First Settlers of the Northern Neck of Virginia

In the late 1640s many leaders of Maryland's Civil War fled south across the Potomac River to settle on the Northern Neck of the Colony of Virginia. As Ingle's Rebellion demonstrated, these men had an overwhelming desire for individual freedom, ownership of the land they worked and self-government. Their experiences in Maryland would influence the future of Northumberland and Westmoreland Counties of Virginia and indeed of our nation since three of America's first five presidents were great-grandsons of immigrants to this spirited environment. It is of special interest to me personally since one of my ancestors, William Rush, settled in this area about 1650 and married Francis Gray's daughter, Anne, in November 1658. If you came to this webpage directly, you might first want to peruse the chapter on Ingle's Rebellion and Maryland's Civil War by clicking here (link) .

 

A Short History of the Northern Neck

Although during the summer of 1608 Capt. John Smith briefly explored the Potomac River and Northern Neck by boat, the southern shore of the Potomac River was claimed neither by Virginia nor Maryland until the late 1640s. After the 1622 Good Friday massacre at Jamestown and the war with the Indians, Virginia Colonial Secretary George Sandy  renewed a peace treaty with the Potomac tribe. Sandy's successor, William Claiborne, having been driven from Kent Island in the northern Chesapeake Bay by Maryland's Governor Leonard Calvert in 1637, arranged for himself to receive a special grant of land on the Northern Neck in 1640. About the same time, John Mottrom, a merchant from York County, Virginia, settled on the Chicacoan River and established a trading post. Another Indian attack occured on Holy Thursday, 18 April 1644, which killed 500 settlers. A war ensued which lasted for two years. As a part of a peace treaty signed in October 1646, the Virginians promised not to settle on the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck. [342]. Consequently, the earliest white settlers at Chicacoan (abbreviated “Coan”) were there on their own. [236] View the location of Mottram's land patent here (link).

The disgruntled Maryland Protestants from Kent Island and St. Mary’s County had plotted their rebellion against Governor Calvert at John Mottrom's house and, after Calvert subdued the rebellion in late 1646, it was to his house that they initially fled. There was no government, no taxes, no Justices or Sheriff - no official authority of any kind - until the Colony of Virginia abrogated the 1646 treaty with the Chickacone Indians and annexed the entire Northern Neck establishing the County of Northumberland in January, 1648. Many of the prominent participants in Ingle's Rebellion against Calvert who had governed themselves for a year and a half settled in the portion of Northumberland which became Westmoreland County in July 1653. [233]

It is important to note that with Virginia's headright system, a freeman arriving from Maryland was entitled to 50 acres of free land for himself and an additional 50 acres for his wife, for each child and for each servant which he transported into the colony. This is a map (click for image) of early Westmoreland County patents which shows Francis Gray’s 16 July 1654 patent 0f 675 acres and his 18 March 1662 patent of 572 acres, the Upper Church at the Round Hills where he, Andrew Monroe and John Washington were founding Vestrymen and the mills of John Washington (built 1662) and Andrew Monroe on Rozier's Creek (Attopin Creek).

I should explain that the first 38 pages of Northumberland County Deeds and Orders Book 1 (1648 - 1652) are missing. [278] The Order Book begins with page 39, dated 24 May 1650. However, an Index for the first 78 pages of this Order Book exists and individuals and cases referenced in the Index on existing pages 39 though 78 correspond exactly. Therefore it is presumed that the Index begins with the first court meeting on 20 January 1648 and runs through the first half of 1650. The individuals listed in this earliest Index approximates an early census of Northumberland County. The prominent Maryland rebels discribed below are all referenced in this early Index. [234]

Now would be an opportune time to acquaint yourself with a map of colonial Maryland by clicking here (image) and with a detailed map of St. Mary's Hundred by clicking here (image).

