Governor Thomas Hinckley

 

Beneath this stone

Erected AD 1829

Are deposited the remains of

Thomas Hinckley

He died AD 1706 aged 85 years

 

History bears witness to his piety

usefulness and agency

in the public transactions of his time.

The importance offices he was called to fill

evidences the esteem in which he was held

by the people.

He was successively elected Assistant in

the government of Plymouth Colony

from 1658 to 1681 and

Governor

except during the interruption

by

Sir Edmond Andros

from 1681 to the

junction of Plymouth with Massachusetts

in 1692.

GOVERNOR THOMAS HINCKLEY  (1618—1706)

 

 

Thomas Hinckley was the governor of the Plymouth Colony and held several other governmental positions during his lifetime, including that  of a representative, a deputy, magistrate, and assistant, among others. A monument, created in 1829 at the Lothrop Hill cemetery in Barnstable, Massachusetts, attests to his "piety, usefulness and agency in the public transactions of his time."

 

Thomas Hinckley was the great-grandson of John Hynckleye of  arrietsham, Kent, England (born about 1512, died June 25, 1577) and his  first wife Johane (born about 1515, buried January 23, 1563-4). His grandfather, Robert Hinckley (born about 1537, died March 27, 1606) and grandmother, Katherine Lesse (born about 1543, died before 1605) were married February 10, 1574-5, at Hawkhurst, Kent, England where their son, Samuel Hinckley, was christened May 25, 1618-19.  On May 7, 1617, Samuel married Sarah Soole (Soule) (christened June 8, 1600). Their son, Thomas, was born March 19, 1618-19.

 

When Thomas was fourteen years old his family came to American in the ship Hercules, March 1634-5.  They settled in Sucrate, mass., where the Hinckleys built house #19.  In 1639 the family moved to Barnstable, Mass., and Thomas became active in the affairs of the Plymouth Colony.

 

Thomas Hinckley was married to Mary Richards on the 4th or 7th of December, 1641.  He was elected to deputy in 1645, a representative to the General Court in 1647, and an assistant and magistrate to the governor of   Plymouth Colony in 1658.  His wife died before 1659. Hinckley married Mary Glover (nee Smith) on March 15, 1659. Thomas held the office of Assistant to the Governor for twenty-two years until 1681.

 

Thomas Hinckley took an active and conspicuous part in the conduct of Colonial Affairs, and participated in the great Narragansett fight in 1665. In 1681, following the death of Josiah Winslow, he was chosen Governor of Plymouth Colony and filled the office until 1686.

 

The old charter of the Colony had been annulled in 1684 and during this end of the reign of James II, New England was constituted a Vice-Royalty with a Governor and Council. Thomas was Royally appointed Governor.

 

It was in 1686 that Sir Edmund Andros arrived with a commission to  unite New York and New England under his rule. Andros’ government was unpopular, however, and in April 1689 the citizens of Boston rebelled, deposed Andros, imprisoned him and reestablished their old Colonial form of government. Thomas Hinckley was again elected Governor of Plymouth in 1689 and served until 1692 by reelections until the Colony was incorporated with Massachusetts, under the 2nd charter of 1692.

 

Governor Thomas Hinckley was a man of much energy, of character, and distinguished reputation. He was a man of studious habits. He kept a diary of all his life and collected many papers of value in relation to the office of Governor of Plymouth. Three volumes of these were among the “Old South Collection” of Rev. Thomas Prince and in 1866 were deposited in the Boston Library. He may have had as many as 17 children; different sources disagree on the exact number. Thomas Hinckley died at Barnstable, Mass., April 25, 1705 at the age of 88. The inscription on his grave reads: