Capt. Thomas Marshall, of Reading & Lynn

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Capt. Thomas Marshall, of Reading & Lynn

Birthdate: (75)
Birthplace: possibly, Yorkshire , England, UK
Death: December 23, 1689 (75)
Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Marshall and Alice Marshall
Husband of Rebecca Marshall and Rebecca or Joanna Marshall
Father of Ruth Converse; Thomas Marshall, [Twin]; Rebecca Sharpe, [twin]; Elizabeth Marshall; Susannah Marshall and 7 others

Occupation: Tavern keeper, soldier, land speculator, politician
Managed by: Rita Irene Sloniker
Last Updated:

About Capt. Thomas Marshall, of Reading & Lynn

GENERAL DISCUSSION Thomas Marshall is as difficult a man to decipher, business-wise, as Isaac Allerton. To complicate matters, there were four Thomas Marshalls in eastern Massachussetts at the same time in the 17th century. To further complicate matters, this Thomas Marshall and another Thomas Marshall (a carpenter) settled in Reading, Middlessex co., MA at its founding and their names are often found near one another in early records. Credit to untangling the many Thomas Marshalls goes strictly to Marcia Lindberg, who wrote about all three Thomas Marshalls in considerable detail in the volume 16 (1996), #3 issue of The Essex Genealogist. She is a tireless researcher when it comes to families in the Essex co., MA area. Yet, even with her considerable study, many questions about this Thomas Marshall remain. I've answered some with cold hard fact. For the other answers we are left with only speculation. Name variations include: Marshal, Marshall, Marshel, Marshell (a variation from the 1800s) and Marshil.

Questions from Marcia Lindberg: 1. Why is Captain Thomas called Lt 1646-1648, Sgt. 1647, Ens. 1652, Lt. 1653-1655, Capt 1659-1689? See the discussion of Junior Officers and the structure of colonial militia below. Basically, this was more a measure of his popularity with the men, since they elected the junior officers every year. Also, he changed military companies from Reading to Lynn in 1656-1657. I believe that he couldn't take his rank with him.

8. Was Thomas Marshall demoted from Captain (1657) to Lieutenant (1658), then reinstated, or is this a typo? Without seeing the actual record and its context, it is hard to tell. On first blush, it is most likely a typo. It seems that once you made Captain, the jockeying for title within the militia was over. Nor does it seem likely that he was promoted, demoted, then reinstated. However, in 1656-1657, Thomas Marshall changed companies from Reading, Middlesex co., MA to Lynn, Essex co., MA. It is possible that he had made Captain in the Reading Company and had to start one rung down at Lieutenant when he switched to the Lynn Company.

2. Did he fight in Cromwell's battles at Naseby and Marston Moor as he claimed? I believe most definitely. He was an Antinomian and friend of Sir Henry Vane, who was chosen governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on 3 October 1635, and fled to England on 3 August 1637 just before the punishments of the Antinomian followers was meted out. He became a leading force of the revolution in England and for his trouble was imprisoned in the Tower upon the restoration of Charles II. His execution on Tower Hill took place on 14 June 1662. He was fifty.

Thomas was the only one of the Hutchinson group who was a career military man and -- curiously -- escaped Antinomian punishments which were meted out to all his Rumney Marsh neighbors. I can definitely believe that Vane called his old friend to action in England when the fighting broke out[71].

Even the births of his children work for this scenario. He could have made it to England in time to fight at Marston-Moor in July of 1644. If he fought at Naseby in June of 1645, he would have had to make it back to New England within a month or so in order to have been on the expedition which went (read: walked) to Canada, treated with the French and walked back in time to be rewarded on 4 November 1645[5].

4. Why was Captain Thomas "of Concord" mentioned in a deed in 1660, saying that he had bought a farm from Major Simon Williams, and sold it in 1661 to Henry Woodis? 15. Why was Captain Thomas Marshall called "of Concord" in 1660? Let us be honest: Thomas Marshall was a real estate speculator and would-be power broker. I can easily see him claiming to be from Concord if it would help him close a deal.

"The same year (1660), Thomas Marshall of Concord, Middlesex co., MA sold all his interest in John Andrew's debt of £100 to Simon Bradstreet of Andover, Essex co., MA. "The rest of the debt remained with Thomas Marshall". The witness to this was Walter Price[6,32]. Two things are puzzling about this transaction. First of all, Thomas Marshall is listed as being of Concord, Middlesex co., MA. Secondly, the line: "The rest of the debt remained with Thomas Marshall" contrasts directly with the indication that he "sold all his interest in [the] debt". Does this mean that this involves two different Thomas Marshalls?"

7. Why did Lieutenant Thomas name a daughter Joanna, which is the name of the wife of Thomas Marshall, the carpenter of Reading and Ipswich? And why do the Reading Church Records list Lieutenant Thomas Marshall and wife, then list separately, Thomas Marshall, and Joan Marshall? There is a possibility that Joan is a sister of one of the Thomases instead of assuming that she is the wife of Thomas Marshall, the carpenter. Without wills or other records, we cannot fully piece this family together.

6. Why are there no records linking Captain Thomas with any of his children? 9. Why didn't Thomas leave any estate to his children or wife? Why are there no probates for his or any of his children? 10. Why don't the wills and deeds for the presumed husbands of all his daughters ever mention "father-in-law Captain Thomas"? My impression of Thomas is that he was a rather controlling kind of guy. Chances are, this had to do with family dynamics and/or his shaky finances. Of course, records could be in another venue...

5. Who were the Thomas Marshall and Abigail Marshall who witnessed a deed for Captain Thomas Marshall? If they were his children, they would have been 12 and 18 years old. If Marshall was the controlling jerk he seems to be, he could have easily manipulated his children into signed the deed. If he was politically powerful enough/popular enough, the clerk may have okayed it with a wink & a nod. I'd like to see the signatures of the witnesses. Thomas (Jr.'s, presumably) would show a difference if he was, indeed, 12. One's signature is different as a child than an adult due to physical & developmental changes.

