John Philip Thomas
(1554-After 1591)
Gwenllian Herbert
Evan Thomas
Sarah < >
(Abt 1600-)

Lieutenant Philip Thomas
(Abt 1620-Abt 1675)


Family Links

1. Sarah Harrison

Lieutenant Philip Thomas 1 2 3 4 5 6

  • Born: Abt 1620, Bristol, England
  • Marriage (1): Sarah Harrison in 1651 in England
  • Died: Abt Jul 1675, Anne Arundel, Maryland, (United States) about age 55

   Another name for Philip was Philip "the Emigrant" Thomas.

  Research Notes:

[No evidence is given linking Philip with his alleged father, Evan. If
the connections stated above can be proven, they will lead back to
English Kings and Welsh Princes.]


From Baltimore: Its History and Its People, p. 795.:

"Edward Talbott, second son of Richard and Elizabeth (Ewen) Talbott, was born at 'Poplar Knowle', November 6, 1658, died there in January, 1689. He married Elizabeth, who died in 1725, widow of William Coale, and daughter of Philip and Sarah Thomas, who were immigrants from England. Philip Thomas was a noted man of his time, the owner of a large estate, and held a variety of positions under the government of the colony."
From The Thomas Book, pp. 27-34:

PHILIP THOMAS, of the mercantile house of Thomas & Devonshire, at Bristol, England, son of Evan Thomas of Swansea, Glamorganshire, Wales, is the earliest ancestor of this family of whom we have legal and documentary proof, although I have little doubt that the descent given in this genealogy is accurately taken from Sir Rhys ap Thomas, K.G., and will be confirmed by further investigations… The coat of arms (ar., a chevron checquy of or and sa., between three ravens, close, of the last) borne by Philip Thomas upon his gold-headed cane and service of silver, served to point out the true affiliation when I came across the arms of Sir Rhys ap Thomas of Carew, in an old copy of Guillim's "Display of Heraldry" (viz., Ar. a chevron sa. between three ravens, close, of the last). ..

Further research satisfied me that the descent was to be taken directly from Sir Rhys through one of his sons by Gwenllian (q.v.), sister of his friend and counsellor, Robert ap Gwylim Harry ap Jevan Gwyn of Mydhifinych, Abbot of Talley. Referring then to the genealogy of Sir Rhys ap Thomas for its earlier history, we begin the present family with this THOMAS AP RHYS, b. after 1478, whose son Philip ap Thomas m. Sybell, dau. of Philip and Joan (Warnecombe) Scudamore, and dying before 1585 left a son and heir, John Philip Thomas, who appears to have inherited from his mother the demesne lands of Grosmount Manor, Monmouthshire, and a grist-mill near by, before 1585, when he held them "in right of Philip Skudamore," and in 1591 was Queen's lessee of mills at Kentchurch in the same shire. He m. Gwenllian, fourth dau. of Walter Herbert, Esq (q.v.), of Skenfrith, Sheriff of Monmouthshire in 1552, and had issue: Evan Thomas, b. 1580, whose name begins the pedigree compiled by the late Philip E. Thomas, Esq., of Baltimore… His wife's name is unknown. Philip, his son, was b. about 1600…

Philip Thomas, the emigrant, before 1650, formed a business partnership with one Devonshire at Bristol, and some time in the year 1651, only seventeen years after Leonard Calvert and Lord Baltimore's first colonists landed at St. Mary's, removed to the province of Maryland. The earliest land patent in his name, dated February 19, 1651-2, conveys to him 500 acres of land called "Beakely" or "Beckley" on the west side of Chesapeake Bay , "in consideration that he hath in the year 1651 transported himself, Sarah, his wife, Philip, Sarah, and Elizabeth his children, into this our province."

He would appear to have come directly from Bristol to Maryland. An examination of the land records of the colony of Virginia, made by the well-known genealogist, R. A. Brock, Esq., of Richmond, fails to show any grant to a Philip Thomas in the seventeenth century, and there would seem to be no reason to suppose that he was in America before coming to Maryland…

Between 1658 and 1661 Philip Thomas had patented to him 100 acres called "Thomas Towne;" in 1665 a patent of 120 acres called "Fuller's Poynt;" in 1668, of 300 acres called "The Planes;" in 1672, of 200 acres called "Phillip's Addicion," and numerous other patents of unnamed tracts. This land lay mostly in Anne Arundel County, near what is now known as West River. "Fuller's Poynt," between the Severn and South Rivers, is now called Thomas Point, and is the site of a light-house. A man of character and resolution, the emigrant soon acquired influence amongst his neighbours, and, affiliating himself with the Puritan party, he became one of its leaders in the conflict with Lord Baltimore, the Proprietary, and his representatives in the province. When Cromwell and the Parliamentary party were supreme in England, their sympathizers in Maryland broke out in open rebellion under Colonel Richard Bennett, and Philip Thomas, holding a military commission as lieutenant, was of their muster in Anne Arundel County, Md. Governor Stone immediately summoned the militia of the province, and with a little army of 250 men, after seizing a magazine of arms collected by the Puritans, set out for Providence on the Severn, the head-quarters of Bennett's partisans. Part of his men were transported in small vessels, and part marched along the Bay shore. As they drew near Providence, Stone sent forward a messenger to the enemy, summoning them to surrender; but the messenger did not return; and on the evening of the same day, March 24, 1654-5, the Governor's little fleet, with all his army now on board, made its appearance in the Severn.

Captain Fuller, the commander at Providence, put some men on board a ship lying in the harbour, who fired on Stone's boats as he landed his forces, but did no damage. On the next morning, which was Sunday, Governor Stone and his force came marching up to the attack, under the black and yellow flag of the colony, while over Fuller's men, 107 in number, drawn up in order of battle, floated the blue cross on a crimson field, the standard of the Commonwealth of England. The battle was short, but sharp; about fifty of the Governor's men were killed or wounded, and Stone himself, with nearly all his force, compelled to surrender, under a promise that their lives should be spared.

The Puritan annalist writes: "After the battle our men were so tired with watching and anxiety (before the attack) that the guards set over the prisoners fell asleep at their posts; yet the Catholics were so disheartened by their defeat, that no one of them attempted to escape." "Hammond against Heamans," a contemporary pamphlet by one of the Governor's party, notes that "three days after the battle Captain Fuller, Wm. Burgees, Richard Evans, Leo Strong, Wm. Durand, Roger Heamans, John Brown, John Cuts, Richard Smith, one Thomas (Philip Thomas), one Bestone, Sampson Warren, Thomas Meares, and one Crouch, sat as a Council of War, condemned a number of the prisoners to die, and executed four of them."

March 20, 1656-7, Lieutenant Philip Thomas was appointed one of the six High Commissioners of the Provincial Court, the father of his son-in-law, John Mears, being another. When Oliver Cromwell ordered the revolutionists to return the province to the Proprietary he was one of the commissioners to make the surrender, which was effected on March 24, 1658-9, when the articles of surrender were signed, sealed, and delivered. After this he does not seem to have taken an active part in the political affairs of the province, the notices of his name upon the colonial records having to do with transfers of land, etc., the number of which were considerable.

From a petition to the Colonial Assembly, dated April 16, 1666, we learn that he had returned from a voyage to England in the preceding month. Tuesday, October 17, 1671, the Upper House of Assembly consents to a bill for ferries, among them being one "over Potapsco River, from Philip Thomas point in Anne Arundel Co. to Kent Co."

