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Custis, John, the third of that name to hold the position of councillor, was the son of Col. John Custis of "Wilsonia," and the grandson of Maj. Gen. John Custis, both in their days councillors. He was born in 1678 and, his grandfather having bequeathed £100 per annum for his education, he went to England for that purpose. Upon returning to Virginia, he appears to have resided principally near Williamsburg, where he owned an estate. He was a member of the house of burgesses for the college in 1718 and probably other years. he was recommended for the council in 1727, by the Earl of Orkney, and appointed the same year. He married Frances, the eldest daughter of Col. Daniel Parke Jr., but being exceedingly eccentric, and his lady of a proud and haughty disposition, the union was a most unhappy one. His son, Daniel Parke Custis, later married Miss Martha Dandridge, who finally became the wife of Washington. He died November 2, 1749.
Randolph, William, of "Turkey Island," Henrico, was a son of Col. William Randolph of the same place, and was born in Nov., 1681. His first public office seems to have been assistant to his father as clerk of the house of burgesses, a position to which he finally succeeded, holding it until 1712. In 1720, and probably other years, he was a member of the house of burgesses for Henrico county, and in 1727, he was appointed to the council. In 1737, he made a voyage to England for his health, but returned the following year from which time he was a constant attendant at the sessions of the council until his death which occurred Oct. 19, 1742. He married Elizabeth Beverley, daughter of Hon Peter Beverley, of Gloucester county, Virginia and had issue.
Harrison, Henry, son of Benjamin Harrison of "Wakefield," Surry county, was born in 1692. He was a justice of Surry in 1710 and a burgess from that county in 1715, 1718 and perhaps other years. On Nov. 9, 1730, having been recommended as a "man in all respects equal and worthy to fill the vacant place," he was appointed by the King a member of the council and took his seat the following year. He did not live long to enjoy his honors, however, for his death occurred in 1732. He married, but had no issue.
Bray, David, of James City county, a son of Col. David Bray of the same place, and grandson of Councillor Bray, was born in 1699. he was a man of large estate and, in 1631, on the recommendation of Gov. Gooch, appointed a member of the council. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John Page, of Williamsburg, but died Oct. 5, 1731, without issue.
Phenny, George, was sworn a member of the council on June 4, 1734, pursuant to a warrant dated July 31, 1732, from the "Queen as Guardian of the Kingdom," directing that George Phenny, Esq., surveyor of the customs for the southern district of America, should become a member of the council. He seems never to have resided in Virginia.
Tayloe, John, of "Mt. Airy," Richmond county, a son of Col. William Tayloe, was born Feb. 15, 1687. From early manhood, he held a prominent place in the affairs of the county and the colony, becoming a justice of Richmond county in 1710, sheriff in 1712 and 1713, colonel of militia in 1713, and representing the county in 1728, 1730 and probably other years. In 1732, he was appointed by the King a member of the council. Col. Tayloe as a man of influence and large estate and took an active part in promoting the welfare of the colony. He was largely in iron mining and manufacture in Virginia and Maryland. He died in 1747. He married Elizabeth Fauntleroy, and had John Tayloe, second of that name.
Lee, Thomas, president of the council and acting governor. (q. v.).
Lightfoot, Philip, of Yorktown and of "Sandy Point," Charles City county, was a son of Philip Lightfoot of the latter place, and was born in 1689. In 1707, he was appointed clerk of York county and held this office until 1733. During this period and later, he was extensively engaged in business as a merchant at Yorktown and acquired great wealth. On Jan. 10, 1732-33, the governor appointed him a councillor in the place of Robert Carter, deceased, and this appointment was confirmed by the King April 9, 1733. He appears to have been in constant attendance at the meetings until his death. Lightfoot was one of the wealthiest men of his day and owned a handsome town house in addition to his country seat. he died May 30, 1748. He married Mary, daughter of William Armistead, and widow of James Burwell, and had issue.
Dinwiddie, Robert, Governor of Virginia (q. v.).