Of course, as postulated below, Thomas and Abigail could be cousins or other family members. Or one of the other Thomas Marshalls could have had a wife named Abigail. Though this last thought is not bloody likely.

11. Why did Captain Thomas the year before he died, sell his farm to Corporal John Andrews for £370? Why did he mortgage all his right and claim in the farm at Lynn "where we now dwell"?,br> Again, this smacks of either severe financial hardship or an "I'm taking it with me" family dynamic.

12. What happened to widow Rebecca Marshall? Not known.

13. It is curious that there are twins in both Captain Thomas Marshall's and Thomas Marshall the carpenter's families. Captain Thomas had twins, Thomas and Rebecca, b. at Lynn, and Carpenter Thomas Marshall's son Benajmin had twins Abigail & Mary, b. at Ipswich.

Again, it is possible that the two Thomases are genetically linked...perhaps as cousins.

14. It is obvious that for most of his life, Captain Thomas Marshall had financial difficulties. Can anyone explain the 1660 mortgage to John Andrews of Lynn? And the selling of John Andrews' debt to Simon Bradstreet? In the Thomas Marshall story, Bradstreet comes across as a 17th century Tony Soprano or Whitey Bulger, but without the broken kneecaps. It's possible he was a power broker. It's possible that Marshall wanted to be a power broker, but didn't have the financial capital to match his political clout.

THE RUMNEY MARSH FACTOR THOMAS MARSHALL & RUMNEY MARSH I firmly believe that Thomas Marshall was...connected. Nowhere is this borne out more fully than in the story of what happened at Rumney Marsh (now Revere), Suffolk co., MA. I wondered where he had gotten the land in Rumney Marsh which became such a part of his later real estate transactions. It turns out that the land is the least of the story and helps to tie much of Thomas together.

At first, it smacks of a "sweetheart land deal" for the well-connected. Remember that most Massachusetts towns were laid out as needed, and then by "corporation". A group of respected citizens would first lay out the land for the town common and the meeting-house, then would divvy up the remaining land to prospective settlers. Usually, your land grant reflected where you stood in the community pecking order and/or what you had provided to the town (usually money) to help its founding.

In December 1634, Boston decided that it would grant lands within its limits to some of its inhabitants. The area chosen was Rumney Marsh (now Revere), Pullen Point (now Chelsea) and several Islands in the Suffolk co., MA area. On 18 December, Mr. Winthrop, Mr. Coddington, Mr. Bellingham, Mr. Cotton, Mr. Oliver , Mr. Colborn & William Balstone were given the power to divide & allot all lands which belonged to the long as they obeyed the rules of the General Court & left enough cow commons for new comers[71].

On 30 November 1635, this codicil was attached. Any member of an exclusive condo or gated community will recognize its meaning: it was "agreed that noe further allotments shall be graunted unto any new comers, but such as may be likely to be received members of the Congregation...Item: That none shall sell their houses or allotment to any new comers but with the consent and allowance of those that appointed Alloters."[71]

Then, on 14 December 1635, the official allotment committee was set up. It was voted "That Mr. William Hutchinson, Mr. Edmund Quinsey, Mr. Samuell Wilbore, Mr. William Cheesborowe and John Ollyver, or foure of them, shall, by the assignments of the Allotters, lay out their proportion of allottments for farmes att Rumley Marsh, whoe there are to ahve the same." Of this committee William Hutchinson, Samuel Wilbore and John Oliver were disarmed by order of the General Court in November 1637, as supporters of Mrs. Hutchinson's party[71]. But we shall get to that. The laying out of allotments started soon after 25 May 1636... and by January 1636/7, all the land in Rumney Marsh had been allotted. By 8 January 1637/8 "The great Allottments at Rumley Marsh and Pullen Point" were completed.

Now, here's the difference: unlike most New England settlements, "...[f]or the most part, the grantees were nonresident proprietors and as such for a time added little to the wealth or prosperity of this section of the town. Their farms were in the occupation of tenants or servants, and perhaps served occasionally as summer residences..."[71] In addition, the grantees were mostly made up of important political figures and real estate speculators: Sir Henry Vane, Mr. John Winthrop, Mr. John Coggeshall, Mr. William Brenton, Mr. William Aspinwall, etc. It reads like a Who's Who of the Boston power structure in 1635-1636.

Then, to muddy the waters even further, the Antinomian dispute reached its climax just as the final allotments were made. In a very small nutshell, the Antinomians in New England believed that individuals were in direct communication with the Godhead. As such, they were to follow that voice within (the "voice of God") over all biblical teachings, churches or secular government. In some ways, it was a logical for the Puritan ethics of removing the church as barrier between humans and God and a distae for "learned religion" to lead to such thoughts. Unfortunately for the Puritan fathers of 1630s Boston, the most ardent proponent of this brand of Antinomianism was an articulate, persuasive woman named Mrs. Anne Hutchinson. Unfortunately for Anne Hutchinson, she went too far. When she suggested that one could receive all the learning and guidance one needed from listening to that inner voice, she threatened the colonial and educational structure of the struggling colony. As opined by Perry Miller & Thomas H. Johnson in their Introduction to The Puritans: A Sourcebook Of Their Writings, "The true Puritans were forced to resort to repressive measures to save Puritanism itself." [p. 15]

Land speculation, political back-scratching and religious war all met during the allotment of Rumney Marsh. Many of the grantees there were followers of Mrs. Hutchinson & The Reverend John Wheelwright. As a result, over a third of them were disarmed by decree in November of 1637. Many of them were either banished or otherwise left the colony and, thus, nearly all of them sold their newly gained grants by 1638. The big winners in the land deal turned out to be Robert Keyes and John Cogan, who bought most of the land (presumably at a bargain price from the new-disfranchised Antinomians seeking to flee prison) and subsequently traded a few lots to create large farms in the area. Of course, others bought too, but these two purchased the majority of grants.

