Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library Research Report Series - 1018
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library
The house known as the "Chiswell-Bucktrout House" is situated on Francis Street in Williamsburg. The lots are marked "Chiswell" on Tyler's adaptation of the College Map (1791?) and on the Bucktrout Map (1803) of Williamsburg.
Because the lots lie in that part of Williamsburg which was in James City county it is difficult if not impossible to get clear titles as court records were largely destroyed by fire during the Civil War. The first known owner and occupant was Colonel John Chiswell who was on the location prior to 1766 at the time of his death. Following his decease, there was a sale of Chiswell's property though Mrs. Chiswell the widow may have continued to live at the property until the sale in 1770. Sometime prior to 1779 Benjamin Bucktrout, a carpenter and cabinet-maker, apparently had acquired the property. He had been located on Francis Street in October, 1774 though records do not seem to justify saying that he was on this property then. In 1777 Bucktrout had a store somewhere in Williamsburg and a powder mill. In August, 1779 he offered the property for sale noting that it was "where the subscriber lives, formerly belonging to Colonel Chiswell." William Davenport, a tavern-keeper, opened and operated at the location in 1779. Monsieur Jean Cadou, dancing and fencing teacher, advertised that he could be found "at Davenport's" and Monsieur de Chef de Bien, limner, offered his talents, also, stating that he was "at Mr. William Davenport's." As Bucktrout at this period owned only ¼ lot in the city, it would seem that he had sold the Chiswell property. However, we do not know the owner from ca. 1779 to 1806 when Anthony Robinson, lawyer and son-in-law of William Russell, clerk of the Williamsburg General Court, had become owner, As Robinson (from the Land Tax Records) gained the property via Moody, and as Philip Moody was sergeant of the town then, it may be that Robinson bought from the Chiswell estate because Bucktrout had never owned the property in fee simple. Robinson owned the property until 1814 when he conveyed to Reverend John Bracken, president of William and Mary College, who lived there until his death in 1818. Bracken's daughter, Julia Bracken Avery, was the next owner. She held it until ca. 1839 when Mrs. Susan Byrd purchased it and soon sold to Lemuel J. Bowden. Bowden was the owner and occupant until around the Civil War when he moved into a new house on Duke of Gloucester Street near the church. The new house is now known as the "Armistead House." A gap in title occurs until 1889 when James L. Slater was owner. In 1895 Slater sold to Richard G. Wise. He or his heirs held until 1922, when it was conveyed to S. D. Freeman. In 1928 it was bought by Dr. W. A. R. Goodwin representing Williamsburg Restoration.
The Frenchman's Map (1782) shows a very long house on this lot with two outbuildings to the south. The plats of the city made ca. 1803 by Bucktrout and the College Map (1791?) indicate the name "Chiswell" — a confusing situation in view of the fact that Chiswell died in 1766.
|Date||Owned by||Date||Occupied by||Profession|
|1764 ca.||Col John Chiswell||1766-1770||Chiswell family||Army Colonel|
|1770||Mrs. Chiswell & John Robinson Est.||1770-|
|1776||Benj. Bucktrout (?)||1776-1779||Bucktrout (?)||Cabinet-maker|
|1779||Benjamin Bucktrout||1779||William Davenport Monsieur Cadou Monsieur Chef de Bien||Tavern-keeper Dancing Teacher Limner|
|1806||Anthony Robinson||1806-1814||Robinson family||Lawyer|
|1814||John Bracken||1814-1840||Bracken family||Minister & Pres. of Wm. & Mary College|
|1818||Mrs. Julia Avery||1818-1840||Mrs. Avery|
|1840||Mrs. Susan Byrd|
|1840||Lemuel J. Bowden||1840-1859||Bowden||Lawyer|
|1889||James L. Slater||1889-1895||Slater family|
|1895||Richard A. Wise||1895-1901||Wise family||Physician|
|1922||S. D. Freeman||1922-1928||Freeman family|
|1928||W. A. R. Goodwin for Williamsburg Restoration||1928-1959|
The Chiswell-Bucktrout house is located on the south side of Francis Street in Williamsburg near the Capitol. See: Tyler's adaptation of the College Map (1791?) opposite page. The lots are marked "Chiswell."
Nearly all deeds or wills relating to lots in James City county court records or in the General Court records were destroyed during the Civil War. This precludes any chance of giving a clear title to these lots. From scattered evidence such as newspapers, family papers, suits and a few statutes, it has been possible to interpret the ownership of these lots only from ca. 1766 to the present.
Available facts point to Colonel John Chiswell1 as the first owner of whom there is any record. Just when or how he came into possession cannot be said, nor can we know, definitely, if he was owner in fee simple. However, sometime prior to 1766 Chiswell was living at this location on Francis Street.2
Colonel Chiswell was a member of the House of Burgesses from Hanover County from 1742-1758. He represented Williamsburg from 1756-1758. He owned property in Williamsburg as early as 1752. In August, 1752, he and George Gilmer bought the Raleigh Tavern from Alexander Finnie.3 2 There are accounts of "Messrs Chiswell & Gilmer in Williamsburg" with Francis Jerdone, merchant at Yorktown, in 1751-'52; "Col. John Chiswell of Williamsburg" in 1754; and "Col John Chiswell" 1751.1 From 1752-1766, Chiswell had slaves baptized in Bruton Parish.2 Sometime prior to 1761 Colonel Chiswell owned lots 329-331 on Palace Green.3 From 1761-'63 Chiswell had accounts with Alexander Craig, sadler, in the city.4
The Chiswells occupied a prominent place in the community of Williamsburg. She was a daughter of William Randolph of "Turkey Island"; he was a son of Charles Chiswell, once Clerk of the General Court. Susannah Chiswell, daughter of Colonel and Mrs. Chiswell, married Speaker and Treasurer John Robinson.5 Together with Robinson, William Byrd and Governor Fauquier, Colonel Chiswell owned valuable lead mines in Wythe County. In the opinion of Dr. Kenneth McKenzie, Mrs. Chiswell ranked with Mrs. Dinwiddie, and "Mrs. Attorney," wife of John Randolph, — for he requested "Mrs. Dinwiddie, Mrs. Attorney and Mrs. Chiswell or one of them to take her [his young daughter] under their care for a year or two in order to her further improvement."6 "Mr. Attorney" was the first cousin of Mrs. Chiswell; her aunt was Mrs. William Stith, wife of the president of William and Mary College and her brother, Peter Randolph, was a member of the Council.
In 1766 while in a tavern in Cumberland county, John Chiswell 3 quarrelled with a Scotch merchant, Robert Rutledge, and called him "a fugitive rebel, a villain who came to Virginia to cheat and defraud men of their property, and a Presbyterian fellow…" according to one witness.1 Chiswell killed Rutledge, was arrested, and was let out of jail on bail by three friends, John Blair, Presley Thornton and William Byrd. Chiswell's death on October 15, 1766 before the time of the trial, was explained by John Randolph thus:
On Wednesday last (15th) about 2 P.M. died at his House in this city Col. John Chiswell, after a short illness. The causes of his death by the Judge't of his physicians upon oath, were nervous fits owing to constant uneasiness of the mind. [The editor adds, "Notwithstanding this he is believed to have committed suicide."] 2
Speaker John Robinson, Chiswell's son-in-law, died on May 11th 1766 just a few months prior to Colonel Chiswell's death.3 As Robinson owed the state over £1,000,000 as Treasurer, an Act was passed in November, 1769 "for the more speedy and effectual recovery of the debt to the public from the estate of the late treasurer":
I. …It is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, [Assembly] That Edmund Pendleton and Peter Lyons, gentlemen, surviving administrators of the said John Robinson, or the survivor of them, shall, within six months from the passing of this act, fairly sell and dispose of all the lands, slaves, goods and chattels, and other estate of which the said John Robinson died seized and possessed, for all the interest which the said John Robinson had therein, or which he might lawfully part with, except the dower, or Susanna Robinson, his widow, upon twelve months credit, for the best price that can be had, and convey the same to the purchaser or purchasers in fee simple, who shall thereafter respectively hold the same, discharged of the title of the said John Robinson, and his heirs, and all claiming under him.4
III. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That the money to be raised, by virtue of this act, shall be accounted for by the said Edmund Pendleton and Peter Lyons [executors], and after deducting the expences of sale and collection, shall be paid to Robert Carter Nicholas, esq; treasurer of this colony, or to the treasurer for the time being,… to be by him applied towards the redemption of the treasury notes, and accounted for to the general assembly, until the balance due from the estate of the said John Robinson to the public, with the interest thereof, is fully paid and discharged; and when that is done, the surplus, if any, shall be applied in a legal course of administration of the said estate. And whereas part of the said John Robinson's lands are subject to the dower of Mrs. Elizabeth Chiswell; and if that dower should be laid off, and if the dower of the said Susanna Robinson should be assigned in each particular tract of land, it might prejudice the sales thereof, and it would be beneficial to the public, and enhance the sale if the said Edmund Pendleton and Peter Lyons, were allowed to compound for the said dowers:
IV. Be it therefore enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That the said Edmund Pendleton and Peter Lyons shall have full power and authority to make any contract or contracts with the said Elizabeth Chiswell and Susanna Robinson, or either of them, for procuring their respective releases of dower in any of the lands of the said John Robinson, in which they are severally intitled to such dower, either by allotting them, and either of them, certain tracts of land in lieu of dower in the whole, or by allowing them the usual proportion of the money for which the lands shall sell, as to them shall appear just and equitable;…1
In 1768 Mrs. Chiswell paid 9 tithes, chariot tax and quit tax on 200 acres in James City County.2
In June, 1768 Miss Polly Chiswell married Warner Lewis, Jr., in Williamsburg.3 This would be further indication that the Chiswells had not removed from the house following Colonel Chiswell's death.
