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Thomas Besson
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Thomas Besson was born in England about 1616 in Plymouth, Devon, England. In a deposition on 10 Mar. 1674 in Anne Arundel County, Maryland he gave his age as 58. He is probably the Thomas Beson, age 24, who was on the Ship Assurance in 1635 from London. It is interesting to note that on that same ship was John Gaither who was also an early settler in Anne Arundel County. Thomas received a commission for his service in the Indian Wars in Virginia. He was a member of "Ye Trained Band", a militia group from Jamestown, Virginia.

Thomas Besson and his family lived at Jamestown, Virginia prior to moving to Anne Arundel County Maryland in 1649, where he demanded 600 acres "for transporting himself and family" in 1649 into the province and since that time 3 servants Thomas Jones, Robert Sawly, Alecia Crowder. He received a patent on the 450 acre tract Bessenden that was stated as transportation of "himself, Ann his wife Thomas and Ann his Children and Edwd Cox his Servant." He was also the Burgess (an elected or unelected official from a municipality) from Anne Arundel County to the House of Assembly held at St. Mary’s.

Thomas Besson was secondly married in about 1658 to Hester, widow of Henry Caplin. He died in 1679 in South River, Anne Arundel, Maryland.


In the Name of God Amen the 15th day of Octobr 1677 In the 46th yeare of the dominion of Caecilius x--. I Thomas Besson the Elder of South River in Ann Arrundell County being sick & weake in body but of sound & perfect memory praise be given to god the same and knowing the uncertainty of this life on Earth & being desirous to settle things in order doe make this my last will & testamt in manner & forme following. That is to say first & principally I commend [my] soule to Almighty god my Creator hopeing for full pardon & Remission of all my Sinns & [be] saved by the pretious blood death & merritts of Jesus Christ my Savior & Redeemer & my body to the earth from whence it was taken to be buried in such decent & Christian manner as my Exx hereafter named shall be thought [in margin] & convenient And as touching such worldly Estates as the Lord in mercy hath sent me my will & meaning is the same shall be Imployed and bestowed as hereafter by this my will is Expressed & first I doe Renounce fully? & make voyd all wills by me formerly made a[nd] declare & Appointe this my last will & testam[ent]. I give & bequeath unto my Sonne John Besson to him & his heires for ever that parcell of Lande Adjoyning to my Sonne Nicholas Gassaway but if my said Sonne dye before he Comes to age then the said Land to goe to the next heire. Item I give & bequeath unto my Sonne William Besson to him & his heires for ever that parcell of Land betwixt my Sonne John Besson lands & the Little Necke, but if my said Sonne dye before he Comes to Age then the said Land to goe to the next heire. Item I give & bequeath unto my Sonne Thomas Besson the younger sonne to him & his heires for ever all the Land between David Steward Line & the branch of the little Necke, but if in Case he the said Sonne Thomas Besson dyes before he Comes of age then the said Land to goe to the next heire. Item I give & bequeath unto my daughter Martha to her & her heires for ever the young mare Nobsye Coult with all her Increase but if in Case the heifer Eareling which was came? in the yeare 1676 with all her Increase but if in Case she my said daughter dyes before she Comes to Age to fall to the next heire. Item my will is that my Loving wife Hester Besson shall have the use of the Plantacon I now Live on either to build & Cleare what she shall have Occasion for during her life. Item all my Rest of my Estate my Just debts being first satisfyed I give and Bequeath unto my Loving wife Hester Besson & my Children above menconed to be Equally devided between them. Item my will is that Every & Each of my children aforesaid shall have an Equall benefitt share & priviledge in the Orchard which is on the Plant. I now live on & the fruite which shall yearly Produce for five yeares after they Come to full age Provided they see that theire be a sufficient Fence Keepe aboute the said Orchard during the said time. Item I Constitute & Appointe by Loving wife Hester Besson to be the sole & whole Exx of this my last will & testament my Loving sonne Thomas Besson the Elder Overseer of my sole estate In Witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand & seale the day & yeare first above writtn. Signed sealed In the Presence of Tho Besson Sealed Edward Burges his Robert X Ward marke John Greene April 29 1679 This day Came before me Edward Burgess Robert Ward John Greene the Witnesses of the a foregoing Will & Oath did make that they did see the aforesaid Will by the testator signed sealed & delivered & declared to be his last Will & testament William Burges

Thomas Besson’s will was proved 29 Apr 1679 in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.