Here is what happened to the Rumney Marsh Antinomians: Sir Henry Vane (200 acres) was was chosen governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on 3 October 1635, and fled to England on 3 August 1637 just before the punishments of the Antinomian followers was meted out. He became a leading force of the revolution in England and for his trouble was imprisoned in the Tower upon the restoration of Charles II. His execution on Tower Hill took place on 14 June 1662. He was fifty. I believe it was Vane who called Thomas Marshall to serve in Cromwell's army. He sold his land to Nicholas Parker.

John Sanford (100 acres) was disarmed in November 1637 and went to Rhode Island, where he held high offices. He sold his land to Robert Keyne.

Thomas Matson (28 acres) was disarmed in November 1637, but stayed in Massachusetts, dying in 1666. He sold his land to Robert Keyne, who swapped with John Cogan.

John Coggeshall (200 acres) was disarmed and banished to Rhode Island, where he became president of the colony. He sold his land to John Cogan, who traded with Robert Keyne.

Robert Harding (100 acres) was disarmed, yet still belonged to the artillery company when he removed to Rhode Island in 1638. He sold his land to Richard Tuttle.

William Dyar (42 acres) was disarmed and driven to Rhode Island, where he became secretary of the colony. No mention of who bought his land.

William Brenton (164 acres) was a prominent Boston ruling elder, but went to Rhode Island, where he became president of the colony. He sold to Samuel Cole, who traded with James Newgate.

William Aspinwall (164 acres) was also a prominent Boston ruling elder. But he was fined 8s., disarmed, disfranchinsed and banished to Rhode Island. He then returned to Boston in 1642! He sold his land to James Penn.

And then, there is our Thomas Marshall (70 acres), who was disarmed in 1637, but not fined, disfranchised or banished along with his friends. Furthermore, he joined the Boston Artillery Company in 1640 and remained a lifelong military man in the colony of Massachusetts, eventually rising to the rank of Captain & serving as a Representative in the General Court. As shown by his service to Cromwell, his fervor didn't leave him. Who did this guy know? How did he pull this off? How did he get such a large grant at the age of 22 when he had just stepped off the boat from England?

Yes, Thomas Marshall's first real estate coup occurs nearly as he steps off the boat in New England, when he was one of the grantees in "The Great Allotment of Rumney Marsh & Pullen Point" which took place in 1635-1636. According to Benjamin Shurtleff, Thomas received the sixth portion: "...seventye acrs: bounded on the South with Mr. Sanford; on the West with Charlestown; on the North with Mr. Keine and Thomas Matson; and on the East with the highway." This allotment was a strip of land fifty-six rods wide, extending along the northerly side of a stone wall on the top of Shurtleff Hill, and reaching from the road to Everett, with thte exception of twenty-eight acres. These twenty-eight acres made the next allotment, which was in the southeast corner of this strip and included a part of the Fuller, Sullivan and Shurtleff estates. These two allotments included the Fuller estate, The Sullivan estate, that part of the Shurtleff estate known as the pasture , on Malden Street, nearly all the S. A. Hall estate, and that prat of the Pratt estate north of the wall which extends from teh top of Shurtleff Hill. Thomas Marshall was probably a shoemaker and perhaps the ferryman. He was a supporter of the Antinomians and was disarmed, but afterwards held important offices. He sold his allotment to Robert Keayne, who exchanged it with Cogan..."[71]

Where did he get the political connections for this? Well, he was on the boat with William Colbron, presumably the son of a member of the allotment committee. In addition, he was on board with Samuel Bennett, who turned out to be quite a colonial power broker & real estate tycoon in his own right. I am inclined to think that Thomas had these and other connections before leaving for America. This may give clues which lead to his parentage.

BIRTH Thomas was born in 1613 or 1615 in England[1,2]. This date is the subject of much debate. If he was 22 and emigrated aboard the James in 1635, then his birth year is 1613. Torrey claims he was born in 1615. Marcia Lindberg states that he was born "between 1613 to 1618 (according to various ages given in depositions and his death record)..." Regardless, he was probably born somewhere in Yorkshire -- provided that he was, in fact, the "Thomas Marshall" who sailed aboard the James. All the passengers on the James were listed as being from Yorkshire. DEATH Thomas died in Lynn, Essex co., MA on 23 December 1689; he was 76 as "Capt. Thomas Marshall, age 74"[1,3,4]. MIGRATION Thomas Marshall, 22, is believed to have migrated from London to New England aboard the James, John May, master[19]. He embarked on 13 July 1635 and the ship sailed on 17 July 1635[8,20]. Thomas had a certificate from his minister of his conformitie in religion and that he was no subsedy man[20]. He returned to England in 1644-1645 to serve in Cromwell's army and then came back to Lynn, Essex co., MA to stay. FREEMAN OATH The date of Thomas' Freeman Oath is also under debate. There are four records for a Thomas Marshall taking the Oath. One on 6 May 1635 in Boston, Suffolk co., MA; another on 4 March 1635 in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA; a third on 29 May 1644 in Boston, Suffolk co., MA; and a fourth on 4 June 1641 at Lynn, Essex co., MA. These lists come from Savage & Pope. According to Alonzo Lewis in his History Of Lynn..., he "...came to Lynn in 1635 ... and soon after his arrival was admitted a freeman[8]." Marcia Lindberg says that he was "probably" made freeman on 2 June 1641, citing Page's "List Of Freemen Of Massachusetts". Savage says 1643[5]. Go figure...

I agree with Lindberg's assertion that he is the Thomas Marshall who made Freeman in 1641. He was not in New England in time to take either 1635 Oath. The 1641 date corresponds with Lewis' text & Lynn is a correct location for him.

