Nielsen Hayden genealogy

John Throckmorton

Male Bef 1601 - 1684  (> 82 years)

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  • Name John Throckmorton  [1, 2, 3
    Birth Bef 9 May 1601  [4, 5, 6
    Baptism 9 May 1601  St. Paul's, Norwich, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
    Gender Male 
    Death Between 17 Mar 1684 and 25 Apr 1684  Middletown, Monmouth, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location  [8, 10, 11, 12
    Person ID I30878  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of EK
    Last Modified 27 Jan 2024 

    Father Bassingbourne Throckmorton,   b. 1564, of Norwich, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 21 Sep 1638 (Age 74 years) 
    Mother Mary Hill,   b. of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 1615 
    Marriage Aft 7 Dec 1591  [5, 13
    Family ID F18361  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Rebecca Farrand,   b. Abt 1610 
    Marriage Bef 1635  [1
     1. John Throckmorton,   b. Abt 1642   d. 17 Jul 1690, Middletown, Monmouth, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 48 years)
    +2. Deliverance Throckmorton,   b. Abt 1645   d. Aft 19 May 1705 (Age ~ 60 years)
     3. Job Throckmorton,   b. 29 Sep 1650, Providence, Providence, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 20 Aug 1709 (Age 58 years)
    Family ID F18333  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 18 Apr 2021 

  • Notes 
    • He emigrated with his family in 1631 on the Lyon; first at Boston, then very shortly thereafter Salem. He was one of the original companions of Roger Williams in the settlement of Rhode Island in 1636. He was in New York with Anne Hutchinson's family and others in 1642, settling the peninsula from Long Island now called, after him, Throg's Neck or Throgg's Neck. Following the Native uprising of 1643 in which the Hutchinsons, among others, were slain, he returned to Rhode Island, where he was town moderator of Providence in 1652 and town treasurer in 1677. He appears at Barbados in 1656. He was also a deputy to the Rhode Island assembly in 1664-68, 1670-73, and 1675. He died while visiting his sons at Middletown, New Jersey in 1684.

      Direct ancestor of, among others, Gen. James Longstreet, Susan B. Anthony, and Maxwell Perkins. Gateway ancestor of EK.

      He is the subject of some controversy. The first is whether he was the "Mr. Throgmorton" recorded as arriving on the Lyon at Nantasket in February 1631, along with, among others, Roger Williams. Shortly thereafter, on 18 May 1631, "Mr. George Throckmorton" was admitted as a freeman of the Bay Colony. G. Andrews Moriarty and others argued that "George" was a scribal error and that "Mr. Throgmorton" of the Lyon was the same man that later became prominent in Providence, Rhode Island and died in New Jersey while visiting his sons. In 1995, in The Great Migration Begins (page 1818, other citation details below), Robert Charles Anderson argued that George Throckmorton and John were separate individuals. Twenty years later, however, in his The Great Migration Directory (2015, page 335, other citation details below), Anderson stated that John Throckmorton of Salem and Providence did in fact arrive in 1631 on the Lyon, and he marks his 1995 remarks as "incorrect."

      The second controversy is whether the John Throckmorton of Salem and Rhode Island was in fact the John Throckmorton who was baptized in 1601, a son of Norwich alderman, citizen and grocer Bassingbourne Throckmorton, and thus a "gateway ancestor" with a descent from Edward I and beyond. This proposal first gained currency in the notoriously unreliable work of Col. Charles Wickliffe Throckmorton (citation details below), but it was subsequently endorsed by the far more credible genealogist G. Andrews Moriarty (citation details below), who published multiple articles piling up the circumstantial-yet-strong evidence for the case. Today this descent appears to be broadly accepted, appearing as undisputed fact in widely used secondary sources such as Ancestral Roots and Royal Ancestry. But not universally accepted: Robert Charles Anderson, in the same 2015 entry in which he notes that he now agrees that the Providence man was the "Mr. Throgmorton" of the Lyon, still lists the Providence man's origins as "unknown." There exists nothing to clinch the case, but the quality and quantity of the not-quite-probative evidence is striking:

      * The father of the John Throckmorton baptized at Norwich in 1601, Bassingbourne Throckmorton, was a member of the minor gentry connected with trade as a merchant and shipowner. The New England John Throckmorton was consistently called "Mr." and "gentleman," terms reserved at that time for persons of higher-than-usual birth, and he was a merchant and shipowner. References to the New England man in the Winthrop Papers show that John owned several coastal vessels and that he was entrusted with the transportation of letters and legal papers along with normal trade goods, sailing as far south as Delaware and Virginia as well as along the New England coast.