In April, 1672, George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends or Quakers, arrived in Maryland, landing at the Patuxent just in time to reach a "general meeting for all the Friends in the Province of Maryland," which had been appointed by John Burnyeat to be held at West River. He describes it as a "very large meeting," and held four days, "to which, besides Friends, came many other people divers of whom were of considerable quality in the world's account." Immediately after this meeting Fox appears to have continued his labours by preaching his doctrines and establishing meetings for discipline at various places in the province. He remained in America until after the "general meeting" at West River, which commenced on the 17th of 3d month (May), 1673, and lasted four days. The next day, being the 21st, he set sail for England. In describing his meeting he says, "divers of considerable account in the government and many others were present, who were generally satisfied, and many of them reached, for it was a wonderful glorious meeting." It is possible, from the language of his will, that Philip Thomas himself was one of those "reached" by George Fox, and there can be no doubt that during his missionary tour his preaching brought a number of the family under the influence of Quakerism, as we find their names enrolled upon the early records of the Society immediately afterward. In point of fact, an examination of those records shows that, for the generation then living and their children, in Maryland at least, George Fox, John Burnyeat, Samuel Bownas, and the other preachers of Quakerism, did very much the same work as was done a century later by John Wesley and the Methodists. Such religion as they had was formal and lifeless; many, indeed, had cast off all restraint, and were living in utter neglect of the ordinances of religion and common morality. The Quaker missionaries coming amongst them with their fervid zeal, and speaking, as they thought, messages direct from heaven, aroused the slumbering souls of their hearers, and reaped a large harvest of converts to what was in fact the first presentation of a spiritual religion they had known.

As a result of this, the Quaker Registers of the end of the seventeenth century are a veritable Libro d'oro in Maryland, containing as they do the names of so many of the leading families of the province. Whether Philip Thomas became a Quaker or not, his widow certainly was one, and probably a preacher of the sect. September 9, 1674, he made his will, which was proved August 10, 1675. A copy, apparently made by one of his sons-in-law, is still preserved at the family seat, "Lebanon," West River, Md. From this he appears to have disposed of much of the land granted him, only mentioning "Beckley," "Fuller's Poynt," and the "Playns," and his two houses in Bristol, England. The clause in the will making "the body of Quakers" a final Court of Appeal in the event of any dispute arising under its provisions, was a common one amongst the Society of Friends, and in this case recourse was had to it. After the death of his widow, Sarah Thomas, his son Samuel claimed all her estates by virtue of a verbal will which he alleged she had made in his favour. This claim was resisted by is brother-in-law, Edward Talbot, and the West River Meeting of Friends was appealed to, to decide the question. The Meeting decided that although she had expressed a wish that Samuel Thomas should be her sole heir, she had not given legal effect to it, and that the state should be equally divided between her several heirs. The two houses in Bristol were sold before September 13, 1690, when John Talbot claimed an interest in the proceeds of the sale in right of his wife, the granddaughter of Philip Thomas, to the extent of and as her share of the whole landed estate."


For a historical context, excerpted from The Cousins' Wars, p. 58:
"The principal fighting in English North America was between Catholics and Puritans in Maryland. In 1645, Captain Richard Ingle, a Parliamentarian, seized the Catholic capital at St. Mary's on Chesapeake Bay, and two Jesuit priests were sent to England in chains. Disgruntled Puritans from Virginia had begun emigrating to Maryland in 1644-45, and in 1649 established a settlement at Providence (now Annapolis), which became the center of Parliamentary strength. St. Mary's was recaptured by the Calvert faction in 1646. Maryland Puritans defeated the Calvert forces again a decade later in the 'Battle of the Severn' in 1655, but the Calverts came back to full power in 1660 with the Restoration."


From Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, pp. 46-47:

"With his wife Sarah Harrison and three children, Philip, Sarah and Elizabeth, Philip Thomas came from Bristol, England, in 1651. He was granted five hundred acres, 'Beckley,' on the west of the Chesapeake.

"To this he added 'Thomas Towne,' 'The Plains' and 'Phillip's Addition.' On this he erected his homestead, 'Lebanon,' a view of which is still preserved. On his lands stands Thomas Point Lighthouse.