CHURCH MEMBERSHIP He appeared in the records of the first church of Reading, Middlesex co., MA from its founding in 1644/45[2]. In a 1648 list of "the Brethren and Sisters of the church at Reading from 29 September 1648" by The Reverend Mister Haugh included "Joan Marshall, "Left. Marshall and wife [who had been] dismissed from Lynn and "Tho. Marshall, carpenter"[5]. The fact that Marshall returned to England to fight in Cromwell's army is also an indication of his Puritan fervor. Those who followed Cromwell were serious Puritans in every sense of the word. EDUCATION Both Thomas and his wife Rebecca were educated enough to be able to sign their names to deeds[6]. MILITARY SERVICE He joined the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts of Boston in 1640[2,24,25]. Lindberg wonders why Thomas' rank fluctuates during the years. He is referred to as "Lieutenant" from 1646 & 1648[2]. Yet, he is also referred to as "Sergeant" on the 1645 trek to Canada and in the 1647 Reading Land Division[2,5]. Then in the Second Reading Land Division of 1652 and in the birth record of his daughter Susanna[22], his rank is given as "Ensign" [5]. In land records of 1653-1655 and his daughter Sarah2's birth record of 1654, he is once again a "Lieutenant"[5,21]. By the time of his daughter Joanna's birth in 1657, he is still a "Lieutenant", but now of the Lynn, Essex co., MA company[23]. By the time of his son John's birth in 1659, Thomas is a "Captain"[23], and he is thereafter only referred to by that rank[6]. The mystery of his various ranks disappears when one examines how the Colonial "milishy" operated. It was not a military entity as we now understand it. Instead, it was more like a volunteer fire department. The freemen in the area were more or less required to join in the common defense of home & common. Each foot company consisted of roughly seventy privates and each cavalry company, fifty. They were not crackerjack soldiers and chafed at military discipline or anything they perceived as "imposing" upon their freedom. The group would drill on a regular basis -- usually once a month. But this consisted mainly of a few desultory drills, poorly executed, followed by the "important business" of the day: the food and drink afterwards.

Junior officers were elected by the men in their company. Thus, they tended to be well-known men of some popularity & respect in the town. However, once elected to a commission, they had to keep it by remaining popular with "the boys". Otherwise, like any local politician these days, they would lose the next election. Thus, Thomas' variations in rank are more a measure of his popularity that year than anything else.

Lewis describes Marshall's sabbatical to fight for Cromwell in his History Of Lynn... "...he returned to England, to join in the ambitious designs of Cromwell, by whom he was made a Captain. He served in the army of the anarch for several years, and returned to Lynn, laden with military glory..."[8] Marshall claimed to have fought at the Battle of Marston-Moor on 2 July 1644 and in the Battle of Naseby on 14 June 1645[5].

Thomas must have returned to New England very soon after the Battle of Naseby in order to have been part of the group which were sent "to negotiate with the French provinces north of New England..." [no small feat!]. This hardy band consisted of Captain Robert Bridges, Sergeant Thomas Marshall & Lieutenant Richard Walker -- all of Reading, Middlesex co., MA. They completed their task in time to be rewarded on 4 November 1645 "weighing the good services...and dangers, etc...". Bridges received £10, Walker £4 and Marshall 40s[5].

I find it interesting that Marshall, though one of the founders of the town of Reading, Middlesex co., MA, served in the Lynn, Essex co., MA militia after 1657. And that he served Lynn politically.

At the start of King Philip's War in 1675, the military company at Lynn, Essex co., MA was commanded by Captain Thomas Marshall, Lieutenant Oliver Purchase and Ensign John Fuller[9]. Due to his experience with Cromwell, he would have been one of the few officers in King Philip's War to have actual military experience. Pity he wasn't better used. The English forces in this war suffered badly from the lack of military and diplomatic leadership during King Philip's War. In fact, it is a miracle that the fledgling New England colonies survived this war at all.

OTHER OCCUPATIONS Thomas had a number of occupations. He was a tavern-keeper, served in the militia all his adult life, served as a politician and picked up odd jobs as a surveyor. Specifics follow. It appears that Thomas' town service in laying out boundaries and highways led to a side occupation of surveying, especially for the Lynn Iron Works. In 1653, The Iron Works paid Lieutenant Thomas Marshall £1 10s. to locate a parcel of bog iron in the Lynn woods[5]. In 1682, Captain Thomas Marshall was also paid for work at Iron Works[9,10]. The assumption that this was surveying work is mine, but the time does coincide with the cutting of the dam at the Iron Works by John Hawkes & the subsequent legal fight about the dam.

Thomas Marshall bought the famous Blue Anchor tavern from the Armitage family and proceeded to become a renowned innkeeper. On 29 November 1659, the Quarterly Court gave him official leave to do so: "Thomas Marshall, of Lynn, is alowed by this court, to sell stronge water to trauillers, and also other meet provision."[5,6,7] There is another record from November 1666, that Captain Thomas Marshall was given official permission to run a tavern at Lynn[6]. He kept the tavern for more than 40 years[8].

In 1686, John Dunton, a London bookseller, traveled through Lynn, where he stayed at the Blue Anchor Inn and later wrote an account of Capt. Thomas Marshall: "We rid up to Captain Marshall's House, and there alighted. This Captain Marshal is a hearty old Gentleman, formerly one of Oliver [Cromwell]'s Soldiers, upon which he very much values himself: He keeps an Inn upon the Road between Boston and Marble-Head: His House was well-furnished, and we hadvery good Accommodation. I enquir'd of the Captain what memorable Actions he had been inunder Oliver, and I found I cou'd not have pleas'd him better; he was not long in Resolving me of the Civil Wars at his Fingers' Ends; and if we may believe him, Oliver did hardly anything that was considerable without his Assistance; For his good Service at the Fatal Battel of Naseby (which gave such a Turn to the King's affairs, that he Cou'd never after come to a pitch'd Battel), he was made a Captain; from thence he went to Leisester, and besig'd that; then went to york, and afterwards to Marston-Moor, and in short, Rambled so far in his Discourse, that if I wou'd have stay'd s long as he'd have talk'd, he would have quite spoiled my Rambled to Plymouth" [11,12,13]

RESIDENCES & REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS Thomas was fortunate enough to have been a founding resident of both the towns of Lynn, Essex co., MA & Reading, Middlesex co., MA. By virtue of his original settlement at Lynn in 1635, he was granted "30 acres and ten" in the 1638 Land distribution there[2,27]. While no map of this division has survived, Lindberg makes the logical assumption that Marshall's grant was probably in the western portion known as "Reading Village", which broke off as its own town from Lynn in 1644[2,5]. In 1646, Lieutenant Thomas Marshall & Captain Richard Walker conveyed 500 acres of land to Francis Smith. This land extended from Smith's Pond (now Crystal Lake) eastward and the record is the earliest extant Reading, Middlesex co., MA deed[5].