Dawson, Rev. William, son of William Dawson of Aspatria, Cumberland county, England, was born in 1704.When fifteen years of age, he entered Queen's College, Oxford, where he took the degree of bachelor of arts in his twenty-first year, and four years later, that of master of arts. Still later he was made a doctor of divinity. He was ordained to the ministry in 1728 and probably came to Virginia immediately, as in 1729 he was professor of moral philosophy at William and Mary College. During Blair's lifetime, he had Mr. Dawson read prayers for him, and when he was not well, to preach. Upon Blair's death in 1743, the visitors of the college, "by unanimous consent," chose Mr. Dawson president. At the same time he became a member of the council and was appointed commissary on the recommendation of Gov. Gooch. He died July 24, 1752, and was buried at Williamsburg.
Fairfax, William, was the second son of Henry Fairfax of Yorkshire, England and was baptized in that county in 1691. He served for a time in the navy under his kinsman, Capt. Fairfax, and afterwards in the army in Spain. His next public service was as chief justice of the Bahamas, but as the climate did not agree with him, he was given, in 1725, the appointment of collector of customs at Salem, Massachusetts. About 1734, he came to Virginia as agent for his cousin, Lord Fairfax, in the management of his great landed estate, the Northern Neck. He lived for a time in Westmoreland county, but upon receiving the appointment as collector of customs for South Potomac, removed to Fairfax county, where he built a mansion house. In 1742 he was a member of the house of burgesses, and in Nov., 1743, was appointed to the council. Col. Fairfax was a man of ability, and played a prominent part in the French and Indian war. He was an early friend of Washington, and by his introduction of him to Lord Fairfax, procured him his first position as surveyor. Died August 30, 1757.
Blair, John, president of the council and acting governor (q. v.).
Burwell, Lewis, president of the council and acting governor (q. v.).
William, 70 Nelson, William, president of the council and acting governor (q. v.).
Lewis, John, Jr., of "Warner Hall," Gloucester county, son of the Hon. John Lewis of the same place, was born in 1694. He appears from the journals of the council, to have been a member of that body from Oct. 27, 1648,to Nov. 1, 1753, and perhaps later, as the records are incomplete. The date of his death is unknown.
Nelson, Thomas, of Yorktown, son of Thomas Nelson, Sr., of the same place was born in 1716, and died in 1782. He was appointed secretary of state of Virginia in 1742, and was a member of the house of burgesses for York county in 1748 and 1749, and in all probability in preceding years. In 1749 he was appointed a member of the council, and the journals show him to have been a regular attendant at the board until the revolution. In 1775 he was president of the council, having perhaps acceded to that position on the death of his brother William in 1772. He was a firm adherent of the colonial side in the revolution, though he exerted himself to prevent any violence on the part of the people towards Lord Dunmore. The "Virginia Gazette" of May 6, 1775, has the following:
"The town of York being somewhat alarmed by a letter from Capt. Montague, commander of his majesty's ship, the "Fowey, addressed to the Hon. Thomas Nelson Esq., president of his majesty's honorable council in Virginia, threatening to fire upon the town of York in case a party sent from his ship to the support of Gov. Dunmore, was attacked, the York county committee, taking into consideration the time the letter was sent, which was too late to permit the president to use his influence had the people been disposed to molest or attack the detachment, and further considering that Col. Nelson, who, had the threat been carried into execution, would have been a principal sufferer, was at that very moment exerting his utmost endeavors in behalf of government and safety of his excellency's person, unanimously passed resolutions" denouncing Capt. Montague.
Though Thomas Nelson, from his long tenure of the office of secretary, was commonly styled Secretary Nelson, he was also the last president of the colonial council. Some idea of his great popularity may be gathered from the fact that when the convention, on June 29, 1776, ballotted for the first governor of the new state, he was nominated as a candidate for that office (probably by the conservative party) and received forty-five votes to the sixty for Patrick Henry. On the same day he was chosen one of the first privy council of the commonwealth, but declined the appointment "on account of his age and infirmities." He retired from public life at this time and lived quietly at his home in Yorktown, a retirement which was not interrupted until the occupation of that place by the British forces.
