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1673 Newport Murder Trial
One of my great grandfathers in my family tree
Was accused of murder in 1673.
His name was Thomas Cornell
And they said he killed his mother Rebecca and sent her to hell.
She was found dead near the fireplace on her bedroom floor
While Thomas and his family were dinning in the main room behind a closed door.
Her clothes were burned and had a small stab wound in her side.
Thomas was last to see her alive.
Some said Thomas had borrowed a hundred pounds from her
Hire a servant and would pay her back, but it never occurred.
She had been hear to say: “Thomas looked fiery upon her her” and it was true.
And he also said : “Her name did stink about ye island” too.
Neighbors and many others
Said Thomas did not like his mother.
But, the damning evidence is what the court learned.
From his uncle's dream his sister had said: “Look how I've been burned.”
Thomas was brought to trial and gave this defense
Because her death by him made no sense.
His mother lead a very miserable life
And always carried a pen knife.
“I am going to do away with myself” she often said
And she caught fire from the pipe she had been smoking in bed
It was known his mother he could not tolerate
But it was his uncle's dream that sealed his fate.
Found Guilty and sentenced to hang on Miantonomi Hill where he lost his life.
But others thought "not guilty" including his pregnant wife.
She gave birth to a daughter -Innocent was her name
Eventually married her first cousin, knowing her father should never been blamed.
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