Person:Richard Kennon (6)

Richard Kennon
b.c. 1625 England
d.before 1703
  1. Richard KennonEst 1625 - Bef 1703
  1. Dr. Richard Kennon1650 - 1696
Facts and Events
Name Richard Kennon
Gender Male
Birth? c. 1625 England
Alt Birth? 1625 Conjurer's Neck, Henrico, Virginia, United States
Alt Death? 1654 Conjurer's Neck, Henrico, Virginia, United States
Death? before 1703

Richard was a merchant, member of House of Burgesses and Justice of Chesterfield County.

The Remarkable Lady of Conjurer's Neck. This article is from the book Chesterfield , An Old Virginia County, by Francis Earl Lutz. Published by William Byrd Press: Richmond, Virginia, 1954. p. 62.

"In 1639 Richard Kennon patented land on a peninsula created by the bend of the Appomattox River and Swift Creek. Kennon was a representative for a large London firm and traded the goods he imported. Among the less admirable imports by Kennon was slaves.

The site of his land patent was called "Conjurer's Neck" because when the white people came to the hand of the "Appomutucks," an old Indian conjurer occupied that site.

In 1611 Sir Thomas Dale had all the Indians from this area driven off in retaliation for an Indian attack on a white settlement; thus the fertile tilled land of the Indians became available for use by the white settlers.

Kennon was public spirited and served in all offices to which he was called. In addition, he was a sportsman and prior to 1677 he was known to race many horses in the "Quarter" races held at the track in Bermuda Hundred.

He built a residence called "Brick House" which is currently believed to be the oldest surviving house in the County. The dwelling was begun in 1685, and it is believed that the brick may have been manufactured on the peninsula, for in reality, few American buildings were actually built of English brick.

Richard Kennon married Elizabeth Bolling, daughter of Colonel Robert Bolling and his second wife, Anne Stith. Their first son was named Richard Kennon, Jr., and died at four years of age. He was buried just beyond the bay window of the house so that the bereaved young mother could watch over the grave.

It was not unusual, during the early colonial area, for a second son to bear the name of the first son who had died, so the Kennons also named their second son Richard. They were blessed with a third son whom they named William.

Richard Kennon, Sr. must have died prior to 1703, because in that year Elizabeth Kennon joined a group that included eight other people of influence and patented 4,000 acres on a creek called Winterpock in southwest Chesterfield. It appears that she entered this deal on behalf of her sons who were not of age.

This lady seems to have been business minded because she was also listed as the proprietor of a ferry which operated from Point of Rocks to the Prince George side of the Appomattox. She operated this as late as 1720 when she would have been around fifty-five years old; an advanced age for a colonial lady.

By 1711 the Kennon's son William was one of William Byrd, II's subordinates in the Appomattox militia. When Chesterfield County was organized in 1749, William Kennon, Sr., and William Kennon, Jr., were among those charged by Governor William Gooch to be justices in the new county.

In 1762 William Kennon, Jr., was given permission to operate a mill on the Appomattox River. A creek near this mill was renamed Kennon Mill Creek, in honor of the popular man.

The Kennons, like many other County residents, were moving westward and continued to be outstanding County residents in their new location. This was indeed, one of Chesterfield's finer families."

Conjurer's Neck. The source for the following article is unknown.

"The neck of land at the northeast corner of the city lying between Swift Creek and the north side of the Appomattox River, was once known as Conjurer's Neck. A conjurer was an Indian magician found in the eastern United States. One early custom of the Indian was to place the conjurer at the confluence of streams to ward off evil spirits believed to inhabit the waters, so it is natural to assume the Appomattox Indians placed a conjurer at the point where Swift Creek runs into the Appomattox River.

On December 1, 1620, the Mayflower was still at sea off the coast of Massachusetts when the first known land patent was granted in Colonial Heights - the land known as Conjurer's Neck.

In 1685, Richard Kennon, a merchant of Bermuda Hundred, built a brick plantation home, and another famous name attached to Conjurer's Neck, being that of "The Brick House Farm." The house was consumed by a fire in 1879, but most of the original walls still stand. Undoubtedly, it is the oldest home in Chesterfield County and by far, the oldest brick home in Colonial Heights.

Since 1909, Conjurer's Neck has been known to local residents as "Comstock's." While the conjurer has long departed from this ancient and historic site, his spell remains in the magical, friendly surroundings still to be found at Conjurer's Neck."

Brick House. This brief article was taken from Old Virginia Houses Along the James by Emmie Ferguson Farrar.

"The oldest brick house in Chesterfield County, and thought by some to be the oldest in Virginia, is located on the promontory between Swift Creek and Appomattox River, and is simply called Brick House. The peninsula on which it stands is sometimes referred to as "Conjuror's Neck," because an old Indian conjuror used to live there.

Brick House was built in 1685 by Richard Kennon, an English gentleman of wealth, whose family received large land grants in Virginia. Kennon came to Virginia prior to 1670, and became a merchant of Bermuda Hundred; he also represented Henrico County in the House of Burgesses. Richard Kennon, Jr. was also a member of the House of Burgesses. He married the daughter of Col. Robert Bolling, the emigrant, and his second wife, the former Anne Stith. Richard's sister was married to John Bolling, half-brother of Richard's wife - John was the son of Col. Robert Bolling and his first wife Jane Rolfe. They lived at Cobb's.

The Kennons and their descendants intermarried with many of the most distinguished families, the Blands, Randolphs, Tuckers, and others.

The social life of their families absorbed much of their leisure - music, dancing, cards, winters spent in Williamsburg, entertaining many distinguished visitors in their homes.

Brick House was damaged by fire in 1879. It passed from the Kennon family soon after. The Comstock family acquired the property in 1909, restored the old house, and have made it their home for almost half a century."

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