Thacher Research

Thacher Shipwreck Letter


Antony Thacher (2nd Branch)

Anthony Thatcher, emigrant, was a brother of Rev. Peter Thatcher and came from Salisbury England. The name of their father is not known, nor is the place of their birth, but it is supposed to be Somersetshire. There was also a sister Anne, who married Christopher Patt, and sister Dorothy who married Richard Seers (Soors?) and was in this country in 1682, settling at Sesuet, now East Dennis,  Mass. and from whom has descended a numerous family. In the will of another brother, Thomas, which is dated January 8, 1610, Anthony is speaking spoken of as being in “the separation” and residing in Holland. 

To have taken such a decided stand in religion as is indicated in this will, he must have been at least sixteen, so there is no doubt that he was born previous to 1595. He served occasionally (from 1631 to 1634) as curate for his brother, who was rector of Saint Edmond’s in Salisbury.

He embarked for America on April 6, 1635, at Southampton, in the “James” of London and arrived at Ipswich June 4. In the ships clearance, he is called a “Tayler”,  probably for deception as he was one of the leading Puritans escaping England.

Besides his own family, he was probably accompanied by his cousin, Reverend Joseph Avery, with his wife and six children and also by his nephew, Thomas Thatcher, and his servant Peter Higden: but of all these only the names of Antony and Peter Higden appear on the list of passengers.

After remaining a short time at Ipswich, his cousin Avery received an invitation to preach at Marblehead and they, with their respective families ( except his nephew, Thomas, who preferred land travel), embarked for that place August 11, 1635 and were wrecked off Cape Anne and all hands, but Antony and his wife, were drowned. A full account of this shipwreck is given in a letter from Anthony to his brother Peter, written a few days after the occurrence of this shipwreck.

He probably remained in Marblehead for a time, as his son John was born there in 1638-1639. A grant of land at Mattacheeset (now Yarmouth) was made to him and others January 7, 1638-1639 and he was one of a committee for the division of the land. He built a permanent residence in which he died, on the north side of Yarmouth, near the salt marsh, between the present residences of Mrs. JG Hallett and Mr. Dustin Eldridge. He represented  the town of Yarmouth in the General Court at Plymouth in 1643, ’44, ’45, ’46, ’47, ’51, ’52, ’54, ’59, ’63, and 65. He must have died sometime between June 30, 1667 and August 22, 1667.

His first wife Mary… died at Salisbury in 1634 and their children were William, Mary, Edith, Peter, all drowned in the shipwreck and also Benjamin who was left in Salisbury and was buried there September 4, 1639. For a second wife he married Elizabeth Jones six weeks previous to sailing for America. She survived him a few years and their children were John, Judiah, and Bethian who married Jabez Howland of Duxbury and settled at Bristol, Rhode Island after the conquest of Mt Hope, and had nine children from whom have come to numerous family.