Gov. Thomas Prence
Aged: 73.2 years
Thomas Prence was Governor of Plymouth colony in 1634, 1638, and 1657-1673. He was one of the original settlers on Nauset in 1644, and an Eastham freeman in 1655.
"Gov. Prence is particularly remembered for his interest in establishing a public school system of education which resulted in the early passage of a law requiring each township of fifty families to maintain a teacher of reading and writing, while each of one hundred families was called upon to establish a grammar school.
The years that he was Governor were marked by increased difficulties with the Quakers, partly caused by his own open hostility toward them." - Lowe's Ã‚Â«iÃ‚Â»Nauset on Cape CodÃ‚Â«/iÃ‚Â»
"Governor Thomas Prence, was born in Lechlade, Gloucester, England ca. 1600. He died on March 29, 1673 and his will was proved June 5, 1673. He married 1st, at Plymouth ( the 9th marriage in the colony), to Patience Brewster, on August 5, 1624. She was the daughter of William Brewster, and she died in 1634. He then married 2nd Mary Collier, the daughter of William Collier of Duxbury, on April 1, 1635. She died before December of 1662. He then married 3rd Apphia (Quicke) Freeman, before December 8, 1662, the widow of Samuel Freeman, Sr. He married 4th Mrs. Mary Howes, the widow of Thomas Howes of Yarmouth, and she died on December 9, 1695.
Thomas Prence was a businessman and arrived on the Ã‚Â«iÃ‚Â»FortuneÃ‚Â«/iÃ‚Â» in 1621 and was Governor of Plymouth Colony for 20 years. He followed his father-in-law, William Brewster, to Duxbury in 1632, and moved to Eastham in 1644 with 6 other families, returning later to Plymouth, where he died. His daughter, Hannah Prence, married Nathaniel Mayo, son of Rev. John Mayo." - Jean Mayo
Sometime after October 1646, but before 8 December 1662, Apphia married Governor Thomas Prence, as his third wife, and removed to Eastham to live, accompanied by her son Samuel Freeman Jr., who married Mercy Southworth in 1658. In a deed dated 20 January 1671-72 Governor Prence mentions Samuel Jr., as "my beloved sonne-in-law, Samuel Freeman of Eastham". Mercy Southworth was the niece of Mary Collier, his second wife, and Samuel Freeman was the son of Apphia (Quicke) Freeman, his third wife. Governor Prence may have used the words "my beloved sonne-in-law" as an expression of affection for both Samuel and Mercy, and to simplify his rather confusing relationship to both.