Thomas Baldridge was a freeman in Maryland who was appointed High Constable of St. George’s Hundred in 1637. [238] On 25 January 1637/38, he attended the first Maryland Assembly of freemen as “Sergeant and Planter of St. Mary’s” and his brother, James Baldridge, attended as “Sheriff of St Maries County”. [154] In spite of - or perhaps because of - being fined 40 pounds of tobacco on 15 March 1637/38 by the Assembly for "striking Isaac Edwards" [258], five days later on 20 March 1637/38 Thomas Baldridge was appointed High Sheriff and Coroner of St. Mary’s. [264] In October 1640 he served as a Burgess in the elected Assembly of Maryland from St. Michael’s Hundred [259] and was a Lieutenant in the militia by 28 August 1642 when he was responsible for the southern portion of St. Michael's Hundred. [265] Early in the rebellion Baldridge referred to himself as “Captain” and led a party to the home of Nicholas Harvey, the prominent Catholic baron of St. Joseph's Manor, on the Patuxent River which was plundered and burned. [176, 266] Later during the rebellion Baldridge and his wife, Dorothy, occupied the Jesuit manor house at St. Inigoes. [240, 241]

By 1648, Baldridge was living in Northumberland County, Virginia, and appeared against Lee Nott in the Index to Northumberland County Deeds and Orders Book 1 [278]. Captain Thomas Baldridge was already a Justice in the earliest extant court record dated 24 May 1650 along with Mr. John Hallows and Mr. John Mottrom. [273] Thomas and his brother, James, received a grant for 840 acres on the south side of the Potomac River on 3 April 1651 for the “transport” of 17 person including themselves and Lurida, Mary and William Baldridge. [249] Later that year, Thomas Baldridge represented Northumberland County in the Virginia House of Burgesses [283]. As a Justice on 20 July 1652, Baldridge was referred to as Major Thomas Baldridge. [284] Thomas died intestate by May 1654. The administration of his Will was granted to his brother, James, who filed an inventory on 9 April 1655. [288] View a map with the land patents of Thomas and James Baldridge here (link).

Francis Gray (Graye) was an early immigrant to Maryland. On 25 January 1637/38, he attended the first Assembly of Freemen and was listed as a "carpenter" from St. Mary’s Hundred. [154] On 19 February 1638/39 he was elected a Burgess to the 3rd Assembly by the freemen of St. Mary's hundred. [203 ] Subsequently, Gray was elected a Burgess from St George's Hundred on 17 September 1640. [204] Francis Gray was a Puritan who along with Robert Sedgrave was greatly offended by William Lewis's remarks concerning Mr. Smith's Sermons. Court testamony demonstrated that it was Gray who urged Sedgrave to write a petition to Sir John Harvey, the Governor of Virginia, complaining about the: ".....abuses and scandalous reproaches....doe daily suffer by William Lewis of St. Ingego's who saith that our Ministers are the Ministers of the divell; and our books are made by the instruments of the divell...." [155, 156]

On 18 January 1646/1647, after Governor Calvert reclaimed the Province of Maryland, Provincial Attorney John Lewgar presented charges against Thomas and John Sturman, Francis Gray, John Hampton, Robert Smith and Thomas Yewell who had been pardoned twice for "crimes of rebellion". This time they were accused of gathering at John Mottrom's in Chicacoan to plot against Calvert and of preparing to raid Maryland. In the summary of charges, John Lewgar reported that some of the defendants were already in jail. On 19 January a bond was granted to the Sturmans, John Hampton, Francis Gray and Robert Sedgrave (who had not been charged). Each pledged a bond of two thousand pounds of tobacco that they would not leave the county without informing the Governor and would not have secret communications with John Mottrom, Thomas Yewell, Thomas Lewis or Robert Smith. [184, 185, 230] If you haven't done so, you may read a detailed history of Gray's life and his prominent role in Ingle's Rebellion by clicking here (link).

Gray sold his cattle in Maryland in April 1647 and removed to Machodoc River in Northumberland County, Virginia. [198] He appears against Cuthbert Fenwick in the Index to the earliest Northumberland County Deeds and Orders Book 1 [278]. On 20 March 1649 Gray, John Hiller and John Cole were appointed to appraise Robert Sedgrave’s Inventory of goods and chattels which was recorded 10 January 1650. [274]

In the court minutes for 24 May 1650 Gray was granted a certificate for “....300 acres by assignment from Capt. Francis Poythers for the transportation of several { 6 } persons into this Colony....”. [275] In 1650/51 Gray sold his rights to 500 acres of land in Maryland to Luke Gardiner. [441] On 16 July 1654 Gray patented 1000 acres on the South side of the Potomac River at the head of Rosier’s Creek for the “transport” of 20 persons and on 16 November 1664 patented another 374 acres adjacent to the first for the “transport” of 8 persons. The original 1000 acres was “renewed” on 18 March 1662. [250] This is a map (image) of early Westmoreland County which shows Gray’s land patents, the Upper Church at the Round Hills and the mills of John Washington (built 1662) and Andrew Monroe on Rozier's Creek (Attopin Creek).

