Governor's Palace Architectural Report, Block 20 Building 3A Originally entitled: "Architecture of the Governor's Palace"

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library Research Report Series - 1632
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library

Williamsburg, Virginia



If any one theme were to be emphasized in our interpretation of the Governor's Palace, it might be that the building of this edifice affirmed once and for all the presence of the Renaissance in Virginia.

Emanating from the intellectual centers of Italy, the Renaissance had spread across Europe during the 16th century, having its greatest effects in France and the Low Countries. Somewhat slower to develop in England, this movement burst briefly into full blossom with the design of the Queen's House at Greenwich by Inigo Jones in 1616. Having begun his career as a stage designer for the English court, Jones was eventually appointed to the position of royal surveyor or architect. Shortly after receiving this appointment, Jones traveled to Italy to study first-hand the works of the Italian masters. This trip influenced the young architect profoundly. Comparison of the Queen's House with such contemporary structures as Audley End or Hatfield House underscores the revolutionary character of Jones' design. (Fig. 1 & 2) Though he continued to practice for more than thirty years, Jones' influence failed to extend much beyond the confines of court circles, and with the demise of Charles I, his commissions dwindled.

It was the ascendance of the Low Countries to a position of commercial leadership in the West which finally brought the Renaissance to full development in England. 2 During the decades between 1660 and 1680, England enjoyed an extended period of exchange with Holland, drinking deeply from the fountain of her cultural riches. Many of those who returned to England following the restoration of the Monarchy had spent their time of exile in this country. As a result, the work of Jacob Van Campen, and other Dutch architects was to have a great effect on architecture in England after 1660, especially in the realm of domestic building. With the ascendance of William of Orange to the English throne in 1689, the Dutch influence on English culture was amplified and enhanced.

Thus the English Renaissance, initially slow to evolve, began to quicken its pace during the third and final quarters of the seventeenth century, stimulated through commercial intercourse with the Low Countries.

The building of the Governor's Palace announced with assurance, the presence of this Renaissance in Virginia. In its classically-derived detail, its well-considered regularity and its freedom from the "ornamental eccentricities of the Gothic," the Governor's Palace partook of the Renaissance spirit current in the Mother Country at the time of its construction. (Fig. 3) Commenting on the unaffected restraint projected by this building, Lawrence Kocher wrote:

… its classical ornamentation, consisting of its cornices, doors, windows, roof and cupola, is represented with great severity, or as was said … with "graviti." Inigo Jones who initiated the new architecture in England said: "In architecture ye outward ornaments oft (ought) to be sollid, proportionable according to the rules; masculine and unaffected. " The Palace with its outward restraint met these ideals.


With regard to architectural interiors however, Inigo Jones further commented:

Outwardly every wyse man carrieth a graviti in Publicke Places, yet inwardly hath his imaginancy set on fire …

It would appear that the Palace conformed admirably to this ideal as well. Visiting the Palace in 1781, Timothy Pickering saw "nothing magnificent" about the building's exterior but noted that its interiors were "finished in a rich and costly manner. "

As reconstructed, the various rooms of the main house were intended to convey the impression of an elaborate Wren-period interior. Sir Christopher Wren of course was the noted English architect, largely responsible for rebuilding London after the fire of 1666. Practicing for nearly half a century, Wren performed most prolifically during the decades between 1670 and 1700. The full height paneling, vigorous moldings and carved detail seen throughout the first floor of the Palace today were typical of this period in England, although rooms were often paneled below the chair-rail only, as is the case on much of the second floor.

In England, it was common for rooms to be paneled in hardwoods, naturally finished, as at Frampton Court or at Dyrham Park. In the latter instance, William Blaithwayt is known to have received as a gift from Governor Nicholson, large quantities of Virginia walnut and cedar for paneling his rooms.


In the colonies this practice seems to have been less prevalent. Generally, walnut was the preferred material, though John Carter is known to have imported a quantity of "Madeira wood" (Mahogany) for the interiors of Rosewell. When the site of the Palace was excavated in 1931 remains of a walnut panel stile were among the artifacts sifted from the debris. Significantly, the diary of William Byrd II mentions two shipments of walnut lumber to Williamsburg during construction of the Palace. Thus, the walnut paneling seen at the Palace today finds its basis in both documentary and archaeological evidence.

The marble floor in the hall is also reconstructed upon the basis of archaeological material. Marble paving was common in substantial English houses of the period and similar evidence of such floors has been found in association with the ruins of two other 18th century Virginia mansions — Rosewell and Corotoman. It is reasonably certain, however, that the marble paving in the Governor's residence represented the first such floor in Virginia. The apparent use of walnut and marble at the Palace no doubt contributed greatly to the "rich and costly" appearance of its interiors.

The carved marble mantels of the downstairs rooms were all reconstructed on the basis of materials recovered from this site in 1931. Those in the parlor and hall are of a later period and possibly represent pieces installed when the Ballroom wing was added around 1750.

The configuration of the main stair with its extended landing is indicated on the Jefferson plan and 5 finds precedent in houses of the Wren period in England. (fig. 4). Ornamental plaster such as that now seen in the stair well is not without some precedent in Virginia. Excavation of "William Sherwood's House" at Jamestown revealed thousands of molded plaster fragments, ultimately identified as having once composed the Royal Arms of Britain. Significantly, these fragments were found beneath the "great hall" of the Sherwood House, the room believed to have been rented by the Colony in 1685 for the use of the Governor and his Council.

On much of the second floor, we mentioned that that paneling is carried only to the level of the chair-rail — this in accordance with documents specifying various finishes for the plaster walls. During the seventeenth century, such plaster areas were often covered with tapestries. In 1679, Francis Eppes of Henrico County ordered a "suit of tapestry hangings" valued at £l7, and in 1682, William Fitzhugh requested a friend in London, "please to order me a suit of Tapestry hangings for a room 20 Foot long, 11 foot wide and nine high…".

For the Palace however, in accordance with equally up-to-date trends, it was ordered that the "…great Room in the second Story be furnished with gilt leather hangings…". Such hangings were frequently used in England, being guilded with Baroque ornament or painted with Chinoiseries scenes.1 (Fig. 5) 6 One example of such hangings survives at Honington Hall in Buckinghamshire, England. In the colonies, Governor Robert Eden of Maryland is known to have had a "Gilt Leather Parlour" as late as 1776. Previously believed to have been of 17th C. Spanish provenance, the leather hangings now in the Upper Middle Room have recently been attributed by one authority to a 19th century English artist named Walter Crane.

The reconstructed exterior detail and interior finishes of the Ballroom Wing were intended to reflect the later period during which it was designed and built. Jefferson's plan of the Palace showed no fireplaces in this wing, (Fig. 4) nor was any indication of such fireplaces uncovered by the archaeologists in 1931. Possibly, it was intended that the spaces encompassed in this addition be heated with stoves. In the 1770 inventory of Governor Botetourt's personal effects, we find "1 large dutch stove" among the articles listed in both the Ballroom and in the Supper Room. Also mentioned among the contents of the Palace outbuildings was "1000 Bushels of Sea Coal." Only twenty years prior to construction of the rear addition, William Byrd had written to London, requesting that his "iron hearths and stoves with their appurtenances" be sold, "there being no coals burnt in this country." The design of the Ballroom wing may represent then the beginnings of a revolution in the way fashionable Virginia residences were to be heated.

