Jonathan Townsend, 1745–1772




Newport, Rhode Island

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Jonathan Townsend was born in Newport in 1745, son of Christopher Townsend (1701-1789) and Patience Easton (1703-1789). His father was a prominent Newport cabinetmaker and house joiner, his mother a descendent of Nicholas Easton, a seventeenth century governor of Rhode Island and original owner of the section of Newport that would become Easton's Point. His paternal grandparents were Solomon Townsend, who came to Newport from Jericho, Long Island around 1707 and Catherine Almy of Newport.

Jonathan was born into an extensive extended family of cabinetmakers, with uncle Job Townsend, cousins Edmund, Job, Jr., and Thomas, and brother John Townsend. He was related by marriage to both John Goddard and James Goddard.(1)

In November, 1772, it was reported that Jonathan died, "at Long-Island, of the Small-Pox."(2)

In his 1773 will, Christopher Townsend bequeathed to his son and namesake Christopher "one large Mahogany Desk, which his brother Jonathan made."(3)

Benjamin W. Colman

1. Ethel Hall Bjerkoe, The Cabinetmakers of America (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1957), 213-218.

2. The Providence Gazette; And Country Journal, "Died," November 7, 1772,

3. Morrison Hecksher, John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005), 199-200.