The provision of the Act calling for a sale was carried out on 5 December 28, 1769, in a long announcement by Edmund Pendleton and Peter Lyons in the Virginia Gazette of the approaching sale of Robinson's plantations, and property in Williamsburg:
[December 28, 1769]
IN OBEDIENCE TO THE DIRECTION OF THE HOUSE OF BURGESSES, and by virtue of an act of the General Assembly of this colony, we shall proceed to sell all the estate of John Robinson, Esq; deceased, late Treasurer of Virginia, on twelve months credit… [date set for sale of Scotchtown, Mankahick, 4700 acres in Spotsylvania county, plantation below Morocosick bridge, "plantation where Mrs. Robinson now lives, lying on Mattapony river, in King and Queen county," Turner's warehouses &c., land belonging to the lead mines, Dismal Swamp company and other plantations…]
On Monday the 30th day of April will be sold on the premises, at Williamsburg, the houses and lots in the Back street, where Mrs. Chiswell now lives, which are conveniently and pleasantly situated, and so well known that it is useless to describe them. At the same time and place will be sold, the household and kitchen furniture, and several fine SLAVES, chiefly house-servants; also a chariot and horses, some milch cows, &c…
From the above two citations, we learn that Robinson owned property "in the Back street," in Williamsburg on which there were houses in which Mrs. Chiswell lived;2 that Mrs. Chiswell had dower rights; and that Mrs. Robinson did not live in Williamsburg but at her plantation on Mattapony river in King and Queen county.
A few days prior to the proposed sale, the administrators ran this notice in the Virginia Gazette which called attention to the sale: 6
[April 5, 1770]On Monday the30th of Aprilwill be SOLD at Williamsburg, on the premisses,
THE HOUSES and LOTS in the back street, belonging to Mr. Robinson's estate, now in the occupation of Mrs. Chiswell, which are pleasantly and conveniently situated; also the HOUSEHOLD and KITCHEN FURNITURE in and belonging to them, several valuable SLAVES, being the servants usually employed in and about the house and kitchen, a CHARIOT and HORSES, a good COACHMAN, some MILCH COWS &c. At the same time and place will be sold a TRACT of LAND in James City county,…Lilliput, adjoining the plantation of Mr. Benjamin Weldon, containing about 400 acres. [other property to be sold also]…1
The sale was held the last of April. Pendleton's accounts of administration show that Robinson's property in Williamsburg, "Lands had of Chiswell," brought £480:
SALES OF THE ROBINSON ESTATE Sales of the Estate of John Robinson Esqr.
Time of Sale Place of Sale Lands had of Chiswell Other Lands Slaves 1770 April Williamsburg £480 £533 £843.11.0
No other accounts of the Chiswells in Williamsburg have been located in any records. Just who bought the property is not known. There is some reason to believe that Benjamin Bucktrout,3 cabinet-maker, may have purchased it from the Chiswell estate.4 A strange item found in the Edward Charlton Account Book seems to indicate that Bucktrout paid "part House rent" to a Mr. Holt in 1776: 7.
1776 Mr Benjamin Bucktrout Dr Jany To five Years Shavg £5.0.0 To part House rent pay Mr Holt 13.6.8
Whether this bill was a past shaving account unpaid to Charlton and part rent to Holt as agent we do not know. We know from subsequent records to follow in the report that Bucktrout advertised "the House formerly Colonel Chiswell's" where he was then living (in 1779) for sale. (To follow chronologically in the report.)
We shall give Bucktrout's business-history in Williamsburg from 1771 to August, 1779:
[May 9, 1771]
Just IMPORTED, and to be SOLD cheap for ready Money, by the Subscriber, in WILLIAMSBURG, A NEAT and ELEGANT ASSORTMENT of PAPER HANGINGS, of various Kinds, and of the newest Fashions, for Staircases, Rooms, and Ceilings; namely, embossed, Stocco, Chintz, striped, Mosaick, Damask, and common Rooms papered in the neatest Manner, and on reasonable Terms.
⸫ BENJAMIN BUCKTROUT.2
Sept. 17, 1771.
To be SOLD, any Time, betwixt this and October Court, for ready Money, SUNDRY fine PRINTS done by Mr. FRY, and some ELECTION PIECES BY Hogarth, the Property of a Gentleman gone to England. They may be seen at any Time on applying to
N.B. Sundry neat PAPER HANGINGS to be sold. —— — —Rooms neatly papered on reasonable Terms.3
Williamsburg, July 4, 1774.
I HAVE for Sale, for ready Money, the following Articles, viz. MATRASSES, made of the best English curled Hair, without 8 any Addition of Tow or Wool; HAIR SEATING for Chairs; BOXES of TYPES for marking Linen, Books, &c. PAPER HANGINGS, of the best Kinds, and most fashionable Patterns. — I have likewise to dispose of, the Remainder of the Time of an indented young Woman from Ireland, who was bred up as a Spinner in one of the first Linen Manufactures in that Kingdom; and the sole Reason of my parting with her is, my not having Employ for her,…
[October 27, 1774]
Just Imported, and to be SOLD cheap for ready Money, by the Subscriber in Francis Street, Williamsburg, FINE Bottled Porter, Taunton Beer, Gloucester Cheese, Negro Plains, Kendal Cottons, Plain and Striped Blankets, Fine Lustrings of different Patterns, Yorkshire Cloths, Patterns for Mens Surtout Coats, with Trimmings to each, Mens fine and coarse Hats, Velvet bound Hats with Roses, Mens Boots, Womens and Childrens Leather Shoes, Mens Gloves, Womens fine French Kid Gloves, Guns, Silver mounted and plain Pistols, Saddles complete, Whips, Hair Brooms and Brushes, Wool and Playing Cards, Horn Lanthorns, Plaistering Trowels, Sets of Types for marking of Linen, Checks and Striped Holland, Pepper, Allspice, Ginger, Paper Hangings for Rooms, Best Durham Mustard, Blue and White Water Jugs, Chamber Pots, Quart and Pint Mugs, Milk Pans, Sage and Balm Tea Pots, Coffin Furniture, Hair Seating for Chairs, Matrasses, Glass Salts, Vinegar Cruits, Salt, &c. &c.
This is the first mention made as to Bucktrout's shop on Francis Street.
[February 4, 1775]
CABINET MAKER, IN FRANCIS STREET, WILLIAMSBURG,
STILL carries on that Business in all its Branches, where Ladies and Gentlemen may be supplied with any Sort of Cabinet Work in the best and neatest Manner… I return those Ladies and Gentlemen who were pleased to favour me with their Commands, my most grateful Thanks, and hope for a Continuance of their Favours, which to merit shall always be the Study of their most humble Servant,
N.B. I should be glad to take one or two Apprentices of bright Genuises, and of good Dispositions, and such whose Friends are willing to find them in Clothes.3
In 1775 the Virginia Military Treasury Account Book shows that Benjamin Bucktrout was paid for "iron potts for public use."1
On the 19th of February,  John Page wrote to Richard Lee concerning a powder mill which Bucktrout, ingenuously, had erected in Williamsburg. Page highly endorsed the mill and stated that he would encourage Bucktrout "to go on with his work."
On February 19th John Page wrote to Richard Henry Lee:
"I moved too, with the like success, that the sum of £40 should be paid to Bucktrout, for his ingenuity in constructing, and to defray the expenses of erecting a powder mill; and to enable him to prosecute his plan of working up the Salt Petre which may be collected in the neighbouring Counties, with his Hand Powder Mill now at work in this City. The President [Pendleton]—altho' I told the Committee I would engage to make 100 lbs. of Powder per day with it, and endeavoured to show the necessity of encouraging such a work — declared that in his opinion it was a Bauble, — and 5 members were of opinion that it was not worth the reward I proposed. I was ashamed for the Committee, and very much hurt to find that my recommendation of a machine which I understood perfectly and had seen tried, and a man of whose ingenuity I had before produced proofs by showing powder of his making and proving its excellence by actual experiments, had not the least weight with the Committee. The mill, Sir, alone, well attended, might supply a great part of our Country with Powder. I shall do all I can to encourage the man to go on with his work. I think private subscriptions, until the Convention meets, may enable him to be very serviceable. The Committee indeed, on finding that many people in Town entertain an high opinion of this Mill, begin to appear willing to give 10 some kind of encouragement to it." (Southern Literary Messenger, XXVII, 255.)1
A letter in the Lee Papers, February 20, 1776 — John Page to Richard Henry Lee, Williamsburg had this statement: "Committee has ordered down the saltpetre which had been sent to Petersburg to be worked up by Bucktrout—hope this will encourage him to carry on manufacturing gun-powder to a large extent."2
Another letter of Page's to Thomas Jefferson continued to urge that Bucktrout's powder mill be taken into consideration and if possible, funds allotted to assist in operations:
"Wmsburg April the 26th. 1776
My dear Jefferson
Would you believe it, that we have not yet erected one Powder Mill at the public Expence, and that the only one which has received any Encouragement from the Public has made but about 700 lb., and that I have not been able to procure the least Assistance from the Committee for Bucktrout's hand-Mill, except their selling him about 400 lb. of Salt-petre of the Shops half dirt and common Salt for which they demand 3/ per lb., although his Mill is an elegant Machine and 2 Men can work it with ease, beating with 6 Pestles weighing 60 lbs. each in Mortars containing 20 lbs. of Paste, and he has actually beat 120 lb. of Powder in them and grained 40 lb. which has been used in proving Cannon &c. and which was found to be strong and good under every disadvantage of want of Sieves and being made with bad Sulphur and Nitre. And he has been at great Pains in erecting his Mill and Apparatus for it, and for a Salt-petre work with it, yet the Committee of Safety refused any Motion to allow him 30 or 40 Pounds as a Reward for his public Spirit and Ingenuity and to enable him to go on with his Plan. They insist on it that the premium of 6/ per lb. is sufficient Encouragement for making Gun powder, and are deaf to my Argument that Works of this Sort can not be erected and set a going without a good Stock of Money and that Premiums will do very well to keep up any Art once introduced, but are by no Means sufficient to introduce it into ready and general Use. This Powder 11 Mill is so simple that if it were once cleverly at Work it would please every one who saw it, and would lead numbers of ingenious People to erect such in different Parts of the Country. There might be one in every Coun[ty] which in my Opinion might work up the Salt-petre which ought to be made in each County, and in this Manner Powder enough might be made for all America…
On February 27th, 1777 Page reported to Lee from Williamsburg: "…The two private Powder mills — for there are none belonging to the public — stand still for want of Saltpetre…"2
Research has not located Bucktrout's powder mill.