On the 3rd of July 1661, Francis Gray took the oath to become a founding Vestrymen of Appomattocks Parish, Westmoreland County, along with the ancestors of two future U.S. Presidents: Andrew Monroe and John Washington. [192] Gray died in June 1667; his will was proved on 31 July 1667. You may read a Chronology of Francis Gray's life in 77 Court Records by clicking here (link).

John Hampton (Hamton) was not recorded as attending the first Maryland Assembly of Freemen on 25 January 1637/38. On 18 January 1643/1644 Hampton along with 30 or so other Marylanders came aboard the Reformation to trade not knowing that Richard Ingle had been arrested. Soon, Acting Governor Giles Brent and Capt. Thomas Cornwalyes arrived and ordered the ship seized. After the ship's crew were arrested, Gov. Brent appointed John Hampton commander of the guard. Later Capt. Cornwalyes returned Richard Ingle to his ship and ordered Hampton to return the crew's weapons confident that the charges against Ingle wouldn't hold up. During the night, the Reformation's crew suddenly overpowered the guards and sent them to shore including Hampton. [242] Gov. Brent entered charges against Cornwalyes, Hampton and others for "aiding Ingle's escape" but they were eventually dropped. [243] Hampton's role if any during the Rebellion is not specifically known.

On 18 January 1646/1647, after Governor Calvert reclaimed St. Mary's, Provincial Attorney John Lewgar presented charges against Thomas and John Sturman, Francis Gray, John Hampton, Robert Smith and Thomas Yewell who had been pardoned twice for "crimes of rebellion". This time they were accused of gathering at John Mottram's in Chicacoan to plot against Calvert and of preparing to raid Maryland. In the summary of charges, John Lewgar reported that some of the defendants were already in jail. On 19 January a bond was granted to the Sturmans, John Hampton, Francis Gray and Robert Sedgrave (who had not been charged). Each pledged a bond of two thousand pounds of tobacco that they would not leave the St. Mary's County without informing the Governor and would not have secret communications with John Mottran, Thomas Yewell, Thomas Lewis or Robert Smith. [184, 185, 230] For details of these events please click here.

By 1648/49 Hampton was living in Northumberland County, Virginia, and appeared twice in the Index to the earliest Northumberland County Deeds and Orders Book 1 [278] against William Reynolds and James Clayton. Also in this Index, John Hallowes appears against the “Estate of John Hampton, deceased". After Hampton's death in early 1649, Francis Gray, Thomas Peake and Peter Philpott were appointed on 7 May 1649 to make an appraisal of Hampton’s  Inventory of goods & chattels. Total account value: 5850 pounds of tobacco. Recorded on 10 January 1649/1650. [276] Early settlers often didn't record their land to receive a grant for years after settling which was probably the case for Hampton since there is no land grant for him in Nell Marion Nugent's Cavaliers and Pioneers.

William Hardige (Hardich, Hardidge) in 1636 was transported to the Province of Maryland by a Capt. John Price - later Colonel Price. [292] He was not recorded as attending the first Assembly of Freemen on 25 January 1637/38. Hardige became a tailor in St. Michael's Hundred. Ironically, it was he who accused Richard Ingle of high treason against the King in January 1643/1644 and was ordered by Acting Governor Brent to arrest Ingle with the assistance of Cornwalyes. [239, 244] But at a hearing Capt. Thomas Cornwaleys objected that Hardidge's allegations against Ingle proceeded from a personal grudge over a disputed bill. Hardidge was persuaded that it would be in his best interests to leave the colony which he did, fleeing to Chicacoan on the Northern Neck. [245]

A year later, William Hardige along with Thomas and John Sturman were said in court testimony to be recruited at Chicacoan by Richard Ingle to aid in Ingle's attack on St. Mary's in January 1644/1645. [246] Later Hardidge figured prominently in the destruction of Cornwaleys' property including the Cross House - the centerpiece of the captain's manor of Cornwaleys Cross. It was surrounded by a palisade, protected by three cannons and viewed by Ingle as a potential stronghold.[170, 235, 247 ]