      * At age 19, in 1621, the John Throckmorton of Norwich apprenticed himself to Robert Debney, alderman of Norwich (who described himself in his 1634 will as "brother-in-law" to Bassingbourne Throckmorton), to train as a legal scrivener. Roger Williams said the New England man had been "a member of a corporation in England" and that he "had some knowledge of the law", and a letter from Williams to Throckmorton points out to him that he ought to know his duty to uphold law and order since he had once been an officer of a municipal corporation. This indicates that the New England man had exactly the level of practical legal knowledge one would expect from someone who had trained as a scrivener -- not that of a full-fledged attorney, but rather that of someone well-informed enough to deal with legal matters as a merchant and businessman.

      * Bassingbourne Throckmorton made his will on 10 Sep 1638 and died eleven days later. Subsequently several of his sons sued his executors. In their answer to the suit, on 13 May 1640, the executors stated that neither they at that date, nor Bassingbourne when he made his will, knew whether his son John was alive or dead.

      (The above may answer one of the long-held objections to the idea that John of New England was a son of Bassingbourne of Norwich, which is that the distinctive name Bassingbourne appears among none of the New England man's descendants. First, it is a matter of record that, aside from naming his second son for himself, John Throckmorton of New England gave his children exactly the kind of names that one would expect for the offspring of an ardent Puritan: Freegift, Patience, Deliverance, Job, Joseph. But more to the point, if the Norwich man did indeed emigrate to New England without telling anyone in his family, a model entirely consistent with what we learn from the lawsuit mentioned above, that would seem to suggest the sort of significant personal rupture in which traditional family names don't get passed on. It's clear that the New England man had a temper and the ability to break with others. As Moriarty notes — 1944, citation details below — , "[i]n later life he became a violent Quaker [and] quarreled with his old friend Roger Williams.")

      * The will of Edward Covell, gentleman of Bradwell, Essex, made 1 Aug 1679 and proved 9 Feb 1680, bequeathed £6 to "my kinsman, John Throckmorton of Midle-Towne in New England", clearly referring to the 1631 emigrant's son John Throckmorton of Middletown, New Jersey. By itself this phrase establishes that the New England John Throckmorton was connected to East Anglian families. But Edward Covell's 1679 will also mentions his deceased kinswoman "Grace, late wife of Henry Payne" -- as does the 1633 will of another East Anglian man with the same surname, Thomas Colvyll of Thelveton, Norfolk, which calls her "Grace my neice now wife of Henry Payne". Grace Colvill, wife of Henry Payne, was a niece of Frances Colvill who was the wife of Thomas Shardelowe, second cousin of Bassingbourne Throckmorton through their shared descent from John Throckmorton (~1460-~1508) of South Elmham, Suffolk and his wife Jane Baynard. Thomas Colvyll's will also mentions Thomas Shardelow, calling him "gent, whose first wife was my wife's sister". And it mentions two members of the Cornwallis family of Brome, Suffolk: "Sir Thomas Cornwallis my late master" and "Lady Jane Bacon, late wife of Sir William Corwallis knt. deceased". Elizabeth Cornwallis of this same family was the maternal grandmother of Bassingbourne Throckmorton. (Moriarty, 1947, citation details below.)

      * In 2002, Paul C. Reed and Leslie Mahler (citation details below) established the identity and origins of Rebecca Farrand, who married the New England John Throckmorton in 1635 and was the mother of all his children. In doing so they also identified both of her parents, all four of her grandparents, and six further ancestors as well. They also established that Edward Covell, the abovementioned testator of 1679, was the husband of Anne Farrand, sister to Rebecca, and thus quite a close "kinsman" indeed to New England John Throckmorton. Edward Covell is also mentioned in the 4 Jan 1661 will of another of Rebecca's sisters, Elizabeth Farrand, in which she calls him "my Brother Edward Covill".

      In summary, it would seem that if the John Throckmorton of Salem and Rhode Island wasn't a son of Bassingbourne Throckmorton of Norwich, he must have been the offspring of a Throckmorton very closely related to him. That, or we're looking at a genuinely impressive number of coincidences.

      From Wikipedia (accessed 13 Nov 2020):

      John Throckmorton (1601–1684) was an early settler of Providence Plantation in what became the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, and he was one of the 12 original proprietors of that settlement. He emigrated from Norfolk, England to settle in Salem in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but religious tensions brought about his removal to Providence.

      In 1643, Throckmorton made a land purchase in New Netherland and settled there with several dozen others. However, an Indian attack during Kieft's War caused him and others to return to Providence. He became active in civil affairs, serving as moderator, deputy, and treasurer. He died in 1684 in Middletown, New Jersey, where he went to visit his children, and was buried there. Throggs Neck in Bronx, New York City is named for him.

