Colonel Thomas Randolph
b.JUN 1683 "Turkey Island" - Henrico County, Va
d.ABT. SEP 1729
Facts and Events
[Anc Chiswell Dabney from brooksparham.ged]
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/johnmarshall.htm Account of Thomas Randolph's family, especially that of his daughter, Mary Isham Randoph:
By contrast. the chief justice's maternal ancestors came from the remnants of English gentry and Scottish nobility who settled Virginia's great plantations. "My mother was named Mary Keith," wrote Marshall. "She was the daughter of a clergyman, of the name of Keith, who migrated from Scotland and intermarried with a Miss Randolph of James River."(12) Marshall's summary was as delicate as it was precise. His maternal grandmother, the Miss Randolph of James River," was Mary Isham Randolph, the granddaughter of William Randolph of Turkey Island and Mary Isham of Bermuda Hundred--colonial grandees sometimes referred to as the "Adam and Eve of Virginia." Their descendants include not only Marshall, but Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, and numerous generations of Randolphs.(13)
The Ishams and the Randolphs were among the first English settlers to arrive in Virginia.(14) The first Randolph, a merchant by the name of Henry, went to Jamestown in 1635. His business flourished, and in 1659 Henry was named clerk of the House of Burgesses. William Randolph, his nephew, arrived a few years later, and trained as a lawyer. He succeeded his uncle as the burgesses's clerk and eventually became attorney general of the colony. In 1680, he married Mary Isham, the much sought after daughter of Henry Isham. one of tidewater Virginia's largest landowners and the social arbiter of the families living on the south bank of the James River.
The Randolph-Isham union proved remarkably fertile. There were nine children and thirty-seven grandchildren. Each of the children married well, and the family holdings multiplied. One son, Richard of Curles,(*) married Jane Bolling, a great-granddaughter of Pocahontas. Another, Sir John Randolph, a distinguished lawyer and scholar, was knighted by George II in 1737, the only Virginian to be given such a rank in the colonial period.(15) A third son, Isham Randolph, who came into possession of the vast Dungeness plantation, was the grandfather of Thomas Jefferson. The descendants of William, the eldest son, intermarried with the Blands and the Lees, spawning additional dynasties. Thomas, the second son of the original William Randolph and Mary Isham, married the wealthy Judith Fleming of New Kent county,(16) and established one of the James River's most famous plantations at Tuckahoe. It was from the Tuckahoe Randolphs that Marshall was descended.
In the early 1730s Mary Isham Randolph, the eldest daughter of Thomas and Judith of' Tuckahoe, then a young girl of sixteen or seventeen, fell in love and eloped with a slave overseer from her uncle Isham's Dungeness plantation--an Irishman by the name of Enoch Arden.(17) The two were married secretly and had a child. Eventually they were discovered to be living on remote Elk Island in the James River. According to family chroniclers, the enraged Randolphs descended on the island, killed Arden and the baby, and took Mary back to Tuckahoe. The tragic loss of her husband and child shattered Mary's sanity(18)
Under careful family supervision, Mary recovered gradually, only to fall in love with yet another man deemed objectionable by the Randolphs. This time the object of Mary's affection was the Reverend James Keith. Keith was the minister of Henrico parish, one of the largest and most important parishes in Virginia.(19) It included not only Tuckahoe and other Randolph plantations on the James but the rapidly growing town of Richmond as well. A refugee from the abortive 1719 Jacobite uprising in Scotland, the Reverend Keith was particularly effective in the pulpit. He was a bachelor, but he was seventeen years older than Mary and, like much of the Anglican clergy in colonial Virginia, enjoyed a reputation for licentiousness.(20) Mary and James had an affair and appear to have been discovered in flagrante delicto. The Randolphs, who held two seats on the vestry of Henrico parish, forced Keith's resignation and did their utmost to prevent the pair from seeing each other. Keith resigned as minister of the parish on October 12, 1733,(21) and departed for Maryland immediately thereafter.(22)
The episode was handled gingerly by church authorities.(23) Commissary James Blair, the Church of England's representative in Virginia, and a former minister of Henrico parish, wrote to the Bishop of London that "Mr. Keith has privately left this parish and Country, being guilty of fornication with a young Gentlewoman, whose friends did so dislike his character that they would not let her marry him."(24) Blair, however, soon had second thoughts about the precipitate action against Keith. On March 24, 1734, he wrote a follow-up letter to the bishop stating that "I gave your Lordship an account of the misfortune which occasioned [Rev. Keith's resignation] tho' I did not then know what I have learned since that from some of the circumstances in his case, our Governor recommended him to the Governor of Maryland."(25) The circumstances are not mentioned by Blair, but presumably pertained to the tact that James Keith and Mary Randolph were deeply in love. The following year Blair rescinded Keith's exile to Maryland and appointed him minister of the frontier parish of Hamilton in what subsequently became Fauquier county.(*) When Mary came of age, she and James Keith were married, and between them they had eight children, including Marshall's mother.
The Keiths flourished in Fauquier county,(26) but Mary's troubles were not over. Years later she received a letter purporting to come from the Irishman Enoch Arden, triggering a final bout of insanity from which she never recovered. Despite the passage of time, Mary cherished the memory of Arden, and the possibility that he might still be alive filled her with despair--a despair compounded by fears that as a consequence her marriage to the Reverend Keith might be invalid.(27) Were that to be the case, their children would be illegitimate. The question was never resolved conclusively, and for whatever reason Chief Justice Marshall rarely mentioned his tie to the Randolphs.(28)
Marshall was less reluctant to discuss his Keith heritage. James Keith, born in 1697, was the son of a professor at Marischal College in Aberdeen.(29) Most of the Keiths, however, were soldiers: a military family whose lineal descendants bore the title Earl Marischal and who traced their roots to ancient Scottish and Saxon kings. Their soldierly exploits won wide renown and were celebrated in song and legend. Robert Keith, the first Earl Marischal, led the decisive cavalry charge at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314, culminating Scotland's struggle for independence.(30) George Keith (1553-1623), the fifth Earl Marischal, founded Marischal College. His grandson, the seventh Earl Marischal, supported the restoration of Charles II and was keeper of the privy seal of Scotland. Another grandson, John, first Earl of Kintore, held the family castle Dunnottar against Cromwell during the civil wars and preserved the regalia of Scotland, keeping it from falling into the hands of the Puritans.(31)
After the Glorious Revolution of 1688, which brought William and Mary to the throne, the Keiths continued to side with the Scottish James II (the Pretender) and helped to raise the armies that fought on his behalf. The Earl Marischal commanded the Jacobite forces that landed in Scotland in 1719, where they made a desperate but doomed effort to rally the highland clans to the Pretender's cause.(32) When the rebellion failed, the Keiths fled. James Keith, Marshall's grandfather and a first cousin of the Earl Marischal, came to Virginia.(33) His companion, James Francis Edward Keith, the Earl Marischal's younger brother, continued as a soldier, first in the Spanish, then the Russian, and finally in the Prussian army.(34)