Facts and Events
Maj. Robert Beverley was one of the Early Settlers of Colonial Virginia
Will of Robert Beverley
Information on Robert Beverley
From "Seldens of Virginia and allied families" Volume 2, by Mary Selden Kennedy, pg. 336, pub. 1911:
Major Beverley seems to have believed in the principle of making war support war, and there loud complaints of plundering done by his force.
Beverley had incurred the displeasure of the Governor and Council by refusing to deliver up to them copies of the Legislative journals, without permission of the House. Beverley had rendered important services in suppressing Bacon's Rebellion, and had won the special fav9r of Sir William Berkeley, but, as circumstances change, men change with them, and now, by a steady adherence to his duty to the Assembly, he drew down upon his head unrelenting persecution. In the month of May, 1682. he was committed a close prisoner on board the ship Duke of York, lying in the Rappahannock. Ralph Wormley, Matthew Kemp and Christopher Wormley were directed to seize the records in Beverley's possession, and to break open doors if necessary. He complained in a note addressed to the Captain, and claimed the right of a free born Englishman. He was transferred from the Duke of York to Captain Jeffries, Commander of the Concord, and a guard set over him. He was next sent on board of Colonel Custis's Sloop, to be taken to Northampton. Escaping from the custody of the Sheriff of York, the prisoner was retaken at his own house in Middlesex and sent to Northampton on Eastern Shore. Some months after he applied for a writ of habeas corpus, which was refused and in a short time, being again found at large, he was remanded to Northampton. In January, 1683, new charges were brought against him. First, that he had broken open letters addressed to the Secretary's office; secondly that he had made up the Journal, and inserted his Majesty's letters therein, notwithstanding it had first been presented at the time of the prorogation; thirdly, that in 1682 he had refused copies of the Journal to the Governor and Council. saying he might not do it without leave of his masters. [Campbell's History of Virginia, pages 345, 346.]
The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume II, page 405, et seq., and Volume I, page 109, has the following shorter account.
Within about a month afterward Beverly's varied and eventful life ended, he dying March 16, 1687. Thus closes the record of a man loyal to the king, yet an ardent supporter of the liberties of the Colony of Virginia, and of the House of Burgesses, of which he was long a faithful and useful officer, a courageous and active soldier, a true and staunch friend, and the possessor of a very general popularity and influence among the people.
Major Robert Beverley lived in Middlesex County, but not, as has been stated, at "Brandon," for this was the residence of Major-General Robert Smith, whose granddaughter and eventual heiress, Elizabeth Smith, married Harry Beverley, son of Major Robert Beverley, and owned large landed estates in various Counties. The land books show that he was granted over fifty thousand acres of land.
He married twice, his first wife being named Mary. Her surname is not positively known, but it seems probable that she was the widow of "Mr. George Keeble," who was a justice in Lancaster (then including Middlesex), in 1659 and 1660, vestryman of Pianketank parish, or precinct, 1657, and died in July, 1665 or 1666. William Whitby, of Middlesex, by will dated July 11, 1676, gave £100 to Major Robert Beverley and £100 and half his land on Potomac Creek to "Miss Mary Keeble." She was probably daughter of George Keeble. There is recorded in Lancaster, September 22, 1666, a receipt from Robert Beverley for certain hogs, the property of his "daughter-in-law" (step-daughter), Mary Keeble, and this Mary Keeble, who afterwards married, mentions in her will her "father-in-law," Robert Beverley. George Keeble, by his nuncupative will, gave his whole estate to his wife, Mary. Charles Campbell, in his introduction to his edition of Beverley's History, states that the first wife of Robert Beverley was the daughter of a merchant of Hull, England.
When the floor of the lower church of Christ Church Parish, Middlesex, was removed a few years ago, the tomb of the first wife of Major Robert Beverley was discovered. It bore the following inscription:
Here lyeth interred the Bodi of Mrs. Mary Beverley, Wife of Major Robert Beverley Mother of nine sons and three daughters Who departed this life the last day of June 1678 aged fortie one years and three Months, having been married to him 12 years & 2 months —and was A Careful Mother teaching Virtuous Life Happy and making happy when a wife Religious to Example, May all strive To imitate her Virtues whilst alive.
His second wife was Catherine, daughter of Major Theophilus Hone, of James City County. They were married in Gloucester, March 28, 1679. She married, secondly, Christopher Robinson, of "Hewich," Middlesex (a nephew of John Robinson, Bishop of London), who was appointed member of the Council, 1691, Secretary of State, 1692, and died February 13, 1692-3 (Painsbury Abstracts). There is recorded in Middlesex an account, dated July 7, 1690, by Christopher Robinson, and Catherine, his wife, executrix of Major Robert Beverley, "as well of and for soe much of ye goods and chattels of ye s'd descendants as came to their hands, as well as for ye payments and disbursements out of same (vizt) the accomptants charge themselves with all and singular the goods and chattels of ye Deceased specified in an inventory there of made and exhibited in the Registrey of ye s'd County Court, amounting, as by ye said Inventory appeareth, to ye summe of £1383-5.3£, * * *" Among the Credits to the executrix were payments: to Dr. Walter Whitaker for "Acc't of Physick £25.3.6"; charges in entertaining the appraisers, £5; to Dr. Alexander, Henry Winchester, "Schooling and boarding" William Beverley, 1,440 pounds of tobacco; Mrs. Perrott, for nursing Christopher Beverley, 1,650 pounds of tobacco. There is also on record in Middlesex a petition dated September 3. 1694, from Captain Peter Beverley and Mr. Robert Beverley, administrators de bonis non of Major Robert Beverley, in which they state that Major Beverley died about March 16, 1686-7; that his personal estate was valued at £1,591-4-10, and the debts due him amounted to 331,469 pounds of tobacco, and, in addition, £801.11.6. in money, according to his inventory. Under an order of Middlesex Court, September 3, 1694, the executors of Christopher Robinson, administrators de bonis non of Major Robert Beverley, reported £351.2. in money, and 60,598 pounds of tobacco as due from Robinson's estate to Beverley's and claimed (among others), as a credit to Robinson, "an article £40. paid Mr. Micajar Perry and Thomas Lane (Merchants in London), for entertaining and accommodating Major Robert Beverley's sons, Harry, John, and Robert Beverley."
"Major Robert Beverley and Madam Katherine Hone were married in Gloster, March 28th, 1679. Major Robert Beverley [Native] of Yorkshire died March 15th and was buried March 19th 1686." "Madam" was not commonly applied to unmarried women, and it is possible that Katherine Hone was the widow and not the daughter of Major Theophilus Hone, and that she was the sister of Colonel John Armistead, of Gloucester County.