On 6 October 1647, "Sergent Marshall" received 20 acres in Readings first land division. "Thomas Marshall carpenter" received 9 acres and Thomas Marshall served as selectman of Reading[5]. The "two Thomas Marshalls of Reading" make sorting out the records difficult, as outlined in Marcia Linberg's articles in The Essex Genealogist from 1996. For example, the records do not say which Thomas served as selectman, but given his long history of public service and the larger land grant, is it not a stretch to assume that is it Thomas Marshall the Sergeant and not Thomas Marshall the carpenter who served. But, this is only an assumption.

In 1652, during the second Reading Land Division, "Ensign Marshall" received 20 acres and Thomas Marshall the carpenter received 10 acres[5]. Hereafter, Thomas engages in a slew of real estate transactions until the end of his life. There is no indication of when or from whom he bought the land that is beyond the 80 acres he received in Reading & Lynn. For example, the 500 acres in Reading that was sold to Francis Smith, any land in Rumney Marsh (now Chelsea), Suffolk co., MA or the many acres described in the following transaction.

On 30 July 1655, Lt. Thomas Marshall of Reading mortgaged to Robert Bridges of Lynn, gentleman, for £282, 139 acres of land: "...all his farm lands of upland and meadow ground (80 acres) lying on the westerly side of Lynn River (now the Saugus River), that is, the land called Strawberry Hill, and the land called "Calf Pasture" and also land on the easterly side of Lynn River, bounded westerly by the "country highway", leading from the late great Bridge up to the ledge of rocks and the fence that runs from the river along the land of Allen Breed, close by "No man's Swamp"...etc. Also 2 acres in Rumney Marsh, with all houses, buildings, barns, cow-houses, orchard, etc. ... all of which were and now are in possession of the said Robert Bridges, and by deed dated 18 July this year, sold to said Robert Bridges unto the said Thomas Marshall. Moreover, Thomas Marshall, in consideration of this, does bargain and sell unto the said Bridges all his 57 acres of upland and meadow in Reading (i.e. 16 acres near Thomas Marshall's dwelling house between Thomas Parker and John Poole Also 30 acres near the late saw mill, bounded southerly by John Poole, Thomas Parker, Nichilas Browne and westerly by the by the Country Highway. Also 6 acres of upland bounded northwest by Thomas Kendall, east by George Davis, and Robert Burnap and south by John Pierson. Also 5 acres of meadow below the corn mill, bounded northeast on John Poole, southwest by John Smith, with all houses, out-houses, buildings, barns, cow houses, orchards, gardens, that are or of late were in possession of Thomas Marshall, in Reading or thereabouts. Provided: that said Thomas Marshall pays to Robert Bridges, £282 sterling at Boston in the warehouse of Mr. Thomas Broughton; i.e., £50 on 26 September next in good, sweet, well-salted and saved fat beef without heads or feet by the barrel at the current price amongst the merchants of Boston, well-packed in good sufficient caske by a "sworn" packer ... a £150 of well-cleaned, sweet, merchantable dried peas and wheat and in fat pork ... to be paid by 22 October next, and £90 ... by 1 April next ... And by the payment of the said £282 by Thomas Marshall to said Bridges, this mortgage shall be null and void. Witnesses: Edward Burcham and Samuel Burt..."[14,28] This is the same Robert Bridges who had been his Reading, Middlesex co., MA militia Captain and the leader of the 1645 treaty expedition to Canada. Note the rather interesting barter terms for the mortgage. I've not yet seen an indication of whether the mortgage was paid or not. This inly the first of many real estate deals with Bridges.

Thomas had moved his family to Lynn, Essex co., MA by the time of his daughter Joanna's birth in 1657[26]. That same year, Lieutenant Thomas Marshall sold 40 acres of land to John Bachillor for £280[14]. I'm not sure where the land lay, though Batchellor was a resident of Lynn, Essex co., MA.

In December 1658, "Thomas Marshall of Lynn, Lieut. of the Military" sold to Robert Rand, husbandman, 8 acres of land from the last division of Rumney Marsh, for £12[14,29].

In 1660, Thomas Marshall, "Lieut. of the Military Co. in Reading" sold to Francis Burrel (or Burnell) 4 acres of land, lately possessed by Captain Bridges, for £8[6,30]. On 25 April 1660, he sold, for a "valuable consideration" -- which had already been paid by the merchant Walter Price of Salem, Essex co., MA -- 40 acres of land in Lynn "being part of my farm formerly bought of Capt. Robert Bridges." Witnesses to this transaction were Hillyard Veren and Ann Hathorn. This deed was acknowledged on 25d:2m(May):1660[6,31].

In 1660, Captain Thomas Marshall also gave a mortgage of £300 sterling to Corporal John Andrews of Lynn, Essex co., MA, for land adjoining John Andrews' property, bounded by Allen Breed, the river, Mr. Needham's, Ferry point, and 20 acres between John Doolittle, Frances Burrill, and John Divan. This transaction also included 45 acres bounded by Timothy Tomlins and Thomas Wheeler, land belonging to the Iron Works, a brook and 10 acres which was formerly Captain Walker's land, bounded by Edward Tomlins, Edward Baker and William Merriam[6,32].