We do not know the location of Bucktrout's cabinet-making shop except it was "on Francis Street." We do not know where he made the powder as above described by John Page. On the extreme southern part of the lot, archaeological findings (1941) located long foundations (22' 10 3/8") with large fireplace (10' 7¼") at north end with another fireplace (smaller) at south end. An addition towards the south showed fireplace (2' 4¼"). See: drawing in Illustration #2 by James Knight. According to Mr. Knight, it was most unusual to find evidence of a brick building with three fireplaces. A smaller square building foundation (8' 1/") was found to the northwest of the building. To what use these buildings were put is not known. They may have been slave quarters or it is not impossible to think they may have been the cabinet making shop or possible the combination of cabinet-making and powder-mill shop. No artifacts were uncovered to add any light on the use to which this building was put.312
In February, 1777, Bucktrout had been appointed Purveyor and Steward to the Continental Hospital at Williamsburg: "And Benjamin Bucktrout is allowed two Dollars per Day for acting as Purveyor & Steward to the Hospital."1
Though "Joseph Hay had been appointed apothecary to the Hospital with the pay of two Dollars and four Rations per Day he being restricted from any private practice," it seems that Bucktrout was allowed to continue with his store: "a cargo of goods just imported from St. Eustatia [will] be sold at publick vendue, at Mr. Bucktrout's store in Williamsburg."2 And, in June, 1777 Bucktrout furnished rum at the meeting of the Botetourt Masonic Lodge in Williamsburg.3
In December, 1778, a warrant was issued by the Council "for Eight hundred pounds payable to Benjamin Bucktrout upon Account as Purveyor to the Public Hospitals."4
In March, 1779 "Thomas Russell was appointed Purveyor of the Public Hospital in ye room of Benja Bucktrout who hath resigned."5
In August, 1779, Bucktrout offered for sale "the house formerly belonging to Colonel Chiswell" on Francis Street, as well as some of his household furniture and furnishings, cabinet-maker's tools, and seasoned wood for cabinet-making and building — the reason given that he expected to leave the state in October: 13
[August 28, 1779]
TO be sold betwixst this and the 27th of September, at private sale; the houses and lots where the subscriber lives, formerly belonging to Colonel Chiswell, it is very well calculated for a tavern as there is every necessary requisite, with a very good pasture joining. Also will be sold for ready money, on Wednesday the 22d of September, a variety of household and kitchen furniture, consisting of beds, bedding, mohogany chairs, tables, and chest of draws, hansome looking-glasses, Queen's china plates and dishes, ivory handled knives and forks, and an easy chair. Likewise two riding chairs and harness, two carts with harness for four horses, three very good milch cows, three good chair horses, two mare colts,… a negro woman, who is an exceeding good washer and ironer; likewise will be sold a chest of cabinet makers and house joiners tools, with a quantity of very fine broad one, two, and three inch mohogany plank, which has been cut this five years, a parcel of shingles, pine and oak plank and scantling, nails of different sizes, window glass 8 by 10, and many other articles.
⸫All persons indebted to the subscriber are desired to settle their accounts by the last of September; and those who have accounts are desired to apply for payment… I intend leaving this state in October next. BENJAMIN BUCKTROUT.
If the house is not sold by the time mentioned, it will be rented by the last of September, for which bond and security will be required by B. B.1
William Davenport,2 tavern keeper, rented: 14
[October 2, 1779]
BEGS leave to inform the publick in general, and his friends in particular, that he has opened TAVERN in the house formerly occupied by Col. Chiswell, and lately by Benjamin Bucktrout, situate on the back street; and assures all those who please to favour him with their custom, that nothing in his power shall be lacking to give universal satisfaction. He has got good pasturage, but will not be answerable for horses that may stray or be stolen.1
Shortly after the above notice, two Frenchmen: one a dancing teacher; the other a limner, announced that they were lodging at William Davenports:
[November 13, 1779]
MONSIEUR JEAN CADOU, takes this publick method of acquainting the Gentlemen and Ladies, that he intend opening a DANCING SCHOOL in this city. Those who choose to encourage him will please send or write to him at Mr. William Davenports where he lodges. He likewise propose teaching Gentlemen to FENCE in all its different branches, and will wait upon them by inquiring as above.2
[November 20, 1779]
MONSIEUR JEAN CADOU intends opening a DANCING SCHOOL, on Monday next, at the house of Mr. Cornelius De Forest, and will teach on Mondays and Tuesdays, for 50 dollars per month. He will also teach Ladies the FRENCH LANGUAGE, either at their own houses, or at the house of Mr. De Forest: Price the same as for dancing. Gentlemen may make application to him at Captain William Davenport's, in the back street.3
[November 20, 1779]
MONSIEUR DE CHEF DE BIEN, LIMNER IN MINATURE,
BEGS leave to inform the Ladies and Gentlemen, who are desirous of having their pictures drawn in miniature, that they will be waited upon, by addressing a line to him at Mr. William Davenports.4
Bucktrout, evidently, became a Tory during the last part of the 15 Revolutionary War:
[November 24, 1781]
At the request of the Common Hall of this City, I am to inform your Excellency, that a number of Persons who were formerly residents of this Town, and who joined the British Army, have, since Lord Cornwallis' Reduction, returned here; and are at this time, quietly enjoying the privileges and advantages of good citizens which we cannot conceive they are entitled to. I have inclosed a List of such of them as can be recollected at present, and have no doubt that some mode will be adopted by the Executive to enquire into this matter.
Henry Drake Watson
James Hubard jnr:
This is the only known account of Bucktrout's going off with Cornwallis. If Dr. Lyon Tyler is correct in assuming that Bucktrout had married a daughter of John Earnshaw, collector of the Upper ports of James River 1767-1775, then Bucktrout as a loyalist may have gone to England in 1777 to return with Cornwallis in 1781. Bucktrout may have been influenced by his father-in-law.2 Further reason to believe that Page's account is correct as to Bucktrout's Tory association, is that in the Public Record List appears the name of James Hubard who was from Williamsburg.
Williamsburg Land Tax records — which include many lots in the James City part of Williamsburg — list Benjamin Bucktrout as owner of only ¼ lot.3 This would seem to imply that Bucktrout had succeeded in selling 16 the Francis Street property either in 1779 or sometime prior to 1782. Davenport's name does not appear in the tax records. This would indicate that he did not own lots in the city; however, some lot owners in the James City part of Williamsburg are not listed in the Land Tax records.
On the Frenchman's Map of Williamsburg (1782) there appears to be a very long house on this lot with two outbuildings to the south.1 The plats of the city made ca. 1803 by Bucktrout,2 and the College Map (1791?)3 only add to the confusion. In spite that Bucktrout occupied the Chiswell house and apparently had the right to sell it in 1779, both of the plats referred to above put the name, "Chiswell" on three lots on Francis Street and four to the south. Lot #9 marked "Chiswell or Robinson" seems to verify the connection between Chiswell's and John Robinson's property. No explanation can be found for so designating these lots as "Chiswell" unless the Chiswell estate held mortgage and Bucktrout never owned the property in fee simple.