"His neighbor was Captain Wm. Fuller, the provincial leader. With him, Edward Lloyd, Richard Preston, Samuel Withers went to St. Leonards, and delivered up the captured records [from 1657] With this act he gave up political adventures and joined the Society of Friends, under George Fox. The Quaker Society was made the final court to settle his estate.

"This estate was claimed by his son, Samuel Thomas, through a verbal will which Edward Talbott, his brother-in-law resisted. The question was finally decided by the Society in favor of all the heirs."

  Birth Notes: has b. abt 1624

  Noted events in his life were:

• Emigrated: to America, 1640.

• Formed: a business partnership with Devonshire called Thomas & Devonshire, Bef 1650, Bristol, England. This was a mercantile house.

• Removed to: the Province of Maryland, 1651. with his wife, Sarah, and his children Philip, Sarah and Elizabeth.

• Religion: a Puritan.

• Land Patent: for "Beckley," 500 acres on the west side of Chesapeake Bay, 19 Feb 1652, Maryland, (United States). It may have been called "Beakely."

• Appointed: one of the six High Commissioners of the Provincial Court, 20 Mar 1657, Maryland, (United States).

• Land Patent: for 100 acres called "Thomas Towne," Between 1658 and 1661.

• Land Patent: for 120 acres called "Fuller's Poynt" between the Severn and South rivers, 1665, Anne Arundel, Maryland, (United States). This area is now called Thomas Point and is the site of a lighthouse.

• Returned: from a voyage to England, Mar 1666.

• Land Patent: for 300 acres called "The Planes," 1668, Anne Arundel, Maryland, (United States).

• Land Patent: for 200 acres called "Phillip's Addition," 1672, Anne Arundel, Maryland, (United States). He erected his homestead, "Lebanon," on this parcel.

• Converted: to Quakerism, Abt 1672, West River Hundred, Anne Arundel Co., Maryland, (United States).

• Will, 9 Sep 1674, Anne Arundel, Maryland, (United States). 7 Extract of the Last Will and Testament of PHILIP THOMAS of Ann Arundel county
dated 9th September,1674, proven 10th July, 1675

To sons, Philip and Samuel and their heirs 500 acres. "The Clifts" in Calvert County, equally.
Daughter Martha, 3 grandchildren, viz.: Mary, daughter of John Meers, Philip and Elizabeth, children of William Cole, and to the Quakers personalty, 5 children, viz.: Philip, Samuel, Sarah, Elizabeth and Martha, personalty, equally.
Wife, Sarah, execx, and residuary legatee of estate including 120 acres "Fuller's Point," Ann Arundel County, and 1200 acres, "The Plains," on Patapsco River, Baltimore County, the latter tract to pass to son, Samuel aforesaid.
Jno. Ricks.
Marmaduke Noble.
Source: This extract appears to have been reprinted from the Maryland Calendar of Wills, Wills from 1635 to 1685, edited by Jane Baldwin, published 1904, Kohn and Pollack, Baltimore Md.

• Probate, 10 Jul 1675, Anne Arundel, Maryland, (United States). Will may have been proved on 10 August 1675.

Philip married Sarah Harrison, daughter of Edmund Harrison and Jane Godfrey, in 1651 in England. (Sarah Harrison was born about 1628 in Bristol, England and died on or bef 25 Nov 1687 in Anne Arundel, Maryland, (United States).)


1 Baltimore: Its History and Its People (Vol. 3. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1912.), p. 795.


3 Thomas, Lawrence Buckley, The Thomas Book giving the Genealogies of Sir Rhys ap Thomas, K. G., the Thomas Family descended from him, and of some Allied Families (New York: Henry T. Thomas Co., 1896.), pp. 31-35.


5 Warfield, J. D, The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland. (Baltimore: Kohn & Pollock, 1905), pp. 46-47.

6 Correspondence, Email and document from John Murray Colhoun, accompanying an image of the family tree (descendants) of "Evan Thomas of South Wales born 1580," author unknown, from the Maryland State Archives.

7 Website - Genealogy, Maryland wills.

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