By 1648/49, Hardidge was living in Northumberland County, Virginia, and appeared in four cases in the Index to the County Deeds and Orders Book 1 [278] against: Father Thomas Copley, Henry Lee, John Powell and Hugh Lee. On 15 September 1651 he received a patent in Northumberland County for 450 acres on the south side of the Potomac River at Oyster Point. [251] By January 1652 Hardick was acting “atturney” for several persons including Edward Thompson, Richard Hawkins and Ralph Elston. [282] On 19 October 1653, he re-patented the previously granted 450 acres and added 550 new acres adjacent to them for a total of 1000 acres. [251] William Hardich was first appointed a Justice of Westmoreland County in 1658 along with Lt. Colonel Nathaniel Pope and Mr. James Baldridge and again in 1664 along with Mr. John Washington and Mr. George Mason. [248] View a map of the land patents of William Hardidge here (link) and here (link).

William Hardidge died in Bristol, England, in the Fall of 1668. His will was dated 22 November 1668 and it was proved 8 January 1668/1669. [256]

Andrew Monroe (Munroe, Monrow) was a Maryland immigrant from Scotland who first settled on Kent Island, Province of Maryland (1637). He was not recorded as attending the first Assembly of Freemen on 25 January 1637/38. Monroe was a seaman by trade. By 1645, he was employed as the "master of a pynnace" at Capt. Thomas Cornwaleys' Cross Manor where Cuthbert Fenwick, an attorney, was the overseer. At the outbreak of the rebellion Monroe, Thomas Harrison and Edward Matthews were sent by Fenwick to secure Cornwaleys' new pinnace (small ship). They were captured by Ingle's men, taken to the Reformation and given the choice of joining the rebellion or being prisoners. Apparently seeing a chance to gain their freedom, Monroe and Harrison surrendered the ship to Ingle’s forces and joined the rebellion. [170] This is the testimony of William Boreman about the incident at the Provincial Court on 28 May 1650:

The deposicon of William Boreman aged about 20th yeares Sworne and examined at St Maries in the Province of Maryland the 28th day of May 1650. Saith That about the yeare 1645, hee....being aboard a certaine Pynnace (then riding in St Inegoes Creeke) wherein were certaine Clothes, bedding and some Other goods (of great value as this depont beleiveth) belonging to Mr. Cuthbert ffenwick, who then imployed Andrewe Monroe as Master of the said Pynnace. And the said Andrewe, having beene then sent to by the said Mr. ffenwick to bring the said Pynnace into the Creeke by the Crosse House Where Mr ffenwick then dwelt, refused soe to doe but stayed where bee then ride with the said Pinnace as aforesaid till Mr Richard Ingle came into the said Creeke with his Shipp who seised uppon or plundred the said Pynnace and all the goods therein. The said Monroe making noe resistance but rather (as it seemed to this depont) willingly consented thereunto. Who thereupon was imployed by the said Ingle in the late Warrs by him raised against the Govermt of this Province.

And did uppon that designe beare command in another Pynnace then belonging to Capt Tho: Cornewallis, all or most of the time the said Ingle then stayed in the Province. And more particularly at the taking & plundring of Mr {Father} Copley's House at Portobac {Port Tobacco} Where this depont was (amongst others) taken and brought downe Prisoner to St Maries in the said last menconed Pynnace wherein the said Monroe then had command as aforesaid. [270]

Typical of this rebellion, only Protestant servants indentured to Catholics like Monroe and Harrison were permitted to join the rebellion and were freed. Whereas the servants of Protestant land owners were not. [182]

By 1648 Monroe was living in Northumberland County, Virginia, and appeared three times in the Index to the earliest County Deeds and Orders Book 1 [278] against: Cornwalleys, Cuthbert Femick {Fenwick} and Robert Salter. According to Maryland Provincial Court records, on 6 April 1648 Andrew Monroe of Appomattox (Virginia) sold a heifer to Elias Beach in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. [267] He next appeared in a court on 24 May 1650 when Northumberland Justices ordered an attachment to him for 400 pounds tobacco against John Steerman (Sturman). [275 ] Andrew Monroe first patented 200 acres in Northumberland County on 8 June 1650 for the transport of 4 persons including himself. He added 440 acres adjacent to this land on 29 November 1652 for the transport of 9 persons and renewed this patent on 18 March 1662. [252] After Westmoreland County was partitioned from Northumberland in 1653, Monroe was appointed a Court Justice there in 1660. [248] Four generations of Monroes would live on this land which later became known as “Monrovia”. On the 3rd of July 1661, Andrew Monroe took the oath to become one of the first Vestrymen of Appomattocks Parish, Westmoreland County, along with John Washington and Francis Gray. [192] Andrew Monroe died in 1668. This Andrew Monroe was the great, great grandfather of President James Monroe. [257] View a map with the land patents of Andrew Monroe here (link).