The treatment of the Ballroom and Supper Room interior 7 finishes likewise reflected trends then current in the Mother Country. Fully paneled rooms had remained the accepted convention in substantial Virginia houses well into the 1750s. Wilton and Carter's Grove, both completed after 1750, boast numerous rooms with full height paneling. In England, however, such treatments had given way to plaster walls, painted or papered. In 1756, one English author lamented the growing popularity of wallpaper, concluding ruefully that " … the hand of Art is banished from a part of the House in which it used to display itself happily …"

The Ballroom Wing appears to have followed the fashion then prevalent in England, having plaster walls, punctuated with wood moldings, perhaps painted at first, and later papered. Included in a list of charges drawn up against the estate of Governor Botetourt in 1770, was 0: 2: 4 for "Mending Paper in the Ballroom." This paper seems to have been that referred to by Robert Beverley in a letter written to Samuel Athawes in 1771:

I have been some time employed in building an House, & as I am desirous of fitting it up in a plain neat Manner, I wd willingly consult the present Fashion, for you [know?] that foolish Passion had made its way, Even into this remote Region. I observ'd that Ld.B had hung a room with plain blue paper & border'd it with a narrow stripe of gilt Leather, wch I thought had a pretty effect.

That such schemes were frequently encountered in England is suggested in Zoffany's painting of "Sir Lawrence Dundas and His Grandson," completed in 1769. (FIG.6) 8 Depicted in this painting is a vibrant blue wall paper and gilt filet surmounting a plain white dado, calling to mind similar features employed by Botetourt. Benjamin Franklin appears to have described a nearly identical scheme when in 1767 he wrote:

I suppose the Blue Room is too Blue, the Wood being of the same Colour with the Paper, as so looks too dark. I would have you finish it as soon as you can, thus. Paint the Wainscot a dead white; Paper the Walls blue, & tack the Gilt Border round just above the Surbase and under the Cornish. If the Paper is not equal Coloured when pasted on, let it be brushed over again with the same colour … when this is done I think it will look very well.

It seems then that the Ballroom Wing was a thoroughly up-to-date project when built and remained such when later redecorated by Governor Botetourt. Like the main portion of the house, it appears to have reflected the prevailing trends of the period which produced it.

Some question still remains as to just who prepared the design for the Governor's Palace. Thomas Waterman argues for instance that Sir Christopher Wren was its designer. In presenting his case, Waterman draws an interesting parallel between the plan of Ashburnham House,in London and that of the Palace as it may have existed in the earliest stages of its development. Based on a complex series of circumstances, Waterman attributes the design of Ashburnham House to Wren. (Fig. 7) On the basis of this attribution, he then credits Wren with designing the Palace, pointing out that the Office of Works 9 would probably have been consulted in the construction of an official residence for the Royal Governor. Attractive as this hypothesis would at first appear, it is wholly reliant on circumstantial evidence. Moreover, the extent to which the plans of Ashburnham House and the Palace actually resembled one another remains a matter of some question. (FIG.8).

Whiffin points out that Governor Edward Nott, when requested by the Assembly to provide a "draught" or plan for the Governor's House, replied:

…I have considered yor message, whereby you desire me to send a draught of such a house, as I shall think convenient, but Gentlemen, I leave it wholly to you to give such directions therein as you think proper …

Thus an Act was drafted, providing that:

…the said house be built of brick, fifty-four foot in length, and forty-eight foot in breadth, from inside to inside two story high with convenient cellars underneath, and one vault, sash windows, of sash glass, and a covering of stone slate, and in all other respects the said house be built and finished according to the discretion of the overseer which shall be employed by virtue of this act to take care of the same, under the direction of the Governor and the Council …"

And be it further enacted, That Henry Cary be appointed, and he is hereby appointed an overseer to inspect, oversee and provide for the building aforesaid, with full power to begin carry on, and finish the same.

This act specified then the size and height of the building, the materials of which it was to be built, and the 10 manner in which it was to be glazed. Since the house was to be "finished in all other respects according to the discretion of the overseer," Cary may well have been partially responsible for actually designing the building. Whiffen goes so far as to pronounce Cary "virtually the architect."

It is difficult to believe however, that the dimensions set down in the act were selected without reference to some model. Though the act contains no mention of a plan or draught, its provisions almost certainly resulted from some preconception of the character the building was to assume. It is possible then that Cary received some direction from members of the Council, under whose supervision he was to act.

The form ultimately taken by the Palace had no precedent in Virginia architecture. Nancy H. Schless of the University of Pennsylvania has attributed this form to the influence of what she calls "Dutch Palladianism." Schless defines this Dutch Palladian style as:

Orderly, symmetrical and regular … essentially a reconciliation between the ideals of classical balance current during the 1550's and 1560's in Italy, and the late Gothic form of the steep-roofed Netherlandish House. The [style] had emerged by the early 1630's and found its best expression in the secular architecture of the Hague [in Amsterdam].

Schless further points out that this style, largely the creation of a select group of patrons and architects, would have remained relatively obscure had it not been for the work of Amsterdam architect, Phillip Vingboons (1614-1678). Through 11 his prolific work as designer or town houses and country residences. Vingboons helped propagate the Dutch Palladian style. The influence of this work was magnified many times by publication of Vingboons' designs in Afbeeldsels der Voornaamste Gebouwen uyt alle die Phillip Vingboons Geordineert Heest. The first volume of this publication appeared in 1648, followed by a second volume in 1674. Later editions of this work appeared in 1688 (Dutch), 1715 (Dutch and French) and 1736 (French).

Though never published in English, it seems that Vingboons' book was available and saw use in England. Schless offers evidence of this in the "profusion of English Country Houses from the 1660s to the 1680s, all of which form a stylistic community that might be termed Anglo-Dutch Palladianism by reason of their derivation from one or another of Vingboons' plates."

Certainly other Dutch publications were available at that time. The library catalog of Nicholas Hawksmoor, one of Wren's close associates, lists a number of Dutch titles including "A Dutch Book of Embellishments Architect - per Francine," "Hondius's Dutch Perspective," 2 copies of "Stadt Hays Van Amsterdam - J. Campen" and "A Dutch Book of Landskips."

John Evelyn, who himself had visited Amsterdam, owned a copy of Han Bloem's Een Constitch Boeck Vande Vijf Columnen van Architecture, and Sir Roger Pratt of Coleshill owned one copy of each of Jacob van Campen's Stadt Huys van Amsterdam and DeLaet's 1649 edition of Vitruvius,2, published in Amsterdam.


