Col. Robert "King" Carter
m. est. 1660-1662
- Sarah CarterEst 1660-1667 -
- Col. Robert "King" Carter1663 - 1732
Facts and Events
Robert Carter was the son of John Carter (1620-1669) Sarah Ludlow (1635-1668). John immigrated to the colonies about 1650, settling eventually at his plantation which he named "Corotoman" in Lancaster County. Robert was born there in 1663. John left instructions in his will that a servant be aquired to school Robert; this was complied with by sending Robert back to England at about age ten, where he lived with one of his fathers business partners. One his return to Virginia Robert assumed responsibility for his fathers properties, and eventually became one of one of the wealthiest men in America. In 1688 he married Judith Armistead by whom he had several children. Judith died in 1699, and Robert subsequently married Elizabeth Landon in 1701, by whom he also had children. While not all of his children survived to adulthood, most did.
Robert was elected a Burgess from Lancaster County to the General assembly of Virginia in 1691, serving five consecutive terms. In 1726, as President of the Governor's Council, he served as acting Governor of Virginia after the death of Governor Hugh Drysdale. In his business life, Carter amassed considerable land holdings, eventually coming to own over 300,000 acres of land, mostly in the Northern Neck area of Virginia, and in the Valley of Virginia. Much of his land was acquired while serving as an agent of Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, better known in Virginia as Lord Fairfax.
Carter served two terms as agent for the Fairfax proprietary of the Northern Neck of Virginia. During his first term, 1702-1711, he began to acquire large tracts of land for himself in the Rappahannock River region of Virginia. Among his acquisitions was a 2000 acre parcel in Westmoreland County, overlooking the Potomac and Nomini Rivers. Here he built Nomini Hall, a square Georgian style brick building which would serve as his home for the remainder of his life. [see Notes on Nomini Hall 4 ]
Carter served a second time as Fairfax's agent, this time from 1722-32. During this second term he made additional acquisitions in the Northern Neck of Virginia, and in the area west of the Blue Ridge. Much of this land was intended for the benefit of his children and grandchildren. 1
Carter was known as "King Carter", as much because of autocratic business methods, as because of his immense wealth. 1
[Note: Need better source for this observation.]
Robert died on the 4th of August, 1732, leaving behind an estate that included 300,000 acres, 1000 slaves, and 10,000 pounds in cash. He was buried at Christ Church, Lancaster County, a church for whose construction and endowment he had paid.
His epitaph 5, 6, inscribed on the top of his tomb, is given as:
Here lies buried Robert Carter, Esq., an honourable man, who by noble endowments and pure morals gave lustre to his gentle birth. |
Rector of William and Mary, he sustained that institution in its most trying times. He was Speaker of the House of Burgesses, and Treasurer under the most serene Princes William, Anne, George I. and II. |
Elected by the House its Speaker six years, and Governor of the Colony for more than a year, he upheld equally the regal dignity and the public freedom. |
Possessed of ample wealth, blamelessly acquired, he built and endowed, at his own expense, this sacred edifice,--a signal monument of his piety toward God. He furnished it richly. |
Entertaining his friends kindly, he was neither a prodigal nor a parsimonious host. |
His first wife was Judith, daughter of John Armistead, Esq.; his second Betty, a descendant of the noble family of Landons. By these wives he had many children, on whose education he expended large sums of money. |
At length, full of honours and of years, when he had well performed all the duties of an exemplary life, he departed from this world on the 4th day of August, in the 69th year of his age.|
| The unhappy lament their lost comforter, the widows their lost protector, and the orphans their lost father."|
The following summary of sources on the Life of "King" Carter, is taken from A Brief Life of Robert Carter Transcribed and Edited by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.
This authoritative work is available online at the Library of Virginia Website
- There are two academic lives of Robert Carter that treat his life in detail: Carl F. Canon's doctoral dissertation, "Robert ( "King" ) Carter of "Corotoman" for Duke University, 1956; and "Robert King Carter," a master's thesis at the University of Virginia by Edmund Berkeley, Jr., in 1961.
- Details of the Carter genealogy are to be found in Christine Jones, John Carter I of "Corotoman" Lancaster County, Virginia (Irvington, Virginia: Foundation for Historic Christ Church, Inc., 1977).
- One letter book of Carter's has been published: Louis B. Wright, Letters of Robert Carter 1720-1727: The Commercial Interests of a Virginia Gentleman (San Marino, CA: Huntington Library, 1940). Wright also wrote of the Carters' libraries in "The "Gentleman's Library" in Early Virginia: The Literary Interests of the First Carters," (Huntington Library Quarterly, I (1937), 3-61).