Campbell ("History of Virginia") says, "Upon the breaking out of the revolution the secretary had retired from public affairs. He lived at Yorktown, where he had erected a handsome house. Cornwallis made his headquarters in this house, which stood near the defensive works. It soon attracted the attention of the French artillery, and was almost entirely demolished. Secretary Nelson was in it when the first shot killed one of his negroes at a little distance from him. What increased his solicitude was that he had two sons in the American army; so that every shot, whether fired from the town or from the trenches, might prove equally fatal to him. When a flag was sent in to request that he might be conveyed within the American lines, one of his sons was observed gazing wistfully at the gate of the town by which his father, then disabled by the gout, was to come out. Cornwallis permitted his withdrawal, and he was taken to Washington's headquarters. Upon alighting, with a serene countenance, he relater to the officers who stood around him what had been the effect of their batteries, and how much his mansion had suffered from the first shot."
Thomas Nelson was married to Lucy Armistead.
Corbin, Richard, of "Buckingham House," and "Corbin Hall," Middlesex county, and "Laneville," King and Queen county, was the son of Col. Gawin Corbin of the same place, and was for many years one of the most eminent and influential men of the colony of Virginia. He was educated in William and Mary College and probably also in England, and early in life was appointed a justice in Middlesex county. He represented this county in the house of burgesses in 1751 (and doubtless for several years before) and was, during that session of the assembly, appointed to the council, in which body he sat until the revolution. Col. Corbin was appointed receiver general of Virginia about 1754, an office which he also held until the close of the colonial regime. Through his influence George Washington received his first military commission. In 1754, young Washington wrote to Col. Corbin asking a commission in the military service of the colony. A major's commission was obtained and sent him with the following letter:
Dear George: |
I enclose your commission. God prosper you with it.
Your Friend, RICHARD CORBIN.
Beverley, William, of "Blandfield," Essex county was the son of the historian, Robert Beverley of "Beverley Park," King and Queen county and was born about 1698. he was clerk of Essex county from 1716 to 1745, burgess from Orange county in 1736 and from Essex in 1741, 1744, 1748, 1751 and doubtless in intervening years. Having large landed interests in the western part of the colony, he was appointed county lieutenant of Orange and Augusta counties and, in 1751, was made a member of the council. Col. Beverley was one of the commissioners from Virginia to meet those from other colonies and treat with the six nations at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1744. Beverley was also appointed by Lord Fairfax, one of the commissioners to settle in his behalf, the boundary of Northern Neck. He inherited large estates, including "Beverley Park," containing 7,600 acres, with "The Plains," of 1,200 acres adjoining, and "Blandfield" on the Rappahannock, in Essex, where he built the brick mansion which is one of the finest remaining examples of colonial architecture. He also became the possessor of immense tracts of land by patent. Besides several smaller grants of some thousand acres each, he obtained, Sept. 6, 1736, a grant of 118,420 acres lying around the present Staunton in Augusta county. This land, which he named "Beverley Manor," now the name of a magisterial district in Augusta, he patented in partnership with several persons, but on the day after the grant was made, they conveyed their interests to him. This estate he sold to settlers in smaller tracts. His death occurred about March 1, 1756.
Grymes, Philip, of "Brandon," Middlesex county, and son of Hon. John Grymes of the same place, was appointed justice of Middlesex in 1743, was a member of the house of burgesses in 1748, and, in 1749, was appointed receiver general of Virginia. In 1751, he was made a member of the council and was present at its sessions from that year until the close of 1761. His long will, disposing of a very large estate and dated 1756, in on record in Middlesex. He was the father of Philip Ludwell Grymes of "Brandon," burgess for Middlesex county 1769, member of the house of delegates 1778, and appointed to the state council in 1803; who died May 18, 1805.
Carter, Robert, Jr., son of Robert Carter of "Nomini Hall," Westmoreland county, Virginia and grandson of Col. Robert Carter, of "Corotoman," Lancaster county, Virginia, was born in 1728, and inherited large possessions of lands and chouses in Virginia and Maryland. He removed in 1761 from Westmoreland to Williamsburg, where he had a fine residence. In 1764 he was made a member of the council, and in 1772 returned to his country seat at "Nomini Hall" Like a few of the other wealthy men of Virginia, he did not approve of separating from England, but when independence was declared he threw in his future with his native land. After the revolution, he freed many of his slaves, and changed his religion several times. On this account he has been referred to as the "Eccentric Robert Carter, of "Nomini Hall." but he was a man of greatest culture, possessed one of the finest libraries in America, and was the author of many noble deeds of kindness. He married Frances Anne Tasker, youngest daughter of Hon. Benjamin Tasker, of Maryland, and left issue.
