Thomas Skinner I

Thomas SKINNER I (1617 – 1704) was Alex’s 11th Great Grandfather, one of 4,096  in this generation of the Shaw line.

Thomas Skinner was born 1617 in Chichester, Sussex, England, He married (1)  Mary GODDEN in England.  He emigrated between 1649 and 1651, bringing his family with him and settled in Malden Mass. He married (2) Lydia Shepardson about 1680. Thomas died 2 Mar 1703/04 in Malden, Massachusetts.

Thomas Skinner – Coat of Arms

Mary Godden was born 1621 in Chichester, Sussex County, England.  Her parents were William GODDEN and [__?__].  Mary died 09 Apr 1671 in Malden, Massachusetts.

Lydia Shepardson was born in 1619 in England.  Her parents were Daniel Shepardson and Joanna [__?__].   She first married Thomas Call Jr. [our ancestor  Thomas CALL’s   son]  on 22 July 1657 in Malden.  Lydia died 17 Dec 1723 in Malden, Massachusetts.

In 1651, Thomas received a license to maintain an inn and sell provisions in Malden. One of the selectmen voting on the license was Thomas Call, who sold beer in the Mystic side of Malden (but probably not far Thomas Skinner’s Inn).    Apparently, Thomas Skinner and Thomas Call were friends–Thomas Call rented a house from Thomas Skinner. Thomas Call died in 1678 at the age of 43. Thomas Skinner’s wife Mary died in 1671 and Thomas Skinner subsequently married Thomas Call’s widow, Lydia.

Lydia Skinner-Thomas Call graves – Bell Rock Cemetery Malden, Mass

Children of Thomas and Mary:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Thomas SKINNER II 15 Jul 1645 Subdeanerie Parish, Chichester, England Mary PRATT
1665/1666, Charlestown, Mass
26 MAR 1722/1723, Colchester,New London, CT
2. John Skinner 19 Apr 1647
North Mundham, England
8 Apr 1754
Colchester, CT
3. Abraham Skinner 29 Sep 1649
Pallant Parish, Chichester, England
Hannah Lewis
6 Mar 1680 in Malden, Mass
14 Jan 1726
Malden, Mass

Thomas is said to have been baptized at the Subdeanery parish, Chichester. Subdeanery Parish is a parish within Chichester Cathedral itself circa 1538 – Chichester St. Peter the Great (alias Subdeanery) (1558). The only proof that Thomas was ever living in Chichester is the record of his son John’s baptism at North Mudham in 1647.

Thomas had been a victualler (English innkeeper) in Chichester and was, on May 31, 1652, licensed to keep an ordinary in Malden.  He was admitted a freeman in Malden, May 18, 1653.

To the hon’d Cort for the counti of Midlesex – Wee whose names are herunder written doe well App’ue Thomas Skinner for Keeping An ordinary for the Accomodation of Travellers & such like accasions : humbly desiring he may by you be licenced herunto for our Town of Maldon [January 22, 1651/52] Selectmen Thomas Squire, Jo. Vppam, Will Brakenbury, Jo. Wayte. May 26, 1652: in ansr to the petition of the inhabitants of Maiden, the Courte doth graunt libertje and licence to Thomas Skinner to keepe an ordinary there, in the roome and stead of John Hawthorne,” who was formerly licensed there. Later the selectmen asked and received a broader license for “our Bro’,” as is shown in the following petition and reply: ‘Malden, 30th of ye 10th mo 1653. To the hon’d Court Wee whose Names are vnderwritten, Desyre that our Bror Thomas Skinner, may be lycenced to sell Strong waters And Wine to Supplie the necessitys of the Towne, and Travellers, paying the Accustomed fees.’ Selectmen John Vppam, Will Brakebury, Thos. Green, Job Sprague, Joh. Wayte. 3. (11) 1653. Vpon the request of the Select Men of Mauldon, This Court doth grant Licence vnto Tho: Skinner to retale strong waters in there Towne.”

On May 26, 1652, Thomas received a license to operate an inn formerly licensed to a John Hawthorne, who had been convicted of forgery in neighboring Lynn, MA. It is unclear whether Thomas operated both inns or if he sold or abandoned his original venture. In 1654, a Malden property was transferred from a Roland Lathorne to Thomas Skinner who, in turn, rented it to Thomas Call. It was located near the corner of Cross and Walnut Street [Google Street View], about 5 blocks from Joseph Hills’ homestead. By 1657, Thomas Skinner retired from his inn-keeping occupation and the license to operate the inn and tavern was transferred to his eldest son, Abraham, on April 16, 1657. There are indications the Inn/tavern owned by Abraham was called the ‘Surf and Turf’.

Although the Thomas remained in Malden until 1704, he appears to have soon retired from the “Ordjnarie” business. The following petition is in the Court files:

“To the honoured Court at Charlet. 16 4th mo. 1657: The Town of Maldon being destitute of An Ordinane keeper for Accomodating the Town and Countrie. Jt is the desire of the Selectmen of the sayd Town: that A Bro? of the Church there: namely Abraham Hill may by this Court be licenced to keep an Ordinarie there. As Aliso to draw wine for the better Accomodating both the Church and Countrie.”

In 1660 there is a record that Thomas was fined for not paying his church dues. He also did not have the money to pay the fine.