In 1788 Bucktrout applied to the Executive "for his pay as Purveyor to Hospitals in the late War." He could collect the warrant he held from the Treasury and "begs to be allowed annual payment of interest thereon…"4
In 1806 Anthony Robinson, lawyer and a son-in-law of William Russell, clerk of the general court in Williamsburg, had become owner of the property: "8¼ lots via Moody." As Philip Moody owned only 3¼ lots (all accounted for) and as he was deputy sheriff at the time, it may 17 be that he was having a forced sale of the Chiswell-Robinson estate which had not been entirely settled or of Bucktrout's property. As there are no deeds to this property extant, it is not possible to clear this point. However, an insurance policy for 1806 giving the Ewing estate, described it as "between the Lotts of Josias Moody on the West and the Lott of Anthony Robinson on the East in the county of James City."1
Robinson had been living in Williamsburg from ca. 1803. He continued to reside there until 1814 when he moved to Richmond to the office of Auditor of Public Accounts.2 While in Williamsburg he settled the estates of William Russell, his father-in-law, and of Mrs. Jane Charlton, great-aunt of Mrs. Robinson and a well-known milliner in the city.3
In 1814 Robinson conveyed the property to Reverend John Bracken, President of William and Mary College and Rector of Bruton Parish Church for over forty years.4 The Land Tax shows the change in ownership thus: "Anthony Robinson & Elizabeth his wife to John Bracken Certain House and Lotts of land lying and being in the said City of Williamsbg."5 Land Tax records for 1815 give: "8¼ lot via Anthony Robinson and Elizabeth his wife——$120."6
Bracken continued to own the property until his death in 1818 when it became the property of his daughter, Mrs. Julia Bracken Avery, wife of 18 George Avery one of the operators and owners of the Dismal Swamp Land Company. Mrs. Avery paid personal property taxes in the city from 1820 to 1828.1 We assume that she was living at this location during that time. Mrs. Avery, apparently, was the owner until sometime ca. 1840 when she conveyed to Mrs. Susan Byrd,2 widow of Addison Byrd, grandson of William Byrd III:
[January 29, 1840]
[Susan Byrd of Williamsburg to Lemuel J. Bowden of Williamsburg Consideration: $2000]…has granted, bargained and so let and by these presents does grant, bargain and sell unto the said Lemuel J. Bowden, his heirs and assigns all that piece, parcel or lot of land lying, being and situate in the City of Williamsburg, on Francis Street, purchased by her of J. C. Avery, which piece of land contains by estimation five acres, more or less, together with the dwelling house and other buildings, stables, yards, gardens, hereditaments and appurtenances whatsoever, to the said piece or parcel of land…and the reversion and reversions, remainder and remainders, rents, issues and profits thereof. The said piece or parcel of land and the houses thereto attached are the same lately occupied by George W. McCandlish, and purchased by Susan Byrd of Julia C. Avery, by deed dated on the _____ day of _____, and recorded in the Hustings Court office of the City of Williamsburg…
S. Byrd Seal3 [Recorded Williamsburg Hustings Court January 29, 1840]
In December 1857, Lemuel J. Bowden insured his dwelling, furniture thus:
…On his Dwelling House in Williamsburg $1800 On his Furniture therein 500
Because the court records for Williamsburg and James City county were destroyed in 1865 it is impossible to trace title until 1889 when James L. Slater acquired the property:
[November 20, 1889]
[Sydney Smith, special commissioner by decree of May 18, 1889, in Chancery Suit of Porter and wife vs Bowden's Personal Representative,
James L. Slater]
…All that certain lot of land, in the City of Williamsburg, Virginia, fronting 130 feet on Francis Street and running back between parallel lines 96 feet, and bounded as follows: On the east by property of Delia A. Braithwaite, on the south by a portion of Bowden's lot, and on the west by the lot recently purchased by A. C. Peachy, being that portion of the Bowden lot known as and containing the `Old Residence' …4
In 1895 James L. Slater and Robinette, his wife, conveyed with general warranty, unto Richard A. Wise, the above described property:
[September 14, 1895]
[James L. Slater and wife
Richard A. Wise5]
…All that certain lot of land, with the buildings thereon, situate in the City of Williamsburg, County of James City, State of Virginia, fronting on Francis Street 130 feet, running south between parallel lines 20 525 feet, and bounded as follows: On the north by Francis Street, on the east by estate of W. W. Braithwaite, on the south by estate of said Braithwaite, and on the west by the lots of J. L. Slater and L. W. Wales.…"1
In April, 1922 Virginia Peachy Wise, heir of Richard A. Wise, conveyed to S. D. Freeman.2 Freeman gave deed of trust to B. D. Peachy to secure Virginia Peachy Wise the payment of $5000. This deed of trust was released on April 3, 1928.3
There were many divisions of adjoining parcels of this property.
Several Williamsburg citizens recalled old Williamsburg around the period 1860-1865. Mr. John S. Charles referred to the property thus:
The long frame house now owned and occupied by Major Freeman, was standing in 1861, and although made longer, and otherwise improved, looks much as it did at that time, This house was the home of Lemuel J. Bowden, before he built the house now owned by Judge Frank Armistead.6
Mrs. Victoria M. Lee described the property in this way:
Next to the Graves house was the old Bowden house, a large frame building, with Dutch colonial dormers. This house was much larger than it is today. At a later date a Mr. Slater bought this property and cut the house in two parts. The gardens around this house were very beautiful. Lem Bowden, at that time, had just built the large, brick house now owned by Judge Armistead. He moved there, and his mother moved into a tiny, frame, story and a half cottage on the back of 21 the lot. She refused to live with her son because of his Union sympathies, as she was an ardent secessionist. 1
For further details as to title, See: Accounting Department Colonial Williamsburg, Incorporated.
|1806||Anthony Robinson via Moody||6¼ lots||$100|
|1807||Anthony Robinson||6¼ lots||$100|
|1809||Anthony Robinson||6¼ lots||$100|
|2 lots via Carter||$ 10|
|1810||Anthony Robinson||8¼ lots||$110|
|1811||Anthony Robinson||8¼ lots||$110|
|1812||Anthony Robinson||8¼ lots||$100|
|1813||Anthony Robinson||8¼ lots||$100|
|1814||Anthony Robinson||8¼ lots||$100|
|1815||John Bracken||8¼ lots||$120 Via Anthony Robinson and Elizabeth his Wife certain Houses & Lotts of Land|
|1818||John Bracken||7¼ lots|
|1820||John Bracken's Est||$100 bldgs. $1275 lot & bldgs.|
|1830||John Bracken's Est||$1275 lot & bldgs; $1000 bldgs.|
|1835||John Bracken's Est||$1275 lot & bldgs; $1000 bldgs.|
|1838||John Bracken's est||$1275 lot & bldgs; $1000 bldgs.|
|1840||John Bracken's est||$1555 lot & bldgs; $1100 bldgs.|
|1841||Lemuel Bowden||$1500 lots & bldgs; $1100 Via Susan Byrd Heretofore charged to the estate of John Bracken, decd.|
|1847||Lemuel J. Bowden||$1500 lot & bldgs; $1100 bldgs. via Susan Byrd|
|1850||Lemuel J. Bowden||$1500 lot & bldgs; $1100 bldgs.|
|1851||Lemuel J. Bowden||$1800 lot & bldgs; $1200 bldgs.|
|1854||Lemuel J. Bowden||$1800 lot & bldgs; $1200 bldgs.|
|1857||Lemuel J. Bowden||$1800 lot & bldgs; $1200 bldgs.|
|1858should be other tax records||Lemuel J. Bowden||$3000 lot & bldgs; $2000 300 (New house assessed by the Commissioners)|
|1860||Lemuel J. Bowden||$6000 lot & bldgs; $5500 bldgs.|
|1861||Lemuel J. Bowden||$6000 lot & bldgs; $5500 bldgs.|
[1859-1861 tax rates above refer to Bowden's house and lot on Duke of Gloucester Street which he built about this time.]
Lemuel Jackson Bowden was the son of William and Mildred Davis Bowden of James City county, Virginia. In 1830-31 he was a student at William and Mary College. In 1833 he obtained a license to practice law in Virginia. In 1840 he purchased the house and lot known as the "Chiswell-Bucktrout House" for $2000. He lived in and retained the property until ca. 1861. In 1856 he bought from the trustees of Bruton Parish Church a lot which lay southwest of the Church. He built a "splendid edifice of brick on this lot."
Bowden was a member of the state legislature for three terms, a member of the Virginia Constitutional Conventions of 1849 and 1851; in 1861 he was a presidential elector. Elected to the United States senate by the so-called Virginia legislature held in Alexandria following the Civil War, he served from March 3, 1863 until his death in Washington City, January 2, 1864.
While mayor of Williamsburg in May, 1862 he was called "a Traitor" by the citizens. A band serenaded Mayor Bowden on May 14th. There was loud cheering and calls of "Down with the Traitor! if we ever recover our power…"
Both Lemuel Bowden and his brother, Henry Moseley Bowden, were strong in their devotion to the Union cause, and sooner than abandon their convictions, they removed from Williamsburg during the Civil War. Henry went to Norfolk where he was clerk of the circuit court there and Lemuel took up his residence in Washington.
Sources used in compiling these notes:
John Bracken was born in England in 1745 and died in Williamsburg in 1818. He appears in Virginia church history in July, 1772 when he was "Licensed for Va. for Amelia County." In 1773 he was chosen rector of Bruton Parish, and in 1776 he married Miss Sally Burwell, daughter of Carter of "Carters Grove," deceased. The marriage was announced in the Virginia Gazette thus:
"Rev. John Bracken, Rector of Bruton Parish, to Miss Sally Burwell, daughter of the late Carter Burwell, Esq., of Carters Grove."
Three children were born of this marriage: John born 1779, Julia Carter born 1781 and Sarah born 1785. All of these births were recorded in Bruton Parish Register. Julia married George Avery. She lived in Williamsburg in 1819-1827. Sarah married John Butler in July, 1809. (Letter of St. G. Tucker to Joseph Cabell, July 21, 1809 (Alderman Lib., films #7; M-62-7, CWI)
In 1777 Bracken was occupying the handsome brick house on Francis Street known now as the "Allen-Byrd House." He rented this house from Mrs. Mary Willing Byrd, executrix of William Byrd III, the former owner. As Master of the Grammar School and Librarian ca. 1777 to 1779 —when the Grammar School was abolished along with his professorship of Humanity—he, apparently, occupied the Francis Street property. In 1780, 1782 and 1783 Bracken was paid by Humphrey Harwood, local carpenter and builder, for teaching the Harwood boys. In 1784 he advertised in the Virginia Gazette and Weekly Advertiser, Richmond, that he was undertaking "the tuition of five or six boys, who may also live with him. As his attention will be entirely confined to so small a number, the terms for board and tuition will be forty guineas per ann." The same year, Bracken paid Byrd's estate £46.16.0 "for rents."