Ludwell, Philip, the third of that name, of "Greenspring," James City county and son of Hon. Philip Ludwell of the same place, was born about the twenty-ninth of Dec. 1716. He was a member of the house of burgesses for Jamestown in 1748 and at that session was appointed one of the committee to make a general revision of the laws. He was a member of the house again in 1749 and probably in other years. The exact date of his appointment to the council does not appear, but the earliest mention of him as present was on March 26, 1752. From this time until 1761, he seems to have been a regular attendant. Soon after he probably went to England and spent the remaining years of his life there, though still retaining his position as councillor for the "Gazette" in speaking of his death calls him "one of his majesty's council in Virginia." He died on March 25, 1767, and was buried at Bow Church near London. With him became extinct, in the male line, the family of Ludwell, which for more than a hundred years had been possessed of large estate and great political influence in the colony, and whose members had so frequently defended the rights of the people and the legislature against the encroachments of the governors. For their own services and as ancestors of so many Virginians of fame, the Ludwells, though extinct, are held in honored memory.
Randolph, Peter, of Chatsworth, Henrico county, and son of Hon. William Randolph of "Turkey Island," was born about 1713. His first public office seems to have been clerk of Albemarle county, which he held only during the year 1749, and then only by deputy. In 1751, he was a member of the house of burgesses for Henrico, and in the next year, was appointed to the council, of which he remained a member until his death. Some years after he became a councillor, he was appointed by the King, surveyor general of the customs for the middle district of America. Col. Randolph strongly opposed the measures taken by the more advanced friends of American liberty, and Jefferson relates how, on the morning after Henry's famous resolutions were adopted by the house of burgesses, he came to the capitol before the session of the house began, and saw Col. Peter Randolph, of the council, sitting at the clerk's desk and examining the journals to find a precedent for expunging a vote of the house. He died, July 8, 1676, too early to see the result of the revolutionary spirit, which he opposed.
Dawson, Rev. Thomas, was a younger brother of the learned and good Commissary William Dawson, of whom a sketch is given above. He came to Virginia at an early age and was educated at William and Mary College. In 1638 he was master of the Indian school there and at the same time was studying divinity under the guidance of his brother, then a professor at the college. In May, 1740, he went to England to be ordained, carrying with him a letter of introduction to the bishop of London, written by Commissary Blair and describing him as "a young man of sober, regular life" and with "a very good character." Three years later Mr. Dawson was elected to succeed Dr. Blair as rector of Bruton parish. In 1752 he was appointed commissary and member of the council to succeed his brother. He enjoyed a high place in gov. Dinwiddie's favor. The new commissary at first declined the seat in the council, forseeing trouble in regard to his brother's estate, but his objections were overruled and the records show him to have been a frequent attendant at the sessions as long as he held the office of commissary. Thomas Dawson presided and preached at the convention of the clergy of Virginia in 1754, and the following year succeeded Stith as president of William and Mary College. His administration fell upon years of religious and political strife, when the professors of the college and the board of visitors were divided into factions. Dawson became very unpopular with the faculty, but retained the friendship of Gov. Dinwiddie and his successor, Francis Fauquier. At the last he fell into habits of intemperance and confessed the fact before the whole board of the college managers, at which time he had the honor of having an excuse made for him by his friend, Gov. Fauquier, who said that it was no wonder that he had resorted to drink since he had been teased to desperation by persons of his own cloth. He did not long survive, dying Dec. 5, 1761, leaving issue.
Byrd, William, the third of that name, of Westover, Charles City county, was the son of Col. William Byrd, of the same place. His collegiate education is believed to have begun at William and Mary College, and to have been completed in England. When he reached manhood he inherited what was probably the greatest estate in Virginia, and the prestige attached to one of the most distinguished names. He at once entered public life, becoming a member of the house of burgesses in 1753 and 1754, and in the latter year a member of the council, an office he held until the end of the colonial government. In 1758 the exigencies of the French and Indian war required that another regiment be raise in Virginia, and William Byrd was appointed its colonel, going at once into service. Some thought that he showed even greater talents as a military man than Col. Washington. Although, so far as the records show, Col Byrd filled his various public offices in a satisfactory manner, he was sadly imprudent in his private concerns and dissipated to a large extent the splendid estate he had inherited. He died Jan. 1, 1777. He married twice: (First) Elizabeth Hill, only daughter of John Carter, of "Shirley," and (second) Mary, daughter of Charles Willing, of Philadelphia, first cousin of Peggy Shippen, the famous Philadelphia beauty, who married Benedict Arnold.