The same year, Thomas Marshall of Concord, Middlesex co., MA sold all his interest in John Andrew's debt of £100 to Simon Bradstreet of Andover, Essex co., MA. "The rest of the debt remained with Thomas Marshall". The witness to this was Walter Price[6,32]. Two things are puzzling about this transaction. First of all, Thomas Marshall is listed as being of Concord, Middlesex co., MA. Secondly, the line: "The rest of the debt remained with Thomas Marshall" contrasts directly with the indication that he "sold all his interest in [the] debt". Does this mean that this involves two different Thomas Marshalls?

Thomas Marshall, "Captain of the Military Company" with the consent of "Rebecka his now wife", sold for a valuable sum of money paid by Andrew Mansfield, six acres of salt marsh, in the lower division of Rumney Marsh, bounded by Robert Burges, John Lewis, John Witt, Allen Breed, Sr., and a creek. Both Thomas and Rebecca signed their names to the deed. Witnesses were Thomas Marshall and Abigail Marshall[6,33]. This deed is the first mention of Thomas' wife Rebecca by name. The identity of these witnesses is a matter of some discussion. If the witnesses were the son and daughter of the couple, their ages would have been 12 and 18, respectively. While Abigail would have been of legal age, 12 seems a bit young for Thomas. It could have been one of the other "Thomas Marshalls" in the area, who perhaps had a wife named Abigail. Or they could have been cousins or siblings. It remains one of the many mysteries of our Thomas Marshall.

On 27d:4m(June):1671, Captain Thomas Marshall -- with his wife Rebecca's consent -- either sold or mortgaged to Oliver Purchase, for "a valuable consideration", a house and two parcels of land in Lynn, Essex co., MA. This comprised 40 acres near "Old Farr" and Henry Collins, Jr. and 20 acres near Josiah Witter, Mr. King and the highway to Marblehead, Essex co., MA[34]. Edward Richards later paid Oliver Purchase £160 for the land[35,36].

On 21 September 1673, Samuel Bennett of Rumney Marsh, Suffolk co., MA, yeoman, sold to Captain Thomas Marshall 20 acres of land in Lynn, Essex co., MA. This parcel was the west end of Timothy Tomlin's 80 acres given him by the town of Lynn, which Bennett had lately purchased from one Joseph Armitage, of "Armitage Tavern" fame. This transaction also included "...20 acres of his own land lying in the field that Thomas Stocker now lives upon, provided that Captain Marshall shall enjoy the former 20 acres promised according to his deed in writing given him by said Bennett..." Witnesses were: John Fuller, John Hathorne, Thomas Marshall and Joseph Armitage. The deed was acknowledged 6 November 1673, before William Hathorn, assistant[9,37].

On 5 July 1678, Samuel Bennett of Rumney Marsh, Suffolk co., MA sold to Captain Thomas Marshall of Lynn for £25, 20 acres in Lynn which formerly belonged to Mr. Knowles, bounded by the River and Iron Works land and including a ledge of rock. This was also bounded by Timothy Tomlins land which was given him by the town, which Samuel Bennett had purchased from Joseph Armitage (this is the land referred to in the transaction described in the previous paragraph), "...20 acres of my own land where Thomas Stocker now lived unto Thomas Marshall..." Joseph Armitage assigned the bill to Captain Thomas Marhsall as his own proper estate...being assignee of John Gefford, agent to Bex & Co."[9,36]. Bex & Co., was the Iron Works and John Gifford was its agent in town.

On 14d:6m(August):1680 Captain Thomas Marshall of Lynn, Essex co., MA paid £40 to Edward Tomlins of Dublin, Ireland, through Tomlin's agent Jonathan Palmes of Boston[9,38]. The relation of Edward Tomlins of Dublin, Ireland to the Timothy Tomlins mentioned in the above two deeds is unknown. There were both a Timothy & an Edward Tomlins in Lynn, Essex co., MA in the early 1640s, although Timothy was dead by the time he is mentioned in the Estate of William Ballard of Lynn, Essex co., MA on 27d:4m(June):1643. [Salem Quarterly Court Records, 2:224] Edward is mentioned as one who took inventory of the estate of Abraham Belknap of Lynn, Essex co., MA on 16d:12m(February):1643. [Salem Quarterly Court Records, 1:18]

On 15 May 1682, Captain Thomas Marshall of Lynn, Essex co., MA, gentleman, sold to Thomas Wheeler, Sr., yeoman, of New London, CT, 2 acres of salt marsh for £10, 10s. There is no mention of where this land lay[9,39].

On 25 October 1684, Thomas Marshall and his wife Rebecca sold to Henry Rhodes of Lynn for £60, 20 acres known as the "Knowles Lot", which was bounded by the River, Henry Rhodes' land, the town common and Samuel Jenks' lot[9,40].

In a June 1685 copy of a deed dated 5 July 1678 from John Knowles to the Iron Works (with assignments), Joseph Armitage assigned his right in this estate to Captain Thomas Marshall. The witnesses to this deed were John Fuller and John Severne. It was entered into Essex Deeds, volume 3, leaf 141, with the copy made by one John Hathorne[9,41].

On 16 February 1687, Captain Thomas Marshall exchanged with the town his right in Stone's meadow for a right in Edward's meadow. At the request of Mr. Shepard, the town granted its land in this exchange to the ministry[4].

On 24 January 1688/9, Thomas Marshall received from Corporal John Andrews, £370, 8s. for the first payment "of my farm" Received likewise from Corporal John Andrews, £38. Thomas Mould and Thomas Ruck testified that they were present when the agreement was written. The agreement itself was dated 15 January 1688/9.

Finally, on 27 March 1688/9, Captain Thomas Marshall of Lynn, Essex co., MA and his wife, Rebecca, mortgaged for a certain sum of money paid by Simon Bradstreet of Andover, Essex co., MA, gentleman, "...all our right and claim in the farm at Lynn where we now dwell, by virtue of a purchase from Capt. Robert Bridges or by a mortgage from Corp. John Andrews..." The mortgaged was signed on 30 June 1668, with Thomas and Rebecca acknowledging it on 2 July 1668[4,42].