However, the most convincing evidences of Vingboons' influence in England are the diary entries of Dr. Robert Hooke, recording visits to Thomson's bookshop, made specifically in search of a copy of Vingboons' book. Hooke collaborated with Sir Christopher Wren in the rebuilding of London following the great fire of 1666, and is credited with design of Bedlam Hospital and The Royal College of Physicians, both in London. Significantly, the latter building's courtyard facade appears to have been inspired by Vingboons' Schuyt House in Amsterdam. (Figs. 9 & 10)

In the design of an end pavilion for Bedlam Hospital, Hooke seems to have consulted yet another Dutch source, in this of Pieter Post's Swannenburg House, built in 1644.(Figs. 11 & 12) Obviously, Dutch sources were available in England, and were being used by some of England's leading practitioners.

Various authors have pointed out numbers of English Country Houses which bear some resemblance to the Palace and which, in the light of Ms. Schless' research, may be somewhat indebted to Dutch influence for their overall appearances. A list of such houses might include Thorney Abbey House, Cambridgeshire; Ediai Hall, Staffordshire; Thorpe Hall, Northamptonshire; Ashdown House, Berkshire; and Nether lypiatt Manor, Sandywell and Fairford, all in Gloucestershire.(Figs. 13-17) This fact prompts us to ask, "Was the Palace influenced directly by Dutch sources, such as Vingboons' book, or was it modeled on Anglo-Dutch proto-types?"

Schless offers the suggestion that Henry Cary was indeed familiar with Dutch printed sources. Though his father 13 emigrated to Virginia from Bristol in 1649, there is no evidence that Henry Cary himself ever journeyed to England or the Low Countries. "A List of Architectural Books Available in America before the Revolution," published in 1961 by Helen Park, indicates that Dutch publications were quite rare, listing only a 1649 Amsterdam edition of Vitruvius in the library of John Logan in Philadelphia. How then might such sources have reached Cary?

Various of Virginia's elite, including several members of the Governor's Council, are known to have spent considerable time in England. The most outstanding Virginian in this respect was William Byrd of Westover. Byrd spent the majority of his youth in England and on the continent, including short periods of residence in France and the Low Countries. His diaries reveal that he read Dutch fluently, and the Westover library catalog lists dozens of Dutch books. Alas, none of these were architectural publications. Byrd did, however, assemble an impressive collection of "Capital Engravings" which could have included such pieces as the Post engraving of Swannenburgh House, used by Dr. Robert Hooke in the design of Bedlam Hospital. Interestingly enough, Hooke and Byrd were both inducted into the Inner Council of the Royal Society on the same day. Consorting with the likes of Wren and Hooke, the young Virginian may well have been exposed to the Post engraving and other sources as well. Byrd seems to have had a vigorous interest in architecture and ultimately assembled a collection of more than thirty volumes on the subject, an impressive lot by any standard.


The suggestion that Byrd acted as the conduit through which continental influences were brought to bear is conjecture, of course. It demonstrates, however that any number of Virginia's gentry, educated in England, or resident there for any period of time, could easily have served in this role. Nevertheless, given the dearth of Dutch architectural publications in America, it is difficult to believe that the lowland flavor of the Governor's Palace was inspired by the printed page.

More plausible is the suggestion that "Anglo-Dutch" prototypes were the primary source of influence, and that one or more gentlemen having at some point spent a period of time in the Mother Country, drew on what seemed the most appropriate inspiration — the late 17th-century English Country House.

If we expand our previous comparison of the Palace and various English Country houses to include the grounds and buildings incident to each, we find that the complex occupied by the Governor was, in all essentials an English country estate, appended to one end of the town. Writing to his brother in 1710, Spotswood noted that his situation in Williamsburg was "neither in a Crowd of Company nor in a Throng of Business, but rather after a quiet country Manner." Such a description might as easily have described the Palace complex, then being completed under Spotswood's supervision.

Our comparison of the Palace complex with contemporary country Estates in England is all the more important when we consider Mark Girourd's assertion that the English Country house was, in a real sense, a seat of power: 15

What were country houses for? They were not originally, whatever they may be now, just large houses in the country in which rich people lived. Essentially they were power houses — the houses of a ruling class basically people did not live in country houses unless they either possessed power, or, by setting up in a country house, were making a bid to possess it … The size and pretentions of such houses were an accurate index of the ambitions — or lack of them — of their owners.

The role of the Governor's residence as a seat of power finds a special affinity then with the genus of the country estate. Reinforcing the imagery of power at the Palace were several hundred stand of arms prominently and permanently displayed in the front hall so as to greet any visitor on his way to see the Governor. The Palace was a symbol then, expressly intended to convey a sense of the Governor's power and prerogatives.

This fact may explain in part the seeming reluctance of Virginia's upper class to emulate directly the Governor's house and its grounds.

Much has been said on the influence of the Governor's Palace in Virginia Architecture. Yet, one is hard pressed to find an instance in which a direct link between the Palace and some other building of the period is readily apparent.3

While the cubic masses and interior planning of Rosewell and Shirley superficially resemble the Palace, it has been shown that "Mr. Rooth's House," as published in Colen Campbell's Vitruvius Britannicus, may well have been the source of the Shirley design.(Figs. 18 & 19) Detailed analysis reveals as well, that the similarities between Rosewell and the Palace can only be stated in the most general terms. Commenting on the impact of the 16 Palace in Virginia, one scholar wrote:

Strip Westover of its Wings … add a roof balustrade and a cupola, and you have a close approximation of the Palace.

Westover is totally lacking however in the verticality and animation of roofline which distinguishes the Palace. Furthermore, nothing in the interior arrangement of spaces at Westover even faintly resembles the Governor's residence. There is in fact good reason to believe that Giacomo Leoni's A Book of Designs Both Publick and Private (1726) was the source of this floor plan.

Marcus Whiffen has argued convincingly that the Sebastiano Serlio's 17th century treatise on architecture was consulted in the design of Stratford, and some resemblance is also to be observed between another of Serlio's plans and the foundations recently excavated at Corotoman, the seat of Robert "King" Carter. Thomas Waterman has likewise attributed the design of both Menokin and Mount Airy to plates from William Adam's Vitruvius Scoticus (1750), and floor plans from among The Designs of Inigo Jones, published by William Kent in 1727, exhibit interesting parallels with floor plans of Cleve and Carter's Grove, both Carter family seats.

This is not to say that all substantial residences of this period were designed from architectural pattern books. Such comparisons are useful however, in that they illuminate the diversity of sources to be found in Virginia architecture, and show that its evolution was a more complex scenario than the all-pervading influence of one building. 17 While the Governor's furnishings seem to have exerted some influence on local taste, the primary impact of the Palace itself on Virginia architecture seems to have consisted mainly in the creation of a general aesthetic or imagery. Prior to 1705, few if any Virginia plantation complexes, even those inhabited persons of considerable means, displayed the studied balance seen in the frontal aspect of the Palace, with its regular fenestration, roof elements and symmetrically disposed advance buildings.

Marcus Whiffin has further suggested that the Palace a new standard of "Domestic amplitude" for Virginia's gentry class. During the seventeenth century, Virginia residences seldom consisted of more than a single file of rooms, having no more than two or three such rooms on the principal floor. The Palace then, with its two-story "double pile" plan, represented a new scale of domestic accommodation to which Virginia's upper social class might aspire. Thus it was in a number of general aspects that the Palace influenced Virginia's early building.

