About David Thomson

David Thomson, son of Richard Thomson and Florence Cromlan, was born Dec. 17, 1572, After his father's early death, he resided with his widowed mother at the home of Dr. Richard Vines; with whom he later apprenticed with as a apothecary. He married, on July 18, 1613 at St. Andrews Church in Plymouth, England, with AMIAS COLE, dau. of William Cole and Agnes Bryant. He was aged 20; she just shy of 16. Her father furnished them with a residence in Plymouth, England where they resided for a while and where their 4 children were born. After David's death in 1627 in Boston, Mass.; Amias would marry 2nd with Samuel Maverick(e).

Children were: Ann (bpt 10/1/1615; d.soon), Priscilla (bpt. 10/23/1616), John (b. 1/14/1619), and Ann (b. 11/22/1620-11/26/1620).

The island of Monhegan, off the shores of Maine, was well known to the fishermen of England and in their day, Sir John Popham and Sir Ferdinando Gorges outfitted a ship called the "Mary and John: and sent Dr. Richard Vines and his small apprentice, fourteen-year-old David Thomson....son of his servant Widow Florance (Cramlon) Thomson who lived in Sir Ferdinando's home in 1607...to erect a fort they called "St. Georges" on the Kennebec River in Maine. Among those one hundred passengers, on the "Mary and John" and another fishing vessel, were red-skinned Indians which Capt. George Weymouth had previously brought to England...and with whom David Thomson had lived at the Plymouth Fort in England.

Although fourteen-year-old David Thomson had been taught the rudiments of building and repairing ships, this was to be his first exposure in the erection of a fort...and he learned his lesson well....but this expedition failed...for Capt. George Popham, President of the Colony died, and Capt. Gilbert then succeeded to the presidency...but Gilbert's older brother died in England, leaving him heir to the family estates and he was therefore required to return to England....and then Sir John Popham, who was the chief financial supporter of this expedition died in England.

In 1608 the colonists returned to England. Then, in Plymouth Fort, David Thomson had occasion to visit the shipyard of a man called William Cole and their home presided over by his wife Agnes (Bryant) Cole and daughter Amias Cole....they subsequently married at St. Andrews Church in Plymouth, Devon, England, on July 18, 1813; he was 20 years old, and Amias not yet sixteen years old. Her father furnished the couple with a house built on her grandfather William Bryant's land. It was here that they settled for a time and Amias gave birth to four children. Ann Thomson was bpt. Oct. 1, 1615...but died soon. On Oct. 23, 1616 Priscilla Thomson was baptized, but David Thomson, on the previous March of 1616, had gone aboard the "Abraham" on a fishing expedition, along with his former teacher Dr. Richard Vines, who had him certified as an "apothecary". After staying the winter, where they traded with the Indians for furs and gathered sassafras and loaded the dried fish from the fall fishing season onto the ship "Abraham"....they returned again,at the end of May 1617, to England, reaching Plymouth in early July of 1617...where Priscilla saw her father for the first time..

After this visit, David Thomson revealed to Sir Ferdinando Gorges his desire to receive a patent to allow him to settle on the "Piscataqua River"...and reading Capt. John Smith's "Description of New England" which was published in 1616 at London only added to his ambition to settle permanently in New England. In January of 1619, his son John was born, and in the Spring of the same year, David sailed with Captain Thomas Dermer and the Indian "Squanto"...and on this trip they examined the New Hampshire-Maine river the Indians called "Piscataqua". and the Isles of Shoals...and rescued an Indian boy stranded on one of the shoal islands and returned him to his mainland tribe. Four and a half years later, the Sagamore of this tribe gave this Indian lad to David Thomson...and he was called "Watt Tylor."

At the end of July 1619, he returned to England...and during the remainder of 1619 and 1620 he became acquainted with merchants in England...urging them to exploit the Isles of Shoals as a fishing center instead of Monhegan...explaining to them the advantages of a crew living on shore in New England, fishing both spring and fall...at a shore base...and so it was that the groundwork for profit-sharing with these English merchants was established and on Aug. 26, 1620, two ships, Capt. Christopher Jones' ship "Mayflower" and Capt. Reynold's ship "Speedwell" arrived at Plymouth, seeking assistance from Grandfather William Cole, to repair the leaking ship "Speedwell". Amias Thomson was pregnant again and visited with the women of the pilgrim group, while the men met with David Thomson to find out more about New England, which they had set out for until "Speedwell" began to leak. The "Mayflower" struggled ALONE to New England as a result of the delay in repairing the other ship.