Thornton, Presley, son of Col. Anthony Thornton, who was descended from the Thorntons of Yorkshire, England, inherited almost all the large estates of the Presley family of Northumberland county, Virginia, through his mother, Winifred, daughter of Col. Peter Presley, of "Northumberland House." He was born in 1721, and at an early age he was elected to the house of burgesses for Northumberland and served continuously from 1748 to 1760, when he was appointed to the council. He married twice (First) Elizabeth , (second) Charlotte Belson, an English lady, and left issue. He died Dec. 8, 1769. Washington spoke of him as "a man of great worth."
Robinson, Rev. William, son of Col. Christopher Robinson, of Middlesex county, Virginia, was born March 5, 1716, was sent to school in England at ten years of age and matriculated at Oriel College, Oxford, April 2, 1737. He took his B. A. degree in 1740.After enjoying for three years one of the "London exhibitions" established by his great-uncle, Dr. John Robinson, bishop of London, he was ordained priest by Dr. Gibson, the then bishop. In Oct., 1744, he returned to his native country and was made rector of Stratton Major Parish, King and Queen county, where he continued rector till his death. He was one of the leading clergymen in opposing the Two Penny Act, and incurred the enmity of Gov. Fauquier, who was in favor of it. Despite the latter's opposition he was appointed, in 1761, commissary of the bishop of London, and became, as usual in such cases, member of the colonial council. He died in 1767 or 1768, leaving issue several children by his wife Alice, daughter of Benjamin Needler, of King and Queen county, Virginia.
Fitzhugh, William, son of Col. William Fitzhugh, of Stafford county, Virginia, and grandson of Henry Fitzhugh, of Bedfordshire, England, inherited, under his father's will 18,723 acres in Stafford and Westmoreland counties, and was residuary legatee of all lands not bequeathed in Maryland, Virginia and England. He was appointed clerk of Stafford county July 18, 1701, and was a member of the house of burgess for that county in 1700, 1701, 1702. He was appointed to the council on Dec. 19, 1712, and Fitzhugh took the oaths in Virginia Oct. 15, 1712. His tenure of office was short, for his last appearance in council was on Nov. 8, 1713, and on Jan. 27, 1714, there is an entry on the council journal that he was dead. He married Anne, daughter of Richard Lee, of Westmoreland county, and left issue: 1. Henry (q. v.). 2. Lettice, married George Turberville, of "Hickory Grove," Westmoreland county. 3. Sarah, married Edward Barradall, attorney-general of Virginia. His residence in Stafford county (now King George county) is known as "Eagle's Nest."
Lee, Philip, Ludwell, was the eldest son of President Thomas Lee that survived him. he was born Feb. 24, 1726-27, and like many other young gentlemen of the day was sent to England to be educated, studying law in London at the Inner Temple. When Thomas Lee and William Beverley went to Pennsylvania to treat with the Iroquois in 1744, Philip Ludwell Lee then a youth of eighteen, was one of the gallant party of gentlemen that accompanied them. He represented Westmoreland in the house of Burgesses in 1756 and was present in council in 1758 and the year following. Upon the death of his father in 1750 Philip Ludwell fell heir to the larger part of his estate, and was also entrusted with the guardianship and education of his younger brothers. Perhaps it was these responsibilities that kept him a bachelor until he was about thirty-five years of age, when Elizabeth Steptoe, daughter of James Steptoe, of Westmoreland, became his wife. He seems to have been secretary of the council in 1770, as on the eighteenth of June of that year he made out a "list of Books necessary for the Council Chamber." Such books as reports of parliament, histories, philosophical transactions, the orations of Demosthenes, etc., were named in the list. Philip Ludwell Lee died Feb. 23, 1775, and was buried the next day, his forty-ninth birthday.