Nathaniel Pope came to the Province of Maryland as a freeman. He was recorded as attending the first Assembly of Freemen on 25 January 1637/38 and was listed as a "plantar" from St. Mary's Hundred. [154] Little is found in Maryland records on Pope until 1642 when he agreed to purchase Governor Leonard Calvert’s house, land and servants in St. Mary’s Hundred. Within 18 months he had re-paid the 15,ooo pounds of tobacco owed to Calvert. At the time this house was the largest in the Province of Maryland and was used as the seat of government with the Assembly and Courts meeting there. His house also had an ordinary where delegates and justices could spend the night and take meals. It was from these earnings that he was able to rapidly repay Gov. Calvert. Pope also began to act as “attorney” for persons at Court and in August, 1642 was elected a Burgess to the Maryland Assembly from St. Mary’s. In 1643 he purchased the rights to an additional 2000 acres of land. [182]

According to Riordan, Nathaniel Pope played the leadership role during and after Ingle’s Rebellion. Riordan further argues that Pope was a responsible party because of these facts: 1) the center of the rebellion was the fort constructed around Pope’s house referred to in testimony as “Mr. Pope’s Fort”; 2) Pope was assigned responsibility for collecting 4000 pounds of tobacco levied by the Rebel's Assembly of 1646; 3) after Gov. Calvert subdued the rebellion, Pope was sued by Robert Kedger and Nicholas Gwyther for payment for work performed during 1645 – 1646; 4) Blanch Oliver sued Pope for the value of her cow stolen from her and taken to the Fort and 5) several of the Reformation crew testified in English court that plundered goods were “unloaded at the fort” for Protestant use. [182]

Pope emigrated to the Northern Neck of Virginia and appeared against William Enson in the Index to the earliest Northumberland County Deeds and Orders Book 1 [278]. On 10 January 1650/1651 Nathaniel Pope first appeared as a Northumberland Justice along with Capt. Thomas Baldridge, Mr. John Hallows and Mr. John Mottrom. [277] Pope first patented 1000 acres on Chapawansick Creek in Westmoreland County on 6 September 1654 for transport of 20 persons and opened a trading post at Mattox Ferry. On 24 April 1656 he patented 1550 acres adjacent to the first, another 1500 acres on 31 August 1657 and 2454 acres on 23 March 1664. [253] On 4 April 1655 Governor Richard Bennett and the Council of Virginia commissioned Nathaniel Pope a Lt. Collonell in the Westmoreland County militia and also appointed Pope a Justice of Westmoreland County along with Mr. Thomas Speke, Mr. John Hallowes, Mr. John Hiller, Mr. Walter Broadhurst, Mr. John Dodman, Mr. James Baldridge, etc. [248] [ ] View a map of some of Nathaniel Pope's land patents here (link).

Pope befriended the 25 year old immigrant, John Washington, who arrive in Virginia as a second mate to Edward Prescott on the ketch, Sea Horse, in late 1656. Washington married Pope’s daughter, Ann, in 1658. As a wedding gift on 11 May 1659 Nathaniel Pope transferred land "to Mr. John Dodman and Wm. Hardich in trust for my daughter, Ann Pope alias Washington. For divers good causes, all my right and title in this patent." [289] After Pope’s death in the Winter of 1660, the 700 acre of land on "South side of the Potomac River" was assigned to Ann on 13 January 1661. [280]. Pope's Will of 16 May 1659 specifically mentions giving "Unto my sonn in law {John Washington a} mare"; Pope also forgave Washington's debt of 80 £ Sterling. [290] An appraisal of Pope's Inventory with a valuation of 395 English £ was accepted in Court on 14 May 1660. Pope had 15 named servants. John Washington was appointed guardian of Nathaniel Pope’s two sons: Thomas and Nathaniel. [291] View another map of Pope and Washington land patents here (link).