During the colonial period, the town functioned with only one constable, although two were chosen in 1678, Thomas Skinner served alone in 1679 and 1680. He was a selectman of Malden in 1680 and the same year was made a Sergeant of the Malden Company in the First Regiment of Major Gookin. The Middlesex Regiment, consisting of sixteen companies, was under the command of Major Daniel Gookin of Cambridge, who was commissioned May 5, 1676; but in 1680 it was divided, and Malden, with neighboring towns, formed the First Regiment under Major Gookin, while the western towns of the county were transferred to a new regiment under Major Peter Bulkley of Concord. In 1680 Sergeant Thomas Skinner was listed in the Malden company. Listed as Clerk, he served under Captain Wm. Turner 1675-76 during King Philip’s War. According to the payroll on April 24, 1676, Thomas Skinner, soldier under Capt. Turner was paid ₤3 4s. 9d. It is not certain which Thomas this was.

His house in Malden was situated at the southeast corner of Cross and Walnut Streets. It was given to his son Abraham on March 15, 1694/95. In March 1678/79 he was one of those signing as interested in settling Quansigamug but there is no proof that he ever lived there. Twenty-nine people were granted lots in Quansigamug, the first attempt to settle the town of Worcester.

On May 27, 1674, Thomas Skinner is one of a number of petitioners for a grant of land in an area called Quasigamug (now Worcester, MA). It does not appear that he ever moved to the new land grant, although on March 3, 1678, he appeared in the General Court of Massachusetts with 7 others concerning the December 2, 1675 burning of vacant houses located in the new land grant. As a result of the fires, the Worcester land grant was abandoned and was not resettled until 1684.

The Skinner Kinsmen states that Thomas sold his land and house to Thomas Call. When Call died, Thomas married his widow, Lydia Shepardson Call  and again owned the property. In Mar 1678/79 he was in Malden and was appointed tithingman. In 1678 he was appointed constable, pay three pounds. He also served in 1679/80. On Oct 4, 1682 the town voted that the “cutters and carts in ye Town cutt and cart one load of fire wood for Mr. Wigglesworth: on ye next second day. Corp’rl Jo Green and serg’t Skinner overseers to se ye wood cutt and carted.”

On Mar 15, 1694/95, the town of Malden gave Thomas, now an old man, a 7 acre allotment of land it had owned.  The town stipulated this allotment could be used by Thomas until his death, at which point ownership would revert back to the town of Malden.  It voted that “Sargent Skiner shall have seuen akers of land in the common for his life time next to Joseph flids lote after the 2,000 ackes is lade out and after his death to Returne to the towne.” On Mar  28, 1695, the town voted “That Sargent Skinners seuen accars of common wood land formerly granted him for his life time is now giuen to him and his wife and then to Return to his children.” This is the land which in 1695 Thomas, then an old man, gave to his son, Abraham, for future maintenance. Thomas’ will, undated, was acknowledged on Feb 2, 1693/94. He devised his house to his son Abraham, and he [Abraham] to pay Lydia and his son Thomas. His [Thomas] maintenance to be provided for. Recorded on Dec 9, 1696. The house and land that Thomas and Lydia gave their son Abraham in Feb 1693/94 had been the estate of Lydia’s former husband, Thomas Call. The house stood near the southeasterly corner of Cross and Walnut streets. Abraham Skinner died soon after, leaving a widow, to whom his father, Thomas, deeded the lot numbered 75 in the second division, granted in consideration of maintenace “with meat, drink, and clothes for my life,” May 27, 1698. .


Of Thomas Skinner’s sons, only Deacon Thomas Skinner left Malden. He moved from Malden, MA to Colchester, CTat about the age of 53. Deacon Thomas was one of the original proprietors (settlers) of Colchester. Thomas’ two brothers, John and Abraham, lived in Malden until they died.

1. Thomas SKINNER II (See his page)

3. Abraham Skinner

Abraham’s wife Hannah Lewis was born 1655 in Chichester, Sussex, England. Hannah died 14 Jan 1726 in Malden, Middlesex, Mass.

Abraham  served with Capt. Prentice in the first Mount Hope Campaign, Sep 21, 1675, during King Philip’s War.  His son Abraham was his representative among the grantees of Narragansett No. 2 in 1732 that eventually became Westminster, MA.  Neither the father or son (or any other members of the family) moved to the new settlement..

Abraham married Hannah Lewis on March 6, 1680 and they had three sons and one daughter. The conventions used for naming children at that time indicate that Hannah’s last name was likely the source of three subsequent Skinner relatives with first names Lewis, including Lewis Bailey Skinner. Abraham and Hannah had three sons and one daughter.

Indenture made 13 Feb. 1716, between Hannah Skinner of Malden, widow, on the one part and Charles Chambers, Jonathan Dows, Jon’a Remington, Edmund Goffe and Jonas Bond, Esqrs., commissioners for making and emitting bills of credit, of the other part, witnesseth that Hannah Skinner for £70 in bills of credit morgaged 20 acres in Maiden with the houses, outhouses, buildings, barns, stables, etc..

Skinner Kinsmen the descendants of Thomas Skinner of Malden, Mass by Natalie R. Fernald


Skinner Kinsmen the descendants of Thomas Skinner of Malden, Mass by Natalie R. Fernald

The Skinner kinsmen, the descendants of Thomas Skinner of Malden, Mass By Natalie R. Fernald The Pioneer Press Washington, DC 1900

This entry was posted in 13th Generation, Historical Monument, Immigrant - England, Line - Shaw, Public Office, Tavern Keeper, Veteran and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Thomas Skinner I

  1. Pingback: Thomas Skinner II | Miner Descent

  2. Pingback: Origins | Miner Descent

  3. Pingback: Tavern Keepers | Miner Descent

  4. Pingback: Thomas Call | Miner Descent

  5. Jordan says:

    Thank you for the detail. Found out that i am a 10th Grandson to Thomas Skinner I, This has been such a fun and thrilling adventure.

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