Why was this? As we mentioned earlier, the gentry may have been reluctant to appropriate the Palace as a direct model for their own residences, being mindful of its role as a symbol of the Governor's might. Moreover, by the time of its completion on 1722, the Palace was becoming a rapidly dated building. Several years before, Lord Burlington4 and his circle of Palladian dogmatists had set out to transform the face of English architecture, drawing on the inspiration of late Italian 18 Renaissance architecture, especially the work of Andrea Palladio (1508-1580), whose Il Quattro Libri della Architecture (The Four Books of Architecture) became one of the most important architectural treatises ever published. From the English point of view, Palladio's most influential corpus of work consisted in the large number of villas he designed for wealthy patrons in the countryside around Vicenza, Italy. These villas were to provide appropriate models for the country houses of English nobles, who, in increasing numbers became caught up in the Burlingtonian — Palladian building fad. During this period, the remodeling of old houses or the construction of new ones according to the plans of an architect or those of a gentleman amateur had become a fashionable pastime. By the 1730s this house-building phenomenon was taking on the appearance of an epidemic. In Gentleman's Magazine, one irate observer wrote:

Jenny Downcastle gives Mr. Stonecastle her Thoughts on Modern Architecture and defies him to produce in all his inventory of female Extravagances any Thing so enormous, so expensive and so exposing as your Modern Vanity of Buildings — The opportunities I have had of observing some of those designing Vituosi … have qualified me to characterize the most conspicuous of them, from their renown'd Exemplars Mr. Inigo Pilaster and Sir Christopher Cupola, down to that incomparable engineer, Mr. Alderman Pantile, who for these 30 Years Past has been building himself a Palace in the Country, and probably never will finish the Outhouses and Offices contiguous thereto. His Malt-house has apper'd in three different shapes in less than so many years, his Dovehouse in as many places, and his Stables have been 19 demolished five several times upon the improved Plans of Mr. Afterthought his Undertaker … There's not a Gate-Post near the House, nor a Broomstick in it, which is not turn'd or carv'd according to some of the five Orders … His darling Son has been rambling about Italy to refine his Taste in Building under the direction of Monsieur Sans Chemise

Those Virginians who traveled to England are likely to have been influenced by this trend. Colen Campbell's Vitruvius Britannicus (1715, 17, 21), mentioned earlier as the probable source of Shirley's floor plan, was the first great manifesto of the English Palladian Movement. Giacomo Leoni's A Book of Designs for Buildings Both Publick and Private (1726), the source apparently consulted for Westover's floor plan, was a part of the author's attempt to thrust himself to the helm of that Movement. That these early Palladian publications were providing at least some of the plans for new mansions suggests that in planning at least, whatever impact the Palace had in Virginia was quickly diffused as various sources offered more appropriate models for emulation.

More important perhaps than the influence of the Palace on Virginia architecture was its fulfillment of certain Baroque5 planning objectives in the overall layout of the town. Discussing Francis Nicholson's scheme for the plan of Annapolis, Maryland, John Reps, author of Tidewater Towns enumerates a number of design principles which distinguished urban design in the Baroque period. Among other things, Reps' list of principles includes: formal symmetry, imposing open spaces and the closing of street vistas by important structures.


Such planning devices immediately call to mind the residence of Virginia's governor, situated at the end of a broad, axial space, presenting to the town an impressive, symmetrical composition. Significantly, other of Williamsburg's public buildings — the Capitol and the College — were employed as terminal elements for the town's principal thoroughfare, Duke of Gloucester Street. Clearly the Palace was well suited to terminate the major axis crossing this street. Thus, in the siting of the Governor's residence we find an exemplar of those principles most commonly associated with urban design of the Baroque era.

The town plan of Williamsburg was the creation of Governor Francis Nicholson, who only a few years earlier had laid out the city of Annapolis in Maryland. Apparently it was Nicholson who fixed the site of the Governor's Palace, for it was at his insistence that the Council initiated steps to purchase the building's present site from Henry Tyler in 1701. It seems however, that it was Alexander Spotswood who actually determined the exact form of the Palace green. The first transactions concerning those lots on the green did not occur until 1716. As early as 1712, William Byrd of Westover noted that he:

… went to see the Governor's avenue and his great house which pleased him.

Possibly, Spotswood was expanding on the concept of an avenue when, five years later, he sought the permission of John Curtis to clear a vista through his land.


Thus, while Nicholson may be credited with choosing the site of the Governor's Palace, it was largely through the efforts of Governor Spotswood, that the great potential of this site within a Baroque town plan was realized.

Thomas Jefferson appears to have appreciated this fact when he observed that the Palace was "prettily situated, and, with the grounds annexed to it, is capable of being made an elegant seat." The latter phrase is especially revealing since a number of Jefferson's studies for remodeling the Palace have survived. Apparent in each of these is an attempt to regularize the building's plan — consistent with classical principles of symmetry. In the later schemes, a particular effort is made to provide independent access to the corner rooms from the "private stairs." On at least one occasion, Jefferson envisioned an eight-columned portico on the north and south elevations of the building connecting the entire pile to advanced dependencies by means of covered quadrants.

While these schemes have little significance with regard to the actual evolution of the Palace itself, they may well have influenced the development of Monticello and other of Jefferson's architectural projects. Among Jefferson's drawings are several examples in which parallels with the Palace studies are evident. This is especially true of various preliminary designs for Poplar Forest, done in the opening years of the nineteenth century. By this indirect means then, the Palace may have left some impression on a 22 small but significant portion of Virginia's architecture.

In summary, the building of the Governor's Palace confidently announced the presence of the Renaissance in Virginia. In England, the Renaissance had taken on a decidedly Dutch character when, in 1660, restoration of the monarchy brought numerous exiled leaders back to Britain from the Low Countries. With its steep, hipped roof, tall cupola and vertical proportions, the Governor's Palace very much reflected the pervasiveness of Dutch influence on English culture at the end of the seventeenth century.

The studied symmetry of the Palace complex, and the sheer size of its main pile had no precedent in Virginia. The spaciousness and regularity of this official residence defined a higher standard of accommodation for Virginia's highest social class. It was in the creation of a new domestic scale and imagery then that the Palace influenced the evolution of building here in Virginia.

It appears that Henry Cary was at least partially responsible for designing the Governor's Palace, having been assisted at first by members of the Council, and later on by Alexander Spotswood. It seems that the lowland flavor of Cary's design resulted less from the influence of Dutch publications than from the inspiration of "Anglo-Dutch" country houses in England. Widely accepted as a symbol of power and prestige, the English Country House provided an apt model for official residence, conveying to the colonists a sense of the 23 royal Governor's might and prerogatives.

Over and above its role as a symbol of authority, the Palace complex formed an important element in the overall layout of the town. Sited at the end of a long, imposing space, the Governor's residence exemplified urban planning concepts of the Baroque period.