      John Throckmorton was almost certainly baptised in Norwich, county Norfolk, England on 9 May 1601, the son of grocer and alderman Bassingburn Throckmorton. On 20 March 1621, he was apprenticed to a scrivener, but his whereabouts by 1638 had become unknown to his father, and the executors of his father's estate in 1640 could not find him. Several writers suggest that he was the "George Throckmorton" who arrived in New England aboard the Lyon and was made a freeman in May 1631. In 1995, Robert Charles Anderson argued that this was highly unlikely because a person of his stature would not be absent from the colonial records from 1631 to 1638, suggesting that George Throckmorton either died soon after his arrival or else returned to England, and John Throckmorton did not arrive in the colonies until closer to 1638. Twenty years later, however, Anderson had evidently changed his view, stating that John Throckmorton of Salem and Providence was in fact the 1631 passenger on the Lyon and listing his own 1995 remarks as "incorrect."

      Throckmorton may have been in Salem in the Massachusetts Bay Colony as early as 1635, but the first definitive record of his presence in New England is in 1638 when he was one of the 12 original proprietors of Providence Plantation, being named in the deed signed by Roger Williams in October of that year. Nevertheless, it is certain that he was in Salem at some point because the Reverend Hugh Peters of Salem alluded to him and his wife in July 1639 as having "the great censure passed upon them in this our church." Rev. Peters also complained that they and certain others "wholly refused to hear the church, denying it and all the churches in the Bay to be true churches."

      On 27 July 1640, Throckmorton was one of 39 settlers who signed an agreement for a form of government in Providence. Three years later, he obtained a grant of land for himself and 35 others from Governor Willem Kieft in New Netherland. The land was named after him and is called Throggs Neck, now a part of The Bronx in New York City. Other nearby English settlers included Thomas Cornell and Anne Hutchinson, who may have purchased her land from Throckmorton. The settlement was short-lived, however, and its fate was summed up by Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop in September 1643, who said that the Indians set upon the English who dwelt under the Dutch and killed "such of Mr. Throckmorton's and Mr. Cornhill's families as were at home." He further added that these settlers "had cast off ordinances and churches, and now at last their own people, and for larger accommodation had subjected themselves to the Dutch, and dwelt scatteringly near a mile assunder."

      Some of those who escaped the Indian attack returned to Providence. Throckmorton was in Providence on 27 February 1647 when he was granted a house and land once belonging to Edward Cope. Soon he became active in civil affairs; he was a Providence Moderator in 1652 and from 1664 to 1675, and he served for eight years as Deputy to the General Assembly. He was also on the Providence Town Council in 1667, and ten years later he was the town treasurer. In July 1672, Throckmorton wrote one of three letters to Roger Williams critical of Williams' unfavorable opinions of the Quakers.

      Throckmorton died in March or April 1684 in Middletown, New Jersey where he had gone to visit his children, and he was also buried there. He had owned land in Middletown but never resided there permanently.

  • Sources 
    1. [S4865] Paul C. Reed and Leslie Mahler, "The English Ancestry of Rebecca Farrand, Wife of John1 Throckmorton of Providence, Rhode Island." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 77:110; 77:229; 77:290, 2002.

    2. [S1579] The Royal Descents of 900 Immigrants to the American Colonies, Quebec, or the United States, Who Were Themselves Notable or Left Descendants Notable in American History by Gary Boyd Roberts. Second edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2022.

    3. [S4951] G. Andrews Moriarty, "Genealogical Research in England: Evidences on Throckmorton Family." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 101:290, Oct 1947.

    4. [S142] Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families by Douglas Richardson. Salt Lake City, 2013.

    5. [S145] Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis and Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr. 8th edition, William R. Beall & Kaleen E. Beall, eds. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004, 2006, 2008.

    6. [S4863] G. Andrews Moriarty, "The Ancestry of John Throckmorton of Providence." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 98:67; 98:111; 98:271, 1944.

    7. [S976] A Genealogical and Historical Account of the Throckmorton Family in England and the United States by Charles Wickliffe Throckmorton. Richmond, Virginia: Old Dominion Press, 1930. Useful for its wealth of primary source material; deeply unreliable in its conclusions., date only.

    8. [S4952] G. Andrews Moriarty, "Additions and Corrections to Austin's Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island." The American Genealogist 20:112, 1943.

    9. [S1874] G. Andrews Moriarty, "Evidences on Throckmorton Family." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 98:111, 1944., date only.

    10. [S142] Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families by Douglas Richardson. Salt Lake City, 2013., second date and place only.

    11. [S145] Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis and Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr. 8th edition, William R. Beall & Kaleen E. Beall, eds. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004, 2006, 2008., dates only.

    12. [S4862] Historical and Genealogical Miscellany: Early Settlers of New Jersey and Their Descendants, Volume 5, by John E. Stillwell. New York, 1932.

    13. [S142] Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families by Douglas Richardson. Salt Lake City, 2013., year only.