TOWN SERVICE & OTHER LEGAL MENTION Thomas served the towns of Lynn, Essex co., MA & Reading, Middlesex co., MA in many capacities. He was quite the colonial politician. It is interesting to see the growth of his political career and to compare and contrast it with his military career. In 1640, he, Richard Sadler & Richard Walker laid out the boundary between Lynn, Essex co., MA & Charlestown, Suffolk co., MA[2]. Thomas also served on the Jury of Trials at Lynn in 1641, 1642 & 1644 and was on a "Committee Of Arbitration" in 1641[2].

In 1643, along with most of the freemen living in the "Reading Village" are of Lynn, Thomas signed the "Armitage Petition". This was a petition by Jane Armitage to the General Court of Massachusetts to be allowed to run the Anchor Tavern in Lynn "...In place of her husband [Joseph], who had been censured"[5,43].

In 1644, Lynn petitioned the General Court for tax relief since so many had removed to Long Island, Reading & other places[5].

In May of 1647, Sergeant Thomas Marshall was appointed to a committee that laid out the highway from Reading, Middlesex co., MA to Andover, Essex co., MA. He was also on the committee to view the river in order to determine whether a bridge was neccessary[5].

In October of 1648, "Sgt. Marshall of Reading" was appointed to lay out its boundaries as granted by the General Court of the Commonwealth. He was also "Lt. of the Train Band" (another term for militia) that year[5].

In 1653, Captain Richard Walker, Lieutenant Thomas Marshall, Nicholas Holt & Richard Baker were ordered to lay out the bounds between Andover, Essex co., MA & Reading, Middlesex co., MA[5]. Thomas served as a Reading Selectman in 1654[14].

On 24 June 1656, Andrew Mansfield testified before the General Court that Lieutenant Thomas Marshall was chosen Lieutenant of the Lynn, Essex co., MA Train Band (militia), he having "formerly been Lt. of the Train Band at Reading" On the same day, he was appointed "commissioner to end small causes" for Lynn, Essex co., MA. He was reappointed to this post in 1657, 1658 and from 1678-82. On 31 September 1656, Thomas Marshall of Lynn borrowed from Mr. John Floyd "...of Boston, county of Suffolk, shop keeper, £32 sterling..." Marshall was to pay John Floyd (or his order in London) £16 sterling, either by bill or exchange bar iron, by 31 December 1657, and then the obligation would be null and void. Witnesses were Thomas Baker and John Sanford. This loan was recorded on 1 October 1656[14,44]. In November of 1656, Lieutenant Marshall served on the Grand Jury at Lynn, Essex co., MA[14,45].

In 1657, Captain Thomas Marshall was appointed to a committee charged with laying out Nahant, Essex co., MA in equal lots for planting[14]. This is the first time he is referred to as "Captain" in the records.

On 15d:10m(December):1657, Thomas Marshall of Lynn, Lieutenant of the Military and Robert Rand signed an indenture agreement[14]. I presume that Rand agreed to be indentured to Marshall.

On 29 June 1658, Lieutenant Thomas Marshall was authorized to take testimony in civil cases[14,46] and to perform the ceremony of marriage[7]. This was reiterated when on 18 October 1659, Captain Thomas Marshall was "empowered to join in marriage such persons in Lynn as might desire his services in that interesting connection, they being published according to law."[48] This right was rescinded when on 31 May 1670, Captain Marshall was discharged "...from by the court from officiating in marriage ceremonies..." The reason for his discharge was for performing the marriage of Joseph Deacon and Rachel Allen. Apparently, the marriage was performed "without the prescribed form of being published". For this, Marshall lost his right to perform marriages and Rachel's father was fined £10 for allowing the marriage to take place without publishing it. Interestingly, the Allen's & Mr. Deacon were from Boston, Suffolk co., MA. Apparently, their connection to Thomas Marshall was via Samuel Bennett, who sold the Allens their house in Boston and, as we have seen, had considerable real estate deals with Thomas Marshall[1,6].

In 1659, he was appointed Commissioner, but did not finish his year's service and in June 1660, Thomas Layton took his place. On 31 May 1659, Thomas Marshall was dismissed as a magistrate[6]. Captain Thomas Marshall served as Representative to the General Court for the town of Lynn, Essex co., MA in 1659, 1660, 1663, 1664 and 1668[14,47].

In June 1660, Thomas Marshall -- the carpenter from Reading, Middlesex co., MA -- sued Captain Thomas Marshall for withholding a heifer and a calf[6].

In 1664, Captain Thomas Marshall and James Axeylaid laid out Sedge Island to its proprietors. He testified to this on 2 May 1684 that the survey took place "about 20 years ago". Going on to the island by land next to Mr. Rhode's land they laid out 2 acres to Philip Kertland and 2 acres to Edward Ierston (Ierson). The rest was left for William Hedges. In 1684, this was sworn before Captain Walker and Thomas Laughton, commissioners of Lynn, Essex co., MA[6,49].

In 1667, Elizabeth Mansfield, the widow of Robert Mansfield & the mother of Andrew Mansfield, named Thomas Laughton and Captain Thomas Marshall as overseers of her will[6,15].

On 25 November 1673, John Tarbox named his "loving friends" Captain Marshall and Thomas Laughton as overseers of his will[9,16].

On 28 June 1683, Thomas and Rebecca Marshall testified in the case of Priscilla Wilson[9,17].