It is in the portrayal of these concepts, in the introduction of a new domestic aesthetic, and in the reflection of Dutch influences prevalent in the Mother Country, then, that we find the architectural significance of the Governor's Palace.


^1 "Chinoiserie" or the imitation of Chinese decorative art first became popular in England during the late 17th century. Through a developing trade with the Dutch, Chinese ceramics, textiles and painted paper had arrived on English shores in increasing quantities. As such items became more fashionable, the demand for imitations grew as well.
^2 Loosely translated, these Dutch titles read, A Book on the Five Orders of Amsterdam. Vitruvius' the only writings on architecture to have survived from Antiquity.
^3 A possible exception to this is the forecourt development at Kingsmill plantation, recently excavated by the Virginia Center for Research and Archaeology. As at the Palace two flanking dependencies defined a forecourt which was enclosed by a serpentine wall.
^4 Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl Burlington (1694 -1753), was the "patron and high priest of English Palladianism." Converted to the Palladian style in 1715 by Scottish architect, Colen Campbell, Lord Burlington traveled to Italy to study the works of Palladia first hand. The wealthy young patron returned to England in 1719 with his protege, William Kent, to reign as tastemaker for nearly three decades. The widespread regard for Palladia's work was largely a result of his influence.
^5 When one speaks of the Baroque period in England, reference is made to the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

RR163201Fig. 1

RR163202Fig. 2

RR163203Fig. 3
The Palace, from the Bodleian plate."

RR163204Fig. 4
The Palace, Measured plan by Thomas Jefferson: Included in the annotations are the heights of the two main storeys and of the window sills.

RR163205Leather Hangings at Ham House.

RR163206Zoffany's "Sir Lawrence Dundas and Grandson."

RR163207Fig. 7
Left to right: Ashburnham House: Governor's Palace, original plan(?). plan after c. 1770.

RR163208Fig. 8
The Palace. Plan of excavated foundations.

RR163209P. Vingboons, Elevation of Schuyt House, Amsterdam, 1650 from Vingboons, Afbeeldsels der Voornaanste Gebonwen, Amsterdam, 1674. f. 8 (photo: Print Room, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam).

RR163210Fig. 10
Robert Hooke, Royal College of Physicians, London, courtyard façade, 1672-1676, drawn by John Buckler, 1828, from Add. MSS 36370, f. 158 (photo: British Museum).

RR163211Fig. 11
Pieter Post, Swanenburch House, Halfweg, 1644-1645 (photo: rijksdienst voor de Monumentenzorg).

RR163212Fig. 12
Robert Hooke, Bedlam Hospital, London, project for end pavilion, 1674-1676, from Add. MSS 5238, f. 55 (photo: British Museum).

RR163213Fig. 13
Thorpe in 1721. A drawing by Tillemans showing the house with the cupola that originally crowned the roof.

RR163214Fig. 14
Edial Hall, Staffordshire. From a water-color by Paul Braddon.

RR163215Ashdown, The East and North Fronts.

RR163216Nether Lypiatt Manor, Gloucestershire

RR163217Sandywell, Gloucestershire, ca. 1680 (from J. Kip, Le Noveau Théatre de la Grande Bretague, London, 1714-1716).

RR163218Fig. 18
Shirley, Charles City County.

RR163219Plan for "Mr. Rooth's House," Vitruvius Britannicus.

March 30, 1981

To: Palace Hostesses
From: Mark R. Wenger
Subject: Stair Tread and Risers at Governor's Palace

Contrary to an earlier statement in my memo of 3/6/81, the present treads are made of Pine, not White Oak. Only the tread noseings are Oak. I took the earlier information from our architectural report without verifying it on the site.

My thanks go to you for catching this error. Please forgive me. Do not hesitate to call if other questions arise.

Thank you.


Governor's Palace

Middle Room #101Floor
Outside borderVeined StatuaryItaly
InsideBlue BelgeBelgium
TileVeined Statuary & Blue Belge
Middle Room #101Mantel
White PortionVeined StatuaryItaly
DarkBlack PurbeckEngland
HearthBelgian BlackBelgium
Dining-Room #108MantelVeined StatuaryItaly
HearthBelgium Black and St. MichelBelgium
UnderfireBlue Forest of Dean StoneEngland
Little Dining Room #102Plinths & FacingBreche RoseItaly
Key BlockBlanco PItaly
HearthVeined StatuaryItaly
UnderfireBlue Forest of Dean StoneEngland
Parlor #100MantelBlanco P.Italy
HearthBlue BelgeBelgium
UnderfireBlue Forest of Dean StoneEngland
Upper Middle Room #201MantelBlanco P. Italy
HearthYellow SienaItaly
UnderfireBlue Forest of Dean StoneEngland

H. N. Francis & Company


By Linda Baumgarten
With Research by Diane Dunkley
And Cataloging of the Collection
by Mildred Lanier

January, 1981

Costumes at the Palace

His Lordship

Governor Botetourt's inventory lists an impressive quantity of clothing stored in clothespresses located in his own bed chamber, in the Middle Room and in the Chamber Over the Dining Room. Most of his suits were made of the finest wool fabrics for which England was famous —— especially "cloth" —— which was woven on wide looms, "fulled" to shrink it, napped, and shorn, resulting in a fabric with a beautiful, glossy, surface one which would not ravel when cut. He also owned several suits of cut velvet. Some of his suits were elegantly "laced" with gold or silver, meaning they were edged with braid or trimmings of these materials. His waistcoats sometimes matched his coats, but frequently his waistcoats were of contrasting fabrics such as watered or plain silk, satin, embroidery, or gold "tissue" (silk woven with gold). The Governor's inventory listed 6 wigs —— 5 of them "worn" and one "new; " in spite of this, he sometimes appeared without a wig, as described by W. Nelson in a letter to John Norton (pp. 75-6). The Governor's inventory lists great numbers of some garments, including 62 shirts and 152 pairs of stockings.

We must conclude that the Governor's clothing was an important part of his status or "presence" as Governor —— as much as the household furnishings he brought with him or acquired here.


More than one 18th century visitor to America noted that upper class Southern colonists dressed as fashionably as their English counterparts. (See Interpreter, Sept. 1980). Ladies of the upper classes in Virginia wore gowns of English or Chinese silk (lustring, brocaded silk, or damask}, or imported printed cottons. These fine printed cotton fabrics made in India and England were very fashionable, in addition to being comfortable and easy to clean. Less expensive gowns were made of the cheaper imported fabrics —— linen, cotton and wool —— or of Virginia fabrics.

Typical accessories included a white cap for indoor wear and sometimes a neck handkerchief worn about the shoulders. The apron was another fashionable accessory, often of a sheer or decorated fabric. These fashionable aprons should not be confused with work aprons; even Queen Charlotte was seen in a white apron for informal daytime wear. (See Buck, p. 22)

Hoops (the 18th century term for "panniers") were not universally worn, though they continued to be fashionable for certain specific occasions through much of the 18th century. Very wide hoops were most popular around mid-century, but continued to be worn at court and for formal occasions much later, Gowns worn for "undress", or less formal wear, were not necessarily provided with hoops.