John and Ann Washington built a residence and ordinary which became known as the “Court House” because the county court was often held there much as Nathaniel Pope had done before the rebellion years at St. Mary’s Hundred. On 3 July 1661, Washington was made a Vestryman of Appomattock Parish along with Francis Gray and Andrew Monroe. [192] On 4 September 1661 Major Washington was granted '1200 acres....on the South side of the Potomack River upon branches of Appamattox....adjacent to Mr. Nataniell Pope". [254] He built Washington Mill on the head of Rozier's Creek in 1662 and later that year was appointed a Justice of Westmoreland County for the first time. [248] In March 1664 Major Washington was granted "320 acres....at Ostery Shell Poynt....upon the Potomack River". On 1 June 1664 Washington was granted 300 acres on Hallowes Creek and another 1700 acres Appomattox Creek adjacent to Nathaniel Pope. [254] About 1672 Washington was appointed Lt. Colonel in the county militia. The immigrant John Washington was of course the great, great grandfather of President George Washington. He died in 1677.

Robert Sedgrave was not recorded as attending the first Maryland Assembly of Freemen on 25 January 1637/38. By July 1638 he was a servant of William Lewis, the overseer, on St. Inigoes Manor, a Jesuit Manor. He was a Puritan who along with Francis Gray was greatly offended by William Lewis' remarks concerning Mr. Smith's Sermons. Unusual for his time, Sedgrave was well educated and wrote a petition to Sir John Harvey, the Governor of Virginia, complaining about the: ".....abuses and scandalous reproaches....doe daily suffer by William Lewis of St. Ingego's who saith that our Ministers are the Ministers of the divell; and our books are made by the instruments of the divell...." [155, 156]

After Governor Calvert returned to power in St. Mary’s, Sedgrave was captured and jailed along with Thomas Sturman, Francis Gray and John Hampton in January 1646/1647. On 19 January 1646/1647 a bond was granted to the Sturmans, John Hampton, Francis Gray and Robert Sedgrave (who had not been charged). Each pledged a bond of two thousand pounds of tobacco that they would not leave the county without informing the Governor, nor would they have secret communications with John Mottrom, Thomas Yewell, Thomas Lewis or Robert Smith. [184, 185, 230] For details of these events please click here.

Sedgrave appears in the Index to the earliest Northumberland County Deed and Order Book as certified to purchase land at Nominy {Creek}. [278] After his death in early 1649, an appraisal of his goods & chattels by John Hiller, Francis Gray and Robert Cole appeared as an Inventory dated 20 March 1649. Recorded 10 January 1649/1650 [274] John Hollowes Administrator of Robert Sedgrave´s estate gave a total account value: 3844 pounds of tobacco, 20 September 1651. [281]

A year later, a 10 March 1652/1653 court order strongly implies that Sedgrave was “Sheriffe and Clerk of this County Court”. The order reads:

“Whereas Mr. Robert Sedgrave hath divers fees oweing him as Sheriffe and Clerk of this County Court and divers persons make refusall of payment thereof; the Court doth therefore order: that those persons who are indebted to him for fees shall makee present payment thereof to Mr. John Hollowes, Administrator of ye saide Mr. Sedgrave, or else for default of payment....” [285]

Since we know that Sedgrave was one of the very few individuals who could write English, it makes perfect sense that he was appointed Clerk of Court for Northumberland County. It may be that direct evidence for these appointments was in the missing pages 1 through 38 of Northumberland County Orders.

Thomas Sturman (Steerman) was not recorded as attending the first Maryland Assembly of Freemen on 25 January 1637/38. Sturman arrived on William Claiborne's Kent Island as a cooper working for Cloberry & Company. Sturman later settled in St. Michael’s Hundred where he was elected a Burgess to the General Assembly in July 1642. [260] That Assembly took place in September. [261] Since the Governor required all freemen to be present, on September 5th the minutes noted: "Francis Gray appeared by his Proxie, Thos Sterman". [262] Sturman apparently had a large house since on 28 August 1642 the Council of Maryland designated  his house as one of the places for women and children to take refuge in the event of an Indian attack. [265] Sturman was an outspoken freeman in the early Assembly of Maryland. It was Thomas Sturman who pointedly questioned Governor Calvert about his Commission to capture Puritan vessels and whether it applied to the waters off the coast of Maryland. [169]

Thomas and John Sturman along with William Hardige were said to be recruited by Richard Ingle to aid in Ingle's attack on St Mary's. [246] Thomas played a prominent role in the plunder of Capt. Thomas Cornwaleys’s house at Cross Manor which at the time was the largest and wealthiest home in Maryland and commanded a garrison there early in the rebellion. After the taking of St. Thomas's fort, a number of prisoners were held at Thomas Sturman's house at St. Michael’s Hundred. [170, 182, 237, 247]