In 1786 Bracken became owner of the former Byrd House and lots in Williamsburg.
In 1787 the Grammar School was held in the Capitol with Bracken as head master. This year he brought suit against William and Mary College to recover his lost professorship and also for back pay which he claimed he should have received following the abolition of the Grammar School in 1779. In 1792 he was reinstated at the College; in 1793 he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from the College. In 1800 Bracken was named mayor of Williamsburg. In 1812 he was selected as President of William and Mary College. He held this office until 1814. From 1801-1818 Bracken was one of the managers of the Dismal Swamp Land Company.
In 1815 Bracken bought the property known as the "Chiswell-Bucktrout House" and held it until his death when his heirs became owners.
In July, 1818 he died. A Richmond newspaper stated that he died on July 15th and a Norfolk paper stated that he died on July 16th. Both state that he was buried at Carters Grove. No marker has survived if there was ever one to his memory. On July 30, 1818 Robert Saunders of Williamsburg wrote to Joseph Prentis, Suffolk, "Our old pastor too, Mr Bracken has passed to the world of Spirits-tranquil and resigned as Job."
Sources used in compiling these notes:
For further data on Bracken in Williamsburg, consult House Histories of Allen-Byrd House, Bracken House, and Chiswell-Bucktrout House, Williamsburg.
Benjamin Bucktrout,1 cabinet maker, came to Williamsburg from London in 1766, and opened a shop on Duke of Gloucester Street, near the Capitol. He first gave notice of this fact in the Virginia Gazette for July 25, 1766:
"B. BUCKTROUT, CABINET MAKER, from LONDON, on the main street near the Capitol in Williamsburg, makes all sorts of cabinet work, either plain or ornamental, in the neatest and newest fashions. He hopes to give satisfaction to all Gentlemen who shall please to favour him with their commands.
"N.B. Where likewise may be had the mathematical GOUTY CHAIR." [Virginia Gazette, Purdie & Dixon, eds.]
In 1767, Anthony Hay, who had been a cabinet maker in Williamsburg for some years, turned over his shop and his customers to Benjamin Bucktrout. Hay purchased the Raleigh Tavern at that time, and was the successful and popular keeper of that tavern until his death in 1770. He leased his shop to Bucktrout (the shop stood on Nicholson Street, on lot #263 or #264 — both of which Hay owned), and both Hay and Bucktrout announced the change in their situations in the same issue of the Gazette:
"Williamsburg, Jan. 6, 1767
"THE Gentlemen who have bespoke WORK of the subscriber may depend upon having it made in the best manner by Mr. BENJAMIN BUCKTROUT, to whom he has given up his business. - I return the Gentlemen who have favoured me with their custom many thanks, and am
Their most humble servant,
"Williamsburg, Jan. 6, 1767"MR. ANTHONY HAY having lately removed to the RAWLEIGH tavern, the subscriber has taken his shop, where the business will be carried on in all its branches. He hopes that those Gentlemen who were Mr. Hay's customers will favour him with their orders, which shall be executed in the best and most expeditious manner. He likewise makes all sorts of Chinese2 and Gothick PALING for gardens and summer houses.
N. B. SPINETS and HARPSICORDS made and repaired.
BENJAMIN BUCKTROUT." [Virginia Gazette, Purdie & Dixon, January 8, 1767.]
For a time Bucktrout had a partner1 — although the first record we have found of that fact appears in an advertisement announcing the dissolution of the partnership:
"Williamsburg, March 1, 1769
"The partnership between Bucktrout and Kennedy, though not vet dissolved, will terminate as soon as the work which is already bespoke can be finished, and matters brought to a proper settlement; at which time WILLIAM KENNEDY Proposes carrying on the business of cabinet making, at the house where Mr. Pelham now lives. Any of those Gentlemen who have been customers to Bucktrout and Kennedy,* and all others who please to employ him, may rely on his best endeavours to give satisfaction.
"* He has no intention to rob Mr. Bucktrout of his old customers, nor does he think he can as yet properly call any his own.[Ibid., March 9, 1769.]
In the fall of 1769, Bucktrout advertised for "JOURNEYMEN CABINET MAKERS, who, if they understand their business, will meet with good encouragement." (Ibid., September 7, 1769.) In 1771, he offered a reward for a runaway apprentice — "an Apprentice Lad about twenty Years of Age…and a Cabinet Maker by Trade." [Ibid., April 11, 1771.]
Bucktrout evidently moved from Anthony Hay's shop ca. 1770; for on January 3, 1771 Edmund Dickinson, also a cabinet maker, announced that he had "lately opened the Shop" formerly belonging to Mr. Anthony Hay. [Ibid., Jan. 3, 1771.] It is not known whether Bucktrout moved to the house on Francis Street, formerly the property of Col. John Chiswell, at this time, or later, His advertisements in 1774 noted that he was then on Francis Street; and in 1779 he offered for sale the house in which he lived "formerly belonging to Colonel Chiswell." It is very possible that he moved onto this property after leaving Hay's Shop, but we have found no record of his purchase of the property.
At any rate, from 1771 on, Bucktrout's business grew to include paper hanging, and the sale of a large assortment of imported merchandise.2 The following advertisements indicate the range of his business for the next several years:
"May 9, 1771
"Just IMPORTED, and to be SOLD cheap for ready Money, by the Subscriber, in WILLIAMSBURG, 3 "A NEAT and ELEGANT ASSORTMENT of PAPER HANGINGS,[Virginia Gazette, Purdie & Dixon, eds.]
of various Kinds, and of the newest Fashions, for Staircases, Rooms, and Ceilings; namely, embossed, stucco, Chintz, striped, Mosaick, Damask, and common — [UNK] Rooms papered in the neatest Manner, and on reasonable Terms.
"Sept. 17, 1771.
"To be SOLD, any Time betwixt this and October Court, for ready Money, SUNDRY fine PRINTS done by Mr. FRY, and some ELECTIONS PIECES by Hogarth, the Property of a Gentleman gone to England. They may be seen at any Time on applying to
"N. B. Sundry neat PAPER HANGINGS to be Sold. —— Rooms neatly papered on reasonable Terms."[Ibid., September 17, 1771.]
"Williamsburg, July 4, 1774.
"I HAVE for Sale, for ready Money, the following Articles, viz. MATRASSES, made of best English curled Hair, without any Addition of Tow or Wool; HAIR SEATING for Chairs; BOXES of TYPES for marking Linen, Books, &c. PAPER HANGINGS, of the best Kinds, and most fashionable Patterns. I have likewise to dispose of, the Remainder of the Time of an indented young Woman from Ireland, who was bred up as a Spinner in one of the first Linen Manufacturers in that Kingdom; and the sole Reason of my parting with her is, my not having Employ for her, …[Ibid., July 7, 1774.]
"October 27, 1774
"Just Imported, and to be SOLD cheap for ready Money, by the Subscriber in Francis Street, Williamsburg,[Ibid., October 27, 1774.]
"FINE Bottled Porter, Taunton Beer, Gloucester Cheese, Negro Plains, Kendal Cottons, Plain and Striped Blankets, Fine Lustrings of different Patterns, Yorkshire Cloths, Pattern for Mens Surtout Coats, with Trimmings to each, Mens fine and coarse Hats, Velvet bound Hats with Roses, Mens Boots, Womens and Childrens Leather Shoes, Mens Gloves, Womens fine French Kid Gloves, Guns, Silver mounted and plain Pistols, Saddles complete, Whips, Hair Brooms and Brushes, Wool and Playing Cards, Horn Lanthorns, Plaistering Trowels, Sets of Types for marking of Linen, Checks and Striped Holland, Pepper, Allspice, Ginger, Paper Hangings for Rooms, Best Durham Mustard, Blue and White Water Jugs, Chamber Pots, Quart and Pint Mugs, Milk Pans, Sage and Balm Tea Pots, Coffin Furniture, Hair Seating for Chairs, Matrasses, Glass Salts, Vinegar Cruits, Salt, &c. &c.
"February 4, 1775.
CABINET MAKER, IN FRANCES STREET, WILLIAMSBURG,
STILL carries on that Business in all its Branches, where Ladies and Gentlemen may be supplied with any Sort of Cabinet Work in the best and neatest Manner... I return those Ladies and Gentlemen who were pleased to favour me with their Commands my most grateful Thanks, and hope for a Continuance of their Favours, which to merit shall always be the Study of their most humble Servant.
"N. B. I should be glad to take one or two Apprentices, of bright Genuises, and of good Dispositions, and such whose Friends are willing to find them Clothes."[Ibid., Dixon & Hunter, February 4, 1775.]
In August, 1779, Bucktrout offered for sale the house which formerly belonged to Colonel Chiswell, on Francis Street, as well as some of his house-hold furniture and furnishings, his cabinet-makers tools, and some seasoned wood for cabinet-making and building:
"To be sold betwixt this and the 27th of September, at private sale; the houses and lots where the subscriber lives, formerly belonging to Colonel Chiswell, it is very well calculated for a tavern as there is every necessary requisite, with a very good pasture joining. Also will be sold for ready money, on Wednesday the 22d of September, a variety of house-hold and kitchen furniture, consisting of beds, bedding, mahogany chairs, tables, and chest of drawers, handsome looking-glasses, Queen's china plates and dishes, ivory handled knives and forks, and an easy chair. Likewise two riding chairs and harness, two carts with harness for four horses, three very good milch cows, three good chair horses, two mare colts, … a negro woman, who is an exceeding good washer and ironer; likewise will be sold a chest of cabinet makers and house joiners tools, with a quantity of very fine broad one, two, and three inch mahogany plank, which has been cut this five years, a parcel of shingles, pine and oak plank and scantling, nails of different sizes, window glass 8 by 10, and many other articles. [UNK] All persons indebted to the subscriber are desired to settle their accounts by the last of September; and those who have accounts are desired to apply for payment. … I intend leaving this state in October next.