Upper Male Servants

Upper male servants, such as the butler or land steward, wore the fashionable clothing and head dress of the day, though probably with less decoration and of a more conservative nature than that of the employer. There are frequent references to employers giving servants their cast-off clothing; indeed, Botetourt's clothing was left to Marshman after the Governor's death. Beards were not worn during the 18th century by fashionable men or their servants. They were sometimes worn by laborers and in military circles.


Diane Dunkley's research has shown that livery was worn by the lower male servants —— footmen, underfootmen, coachmen, groom and postillion. Being very decorative, the livery was a highly visible symbol of the wealth of the master. It is important to keep in mind that livery was worn as a "uniform" by the lower ranks of servants —— that upper servants wore their own clothing.

Liveried servants sometimes wore wigs, though some illustrations clearly show servants wearing their own hair. The livery hats were apparently not worn while in attendance on the master as a sign of respect.

Evidence suggests that Botetourt's livery was of crimson and green broadcloth, with velvet "capes" (collars), and "shag" (heavy wool velvet) breeches. Reproduction livery costumes have been developed, based primarily on the following sources:

  • 1. Materials listed in Lord Botetourt's inventory, particularly yardage of fabrics and remnants of "livery lace."
  • 2. Botetourt's account with Robert Nicholson for making clothing for servants.
  • 3. A 1761 portrait by John Hesselius, showing the Calvert family livery (Maryland}.
  • 4. A suit of livery in the Costume collection of Colonial Williamsburg. This was used to document the livery "lace" and buttons. 1954-1032
  • 5.A frock (collared) coat in the Colonial Williamsburg costume collections (for the cut of the coat.) 1979-83
  • 6."Shag" breeches in the Colonial Williamsburg collections. (See illustrations) 1954-1035.

The Palace reproduction livery suits are made of wool broadcloth with velvet collars and "shag" breeches. A group of adaptation costumes have been made in the proper colors and with the proper trimmings, but in lighter worsted materials for the comfort of the wearer.

Female Servants

Like upper male servants, female servants dressed in the fashion of the day, with functional adaptations depending on their particular duties. Servants which were seen by guests dressed as fashionably as they could afford to, and frequently received the cast-offs of their employers. Mrs. Scott, tentatively identified as Governor Dunmore's housekeeper, ordered from London materials for several dresses to be of white, pink and garnet lutstring (a crisp silk fabric). She ordered persian (silk) to line the bottoms of the skirts and ribbons for trim, as well as stays (the 18th c. term for corsets) which were to be "made easy & full in the Stomick," (Norton papers p. 330-331). Not all Virginia women wore stays all the time, but ongoing research suggests that some women apparently wore stays during their daily activities.

Further Reading

  • 1. Buck, Anne, Dress in 18th Century England.
  • 2.Cunnington, Phyllis, Costume of Household Servants.
  • 3. Dunkley, Diane, Research Report on Palace Livery and Servants' Clothing.
  • 4. September, 1980.


RR163220John, 3rd Earl of Bute and his Secretary, 1763, by Reynolds. The Earl's clothing is elaborately embroidered; that of the secretary is more "laced" with woven edging. Dumfries House. Reproduced in Waterhouse, Reynolds.

RR163221Ladies' gown and petticoat of silk lustring, brocaded in a floral pattern, c. 1770. Thought to have been worn by Elizabeth Dandridge in Virginia. Gl975-340.

RR163222Charles Calvert with his servant, 1761, by Hesselius. The livery worn by the servant is yellow cloth with the characteristic patterned livery lace and contrasting collar (cape) and cuffs. Baltimore Museum of Art.

RR163223Livery coat of broadcloth, laced with trim of uncut (looped pile) velvet, in a zig-zag pattern; buttons feature a seahouse with coronet above (the crest of a person as yet unidentified. ) Late 18th century. 1954-1032. Shown with shag breeches.

RR163224Wool broadcloth frock, laced with gold, c. 1770. The collared coat (frock) was not considered as formal as the collarless coat, though the gold lacing on this frock suggests wear by an upper-class gentleman. 1979-83.

RR163225Breeches of "shag," heavy wool velvet. Shag fabric was frequently worn as part of livery. c. 1770. 1954-1035.

RR163226Reproduction button with Botetourt's crest, a unicorn, beneath the Baron's coronet.

RR163227High Life below Stairs," 1772. From left, footman in frock; Housemaid in cap, neck handkerchief and apron, Cook; Lady's Maid wearing protective shoulder negligee while her hair is being dressed by the bewigged Valet; and Cook in cap, jacket bodice and apron. Clothing here clearly reflects work done by each. 1950-731.

RR163228Norborne Berkeley, Baron de Botetourt, as a young man. Artist unknown. Collection of the Duke of Beaufort.

RR163229Lord Botetourt by Vanreyscourt. Collection of the Duke of Beaufort.

RR163230Lord Botetourt by William Hoare (c. l707-1792). Collection of the Duke of Beaufort.

Addendum to Palace Clothing Paper:
His Lordship's Wigs.

It has come to my attention that the rather enigmatic Nelson letter referred to in the section on "His Lordship" may also read as a description of one "Mr Sprowle." I attach a xerox of the letter for you to read. In light of this, I think it best to avoid using this quote, and to emphasize the known fact that Governor Botetourt did own 6 wigs.

Lord Botetourt is arrived among us, with the greatest Advantages imaginable; for We had Time before his coming to receive the most favourable Impressions of his Lordship's amiable Character & good Disposition toward the Colony, He hath been received & wellcomed in a Manner which gives him great Pleasure; & I should send you Copies of the several Addresses & his Answers to them, if I were not well assured that you would see them in the Publick Papers before this can reach you. For he said he should send away the next Day the Council's Address; wch was presented the 27th of the last month: the others followed in a day or two after. Among them you will find that the Merchants & Traders (Andrew Sprowle Spokesman) wch I think does Honour to that Body, from its plainness Elegance & Simplicity, and far out does the studied Performance of the P & Masters of the College; and this observation being made to Sprowle, he reply'd (Aye, Sir, the Parsons do nothing well, unless they are paid for it) The old Fellow wears his own Hair, as white as old Charles Hansfords* was, with a Pig tail to it, but bald as the brave Lord Granby; and cuts as droll a Figure as you ever saw Him in a Silk coat & two or three holes in his stocking at the same Time he is a respectable Appearance, the oldest among the Trade, & acquitted himself well. Indeed my dear Friend, I hope We shall be happy under his Lordship's Government. [torn] when he opens his Budget to the Assembly in May next, something may be required of them, that is too hard to Digestion; however, I will not anticipate Misfortunes, nor of Myself cast a Cloud over the pleasing Prospect before us; and let the worst come that can come, We are I beleive




"When a house is said to be furnished, it conveys the idea of its being fitted up with every necessary, both useful and ornamental. In furnishing a good house for a person of rank, it requires some taste and judgment, that each apartment may have such pieces as is most agreeable to the appropriate use of the room.