After Lord Calvert regained authority on 18 January 1646/1647, charges were presented against Thomas and John Sturman, Francis Gray, John Hampton. Robert Smith and Thomas Yewell - all prominent in the uprising. The indictment charged that on 13 January they had secretly fled to Chicacoan and met at John Mottrom's house. And that they plotted to raid Maryland for cattle and to burn and destroy property. In the summary of charges, John Lewgar ( Provincial Attorney) reported that some of the defendants were already in jail. On 19 January a bond was granted to the Sturmans, John Hampton, Francis Gray and Robert Sedgrave who had not been charged. Each pledged a bond of two thousand pounds of tobacco that they would not leave the county without informing the Governor, nor would they have secret communications with John Mottrom, Thomas Yewell, Thomas Lewis or Robert Smith. For details of these events please click here. On 27 January, Calvert issued an assurance to Smith and Yewell and promised them a pardon if they submitted by 4 February and took the oath of fealty. [184, 185, 230]

Seemingly in preparation to remove to the Northern Neck of Virginia, St. Mary’s Court on 6 April 1648 recorded this: “I, Thomas Sturman, do freely and absolutely give my Shallop {small ship} & all the cattle wch of mine now in Mary Land unto my sonne John Sturman to have and to hold and to enjoy ....” [269] However, his problems at St Mary’s court continued when in February, 1649, he defended himself against Margaret Brent, executrix for the Estate of former Gov. Leonard Calvert, who sued him for his 1000 acres in St. Michael’s Hundred which she claimed Governor Calvert never sold to the previous owner, Thomas Pasmore. [268] The case was settled on 1 November 1650 with “Sturman to hold and possess the 1000 acres and plantation formerly belonging to Thomas Pasmore”. [271] The preceding April (1650) Mr. Thomas Sturman was again elected a Burgess for St. Michael’s Hundred and was paid for attending the Assembly for 21 days. [263] So it is unclear when Sturman actually removed to the Northern Neck of Virginia.

During his life Sturman appeared only twice in Northumberland County records. In the Index to the earliest Northumberland County Deeds and Orders Book 1 [278] where a sale from Hannah Hewett to Thomas Sturman is recorded. There is no other record of him buying land in Virginia. His son, John, appears twice in the early Index against Thomas Purlivant's estate and against John Powell. On 24 May 1650 Andrew Monroe received an attachment against John Sturman for a debt of 400 pounds of tobacco. [275] View a map of John Sturman's land patent here (link).

In March 1653/54, at the Provincial Court in St. Mary's , Thomas and his son, John, agreed to pay a penalty of 1150 pounds of tobacco and casks by the 10th of November next to Thomas Cornwalleys Esq. for all outstanding cases against them. [272 ]

Sturman died in 1654 in Westmoreland County and his wife, Anne, died shortly thereafter leaving a Will dated 22 June 1654.

By a Will & Testament my late husband, Thomas Sturman, deceased, made me sole and whole Exectris & there being no Court since ye death of my husband to make a Probate of his said Will which was my desire to doe. And now find my selfe weak in body but in perfect memory make my last Will & Testamt.....Secondly I give my sonne John Two Cowes called Browne and Smot & one Bull and all ye hoggs that be in Maryland except one Sow that I give my Grandchilde Thomas Youlle &.....also to my sone John Sturman halfe ye right of Land that is due at Maryland & ye other halfe of ye Said Right of Land to my sone Richard Sturman.....Lastly I bequeath to my sone Richard Sturman one cow called Starr, two yearlings one valued by Little Browning & another red Yearling & all my hoggs and their increase that are at Nominy {Virginia} & fower {four} Calves that were weaned this yeare & further I give him two Bulls one from John Wood & ye other from olde Tasker. More I give him my servant man for his full time to serve & ye Croppe of Tobacco & Corne upon ye ground that is growing. More I give my sone Richard all ye goods that is in ye house mouvables and unmoveables.....& for ye debt that I owe, I leave ye Tobacco that is due for ye Land my husband solde in Maryland to pay ye said debt & likewise I leave one hoggshead of Tobacco that was recovered in Maryland Court towards paying of those debts. One thousand pounds of tobacco that will be overplus of paying my debts, I give to my daughter Rosamund which lives in England & that Tobacco is left in my sone Richards hands to pay her.....In witness whereof I have sett my hand ye 22nd day of June Ano Dm 1654. Witnesses: Walter Broadhurst, John Wood Proved 21st August 1654 [287]

