas Angell, 10S5, and. second, if, James and John .Angcll, probably named for the father and brother (and this John named a son, Daniel^ of Alice (Ashton) .\ngell, and, third, if, the daughter, Alice, inhcriis the desks and trunk which were gi\'en to her mother, Alice, by her grandmother, .-Mice, and, fourth, if, Thomas Angell and James Ashton were both appointed commissioners 1652, and both made freemen 1655, and, fifth, if, also, on page 4, Gen. Diet. R. T. Austin, we read "1710, December 14, Jnhn (2) Angell, calling himseh" about seventy years, testiiied that in 1667 he was desired by his uncle, James Aston, to take care of liis si.xtv- acre lot," then the proofs seem clear, to me, at least, that Alice Ashton was the wife of Thomas Angell.

In the "Herts Genealogist and Antiquary," Vol. 11., p. 377, is the following: __________________________________________________________________________________

The Ancestors of Thomas Angell of Providence, Rhode Island _________________________________________________________________________________

Though he was a minor at the time of his arrival, his name appears on several of the early documents related to the settlement of Providence. In the early 1650s he became active in the affairs of the town, serving as commissioner, juryman, and constable. In 1658 he began his service as the Providence Town Clerk, and held this position for 17 years. He wrote his will in 1685, dying almost a decade later in 1694, leaving a widow and many grown children.

Angell married Alice Ashton, the daughter of James Ashton of Saint Albans in Hertfordshire, England.[4] Alice's sister, Mary, married Thomas Olney, another Providence settler, and her brother James also came to New England. Thomas and Alice had eight children. Their daughter Alice married Eleazer Whipple, the son of John and Sarah Whipple, and brother of Colonel Joseph Whipple, and their daughter Margaret married Jonathan, another son of John and Sarah Whipple.[1] Their son James married Abigail Dexter, the daughter of colonial President Gregory Dexter.[1]


Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas Angell, who Settled in Providence, 1636 (Google eBook)

Avery F. Angell A.C. Greene, 1872 - Providence (R.I.) - 205 pages The first reliable knowledge we have of Thomas Angell is in 1631 he wet with Roger Williams on the ship Lion, under Captain A. Pearce from London to Boston where he was a servant to Roger Williams (a "lured man"). (it was common for a gentleman of England to take an apprentice or servant.) The passage was 66 days, and they stayed in Boston for two months. Then they went to Salem to 1636, during a time that was called "Williams persecution." In Providence, Williams gave Thomas a deed in 1638. The lot next south of St. John's Church now stands (at the time of the writing of this book-1872), which was his favorite spring. The spring is on the other side of where this church stands, so land must have also been on the other side of the street from the church. The deed was Dec. 20, 1661. It expected the deed receivers to support Williams in succession. Land is also referenced to First Baptist Church, High School,and Angell Street fronting Main Street. In 1655 Thomas was a farmer and constable. He was put in places of trust and honor. Will dated May 3, 1683. Will proved Sept. 18, 1691. His son John was given 60 acres of land in the first division of Providence and 60 acres in the second division of Providence. He gave his son James his house, and 20 acres lying on Weyhosset side of the river, near Hawkin's Cove, and 6 acres in the neck and 4 acres on the North side of the river called Woonasquatneket. His 5 dauthers received 400 . shillings. His wife Alice received the house he lived in at the time of his death and the land adjoining this house. If she married again, this property was to go to his son James the same day of her marriage. Otherwise, James was to keep the house in repair for his mother. He gave his wife one milch cow, and it the cow became old and unproductive, his son James was to supply another cow to his mother. John and James were to pay their mother annually 1G in shilling and provide for her comfortably until she should marry. All other cows went to James, as well as clothing, tool, and any land not dispensed in the will. His wife was the administratrix and James the administrator. Witnesses were Thomas Olney, Nathaniel Waterman, and Spencer Olney. Alice made her will Oct. 2, 1694 and died Jan. 1695. She divided her property among her 5 daughters.

Savage's Genealogical Dictionary has information on his descendants.

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Thomas Angell "the Immigrant"'s Timeline

September 22, 1616
of St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England
December 1, 1630
Age 14
Ship Lyon (minor with Roger Williams)
Age 23
Providence, Providence Plantation, (Present Rhode Island)
May 9, 1641
Age 24
Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Age 27
Providence, Providence Plantation, (Present Rhode Island)
Age 28
Providence, Providence, Rhode Island
Age 29
Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Age 31
Providence, Providence Plantation, (Present Rhode Island)
Age 33
Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Age 33
Providence, Providence, Rhode Island