From The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Volume 3

ORIGIN: Plymouth, Devonshire
REMOVES: Thompson's Island, Boston Harbor, 1626
OCCUPATION: Apothecary. Agent for Gorges.
EDUCATION: His occupations of apothecary and of agent for Sir Ferdinando Gorges both indicate that David Thomson had considerable education.
ESTATE: On 16 November 1622 the Council for New England granted David Thomson six thousand acres of land and one island in New England [Council NE 73; History of Grants 28].
On 14 December 1622 David Thomson of Plymouth, England, agreed to sail with two men in the Jonathan of Plymouth to New England to find a suitable place to begin a settlement. Abraham Colmer, Nicholas Sherwill and Leonard Pomery, merchants of Plymouth, agreed to send five more men, three in the Providence and two in another sailing of the Jonathan of Plymouth . Once landed the men were to choose the best location and begin the plantation with buildings and a division of six hundred acres. The remaining 5,400 acres were to be divided in due time into four parts, Thomson to have three of the four parts. At the end of five years, the island to be divided into four parts, Thomson to have three. Charges and profits were divided equally on the six hundred acres [NHGR 2:1].
At his majority, "Mr. John Thomson, son and heir of David Thomson, deceased" petitioned the General Court saying that "the said David Thomson, in & about the year 1626 did take actual possession of an island in the Massachusetts Bay, called Thomsons Island, & being then vacuum domicilium & before the patent granted to us of the Massachusets Bay, & did erect the form of a habitation, &, dying soon after, left the petitioner an infant, who, so soon as he came to age, did make his claim formerly, & now again" [MBCR 3:129-30]. Not wishing to deny him his rights, the Bay granted him the island called "Thomson's Iland" 13 May 1648 [MBCR 3:130].
BIRTH: Baptized St. James, Clerkenwell, Middlesex, 17 December 1592, son of Richard and Florence (Cromlan) Thomson [NHGR 9:115]. (This baptism has been deemed by Ralph E. and Matthew R. Thompson to be that of the immigrant on the assumption that Richard Thompson was a servant of the Gorges family, tending to their London interests [Pascataway 39].)
DEATH: By 1628 (when "Mrs. Thomson" contributed 15s. to the fund for returning THOMAS MORTON to England [Bradford LB 43]).
MARRIAGE: St. Andrews, Plymouth, Devonshire, 18 July 1613 Amias Cole, born say 1593, daughter of William Cole [NHGR 9:113]. She married (2) about 1630 Samuel Maverick (her son John Thomson calls him "my father Mr. Samuell Maverick" [Aspinwall 70]), son of Rev. JOHN MAVERICK . She was living 3 September 1672 when her son Nathaniel Maverick of Barbados mentioned her in his will [NEHGR 69:158].

  i ANN, bp. St. Andrews 1 October 1615; bur. there 14 October 1615.

  ii PRISCILLA, bp. St. Andrews 23 October 1616; presumably living 1635 when her mother mentions "her fatherless children" [Trelawny Papers 76-78], but no further record.

  iii JOHN, bp. St. Andrews 5 January 1618/9; living as late as 1651, called "John Thompson of London" [ MBCR 3:130; SLR 1:117, 3:103-04]. (Some have assumed that the John Thompson who resided at Weymouth and Mendon was the son of David Thompson, but in 1992 Douglas Richardson set forth cogent reasons why these are two different men [ NHGR 9:110-16].)

  iv ANN, bp. St. Andrews 22 November 1620; bur. there 26 November 1620.

ASSOCIATIONS: On 26 May 1648, Aspinwall received two documents from "Amies or Emes" (Cole) (Thomson) Maverick. The first stated that on 1 April 1615, "William Cole of Plymouth in the County of Devon, shipwright," and "David Thompson of Plymouth aforesaid apothecary and Ems his now wife ... in consideration of a marriage already had and solemnised between the said David Thomson & Ems the daughter of the said William" created a lease to several rooms in a house in Plymouth "wherein the said William Cole now dwelleth" for threescore years if all three should live so long. The second document, dated 3 January 1625[/6], stated that whereas "I W[illia]m Cole of Plimouth, shipwright, have had & received of my daughter Amies Thomson the sum of fifty pounds which money I was to have towards the buying of my land upon condition that I should make my land over to my daughter & her children, which I have done as by my will appeareth, now I have received of her above in writing of the sum of thirty pounds, which I am to give an account for to her husband David Thomson" [Aspinwall 128-30].
COMMENTS: In 1876 Charles Deane published a lengthy account of the life of David Thomson, including the full text of the indenture between David Thomson and the other merchants of Plymouth [MHSP 14:358; NHPP 25:663-709]. In 1973 Ralph E. Thompson and Matthew R. Thompson compiled a history of Pascataway: De Facto Capital of New England, 1623-1630 (Portsmouth, New Hampshire [cited above as Pascataway]; this narrative does an excellent job of pulling together all the available evidence, but the authors sometimes allowed their interpretations to go beyond the evidence.


Aspinwall - " A Volume Relating to the Early History of Boston Containing the Aspinwall Notarial Records from 1644 to 1651," in Reports of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston, Volume 32 (Boston 1903)

Bradford LB - Governor William Bradford's Letter Book (Boston, 1906; reprint from Mayflower Descendent, 1904-06)

Council NE - "Records of the Council for New England," Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, Meeting of April 24, 1867, pp. 53-131

History of Grants - Samuel F. Haven, History of Grants under the Great Council for New England . . . (Boston 1869)

MBCR - Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, 1628-1686, ed. Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, 5 volunes in 6 (Boston 1853-1854)

NEHGR - New England Historical and Genealogical Register

NHGR - New Hampshire Genealogical Register

SLR - Suffolk Deeds, Volumes 1 through 14 (Boston 1880-1906). Citations to later volumes are from the microfilm copies of the originas.