Thomas and Anne Sturman retained rights to land in Maryland since Anne's Will mentioned "To son John 2 cows and 1 bull, all hogs that be in Maryland.....Other personal property to son John, also half of rights to land due in Maryland, the other half of the rights to son Richard." The Sturmans also had land in Virginia since her Will also stated: "To son Richard cattle at Nominy....a servant man, crops, goods in the house....". [287] View Richard Sturman's 1666 land patent here (link).

Thomas Yowell (Yewell, Youle, Youl) immigrated to Isle of Kent, Province of Maryland, by 1637. He was not recorded as attending the first Assembly of Freemen on 25 January 1637/38. The details of Yewell's participation in the Rebellion against Lord Calvert are not known.

After Lord Calvert regained authority on 18 January 1646/1647, charges were presented against Thomas and John Sturman, Francis Gray, John Hampton. Robert Smith and Thomas Yewell - all prominent in the uprising. The indictment charged that on 13 January they had secretly fled to Chicacoan and met at John Mottrom's house. And that they plotted to raid Maryland for cattle and to burn and destroy property. In the summary of charges, John Lewgar ( Provincial Attorney) reported that some of the defendants were already in jail. On 19 January a bond was granted to the Sturmans, John Hampton, Francis Gray and Robert Sedgrave (who had not been charged). Each pledged a bond of two thousand pounds of tobacco that they would not leave the county without informing the Governor, nor would they have secret communications with John Mottrom, Thomas Yewell, Thomas Lewis or Robert Smith. [184, 185] For details of these events please click here.

Also on the 19th, Calvert repeated the indictment against Smith, Lewis and Yowell saying that they "joined themselves to persons...affected against this Province and doe hence return...by night as enemies and Robbers, and kill and Carry away the Cattle of the Inhabitants" [184]. On 27 January, Calvert issued an assurance to Smith and Yewell and promised them a pardon if they submitted by 4 February and took the oath of fealty. [230] In 1649 Yowell was still living in Maryland.

Yewell appeared twice in the Index to the earliest Northumberland County, Virginia, Deeds and Orders Book 1 [278] against: Huge Lee and also against Hanna Lee. Youle patented 300 acres in Northumberland County "on the south side of the Potomac River, adjoining Nominy Bay" for the transportation of 6 persons into the colony. On 25 October 1650, he and his wife, Ann, sold the 300 acres to Rice Maddocke, "Chirugion". [279] He later patented 500 acres in Northumberland County on 19 November 1653 upon the Lower Machotick River for the transport of 10 persons. On 8 November 1653 Thomas Youl was granted 150 acres in Northumberland County upon the south side of Nominy River. [255] His property became a part of Westmoreland County in 1653. Thomas Yowell died there by 20 November 1655 since a Mr. Broughton received an "Attachment against Estate of Thomas Youle, deceased, for 3600 pounds of tobacco and caske due by bill" on that date. [286] View a map of Yowell's land patents here (link).

This is the spirited, independent culture into which William Rush - the immigrant - settled around 1650. Rush would marry Francis Gray's daughter, Anne Gray, in late 1658 - best guess November. To read a history of the William Rush family please click here (link) .

 

Sources of Maryland Court Records

You may access and search the Archives of Maryland Online by clicking here (link).

In addition, Dr. Lois Green Carr, Historian, Historic St. Mary's City, has placed images of her research index cards online for a number of early settlers. At this link you will find her "St Mary's City Mens Career File" for Francis Gray:

http://www.msa.md.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc5000/sc5094/001000/001668/html/sc5094-1668-01.html

 

Acknowledgement

I am very indebted to Timothy Riordan and his book: The Plundering Time: Maryland and the English Civil War (Baltimore, Maryland Historical Society, 2004). I learned a great deal from his account of Ingle's Rebellion about the men whom I discussed above. Indeed, Riordan's book sparked my curiosity about the fate of these prominent rebels after they removed to the Northern Neck of Virginia.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOTE TO READERS: All the words in bold type face are links to images, maps or word definitions in the Glossary.The Citations and Glossary are available under the Resources tab or here (link) .


To Top