Person Page 36385
|Birth||October 1627||Thomas was born in October 1627 at Saffron Walden, Essex, England.1
|His first wife of Elizabeth Fiscock.
|Marriage #2||circa 1670||Thomas Cornell Jr married Sarah Earle circa 1670.
|8 Feb 1673||Regarding the strange case of Thomas Cornell's conviction for matricide, The Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island has the following, which is from The Friends' records of 8-Feb-1673:
"Rebecca Cornell, widow, was killed strangely, at Portsmouth, in her own dwelling house, was twice viewed by the Coroner's Inquest, digged up and buried again by her husband's grave in their own land.' Her son Thomas was charged with her murder, but although the jury's verdict in regard to this affair was, that 'he did murder his mother Rebecca, or was aiding or abetting thereto;' yet the evidence in the case would seem to have been in no way conclusive. There was much evidence taken. The son said in his own defence that having discoursed with his mother about an hour and a half he went into the next room and staid three-quarters of an hour. His wife then sent his son Edward to his grandmother to know whether she would have some milk boiled for her supper. The child saw some fire on the floor and came back and fetched the candle. Then Henry Straight, myself and the rest followed in a huddle. Henry Straight saw what he supposed was an Indian, drunk and burnt on the floor, but when Thomas Cornell perceived by the light of the candle who it was, he cried, 'Oh Lord it is my mother.' Her clothes and body were much burned, and the jury found a wound on uppermost part of stomach.
"John Briggs [Rebecca's brother] testified as to an apparation of a woman that appeared at his bedside in a dream, and he cried out 'in the name of God what art thou,' and the apparition answered, 'I am your sister Cornell' and thrice said 'see how I was burnt with fire.'
"John Russell, of Dartmouth, testified that George Soule told him (since the decease of Rebecca Cornell), that once coming to the house of Rebecca, in Portsmouth, she told him that the spring she intended to go and dwell with her son Samuel, but she feared she would be made away with before that. Thomas, Stephen, Edward and John Cornell (sons of Thomas), gave testimony as to their grandmother's death, saying their father was last with her.
"Mary Cornell, wife to John, aged twenty-eight years, testified that three or four years past being at her mother-in-law, Rebecca Cornell's, and meeting her on returning from the orchard to the house, she said to deponent that she had been running after pigs and being weak and no help and she being disregarded, she thought to have stabbed a penknife into her heart, that she had in her hand, and then she should be rid of her trouble, but it came to her mind 'resist the Devil and he will flee from you' and then she said she was well satisfied."2
|Death||23 March 1673||Thomas died on 23 March 1673 at he was hanged for killing his mother!! Not likely guilty. At Portsmouth, Rhode island at age 45. Cornell was convicted of matricide on the testimony of a man who said that the late Mrs. Cornell had come to him in a dream and accused her son of having killed her. Thomas Cornell almost certainly was not guilty.1|
|Family||Sarah Earle||b. circa 1645, d. circa 1690|
|Child||1.||Innocent Cornell+ b. 1673, d. a 15 Oct 1720|
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