BENJAMIN BUCKTROUT" [Ibid., Dixon and Nicolson, eds., August 28, 1779.]
During the early years of the Revolution, from ca. 1777 until 1779, Bucktrout was purveyor to the Public Hospitals. On November 19, 1778, the Council of State decided that "he ought to be allowed in the future for his Services as Purveyor and Steward to the public Hospital four Dollars & one ration per diem." (Council Journals, II, 219.) Prior to that date, he had received various sums for his services. He resigned in 1779, and on March 29th of that year Thomas Russell was appointed Purveyor in his place.5
We do not know whether or not Bucktrout left the state in October of 1779 — the date mentioned when he offered his house etc. for sale. He certainly gave up the house, for on the 2nd of October, 1779, William Davenport announced that he was opening Tavern "in the house formerly occupied by Col. Chiswell, and lately by Benjamin Bucktrout." [Virginia Gazette, Dixon & Nicolson, eds. Oct. 2, 1779.]
He continued to own property in Williamsburg, and if he left, had returned there prior to 1784. For in that year he gave notice that he intended "for England Shortly, and shall not return until next summer." [Virginia Gazette & Weekly Advertiser, July 17, 1784.] In 1788 he again announced that he intended to go "to England immediately." [Ibid., August 14, 1788.]
The Williamsburg Land Tax Records, which begin in 1782, list Benjamin Bucktrout as owner of ¼ lot in 1782. In 1812 he owned 8¼ lots. In 1813 the tax on his real estate was charged to his "Estate" — indicating that he had died between the date of the tax record in 1812 and 1813.
In 1814 his property was charged to his wife, Mary Bucktrout, as "devise." [Williamsburg Land Tax Records, 1782-1865.]
February 8, 1951
Mrs. Peachy Wills, an aunt of Robert Greenhow, merchant of Williamsburg, in a letter to Mrs. John Colter, Staunton, on April 30, 1797 had some gossipy remarks about old Mr. Bucktrout:
…what think you of the widdower Bucktrout, he is proving his title to both parts of his Name, pitty it was not gudgeon instead of trout as to the first part, he is turn'd out quite a beau, scarlet waistcoat and his neat wig in a stiff single curl round and mounted on good horse with a servant riding behind him on a good one also, following a chair in which the damsel was going out of Town, and this not once or twice but as often as this Miss Bruce goes to see her sister in the country, who married a young Mr Brown a grandson of old Weldons, I can but think if old Molly cou'd make him see her looking at him how he'd Jump out of his Scarlet attire and shrink into his old greasy leather indispensibles an white cap again, it really is ridiculously laughable to see the old puppy apeing, what he never was, I mean smart cleverness, he prances after the poor girl, incessantly, people say, and `tis supposed, she will be brought to considder that half a loaf is better than no bread, poor girl I sincerely pitty her if she is under undue influence, his other part of Name comes under that of fish which may be hooked, or [torn] netted, or Smarled, which of these traps she made use off [sic] know not, but tis certain she plays him about at her will at present, … (Typescript copy of letter supposed to be in the Tucker-Coleman Collection. Mrs. Coleman seems to think the original was at the College. Not able to locate the original letter. See: Name Data card, Research Department)
Bucktrout's first wife's name judging from reference above must have been Molly. If Dr. Tyler is correct, she was Mary Earnshaw, daughter of John Earnshaw, collector of the upper port of James River until his exit to England in 1775 when he became a Tory. (See: William and Mary Quarterly, series 1, vol 5, p. 17; and Microfilm M-73 Loyalists Transcripts, CWI) Earnshaw's personal property in York county was sold for escheated property in 1779. (Virginia Gazette, June 8, 1779)
The marriage bond between Benjamin Bucktrout and Mary Bruce is recorded in York County Marriage Bonds, microfilm, Research Department, as July 3, 1797.
Colonel John Chiswell of Hanover County, Virginia married Elizabeth Randolph, daughter of Colonel William and Elizabeth Beverley Randolph. She was born on October 14, 1715; married Colonel Chiswell on May 19, 1736 and died February, 1776 at the home of her daughter in Caroline County.
Colonel Chiswell was the son of Charles Chiswell (1677-1737) who was Clerk of the General Court. John Chiswell was a metallurgist, member of the House of Burgesses from Hanover 1742-1755 and from Williamsburg 1756-1758. At one time he lived at "Scotchtown" in Hanover County. In Williamsburg he lived in the house now known as the "Chiswell-Bucktrout" on Francis Street.
Children of Colonel Chiswell and his wife, Elizabeth, were: Elizabeth, born May 24, 1737; married Charles Carter of Fredericksburg; Susan, born 1738, married Speaker John Robinson (his third wife) in December, 1759; Mary, born 1739 February 22nd, married Warner Lewis Jr. in 1768; and Lucy, born August 3, 1752, married Colonel William Nelson of Hanover County on November 24, 1770.
William Byrd, John Chiswell and his son-in-law, John Robinson, owned lead mines in Wythe and Montgomery County, Virginia. Upon the death of Chiswell in 1766, and of Robinson the same year, it was found that the mines were financially involved almost to the point of insolvency.
Colonel Chiswell was part-owner of the Raleigh Tavern. In 1752 he and George Gilmer bought the Tavern. Prior to 1761 Chiswell had owned Lots 329-332 on Palace Street.
In 1766 while in a tavern in Cumberland County, John Chiswell quarrelled with a Scotch merchant, Robert Routledge, and called him "a fugitive rebel, a villain who came to Virginia to cheat and defraud men of their property, and a Presbyterian fellow…" Chiswell killed Routledge, was arrested, and was let out of jail on bail by three friends who were judges of the General Court. Before the time for trial, Chiswell died — some said by his own hand. Chiswell died in Williamsburg on October 15, 1766, at his house on Francis Street.
Mrs. Chiswell was living at the Chiswell house in Williamsburg in 1770 when it was sold. She died in March, 1776, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. William Nelson, in Caroline county, in her 54th year. William Nelson was executor of her estate.
Sources used in compiling these notes:
Anthony Robinson, son of Anthony V of York County was born in 1770. He married Elizabeth Russell, daughter of William Russell, clerk of James City county court. He died in Richmond in 1851.
Anthony Robinson moved to Richmond in 1785. About 1797 he moved to Williamsburg as assistant in the office of William Russell. In 1799 he married Russell's daughter and returned to Richmond where he became assistant to William Wirt, then clerk of the House of Delegates. In 1802-3 he returned to live in Williamsburg where he remained until 1814 when he returned to Richmond in the office of Auditor of Public Accounts and later as discount clerk in the Bank of Virginia. In 1850 he became Agent for Pension for the state.
In 1806 he bought 6¼ lots valued at $100 via Moody of Williamsburg. From subsequent records we know that these were the lots known as the "Chiswell-Bucktrout" property. In 1815 he conveyed to John Bracken according to the Land Tax records.
Mrs. Robinson was the niece of Mrs. Jane Hunter Charlton and Margaret Hunter.
Mrs. Robinson's sister, Jane, married Michael B. Poitiaux.
Robinson, John, son of John Robinson, president of the council, was born February 3, 1704. He studied at William and Mary College, and after graduation was probably for many years the most influential man in Virginia. He resided in King and Queen county upon the Mattaponi river where his residence was known as "Mt. Pleasant." He was a member of the house of burgesses for King and Queen county from 1736 to 1765 and speaker of the house from 1738 to 1765, and treasurer during the same period. As a presiding officer he was compared to Richard Onslow, speaker of the house of commons. As treasurer he ably administered the financial affairs of the colony, but was too free in lending out the colony's money. On his death in 1765/6 it was found that he owed the public £100,761 7s. 5d. It seems certain, however, that he expected to return this sum from the payments of the creditors or from his own estate. In the end this was indeed done, and the public suffered no loss. He died May 11, 1766. He married three times (first) Mary Storey, (second) Lucy Moore and (third) Susanna Chiswell, daughter of Colonel Chiswell, of Williamsburg. His only known descendants are those by his daughter Susan of the last marriage, who married Robert Nelson, of "Malvern Hill."
On Saturday Night last, the Honourable JOHN ROBINSON, Esq; in the 63d Year of his Age, Speaker to the Honourable House of Burgesses, and Treasurer of this Colony, paid the last Debt to Nature, after labouring some Days with the most excruciating, Torments of the Stone, which he bore with that Christian Fortitude and Resignation to the Divine Will, which had ever dignified his Actions. To say only that he was a good Man, would not be doing Justice to his Excellence; for he was an affectionate Husband, a tender Father, and an universal Friend to Mankind. In a Word, his Soul was animated with every social Virtue, which, from every honest Heart, must draw a Tear of Sympathy to the Memory of such a worthy Member of Society.
Sources used in compiling these notes:
Dr. Richard Alsop Wise, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 2, 1843, was the son of Gov. Henry A. Wise of Virginia. He attended private schools in Richmond, Dr. Gessner Harrison's university school, and William and Mary College for two years. He served in the Confederate army as a private in Stuart's cavalry and as assistant inspector-general of Wise's brigade. He was graduated from the Medical College of Virginia in 1867 and practiced afterwards. From 1869-1880 he was professor at William and Mary College; superintendent of the Eastern Lunatic Asylum 1882-1884; member of the state legislature 1885-1887; clerk of the circuit and county counts of Williamsburg 1887-1893; Republican congressman 1898-1900. Dr. Wise died on December 21, 1901 at Williamsburg, his home.