When Sir Ferdinando Gorges' charter for the Council of New England passed the seals on Nov. 3, 1620....he was well prepared for the upcoming adventure to New England. Amias Thomson's child, Ann Thomson was born and bap. Nov. 22, 1620....but she died on the 26th of November 1620. Sir Ferdinando Gorges' wife, Lady Ann Gorges died in Aug. of 1620....and Sir Ferdinando Gorges gave David Thomson instructions to board the ship "Jonathan" with a recruited construction crew to sail to New England. They traveled across the ocean in eight weeks time and arrived at the Isles of Shoals....then sailed into the mouth of the Piscataqua River...to land at what has since been called "Odiorne's Point", and there they built the structure known as "Pannaway". The fall fishing crew wintered there and by 1622 David Thomson was again in London, reporting to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, and the ordnance for this Pannaway Fort was brought across the sea by Thomas Weston on his ship "Charity" in 1622 and installed. In the spring of 1623, David Thomson, brought over TO NEW ENGLAND his wife, Amias and his son John and their servants to live at Pannaway. Priscilla remained with her grandparents.

Here....at Odiorne's Point in Rye, New Hampshire, we still find the remains of that early "Fort Pannaway"....and the unmarked grave sites of those early settlers and fishermen. David Thomson's indenture for five years with the Plymouth merchants Abraham Colmer, Nicholas Sherwill, and Leonard Pomeroy is still to be seen at the NH Historical Society Building in Concord, New Hampshire. David Thomson honored his five-year indenture...furnishing fish and furs to the Plymouth merchants...and in 1624 and 1625 helping Samuel Maverick to build his house on Noodles Island and fortify it with four cannons in 1625.....at the time Governor Robert Gorges, young son of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, arrived in New England and settled in Massachusetts Bay, along with William Jeffrey, John Bursleum, William Blackstone, John Balch and Thomas Balford...some with family and servants.

David Thompson in 1625, David took possession of an island in Boston Harbor on which he built the first house in or around Boston.He moved his family there in 1626. In early June of 1628, David Thomson died. The island is still called THOMPSON ISLAND. Widow Amias (Cole) Thomson married 2nd with Samuel Maverick and went with her son, John, to live at "Noodles Island". Samuel Maverick and Amias were parents of three children: Nathaniel, Samuel, and Mary, and after Samuel Maverick received a grant of land at New Amsterdam (Manhattan, New York) they moved there to live at Lower Broadway, where they both died in 1670.

Meantime....further up the river Piscataqua at a location called "Dover's Point"...a settlement had been started in 1623 by the Edward Hilton, member of the fisherman's guild of New England....and one of David Thomson's compatriots after his admission to the Fishmonger's Guild on Apr. 9, 1621....and apprentice of Marie Hilton...at London, England. Edward Hilton, with his brother William, his wife and three children arrived on the ship "Fortune" with Capt. William Trevore, at Plymouth Plantation, Massachusetts...but they sought out the services of David Thomson at Boston Bay to transport them to the Piscataqua river settlement of Edward Hilton...and they settled first at land on the Maine side of the river across from Edward Hilton's settlement on Dover Point......later removing to Kittery, Maine and later still to land on the York River, in York, Maine..

Governor Winthrop came with a fleet of ships and founded Boston in 1629..In 1628, David died, and the city of Dorchester laid claim to the island and brought suit for possession. The court decided that the island belonged to their son, John, on Nov. 16 , 1648.

Edward Hilton had received his patent to this land....and received livery of seisin of his Swampscott patent on Mar. 12, 1629/30. However, he was in control at Dover Point on Dec. 4, 1632, when Governor Winthrop recieved a letter from Captain Neale and William Hilton that they had sent four vessels and forty men to protect Pemaquid from Dixie Bull (see below)...and did not remove to live at "Newfield: (a part of Exeter, NH) until he had sold this Dover Point Patent to the Bristol Men....who sold it to the Lords Say and Brooks....and they sold to the men of Shrewsbury.....and Governor Wiggin had been sent to govern the Dover land.

WIth Edward Hilton had come Thomas Roberts, who married Edward Hilton's daughter Rebecca. Thomas Roberts remained at Dover Point with Rebecca...and is buried there....Edward Hilton and his family were buried at Newfield, NH....a site which was marked by the "Piscataqua Pioneers" after sufficient excavation to locate the old homestead on Aug. 31, 1933. In 1630, two ships, the "Warwick" and the "Pied Cow" brought Capt. Walter Neale as a Governor and the factor for Capt. John Mason, Ambrose Gibbons with vaious servants in the employ of Capt. John Mason of Portsmouth, England....a member of the Council for New England. These men were indentured to work for five years to settle and improve the land....and were all free of this indenture in 1635 when Capt. John Mason died in England...at which time they all sought land grants from the Indian Sagamore....and settled in various locations both in Maine and New Hampshire.....