- His schooling in England has been covered very well by Alan Simpson in "Robert Carter's Schooldays" , an article in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (94[April 1986]: 161-188).
- And Jon Kukla in Speakers and Clerks of the Virginia House of Burgesses, 1643-1776 (Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1981) gives the details of Carter's career as a burgess and council member.
- Fairfax Harrison's monumental study, Landmarks of Old Prince William (Berryville, Va.: Virginia Book Company, 1964, a one-volume reprint of the 1924 two-volume edition) remains invaluable for its detail about the development of that area of Virginia and the proprietary. There are numerous references to Carter and others of his period in Earl G. Swem's Virginia Historical Index which indexes a half-dozen publications on Virginia history and genealogy.
Southwest Virginia Project at WeRelate
See: Carter Family in Southwest Virginia for an overview of Carter lines in Southwest Virginia. Robert "King" Carter, never came to SW VA, but some of his grandchildren did. This article is included within the Southwest Virginia Project simply for purposes of providing context for those descendants in southwest Virginia connected to King Carter.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Robert Carter I, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Secondary quality.
- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
Robert Carter was born at Corotoman Plantation in Lancaster County, Virginia, to John Carter (1620–1669) of London, England, and Sarah Ludlow (1635–1668) of Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire. In 1688, he married Judith Armistead of Hesse in Gloucester County, an area which was included in the formation of Mathews County in 1691. After her death in 1699, he married Elizabeth Landon in 1701.
At the age of 28, Robert entered the General Assembly of Virginia as a Burgess from Lancaster County, serving five consecutive years. In 1726, as President of the Governor's Council, he served as acting Governor of Virginia after the death of Governor Hugh Drysdale.
As an agent of Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron – known simply as Lord Fairfax – he served two terms as agent for the Fairfax Proprietary of the Northern Neck of Virginia. During his first term, 1702–1711, he began to acquire large tracts of land for himself in the Rappahannock River region of Virginia. Carter acquired some , a large part of which was the Nomini Hall Plantation, also spelled “Nomoni” or “Nominy,” which he purchased in 1709 from the heirs of Col. Nicholas Spencer, cousin of the Lords Culpeper, from whom the Fairfaxes had inherited their Virginia holdings.
When he became representative of Fairfax’s interests again in 1722, and served from 1722–32, he succeeded in securing for his children and grandchildren some in the Northern Neck, as well as additional acquisitions in Virginia west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Carter died on 4 August 1732, in Lancaster County, Virginia and was buried there at Christ Church. He left behind 300,000 acres (1,200 km²) of land, 1,000 slaves and 10,000 British pounds in cash.
- ↑ Deed & Will Abstracts of Stafford County, 1699-1709, pp. 173- 176, Secondary quality.
This Indenture made the 22d day March 1704 between Edward (sic) Hinson of Parish Overwharton in county Stafford of the one part & Robert Carter of Christ Church Parish in county Lancaster...Witnesseth that Edmond Hinson for sum 7000 pounds of Tob. & cask...have sold Robert Carter 391 acres of land upon North side Potomack Run and bounded...beginning upon the Clift by the run side & extending thence N=45 degrees E=266 poles thence N=45 degrees W=2276 poles thence South 45 degrees W=188 poles to the run thence down the run according to the several courses & meanderes thereof to the beginning the tract of 391 acres being granted unto Joseph Hinson the father of ye sd Edmond Hinson by deed from the Propietors officed bearing date ye 16th day March 1694/5 as by the sd deed relation being thereunto had...tract of 391 acres given to Edmond by his fathers will ...
(Deed & Will Abstracts of Stafford County, 1699-1709, pp. 173- 176)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography. (New York, New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co., c1915), 1:60, Secondary quality.
Carter, Robert, president of the council and acting governor from the death of Drysdale, July 22, 1726, till the arrival of William Gooch about October,1727, was born in Virginia in 1663, son of Colonel John and Sarah (Ludlow) Carter. His father had been prominent in the colony as lieutenant-colonel, burgess and councillor. His mother was a daughter of Gabriel Ludlow, a cousin of General Edmund Ludlow, one of Cromwell's generals. Robert Carter was for many years the agent of Lord Fairfax, the proprietor of the Northern Neck grant. He was treasurer of the colony, speaker of the house of burgesses 1694-99, and member of the council for twenty-seven years (1699-1726). he became president of the council, and as such succeeded as acting governor. His great possessions earned him the name of "King" Carter. His residence was in Lancaster county, at Corotoman, on the Rappahannock river, and there is still standing nearby a church that he built shortly before his death, which occurred August 4, 1732. His splendid tomb in a rather shattered condition is till to be seen in the yard of the church. He was twice married, first to Judith, eldest daughter of John Armistead, Esq., a member of the council, and (second) to Elizabeth Willis, daughter of Thomas Landon, of an ancient family in Hereford county, England. By these wives he had numerous children, who have many influential descendants in Virginia and the south.