In 1684, Captain Thomas Marshall testified concerning the water mill at Lynn, Essex co., MA[9,18]. "...Captain Thomas Marshall, aged about 67 yeares, doe testifie, that about 38 yeares since, the ould Water mill at Linn, which was an under shott mill, was by Mr. Howell committed to him, or before the said time, and about 38 yeares since, the building of an over shott mill was moved to the towne of Linn, and for incuragement to go on with the said worke, they then of the Towne of Linn Granted their Priviledges of water and water Courses to the said mill, and that this said water mill is now in the possession of Henry Roades; as witness my hand, Thomas Marshall, May 12th 1683...[7]"

ESTATE No will or deed of gift of land has ever been found for Captain Thomas Marshall. Even more puzzling is that he never once mentioned any of his children in any known document. His wife, Rebecca is named in various deeds after 1646 bur not before[4]. MARRIAGE #1 Circa 1639 when Thomas was 26, he first married a woman about whom we know nothing[2], in Lynn, Essex co., MA or Reading, Middlesex co., MA[2].

CHILDREN 2. i. Hannath MARSHALL Hannath was born on 7 June 1640 in Reading, Middlesex co., MA[57] and died in Lynn, Essex co., MA on 15 May 1699; she was 58[4]. Lindbberg acknowledges this child[2]. On 17d:4m(June):1659 when Hannath was 18, she married Jonathon LEWIS, in Lynn, Essex co., MA[58]. He was born in 1631 in England[4] and died in Lynn, Essex co., MA in 1710; he was 79[4].

3.  ii.  Samuel MARSHALL  Samuel was born on 1 September 1643 in Reading, Middlesex co., MA[57] and died on 8 September 1643 in Reading, Middlesex co., MA[59]. Lindberg does not acknowledge this child[5].  
4.  iii.  Abigail MARSHALL  Abigail was born on 16 April 1644 in Reading, Middlesex co., MA[21]. She is acknowledged by Lindberg[5]. Abigail is perhaps the witness of her parent's deed on 12d:11m(January):1702[4,33].  
5.  iv.  Sarah1 MARSHALL  Sarah1 was born on 18 December [164__] in Reading, Middlesex co., MA[60]. She is not acknowledged by Lindberg[5].  

MARRIAGE #2 Circa 1646 when Thomas was 33, he second married Rebecca [surname not known], in Lynn, Essex co., MA or Reading, Middlesex co., MA[1,50,51,52,53,54,55,56]. Lindberg claims this marriage is in the Reading, Middlesex co., MA vital records, but I cannot find it there. The date is estimated from the birth of their first child in 1647. Rebecca was born in 1622[1], as she was aged 34 in 1656. She died in Lynn, Essex co., MA during the "latter end" of August 1693; she was 71[1,3].

CHILDREN 6. i. Thomas1 MARSHALL [twin] Thomas1 was born on 20 February 1647 in Reading, Middlesex co., MA[61]. The birth record reads "Marshall, Thomas, s. of Thomas and Rebecca, d. of Thomas, Feb. 20, 1647"[61]. Many thanks to Marcia Lindberg for correctly reading this record! Thomas1 must have died before 16 April 1650, when another Thomas was born to the couple.

7.  ii.  Rebecca MARSHALL [twin]  Rebecca was born on 20 February 1647 in Reading, Middlesex co., MA[61]. The birth record reads "Marshall, Thomas, s. of Thomas and Rebecca, d. of Thomas, Feb. 20, 1647"[61]. Rebecca never again appears in the records of either Reading, Middlesex co., MA or Lynn, Essex co., MA. Chances are good that she died young. Mortality rates for multiple births were high.  
8.  iii.  Elizebeth MARSHALL  Elizabeth was born on 22 January 1649 in Reading, Middlesex co., MA[21].  
9.  iv.  Thomas2 MARSHALL  Thomas2 was born on 16 April 1650 in Reading, Middlesex co., MA[22]. Thomas apparently died without progeny[4]. According to Alonzo Lewis, he removed to Reading, Middlesex co., MA[7].  
10.  v.  Susannah MARSHALL  Please see her own page.  
11.  vi.  Sarah2 MARSHALL  Sarah2 was born on 14 February 1654 in Reading, Middlesex co., MA[21]. On 15 July 1674 when Sarah2 was 20, she married Ebinezur STOCKER, in Lynn, Essex co., MA[65]. They had eight children, surnamed STOCKER.  
12.  vii.  Joanna MARSHALL  Joanna was born on 14d:7m(September):1657 in Lynn, Essex co., MA[23]. Before 1676 when Joanna was 19, she married Samuel MOWER, son of Richard MOWER & Alice [surname not known], in Lynn, Essex co., MA[1,64,68,69,70]. Samuel was born circa 1642 in Lynn, Essex co., MA and died in Lynn, Essex co., MA on 22 November 1694; he was 52[66], as "Moor, Samuell, Sr.". Samuel was a Blacksmith. He and Joanna had 11 children and all of them are listed under "More" or "Moore" in Volume 1, page 266 of the Lynn, Essex co., MA vital records.  
13.  viii.  John MARSHALL  John was born on 14 January 1659 in Lynn, Essex co., MA[23] and apparently died without progeny[4].  
14.  ix.  Ruth MARSHALL  Ruth was born on 14d:6m(August):1662 in Lynn, Essex co., MA[23].  
15.  x.  Mary MARSHALL  Mary was born on 25d:3m(May):1665 in Lynn, Essex co., MA[23]. On 7 April 1685 when Mary was 20, she married Edward BAKER, in Lynn, Essex co., MA[65]. They had 12 children, surnamed BAKER, most of whom died in childhood.  
view all 21

Capt. Thomas Marshall, of Reading & Lynn's Timeline

Yorkshire , England, UK
June 7, 1640
Age 26
Reading, Middlesex, MA
September 1, 1643
Age 29
Reading, Middlesex, MA
April 16, 1644
Age 30
Reading, Middlesex, Ma
December 18, 1646
Age 32
Reading, Middlesex, MA
February 20, 1647
Age 33
Reading, Middlesex, MA
February 20, 1647
Age 33
Reading, Middlesex, Ma
January 22, 1649
Age 35
Reading, Essex, Massachusetts