The Thornton House (now “Relic On State”), located at 101 South State Street, was purchased by Margaret Thornton in 1754 and sold to
Francis Murray in 1772, where his family operated a general store. In 1776, this was the home Of Francis Murray, merchant (1731-1816).
He owned the log stable on the corner of Mercer and Court streets and was captured in the raid two doors down. Murray was an Irishman by
birth and owned several farms and properties in Newtown. In response to the call from the Continental Congress on August 21, 1775, 52
residents of Newtown responded and formed into a company under Captain Francis Murray.
He became a major in a PA regiment in the Continental Army and his commission was signed by John Hancock on February 6, 1777. After the
war, he was the justice of the peace and a general in the militia. Francis Murray is sometimes said to be the most captured officer in the
Revolutionary War. He was first captured by the British in NY; released on December 8, 1775; returned to Newtown in time to escort
Hessian prisoners to Philadelphia and then to Lancaster. He was captured on February 9, 1778, in the British raid upon Continental
supplies at the Red Lyon Inn.
He secreted himself in an empty sugar hogshead (large barrel or cask) in the cellar of this store and was a prisoner until 1780.