There is certainly something of sentiment expressed in the manner of furnishing a house, as well as in personal dress and equipage.

The kitchen, the hall, the dining parlour, the anti-room, the drawing room, the library, the breakfast room, the music room, the gallery of paintings, the bed room and dressing apartments, ought to have their proper suits of furniture, and to be finished in a style, that will at once shew, to a competent judge, the place they are destined for." Thomas Sheraton, Cabinet Dictionary (1803).

RR163231Figure 69. The Palace, Plan of the ground floor of the reconstructed building.

The Refurnishing of the Governor's Palace
Williamsburg, April 1931
by Graham Hood

The Governor's Palace at Williamsburg is one of the most imposing historic buildings in America. No other structure so forcefully evokes the British imperial presence in the colonization and settlement of this country. Since it was reconstructed on its 18th-century foundations in the early 1930s more than 15 million people have visited the Palace and have taken away with them lasting impressions of the formal presence of the vice-regal representative in the largest of the North American colonies. Its furnished rooms have shaped, as much as any museum's, the public's conception of the 18th-century "period room."

Since 1934 the Palace has been furnished to convey a general impression of its 60-year occupancy by seven royal governors and lieut.-governors. New insights, historical discoveries, and acquisitions of objects have accumulated in recent years, however, to such a point that it has become necessary to refurnish the building in order to uphold our standards of authenticity. A much more detailed picture of life in the Palace will now emerge, focusing on the building and its occupants in the fifteen or so years leading to the climactic events of the Revolution——the period from which most of the architectural, archaeological, and historical evidence stems.

In coming to the decision to refurnish this historic building, several points have been carefully weighed. To start with, when the reconstructed Palace was first furnished in the 1930's, it was acknowledged then that it would be impossible to acquire those items that the available evidence called for, except over a rather long span of time. It was obvious to Mr. Rockefeller and his advisors that certain compromises would have to be made in the short term, and that the process of refinement would probably be a lengthy one. Because of the huge quantity of objects needed for such a large building, and because of the vagaries of the availability of precisely the right kind of objects, it was anticipated that furnishing the Governor's Palace according to the high standards set for the Restoration would be an evolving process.

Secondly, the acquisition and installation of many of the objects for the Palace took place in the mid-1930s, using the kind of perceptions and the degree of knowledge of 18th-century furnishings, their use, and arrangement, that was current then. However, tremendous advances have been made since that time in our knowledge of English and American 18th-century furnishings, in connoisseurship, and in the history of the period in general. Continuing research has produced new evidence and spurred new insights, leading us to decisions different from those made in the 1930s. Such change is inevitable if scholarship remains vital and alive.

It is also evident that scholars have recently begun to explore new aspects of the 18th century, particularly the social uses of objects in their original contexts. The term "social uses" can cover both their functions and their appearance. Scholars have recently begun to break away from straightforward art-historical or antiquarian considerations to ask such questions as "exactly what parts did these objects, these chairs and tables, these rich fabrics, play in the lives of those who owned them?" Not only is there new documentary material emerging for this study but, of crucial importance, the old evidence that has been available all these years is being examined afresh from this different perspective. Still in its initial stages, this aspect of research into 18th century furnishings is one of the most exciting in the field at the present, uniting scholars in this country and in England. Colonial Williamsburg is thus fulfilling an important part of its responsibility to its founders by being very much involved in this new research.

With this general background in mind, some more specific aspects of the refurnishing project can now be examined. When the reconstruction was still in its planning stages, the decision was made to rebuild the Governor's Palace not to its initial state, c. 1714, when it was first occupied by Spotswood; nor to the period of the Bodleian plate, c. 1735-1740, during the occupancy of Gooch——the only 18th-century elevation of the building we have; but rather to its appearance during the third quarter of the century, after the ballroom and supper room wing had been added. It is to this period that the bulk of the evidence for the furnishing of the building also belongs. Thus the refurnishing will complement the architectural reconstruction and unify it in a way that was not possible before.

Our refurnishing plan rests primarily on the foundation of an incomparable historical document——the inventory of the penultimate royal governor, Lord Botetourt, who died in office at the Palace in 1770. Itemizing more than 16,500 objects contained in the 61 rooms of the Palace complex, the inventory documents the public and private areas of the governor's life at the Palace, sheds much light on the large household staff and facilities needed to sustain such an edifice, and highlights aspects of the governor's personal and official comportment as well as his inter-relationships with colonial Virginia society.

In the inventory can be traced a substantial number of objects that Lord Botetourt had purchased from the estate of his predecessor, lieut.-governor Francis Fauquier, in 1768. And supplementing it is a list of "standing furniture" (objects purchased by or left to the colony for the use of the governors), containingsome items that were in the Palace from the time it was first occupied in 1714 until royal government there came to an abrupt end in 1775. Furthermore, a small group of pieces of furniture with a good history of belonging to Lord Dunmore at the Palace in the early 1770s have recently been acquired and are included in the refurnishing plan. Thus our knowledge of the furnishings of the Palace starts with one specific individual but expands to a style of living that may be considered representative of the period circa 1760 to 1775.

It is the inventory that provides the strict, narrative frame-work for the refurnished rooms at the Governor's Palace. An extended analysis of it, conducted by the curatorial staff of Colonial Williamsburg, has produced a wealth of evidence that has been scrupulously compared to contemporary accounts, letters, and archaeological discoveries, and tested against the newly-discovered objects with a history of belonging to the governors. All conclusions have been stringently checked against the evidence from other colonial sources as well as from the contemporary English scene.

Fastidious research often produces surprises and unexpected dimensions. The arrangement of arms in the hall, for example, is well documented throughout the century, but only recently has there come to light evidence for the precise kinds of 18th-century arrangement in which the extraordinary number of weapons can be accommodated. The multiple use of the dining room may cause surprise, but again there is ample documentation. For the decoration of the ballroom we have uncovered the most detailed instructions. The supper room will appear markedly different from the elegant room many have grown used to but here, as in all the rooms and with all the objects, we have followed the path of evidence and documentation rather than conjecture.

In the refurnishing process a new awareness of aesthetic considerations has produced many insights into the practical details of 18[th]-century trades and crafts that, of course, form the underpinnings of the final aesthetic appearance. It is the minute attention to details, and the ability to recreate them in the eighteenth18th century manner, which makes this project so outstanding. Whether the details concern upholstery, important and expensive to the 18th-century gentleman, but much neglected and overlooked in our own century; or bed coverings, of paramount importance in any elegant household, where the bed and its "furniture" was generally by far the most expensive item; or window coverings and carpets, again highly valued and here very carefully documented and reproduced; or lavish accoutrements for dining and lighting, of silver, cut-glass, porcelain and brass; or prints and maps, serving both practical and didactic purposes, and paintings symbolizing both earthly and spiritual majesty; in addition to the important considerations of how the objects were originally viewed as well as used——all have been vigorously examined in order to place them in their correct stylistic relationships to each other and to the evidence. Much attention has been paid to the procurement of large sets of items and to the proper formal sequences of objects, so important to the 18th-century mind.