The original settlement at "Newichawsannock" (South Berwick, Maine) was built and fortified with a palisade and was used as a 'trading post' until it burned....and nothing remains of this settlement except the site of the old 'well' which Ambrose Gibbons dug to accommodate the Newichawsannock settlers. After his indenture was served, Ambrose Gibbons removed to live at Dover Point....and finally to a site on Great Bay....within the township of Oyster River (now Durham, NH)....where his wife "Bess" died and where he himself died the following year on July 11, 1656....leaving a WIll...which identified the children of their only daughter and child, Rebeckah Gibbons Sherburne, wife of the emigrant Henry Sherburne of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Excerpts from "Early History of the New Hampshire Setttlements", The narration of a video prepared by Alice Haubrick (1905-2005); Curator of the Piscataqua Pioneers, 1990. ...Letters, diaries, deeds, wills...birth certificates and death records were kept during the early settlement years and from depositions taken during court procedures...so that the bloodlines of generations of descendants of early settlers...from 1623 to 1998 have been established.

DAVID THOMSON ..... Birth: Dec. 17, 1592 Death: 1628

English Explorer. David Thomson (sometimes spelled Thompson) was the first non-Native American settler of, and founder of, the State of New Hampshire. He also founded the city of Piscataqua, New Hampshire. David was apprenticed as a seaman as a youth, and made frequent trips to America. His first journey to America was in 1607, well before the pilgrims voyaged to the new land in 1620. He made another trip to New England in 1616. Thomson and others built a shelter in Biddleford Pool, Maine, to prove to Sir Fernando Gorges, a powerful British nobleman, that it was possible to survive through the winter in New England. Upon arrival, the ship was attacked by Native Americans until Thomson interceded. In his prior trips to America, he gained favor with the natives, including a native named Squanto. Thomson established a fishing trade, and when Miles Standish of Plymouth asked for Thomson's assistance to feed the starving Pilgrims, Thomson provided enough salted cod to keep the Pilgrims alive in 1623. Thomson's appearance in Plymouth that year was the source of the second Thanksgiving Day at Plymouth. Thomson moved south from New Hampshire to Boston, Massachusetts. An island was named after David, and today, Thompson's Island remains one of the last undeveloped parts of the city of Boston. David Thomson disappeared in 1628, never to be seen or heard from again. It is suspected that he drowned in Boston Harbor. A book titled "First Yankee" was written about the life of David Thomson. (bio by: M.J. Beard)


Family links:

Spouse: Amias Cole Thomson Maverick (1593 - ____)*

Burial: Body lost or destroyed Specifically: Possibly Drowned in Boston Harbor


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Maintained by: Find A Grave Originally Created by: M.J. Beard Record added: Feb 04, 2007 Find A Grave Memorial# 17809466

The 1st known European settlement in New Hampshire, Piscataqua, was founded in 1622, not by an Englishman as one might presume, but rather by a Scottish Gentleman, Mr. David Thomson. The "plantation" was part of the colonization of Nova Albion (New England) under the Scottish king...James Stuart the VI of Scotland, aka, James 1st of England...the son of the martyred Mary Stewart, Queen of the Scots.

Except for a handful of statements left by early colonists, few details of the Thomson settlement were known to have survived until May 1876 when the Massachusetts Historical Society printed an article by the noted historian, Charles Deane. According to Deane, an old parchment deed had been placed in his hands some two or three years before by the President of the Society, Mr. Winthrop. The parchment, which had been "discovered among the rich ancestral treasures of a like character," was the 6,000 acre "Piscataqua" Indenture pertaining to David Thomson’s grant from the Council for New England. (2)

Described by contemporaries as a Scotsman, Thomson was living in Devonshire, England as early as July 13, 1613, the date he married Amias Cole at St. Andrews Church in Plymouth, England. Parish records also show that three daughters and one son were born to David and Amias between 1615 and 1620. (3)

In 1615, the year his first child was born and soon after died, David established an Apothecary shop in a house built by his father-in-law, the Plymouth shipwright, William Cole. (4) And though the preamble to the Indenture, dated 14 December 1622, shows that Thomson continued to reside in Plymouth, there is evidence he also spent time in London, engaged in Council business...and was possibly in New England as early as 1619.



More information about David Thompson:

See page 204 of The Pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire

He is also referred to in the Wikipedia article on the History of New Hampshire.