Facts and Events
- Earle, Swepson. Maryland's colonial Eastern Shore: historical sketches of counties and of some notable structures. (Ft. Wayne: Allen County Public Library, 198?), 34.
Little more than a mile south of St. Michael's, and about two miles from "Perry Cabin," beautifully situated on Spencer Creek, where it empties into St. Michael's River, is "Spencer Hall," the seat, for several generations, of the Spencers, some of whom gained distinction in the various walks of life, but none of the name now reside in Talbot County. The family was of Norman origin and of noble degree, and can be easily traced to the eleventh century, being descended from Robert le Despencer, Lord Stewart of the household of William the Conqueror, and one of the Norman barons whose name is in the Roll of Battle Abbey, and in the great Domesday Book appears as Robertus Dispensator.
In 1657 there came to Northumberland County, Virginia, Nicholas and Robert Spencer, brothers, of Cople, Bedfordshire, descended in the seventh generation from Robert Spencer, A.D. 1475, younger sons of Nicholas Spencer and his wife, Mary Gostwick, daughter of Sir Edward Gostwick, and a branch of the Northamptonshire family. They were accompanied by the brothers John and Lawrence Washington, also from Bedfordshire, the former being the great-grandfather of Gen. George Washington. Nicholas Spencer, by grants and purchases, came into possession of large tracts of land on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, 1658 to 1666 1. He finally settled in Virginia near the Washingtons. He was later known as Col. Nicholas Spencer, and was Secretary of Virginia,
1679-88. Robert Spencer was born in 1635. After removing from Virginia to Barbadoes, where he remained for several years, he came to Maryland in 1678 and settled in Talbot County in 1683. He died prior to April, 1688. He left an only son, James Spencer, born in Barbadoes in 1667, who came to Talbot after his father's death and
settled on St. Michael's River. He died in 1714, leaving by his first wife, Isabella, four sons, James Spencer, Jr., the founder of "Spencer Hall," Charles, William and Hugh Spencer, and two daughters, Alice and Mary Spencer. The last male owner of "Spencer Hall" was Col. Perry Spencer, (1750-1822), and the property finally passed out of the hands of the Spencers in 1837. The Spencers were never numerous in Talbot, and but one of that family is now living in Maryland, Col. Richard H. Spencer, of Baltimore.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Nicholas Spencer, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
Col. Nicholas Spencer (1633–1689) was a London merchant who emigrated to Westmoreland County, Virginia, where he became a planter and which he represented in the Virginia House of Burgesses. Spencer later served as Secretary and President of the Council of the Virginia Colony, and on the departure of his cousin Thomas Colepeper, 2nd Baron Colepeper in 1683, was named Acting Governor (1683–84), in which capacity Spencer served until the arrival of Governor Lord Howard of Effingham. Spencer's role as agent for the Culpeppers helped him and his friend Lt. Col. John Washington, ancestor of George Washington, secure the patent for their joint land grant of the Mount Vernon estate.
- ↑ Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography. (New York, New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co., c1915), 1:53.
Spencer, Nicholas, president of the council and acting governor after Lord Culpeper's departure from Virginia, May 28, 1683, to the incoming of Francis Lord Howard of Effingham in February, 1684. He was the son of Nicholas Spencer, Esq., of Cople, in Bedfordshire, England, by his wife Mary, daughter of Sir Edward Gostwick. He first engaged in merchandizing in London, and like many merchants became interested in Virginia, to which he emigrated in 1659. He settled in Westmoreland county, where the parish of Cole was named in honor of the home of his family; was a member of the house of burgesses from 1666 to 1676; and was secretary of state from 1679 till his death in 1689. Placed by Lord Culpeper, who was his cousin, at the head of the council, he succeeded him as acting governor, on his departure from Virginia, in September, 1683, according to an order issued shortly before by the privy council establishing the rule which was always afterwards followed that the president of the council should succeed to the executive duties in case of the absence or death of the incumbent. Spencer's administration was quiet, except for some inroads of the Seneca Indians, who were drive off with the aid of the tributary tribes. In February, 1684, Lord Howard arrived, and Spence acted as one of his councilors till his death, September 23, 1689. He married Frances, daughter of Colonel John Mottrom, of Northumberland county, and left several children who have descendants in Virginia.