Flushing Quakeer Friends' Meeting House and Burial Ground (in rear), built c. 1695.

William Thorne: Signer of the historic Flushing Remonstrance.

William Thorne, my children’s 10th great grandfather, was born March 7, 1616 to John (1580-1621) and Constance (1584-1617) Thorne in Dorset, England.

Although it is unclear whether the marriage occurred in England or Massachusetts, he married Sarah “Susannah” Booth (1608-1675) who married William Hallett after the death of her first husband William Thorne. Sometime between 1634 and 1638, he immigrated to America through the port of Boston, although it is unclear whether he arrived single, or newly married. They soon had the following children:

  • Joseph Thorne (1642-1727)
  • William Thorne Jr. (   –   )
  • Samuel Thorne Sr. (   –   )
  • John Thorne (1643-1707)
  • Susannah Thorne (   –   )

We know William Thorne is listed in the US and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index of 1500 to 1900 as having immigrated to Boston in 1638. He was made a Freeman of the Massachusetts Bay Colony at Lynn, Massachusetts on May 2, 1638. Obtaining this position is a strong indicator that he was a Puritan of legal age, had some means, and was a trusted member of the community.

It is recorded that on June 29, 1641, William served as a member of a jury in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, which was only 5 miles from Lynn.

He took his religious convictions very seriously and took an active role in the church. One such action was his part in the hiding and supporting of fellow patentee, Ann Marbury Hutchinson’s son Francis and her son-in-law William Collins. All were opposed to the Church of Boston. As a result of his actions, he was fined 6 2/3 pounds by the court.

Another action was his refusal to serve in the Military Watch, resulting in his being found guilty in a Salem, Essex County court of the infraction, on February 28, 1643.

Flushing Quakeer Friends' Meeting House and Burial Ground (in rear), built c. 1695.
Flushing Quaker Friends’ Meeting House and Burial Ground (in rear), built c. 1695.

He died in 1657 at the age of 41 in Jamaica, New York and was buried in the Flushing Quaker Meeting Burial Grounds in Flushing, Queens, New York. By this time, however, he had already left Boston, moving to Sandwich in the Plymouth Colony, and eventually arriving in New Amsterdam to become one of the original patentees of the Patent at Gravesend in June 1643.

Flushing Quaker Meeting House Graveyard 4 Flushing Quaker Meeting House Graveyard 2 Flushing Quaker Meeting House Cemetery Flushing Quaker Meeting House and Graveyard

Flushing Quaker Meeting Graveyard.

In September of 1643, the Mohicans attacked Gravesend and William Thorne and the rest of the patentees beat off several successive attacks, killing several Mohicans. Sadly Anne Hutchinson and most of her family were murdered by the Mohicans.

The Governor finally ended the war with the Indians on August 30, 1645.

October 10, 1645, William Thorne and 16 other Englishmen were granted a Patent for a village at Flushing Creek, and the final Patent for Gravesend was granted to Thorne, et al. was granted by Governor Kieft.

March 21, 1656, William Thorne was granted Planters Lott at Jamaica, Long Island as a member of the second group of patentees.

On December 27, 1657 the Remonstrance of Flushing was drafted and William Thorne was the third to sign.

Tombstone: Samuel and Susanna Hallett.
Tombstone: Samuel and Susana Hallett.
Hallett, Samuel and Susana 2
Tombstone: Samuel and Susana Hallett.
Flushing Remonstrance, pg 1.
Flushing Remonstrance.
Thorne, William; Flushing Remonstrance, pg 2.
Signatures on the Flushing Remonstrance.




  1. U.S., New England Marriages Prior to 1700.” Database; Ancestry.com.
  2. “Find A Grave”, Grave Memorial;  :http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8364605 .
  3. “Find A Grave”, Grave Memorials; http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7855352 : .
  4. Middleton, Joseph and Taylor, Alan McLean; compilers; “Eight Generations from William Thorne”.
  5. “New Jersey Abstract of Wills”; New Jersey Colonial Documents; Page 480.