Henry A. Wise and Virginia P. Wise, children of Dr. Wise, inherited the property on Francis Street, Williamsburg. Henry A. Wise died ca. 1915. Virginia P. Wise sold the property in 1922 to S. D. Freeman, who in 1928 conveyed to W. A. R. Goodwin, acting for the Williamsburg Restoration.
Sources used in compiling these notes:
JERDONE PAPERS 1750-1752
William and Mary College Archives
YORKTOWN ACCOUNT BOOK 1751 Dec. 16th Col. John Chiswell Dr 6 pewter dishes £1.10. - 2 doz 6 hard mettle pewter plates 3. -. - 1 damask Table Cloth 7/4 -.13. - 1 damask Table Cloth 8/4 -.14. 6 1 damask Table Cloth ¼ 2.10. - £ 8. 7. 6 1752 May 16th Col. John Chiswell Dr 2 casks nails 25 M 6 25 M 6 pork £18. 4. 6 1751 June 27 Col John Chiswell Dr To 11 yards Crape 4/6 £2. 9. 6 To 3 yds black Allamode 3/9 .11. 3 3/4 yds Buckram 1½ yds Irish linen -. 6. 3 2 sticks twist 7/½ 3 hank silk -. 3. 6 1 ps house Garters 2/ 3 hanks silk 9/ . 3. 3 11 Coat Buttons 1/3 & 4½ Jacks 1.10.½ 1½ Ell Ozrabgs 1.10½
JERDONE PAPERS (W&M) 1750-1772
p. 71 John Chiswell & Company of Wmsburg bal fo: 53 £16.16.2 p. 87 1753 Apl Chiswell & Gilmer in Wmsburg To Run Acct pr Journal Fo 84 £20.13. 0 p. 99 1754 Col John Chiswell of Williamsburg Dr Octr 24 [settlement by Chiswell for Buchanan & Hamilton £773. 4. 3]
Alexr Craig Account Book (1761-1766)EDMUND PENDLETON 1721-1803 A Biography, by David Mays (Harvard Press, 1956) vol. I, Appendix VI, pp. 384-385:
Colonial Williamsburg Archives
"1761 May ___: Col. Chiswell To 9 feet 6 Reins -. 8. - June 26 Colo Chiswell to be pd by the Speaker To Coupling Reins, 2 wooden girths & 1 Brass Screw rung for chair harness -. 9. - July 8 Colo Chiswell To buckles & straps to a Trunk -. 1. 1/3 To Stirrups To Cruper Loop & 3 girths Straps -. 1. 3 Oct - Colo Chiswell To a Strap to a Horse for Coach harness -. 1. - Nov. 18 Mr Speaker To a Sursingle & Double girths -. 5. - To mails straps for Mrs Chiswell -. 1. 6 Dec. 30 Colo Chiswell To mendg Chariot Braces -.10.- 1762 Jan 8 Colo Chiswell To 1 pr of Pale pieces, 1 pr of Side Braces & mendg 2 Traces 1. 2. - 1763 May 3 The Speaker To mendg harness for Mrs Chiswell -. 2. 6
|Times of Sale||Place of Sale||Lands had of Chiswell||Other Lands||Slaves|
pp. 201-202, f.n. 134, [Notes list of sales as given in "Lidderdale vs Robinsons admrs" (Ended Files 136 & 137, U.S. Dist. Ct. Richmond, or U.S. Circuit Ct. Rec. Book 20, pp. 274-464.)]Galt-Barraud Medical Account Books, archives Colonial Williamsburg.
|1804-1808:||[Anthony Robinson in account with Galt & Barraud p. 21 1804, November visits to wife and Betsy p. 109 1806-1808 visits to wife]|
|1808-1814||p. 21 [various visits to wife and Betsy]|
|1810-1811||p. 121 [various visits to John and wife]|
|1813-1814||p. 135 [visits to Betsy, Ponteaux and Jane]|
Digital version unavailable [oversized image]
March 30th, 1959To: Dr. E. M. Riley
The Chiswell-Bucktrout property was excavated in 1941 and the report written by Francis Duke. No artifacts are discussed nor is any indication of date provided. It is, however, suggested that the building would have been suitable for servants' quarters. The relevant passage is as follows:
H-11 (see photographs N6704-5)
Farthest south in the line of outbuildings is a long foundation which contains indications of a large outside chimney at the north end, and a double chimney near the south end. The building consisted of two divisions, a long north section with a 13" brick foundation, and a short south section with a 9" foundation.
The south chimney has a small fireplace on its south side, and on the north a larger fireplace which is not, however, as large as that of the north chimney.
Though the location of this building would seem suitable for servants' quarter, the plan does not follow a common pattern.
Foundations similarly long and narrow, of as yet unknown purpose, have been found in the Taliaferro-Cole and Patsy Custis lots.
Brick — 8-¼" - 8-½" x 4" x 2-5/8". Very hard, dark brick on north (exterior) chimney with soft red bricks on inside. South chimney of soft red bricks throughout. Mortar — Shell Condition — Bad
A search of the archaeological collections has revealed the bowl of an eighteenth-century pewter spoon, the bowl of a latten spoon with a triple spoon mark and dating from the late seventeenth or eighteenth century, as well as the bone back from a toothbrush of the first half (?) of the nineteenth century. The collection houses not one single ceramic fragment of any date, nor does it contain any items of glass or lead. Iron items comprise part of a bit (eighteenth century) two pieces of iron cooking pot and part of an HL hinge (almost certainly nineteenth century) and a large nail or spike of uncertain antiquity.2
It is surprising that so large a building should have yielded so little. Nevertheless it might be assumed, on the evidence of the spoons, that the structure served a domestic rather than an industrial purpose. Such evidence alone is, of course, so slender as to be virtually useless. However, coupled with the absence of evidence indicating the presence of a cabinetmaker's workshop or powder mill, it could conceivably be used to suggest that these operations were not carried out on this site.
I regret that we cannot be more positive.
I. N. H.
About on the site of the present home of Mr. Peebles, there stood a long tall frame building used, for some years before the War as a coffin shop, by the then well-known Dick Bucktrout. This house was once a Methodist Church, and used by the followers of John Wesley as their house of worship, until the house now used as a post office was built.
Not far to the east of this old church, there was a story and a half frame house with dormer windows. The front door was close to the ground and opened out on Francis street; and was used as a residence by Mr. Bucktrout until the Macon house was built. There were then no other houses between the house just described and the "Peyton Randolph" /Semple/ house, which in 1861 presented much the same appearance as at present.
There was then a one and one half story frame house, with dormer windows that was a short distance from this historical old dwelling and on line with the east end of it, and nearer the street, with entrance at the west end. This house was used as a kitchen and servants quarters and was moved a few year ago to the rear of the lot.
There was not a single house between the Semple house and Mr. Braithwaite's shop, on the east of the Peebles' lot. This shop was back on the lot, and was used by Dick Bucktrout as a coffin shop,
"From a conversation between Mr. John Henderson and the Misses Morecock in 1941 about the Chiswell-Bucktrout House (now razed), the impression made was that some of the material in the Bucktrout House to the west of the Semple property (no longer standing) had been used in the present Peebles property."
"To the east / of the Chiswell house/ there were numerous buildings. The building now owned by Mrs. Haughwout was changed many times, and at one time some of the material of the small building to the east, mentioned by Mr Charles as owned and lived in by Mr. Dick Braithwaite, was incorporated in it.
"On the eastern boundary of the property, set back some 40& from the building line, is a basement fill where stood an early brick building (archaeo area H-1).
Unexplained is the fact that no building shown on the Frenchman's map can be satisfactorily identified with H-1. H-1 may have been built at an early date, perhaps before 1700, and may have disappeared before Chiswell assembled his property (1752-1766)* Or it may have been standing at the time of the Frenchman's map, but omitted with or without reason."**
A basement fill some 5' deep lies 40' back from the building line.
The foundation is 23' wide, and 33' long to the property line. There is a possibility that it may extend farther to the east. later check when the Foster Gift Shop was built July 18 1946 confirmed this thought. The foundation does extend under the existing shop/ There is some evidence that a narrow addition existed on the south, forming a T plan. Also on the south indications of a semicircular foundation which may have been that of a stoop. The foundation walls are more than 21" thick indicating a brick building. The basement floor was paved with ordinary brick and with square brick tiles, a number of which are still in place. Fragments of dressed and molded stone, paving stone water table brick, jack-arch, rubbed and corner brick indicate that this was a building in the best style of the period. That it may have been of early date is indicated by its location with respect to the colonial lot line and the building line,by patches of melted lead which may have been used in window cames, and perhaps by the absence of verifiable historical information which might identify it. Clear traces remain of an interior chimney. Numerous brass, iron and pottery fragments came to light. Some appear to be of revolutionary date but might possibly be of the middle of the century. There is no conclusive evidence whether H-1 was or was not standing at the same time as H-3 or H-5. Nor does any reason appear (to consider it as related to the Chiswell House…Certainly no final judgment on the site would be safe until after further investigation east of Area H.
Of the assumed colonial lots outlined on the Archaeological Key map, the nearest that can be positively identified with a lot on the Unknown Draftsman's plat is the Ewing lot at the head of Botetourt Street. On the Unknown Draftsman's plat three lots intervene between the Ewing Lot and the Chiswell tract, which consists of two lots of typical width and a third (the easternmost which is narrower. Next to the east are two lots marked "Hubbard".
