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"No good can come of this chaos! Return to your homes and all will be forgiven!"
―Thomas Preston, to the crowd shortly before the Boston Massacre.[src]

Thomas Preston (1722 – 1798) was an officer in the British Army.


Originally of Ireland, Preston would later join the British Army, in which he became an officer. He became stationed with the 29th Regiment of Foot in Boston, Massachusetts.

On 5 March 1770, the Assassin Achilles Davenport and his apprentice Ratonhnhaké:ton entered the town square to find an angry crowd of Colonists beseeching a small troop of British soldiers. Preston stood atop the stairway feeling threatened and humiliated, and ordering the crowd to disperse. However, they refused and continued to chastise the soldiers.

Shortly thereafter, Charles Lee, a member of the Colonial Templars, fired a shot into the air. The shot startled the British troops, believing they were under attack, and they opened fire on the crowd.

After his involvement in the Boston Massacre, he was tried for manslaughter, though he was later acquitted. After his acquittal, Preston retired from the army and reportedly settled back in Ireland, though John Adams, his attorney and later the second President of the United States, claimed to have seen him in London in the 1780s.


  • Preston is not mentioned by name during his appearance, nor does he appear in the credits. However, he is mentioned in a newspaper article.