- Notes on Nomini Hall, Secondary quality.
per Wikipedia 1: This property was originally acquired in 1709 from the heirs of Col. Nicholas Spencer, cousin of the Lords Culpeper, from whom the Fairfaxes had inherited their Virginia holdings.
per Sankofa's Slavery Data Collection: Nomini Hall is described as "...the elegant manor house [built by Robert "King" Carter] built about 1729 in Westmoreland County, overlooking the Potomac and Nomini Rivers, a plantation of about 2,000 acres. The square Georgian style home with four chimneys was made of brick, two stories high, located on a hill with a spectacular view of the rivers.
[Note: A non-ephemeral source, for this is needed.]
- Mudd, Joseph A. "Cabell Descendants in Missouri", in State Historical Society of Missouri (Columbia, Missouri). Missouri historical review. (Columbia: State Historical Society of Missouri), 9(2):75-93, Jan 1915, Secondary quality.
- ID Number: I38986, in Mysouthernfamily website, last accessed May 2016, Secondary quality.
"The following translation of Mr. Robert Carter's epitaph may be a help to some of our readers:--
"Here lies buried Robert Carter, Esq., an honourable man, who by noble endowments and pure morals gave lustre to his gentle birth.
"Rector of William and Mary, he sustained that institution in its most trying times. He was Speaker of the House of Burgesses, and Treasurer under the most serene Princes William, Anne, George I. and II.
"Elected by the House its Speaker six years, and Governor of the Colony for more than a year, he upheld equally the regal dignity and the public freedom.
"Possessed of ample wealth, blamelessly acquired, he built and endowed, at his own expense, this sacred edifice,--a signal monument of his piety toward God. He furnished it richly.
"Entertaining his friends kindly, he was neither a prodigal nor a parsimonious host.
"His first wife was Judith, daughter of John Armistead, Esq.; his second Betty, a descendant of the noble family of Landons. By these wives he had many children, on whose education he expended large sums of money.
"At length, full of honours and of years, when he had well performed all the duties of an exemplary life, he departed from this world on the 4th day of August, in the 69th year of his age.
"The unhappy lament their lost comforter, the widows their lost protector, and the orphans their lost father."
- Land Holdings, Secondary quality.
[Note: supposedly as reported by researcher Arlene Eakle. 
Research Task: locate and properly cite these records.]
The Contribution of the Manor to the Settlement and Growth of Virginia
Robert “King” Carter amassed a huge acreage, most of it acquired while he served as agent (1702-1732) to the Northern Neck Proprietor, Lord Fairfax and his heirs (including Denny Martin who was required to assume the Fairfax name when he inherited the Proprietary). Carter challenged Fairfax for overlapping land boundaries because he had the support of a Virginia that resented such an important and huge landed estate totally in private hands as the Proprietary. Virginia did not originally receive income from these lands.
Robert Carter’s lands–Richland, and his extensive landholdings in the Northern Neck:
Lands included in Fauquier and Prince William counties, 1724:
*Licking Run tract, 10,227 acres
*Turkey Run tract, 10,610 acres
*Kettle Run tract, 6,166 acres
*Broad Run tract, 12,285 acres
*Bull Run tract, 41,440 acres
*Lower Bull Run tract, 8,989 acres in two parcels
Lands included in Fairfax and Loudoun counties, 1727-28:
*Goose Creek tract, 25,909 acres
*Frying Pan tract, 27,000 acres
Lands on and beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains, 1730-31:
*Shenandoah tract, 50,212 acres
*Pageland tract, 8,007 acres
*Williams Gap tract, 2,941 acres
*Ashby’s Bent tract, 4,207 acres in two parcels
Titles to these lands were issued in the names of the King’s sons, grandsons, sons in law: Landon Carter, George Carter, John Carter, Charles Carter, Robert Carter Jr, Mann Page of Rosewell, Lewis Burwell, Carter Burwell, Robert Burwell, Carter Page, Robin Page, Robert Carter Nicholas, Robert Carter Jr (son of John), Benjamin Harrison Jr, and Robert Carter Jr (son of Robert Carter). The records, however, refer to Colonel Carter’s boundaries.
- "The Diary, Correspondence, and Papers of Robert "King" Carter of Virginia, 1701-1732" by Edmund Berkeley, Jr. , in Virginia.edu, Secondary quality.