Horrocks, Rev. James, is chiefly known through his connection with William and Mary College. In 1764 Commissary Robinson wrote "Mr. Horrocks, a young clergyman, after having been master of the Grammar School two on three years, has found means of carrying the Presidentship of the college against Mr. Graham a clergyman of unexceptionable character and generally esteemed, who has been Professor of Mathematics in the college near twenty years." In the same letter Robinson charged that Horrocks had gained this promotion through time-serving. Besides being president of the college Horrocks, upon the death of Robinson a little later in the same year, was made commissary and was rector of Bruton Parish Church. His name is on record as present in the council in 1758 and 1759, and he remained a member until his death. He took an active part in the controversies which agitated Virginia while the revolution was brewing, especially in the disputes regarding the salaries of the clergy, the establishment of a bishopric in America and the stamp act. He expressed belief in the iniquity of the act of the house of burgesses providing that the clergy should be paid in paper money instead of tobacco, but opposed John Camm's plan of repeated appeal to England, believing it to be useless. His health failing in 1771 he sailed for England, accompanied by his wife, leaving Camm in his chair as president of William and Mary, the Rev. Mr. Willie as commissary and the Rev. Mr. Henley to fill the pulpit at Bruton. He died March 20, 1772. In spite of the stormy times Horrock's administration was a palmy time for William and Mary College. Harvard at the time was still under the charge of a president and tutors, with but two professors, while the younger sister in Virginia had for years enjoyed the advantages of a corps of professors, alumni of the great universities of England and Scotland.
Fairfax, George William, of "Belvoir," Fairfax county, Virginia, and of "Toulston," Yorkshire, England, was the son of Col. William Fairfax, of "Belvoir," and was born in the Bahamas in 1724. His education was obtained in England and, on his return to Virginia, in early manhood, he at once began to play an active part in the affairs of the colony. In his twenty-first year, he was appointed a justice in Fairfax county, and from 1748 to 1758 was a member of the house of burgesses. The companion of Washington on his first surveying expedition, he remained through life one of his most attached and valued friends. During the French and Indian war, as a colonel of militia, he actively assisted Washington in the defence of the frontier. He became a member of the council in April, 1768, and remained an active participant in its proceedings until 1773, when he went to England to take possession of Toulston, in Yorkshire, an estate which had descended to him through the death of his father's elder brother, Henry Fairfax. He was also actuated in his return to England by the fact that Virginia had ceased to be an attractive place of residence for one so loyal as he. It is said that on his arrival, while sailing up the Thames, he actually passed the fateful tea, which was to prove the occasion of hostilities between the colonies and the mother country. Fairfax died at Bath, England, April 3, 1787, and appointed Washington one of his executors.
Burwell, Robert Carter, of Isle of Wight county, a son of Nathaniel Burwell, of Carter's Creek, Gloucester, was educated at William and Mary College. He settled in Isle of Wight county, on Burwell's Bay, and represented the county in the house of burgesses in 1752, and the same year was one of the first trustees of Smithfield. In 1764 he was elevated to the council, which he held till the revolution. His will, dated Jan. 10, 1777, was proved Oct. 13, 1777. He had a son Nathaniel, who was clerk of Isle of Wight court from 1772 to 1787, and a daughter Frances, who was first wife of Gov. John Page.
Tayloe, John, Jr., of "Mt. Airy," Richmond county, a son of Hon. John Tayloe, was born May 28, 1721. He is stated to have been educated in England at the University of Cambridge and to have inherited a very large estate from his father, who died when he was sixteen years of age. As soon as he reached his majority he was appointed a justice for Richmond county, and in a short time became one of the most influential, as he was probably the wealthiest man in the region. The exact date upon which he was commissioned a councillor does not appear from the extant records, but he said at a member April 21, 1757, and held his office until the outbreak of the revolution. Though a supporter of American liberty and a friend of Gen. Washington, seems probable that he was not in favor of an entire separation from Great Britain, for, though he was elected by the convention of 1776, a member of the first republican council of state, he declined to accept the office. In 1758 Col. Tayloe completed the fine house at "Mt. Airy," on the Rappahannock river, which, with its gardens and parks, remains such an interesting example of the home of the wealthy colonial planter. He had also a town house at Williamsburg for his winter residence, and "here and at Mt. Airy he was renowned for his hospitality." Col. Tayloe died April 18, 1779. He married Rebecca Plater, eldest daughter of George Plater, Esq., of St. Mary's county, Maryland, and had a son John and eight daughters who each married a man of distinction. "Mt. Airy" still remains in the Tayloe family.