The lots on the Archaeological Key map were located by spacing the lines 82½' apart. If the line dividing the Chiswell and Hubbard tracts is located on this basis, using the number of lots shown on the plats, then it is found that the foundation of a colonial brick house (Archeo.Area H-1) lies athwart the line.
Faintly visible on the Frenchman's Map, in the area east of Al (attached) are three pin pricks forming three corners of a rectangle which, if completed would indicated a building of the size and in the relative location that would be expected of H-1. Such pin pricks were unquestionably used to locate
d the corners of many if not all of the buildings on the map. In come cases it is definitely known that buildings were so located on the map but never drawn in. (In one case, that of the Capitol privy, foundations were actually found in a location marked on the map by the pin pricks. In another case, that of the Kings Arms Laundry and Stable pin pricks were clearly visible, but foundations were not located. They are believed to have been destroyed by plowing or salvage) The assumption that these pin pricks represent H-1 would reconcile, more nearly than any other theory that has been studied, the evidence of the various sources (fragments, foundations, map, plats, etc.)
Mr Thomas and I have studied the material excavated at the above site.
Owing principally to a singular scarcity of ceramic fragments, as compared with the iron implements, we find it comparatively inscrutable.
From the fragments we have, we would visualize a building erected not earlier than mid-18th century which was burned about 1790. The predominant ceramic fragments showing evidence of fire are of Chinese porcelain (c.1755 on in vogue) and Queensware (c. 1775 in Virginia Vogue). However, there is a fragment of burned hand painted Staffordshire which we would find difficult to date earlier than 1790. There is no considerable quantity of earlier wares or later wares, other than those mentioned, and what there is of either is not burned.
Again, there are two bayonets which seem to have been in the fire which destroyed the building. They are probably of the Revolutionary war period, and therefore would tend to preclude an earlier date of destruction.
We would note with interest the presence of offset interior shutter hinges with both wrought nails and blunt screws adhering to them (quite similar to those excavated at the Palace) Also, opposed to these, there is a surprising proportion of garden implements and wooden locks.
We offer these points for what they are worth. The material is not as indicative as most.
In talking to the buildings to the east,/of the Chiswell House/ she said that:
Her home place (present Peebleshire) was originally a small story and a half building, but her father made a great many changes and additions to it. On the lot just west of their house once stood the first Methodist church in Williamsburg. It was hardly more than a temporary shack. Just east of the above place /peebleshire/ was a very nice little shop with full basement and plastered walls and ceiling. Mr. Camm had a drugstore in the shop, and her mother used the basement to store her winds and fruits.
In back of this shop was a large kitchen building running north and south with kitchen on south end and laundry on the north end. It had two doors on the east side. Because the home place /peebleshire/ was so small they used this outside kitchen. Under the kitchen floor was a good pit for the storage of fruit and vegetables. Back of the kitchen there was a blacksmith shop and still farther back stables. The well was southwest of the home place.
To the east of the shop was the open foundation of a large building in which the younger children used to play, especially after a rain. This house was the Bucktrout House and must have stood until a few years before Mrs. Haughwout' earliest memories as she recalls the general layout of a large and fairly elaborate garden with its privies to the south.
There was also a powder mill at the south end of this property in early days. Benjamin Bucktrout advertised that he had powder of his own manufacture for sale.
The property known as the "Peebles Property" is located on the south side of Francis Street near the Capitol. Little evidence could be discovered about the lots of this property until ca. 1791 when Benjamin Bucktrout* seems to have become owner of two lots, designated on the College Map (1791) as "#253 Bucktrout" and "#254 Bucktrout." (Photostat copy of College Map is attached.) Tax records for Williamsburg, which are incomplete, show that Bucktrout possessed only ¼ lot before 1791; by 1797 he had acquired two lots to add to the ¼ lot already in his possession.
The Frenchman's Map (1782) for this area shows a house flush to the street on the first lot west of the "Semple house." A smaller house is shown on the boundary line between this lot and the second lot west. The location of these three houses seems thus:
Archaeological drawings of the Hubbard house foundations, excavated in 1941 by Colonial Williamsburg, Inc., show what was undoubtedly the Bucktrout house as the first house west of the Semple house. See drawing below as copied from the architect's report of the Hubbard house: (A [illegible] plan of some yrs. ago based on Frenchman's map)
|"A —||depression in lot just north of Peebles lot which is the site of the old Bucktrout house.|
|"B —||site of old Hubbard house…|
|"C —||approximate site of old Chiswell house|
|"d —||site of out house"|
Insurance policies of James Semple for 1801 and 1806, with the Mutual Assurance Society, give Bucktrout as neighbor. Semple's property in 1801 is described as "on the Back Street South of the old Capitol…bordered on one side by Benjamin Bucktrout, in the county of James City in the city of Williamsburg." The policy for 1806 gives similar information.
By 1810, Bucktrout had bought 6 lots "via Hubbard." It is not known which of the Hubbard lots Bucktrout acquired. Two Hubbard lots, #251 and #252, were to the west of Bucktrout's lots. (See College Map.) Hubbard also owned 9 other lots just to the rear of his Francis Street property, known as lots #251 and #252. However, in 1814 Mary Bucktrout is charged with 8-¼ lots as devisee of Benjamin Bucktrout. Mary Bucktrout continued to own the Francis Street lots until 1835 when the lots appear in the name of Richard M. Bucktrout and others. As Mary Bucktrout's other lot had been transferred to Littleton Tasewell in 1834, it seems altogether reasonable to think that the lot listed in the name of Richard M. Bucktrout (in 1854 valued at $1200) was the lot and house formerly Benjamin Bucktrout's and Mary Bucktrout's. (A tax transfer for 1834 had placed the lot, which was formerly Mary Bucktrout's, as property of Richard Bucktrout, her son.) In 1836, Richard M. Bucktrout is noted in the tax accounts as adding a new building on the lot which building was assessed at $275. In 1861, Bucktrout paid tax on 2 lots with houses, one valued at $3500 and one valued at $2000. (Above information found in Tax Accounts for Williamsburg or in the tax transfers.)
To quote from the "Recollections of Williamsburg" by Mr. John S. Charles during the period 1861-65: 3
"About on the site of the present home of Mr. Peebles there stood a long tall frame buildings used, for some years before the War, as a coffin shop, by the then well-known `Dick Bucktrout.' This house was once a Methodist Church, and used by the followers of John Wesley as their house of worship, until the house now used as the post office was built.
"Not far to the east of this old church there was a story-and-a-half frame house with dormer windows. The front door was close to the ground and opened out on Francis Street; and was used as a residence by Mr. Bucktrout until the `Macon' house was built. There were then no other houses between the house just described and the `Peyton Randolph' house [Semple house], which in 1861 presented much the same appearance as at present. There was then a one-and-a-half story frame house, with dormer windows, that was a short distance from this historic old dwelling and on line with the east end of it, and nearer the street, with entrance at the west end. This house was used as a kitchen and servants' quarters and was moved a few years ago to the rear of the lot."(pp. 59-60)
The Bucktrout-Lively Map (1867) shows the name "Bucktrout" on the two lots on Francis Street near the Capitol as described in the above report.
From a conversation between Mr. John Henderson and the Misses Morecock in 1941 about the Chiswell-Bucktrout House (now razed), the impression made was that some of the material in the Bucktrout House to the west of the Semple property (no longer standing) had been used in the present Peebles property.
Because the James City County records were destroyed during the period of 1861-65, a complete record of title to lots on Francis Street east is impossible to secure. The Southall Papers may furnish further evidence on the ownership of these lots in the eighteenth century.
Note: No previous house history had been prepared on this property.
M. A. S.
Nov. 13, 1946
June 19, 1941To: Mr. Kendrew
Mr. Thomas and I have gone through material turned over to us by Mr. Knight as coming from the foundation just west of the standing house on the Freeman property.
On the basis of the ceramic fragments, we would conclude that the life span of the building which originally stood on these foundations extended from about 1735 to about 1800 and that the foundation was filled very early in the 19th century.
Further, we would express the opinion that the possessions of its inhabitants were somewhat above average in pretentiousness - though by no means elaborate.
I hope that this information will be of some help.
August 21, 1967
The Wise house you refer to in your letter is what we call the Chiswell-Bucktrout House. It was bought in 1895 by Dr. Richard Alsop Wise, a son of Governor Wise. Dr. Wise seems to have occupied the house until his death in 1901, but thereafter it was rented out by his heirs to unknown tenants until 1922, when the heirs sold it.
I do not know anything about the grave of Henry A. Wise, but as he died in Richmond, I think he is probably buried in Hollwood or one of the other cemeteries thereabouts.
You will find biographical sketches of Henry A. Wise and his sons in Lyon Gardiner Tyler's Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography and in the Dictionary of American Biography, and the latter work gives references to numerous writings on the Wise family.
We have no facilities for genealogical research, and I suggest that you write to the Virginia State Library in Richmond, who can probably put you in touch with genealogical investigators.
George H. Reese
Assistant Director of Research
|first known owner [in Williamsburg by 1752] before 1766 Col. John Chiswell (d. 1766)||family||planter|
|until 1770 Col. John Chiswell's estate||widow (Peyton Randolph's first cousin)|
|*-1774 Richard Adams & William Acrill esquires||?||?|
|before 1779 Benjamin Bucktrout||family||cabinetmaker/merchant/upholsterer|
|Note: Bucktrout & his family could have rented this property & Bucktrout carried on his business from here by early 1771 when Edmund Dickinson took over Hay's shop [Gusler, Furniture of Williamsburg, p. 64]|
|1779 ?||William Davenport||tavern keeper|