Justice of the New York Supreme Court of Judicature, 1773-1776
Thomas Jones, son of David Jones, a judge of the New York Supreme Court of Judicature, was born on April 30, 1731, at his father’s house in Fort Neck, New York. Following graduation from Yale College in 1750, he studied law and was admitted to the bar. In 1757, he was appointed Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas of Queens County. From 1769 to 1773, he was Recorder of New York City and from 1771, he also held the office of Corporation Counsel of New York City.
On September 29, 1773, Jones was appointed to the Supreme Court of Judicature, an office he held until 1776. In April 1776, Justice Jones presided at a term of the Supreme Court of Judicature, the final session of the Provincial Supreme Court of Judicature. As Thomas Jones noted, the adoption of the Declaration of Independence that July put “an end to the administration of justice under the British Crown within the thirteen colonies.” By September 1776, the British forces were in possession of New York City, Long Island, Staten Island, and the county of Westchester, and military courts were established in the British-held area.
On October 23, 1779, the New York State Legislature passed an Act of Attainder and Thomas Jones was one of those named. His estate was confiscated and he was forced to sail with his wife to England, where he remained in exile until his death on July 25, 1792. During his time in England he wrote a book entitled History of New York During the Revolutionary War and of the Leading Events in the Other Colonies at That Period.
Chester, Alden. Courts and Lawyers of New York. 1925.
Jones, John H. The Jones Family of Long Island, Descendants of Major Thomas Jones (1665-1726) and Allied Families. 1906.