Page, John, of "North End," on North river, Gloucester (now Matthews) county, was the son of Hon. Mann Page, of "Rosewell," Gloucester, and was born about 1720. According to the short autobiography of his nephew, Gov. Page, John Page, of "North End," was educated as a lawyer. The catalogue of William and Mary College shows that he was a student there. He was a member of the house of burgesses, representing Gloucester from 1754 to 1764, and was appointed to the council in 1768. The "Virginia Gazette" of June 16 in that year announces the appointment, and a later edition states that he was sworn and took his seat on June 30. He was also sworn and took his seat on June 30. He was also one of the visitors of William and Mary College. His tenure of office did not last long, for the "Gazette" of Oct. 6, 1774, records his death.
Wormeley, Ralph, the third of that name, of "Rosegill," Middlesex county, was the son of Ralph Wormeley, of the same place, and was born in 1744. He was educated at Eaton and the University of Cambridge, and became a finished scholar with tastes which ran rather to literature than to public life. From the great wealth and political influence of his family, however, it was almost a matter of course that he be called to a high office in the government of the colony, and accordingly we find him shortly before the revolution occupying a seat in the council to which he was appointed in June, 1771. Though apparently opposed to the measures of the English government in taxing Americans, he was yet steadfastly loyal, and throughout the revolutionary period suffered the consequences of his devotion to the crown. He wrote, unfortunately for himself a letter expressing disapproval of the steps which the patriots were taking and was obliged to give bond not to leave his father's estate until permitted. After the war, notwithstanding the strong feeling against British sympathizers existing in Virginia, the high character and large estate of Ralph Wormeley soon restored his influence. He was a member of the convention of 1788, was sheriff in 1794 and 1795 and a member of the house of delegates in 1787, 1789, 1790 and 1793. His death occurred Jan. 19, 1806.
Camm, John, the last colonial president of William and Mary College, was the son of Thomas Camm, of Hornsea, England, and was born there in 1718. When a boy he went to school in Beverley, Yorkshire, England, and at twenty years of age, matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge. Eleven years later we find him in Virginia, professor of divinity in William and Mary College, upon which office he entered August 24, 1749. On Oct. 30, 1754, a convention of the clergy of Virginia met at William and Mary College and Camm took a leading part in it. He was appointed one of a committee to prepare "an humble address" from the convention to the bishop of London, and on several other committees. He took part in the controversy between the clergy and government of Virginia over the Two Penny Act, regarding the payment of salaries, and made a violent enemy of Gov. Fauquier. It was against the sentiment of the time for any member of the faculty of a college, except the president, to marry and Camm broke this convention at the age of fifty-seven and lost his professorship in consequence, but later, upon the death of Horrocks, in 1771, he was chosen president of the college and head of the church in Virginia as well. He became a member of the council in 1775, but in 1777 he was removed from the presidency of the college because, ardent tory that he was, he would not acknowledge the United States government. Two years later death ended the checkered career of "Old Parson," as he was familiarly called. He married Betsey Hansford, and has may descendants in Virginia.
Corbin, Gawin, Jr., of "Buckingham House," Middlesex county, eldest son of Hon. Richard Corbin, of "Laneville," was educated abroad and returned to Virginia about 1761. In Nov., 1758, ex-Gov. Dinwiddie, in a letter from London to Col. Richard Corbin, says: "Your son dined with me before he went to Cambridge. He is truly a sober well-bred young gentleman." After his return to Virginia, Corbin was a member of the house of burgesses for Middlesex and was appointed to the council in 1775, remaining a member until the end of the royal government. The "Virginia Gazette," March 6, 1775, says: "We are informed that Gawin Corbin, Esq., of Middlesex, is appointed one of his Majesty's honorable Council of this colony, in the room of the late John Page deceased."