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Thomas Keene (b. Abt. 1593, d. Abt. 1652)Thomas Keene was born Abt. 1593 in Otley, Suffolk, England, and died Abt. 1652 in Northumberland, Virginia.He married Mary Thorley, daughter of Edward Thorley and Mary.
Notes for Thomas Keene:
We first find Thomas Keene living on Kent Island.This island, which lies just off the coast of Maryland in Chesapeake Bay, was first colonized in 1631 when Col. William Clayborne of Virginia led a band of about 100 colonists there and established a trading post.In 1632 the colonists sent a representative to the Virginia Assembly at Jamestown. However, Lord Baltimore had been granted a claim which overlapped that of Virginia and on 27 Feb 1634, after a long and stormy voyage, 300 of his colonists reached Maryland.A conflict then arose between the Kent Islanders, who wished to belong to Virginia and the Marylanders who claimed the island for their colony.This dispute lasted for fifteen years.In Dec 1636 Capt George Evelin appeared on Kent Island and put himself in the good graces of the inhabitants by seeming to favor their claims to Virginia allegiance.Early in 1637, however, he changed sides and by trickery and double-dealing managed to supplant Col. Clayborne as leader of the colony.He was given the title of Commander of Kent Island by Gov.
Calvert of Maryland and became a virtual dictator over the inhabitants. Streeter says 'John Struman, Sr. and Thomas Keyme, coopers,' were directed to devote their time to making pipe-staves, assisted by seven servants.On 30 Apr 1638, we find this record: 'Entered by Capt. George Evelin for the Manor of Evelinton in the Baronie of St. Maries:' Following this were the names of 23 men among them Thomas Keane, William Medcalf, Matthew Roadham and Thomas Orley, all of whom later moved to Northumberland County, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from St. Marys County, Maryland.This might mean that Capt Evelin was responsible for bringing these colonists to Kent Island from England or merely that he took them from Kent Island to St. Marys.Many of the names listed were mentioned by Streeter as having been on Kent Island.Thomas Keene may have been one of the original settlers of Kent Island who went there from Virginia with Col. Clayborne in 1631.If he did live for a while on St. Marys, he later returned to Kent Island, where on 9 Nov 1640, he patented 100 acres of land in Hog Pen Creek and Chesapeake Bay on the West.We know that his eldest son was born on Kent in 1642.He was a cooper and possibly merchant by trade, as well as a planter, and directed the making of "pipe staves" while on Kent Island.
The Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1633-47, give an assessment by Lieut. Grall and Council for levying 2000 pounds of tobacco to the account of the last expedition levies upon the county of Kent after the rates following.Among those levied upon was Thomas Keyne.
In 1644, Col. Clayborne moved to Virginia, taking 100 men, for each of which he received 50 acres of land on the south side of the York River. Thomas Keene was claimed as one of these headrights, though this claim was not recorded until 1653.The land grant states that William Clayborne came up the Pamunkey River in the narrows abutting on the mouth of a creek called Tankes, parting same land from the land of Captain John West's running west to a point of land whereon said Col. Clayborne landed his army under his command, in 1644.Thomas Keene may have served for a time with Col. Clayborne near West Point, Virginia.Thomas Keene had moved to Cherry Point, Northumberland County, Virginia by 9 Dec 1650, on which date he and Willam Presley appraised an estate. (North. R.B. 1650-52. p.48)On 13 Apr 1652, an oath of allegiance to England was taken by a number of Northumberland colonists as follows:
'Those names here subscribed do promise and engage ourselves to be bound and faithful to the Commonwealth of England as it is now without King or House of Lords.'
Thomas Keene married Mary Thorley about 1639.He may have been the son of Thomas Keene and Elizabeth Gosnold of Suffolk, England.That couple did have a son Thomas Keene, named as a grandson in the will of Robert Gosnold of Earleshall, County Suffolk, Esq., 1615.
His Will, dated 27 Nov 1652, and probated 20 Jan 1653, names son Thomas, daughter Susanna, son William, son Matthew, and wife Mary.It also contains a long list of people owing him or owed to by him.Overseers: Hen. Mosely, John Stanley, Thomas Orlye, Matthew Rhodon. Wit: Henry Rainer, John Knight.
Thomas Keene II was born in England in 1593 according to a deposition he made in 1648 wherein he stated he was 55 years old. (Maryland archives, Vo. 4, p. 452)
More About Thomas Keene:
Record Change: January 12, 2004
Children of Thomas Keene and Mary Thorley are:
- +William Keene, b. March 10, 1641/42, Kent Island, Maryland, d. February 08, 1683/84, Northumberland, Virginia.