It has been virtually impossible in recent years to acquire large matching sets of period chairs, curtains, silver, ceramics, and so on. In order to produce the right picture of period aesthetics, therefore, reproductions based on securely-documented prototypes have been procured. This is not a new practice at Colonial Williamsburg, for reproductions have been used in our exhibition buildings from the beginning——indeed, the Capitol was almost exclusively furnished with them from the early 1930s. Selected reproductions have since been used throughout the restored area. All of the reproductions for the Palace have been made to exacting standards, many of them at Colonial Williamsburg by a group of master craftsmen thoroughly conversant with the 18th century's methods and skilled in its technology. Without such a human resource——detailed in the following pages——such a project would have been infinitely more difficult, if not impossible.

The Botetourt inventory has also inspired us to explore the social uses of spaces. It has not been enough simply to furnish a room, however well we felt we understood the uses of the objects themselves; we have also asked ourselves constantly, "what are the manifold reasons——both functional and symbolic——for such a group of objects to be in such a clearly defined space?" Many fascinating and surprising observations have been made in response to this question. In this endeavour we have been greatly assisted by our valued colleagues in the Research Department, whose work in connection with the Governor's Palace is described later in this issue by Cary Carson, director of the department. And in order to present the new material to the public most effectively, new and ingenious methods of interpretation have been devised by Dennis O'Toole and his colleagues in the division of Historic Area Programmes and Operations——these are also described later in this issue.

John D. Rockefeller, Jr., once wrote "I wasn't trying to recreate a lovely city, nor was I interested in a collection of old houses. I was trying to recreate Williamsburg as it stood in the eighteenth century." That sentiment was fully shared by his close associate, Dr. William A.R. Goodwin. Mr. Rockefeller also advised his staff that "no scholar must be able to come to us and say we have made a mistake." In saying he was not setting an impossible standard. What he meant was that those who were involved in recreating 18th-century Williamsburg should be their own severest critics, and should continue to be. They should be the leaders in research pertaining to the 18th-century capitol of Virginia, its society, and its culture, and they should be the ones setting the pace for other scholars. Undoubtedly, Mr. Rockefeller set an exacting standard; viewed at a distance of 50 years it is still an inspiring one.

The Governor's Palace was reconstructed on its original foundations 1929-1933. During the process of research and rebuilding, the decision was made to reconstruct it not to its initial appearance ca. 1714, when it was first occupied by Spotswood; nor to the period of the Bodleian Plate, which gives us the only known 18th century elevation of the building, ca. 1740 during the occupancy of Gooch; but rather to its appearance during the third quarter of the century, after the addition of the Ballroom and Supper Room wing, ca. 1752 and until it was vacated by the royal governor in 1775. This wing, ca. 1752 and until it was vacated by the royal governor in 1775. This is also the period to which we propose to refurnish the building.

Although the reason for this decision is based purely on the quantity and type of evidence available, it obviously forms a particularly happy marriage (even if a coincidence) with the architectural aspects of the structure.

The evidence we propose to use in the refurnishing plan is as follows:

  • 1) The inventory of personal possessions taken after the death of Francis Fauquier, 1768. Unfortunately his possessions were not itemised room by room; from the subsequent evidence and surviving correspondence one or two facts about the actual whereabouts of furniture in the Palace are known and one or two reasonable suppositions can be made, but this body of evidence is far from clear.
  • 2)

    The inventory of the personal possessions of Lord Botetourt and the official possessions of the colony taken after the death of the governor in 1770. This document is of crucial importance because it gives every evidence of having been compiled with scrupulous care, and it details the contents of the Palace, room by room, thus identifying most of the rooms in the building and enabling us to ascertain their functions through an analysis of their contents. In addition, more detailed accounts of work at the Palace, undertaken for the governor by local tradesmen, have survived for this particular governorship than any other, fleshing out the details of the inventory in many important ways.

    Lord Botetourt had purchased over £700 worth of furnishings and other items from the estate of Fauquier, and a number of these items are clearly traceable in his inventory (marked (F) in the plan). Furthermore, a number of items in the official or "standing" furniture can be traced back to a proposal written about 1710 for furnishings to be acquired with funds from the colony rather than the governor privately. Thus this inventory is more than a fortuitous glimpse in great detail of one very short tenure——it provides us concretely with evidence of continuity, especially from the beginning of this period of the third quarter of the century.

  • 3) The schedule of losses filed by Lord Dunmore in 1784 for his possessions at the Palace seized by the colonists in 1775 and sold at auction in Williamsburg in 1776. Unfortunately, this document is too generalised and imprecise to be of much value to a refurnishing project (with one or two exceptions). However, such was the fame (or notoriety) of Dunmore and such the extraordinary circumstances surrounding his departure and the disposal of his goods that a number of privately owned objects with a tradition of having been acquired at the Dunmore sale have survived to the present day, so that we are now fortunate to own a considerably greater number of objects with a tradition of Dunmore ownership than of any other royal governor. Obviously these objects should be returned to the Palace and coordinated with the Botetourt inventory where possible.

It is clear, therefore, that the evidence gives us a composite picture of the furnishings of the Governor's Palace directly applicable to the third quarter of the 18th century, with the important dimension added (in the form of the standing furniture) of glimpses back to the initial occupancy of the man who built the building, Alexander Spotswood. The evidence firmly provides us with room descriptions and usages, architectural features and aspects of the personal and official presence of the governor. In conclusion it may be added that this evidence is quite extraordinary in comparison with the known body of evidence for other colonial royal governors, and certainly deserves to be much more widely known.

In any discussion of the Governor's Palace it should be kept in mind that the word "Palace" was used in its sense of official residence, such as Bishops's Palace, rather than for its connotations of enormous splendor. While Spotswood undoubtedly provoked much criticism for his methods of financing the "finishing" of the structure and its surroundings, we have not discovered any direct evidence that the word "Palace" was used primarily in a sarcastic way. Rather, it seems to have been introduced (and it seems consistent with Spotswood's character) as the term to describe the official nature of the building, in exactly the way that the new structure in New Bern, N.C., was called Tryon's Palace in the late 1760s. However, its acceptance and use was far from general——actually it seems to have been exceedingly infrequent——until the third quarter of the century. With the arrival of Lord Botetourt, the first resident full governor in contrast to the earlier lieutenant-governors, the use of the term "Governor's Palace" (rather than the earlier and more frequently used "Governor's House") became commonplace.

"Style and Taste" at the refurnished Governor's Palace


An official residence differs from a private residence —— in the former, the institutional and the personal must exist side by side, some things representing professional continuity and others a personal preference or innovation. It is essential to keep this difference in mind with the Governor's Palace. First and foremost, the building was the governor's official residence. Continuity is well represented; some furniture had been procured for the building by the colony about 1710-15 and was still in evidence in the 1770s. Lord Botetourt purchased, sight-unseen, a substantial quantity of the furnishings that Francis Fauquier had used —— these objects could have been up to 15 years old in 1770. The element of personal preference or innovation is represented by the furniture that Botetourt brought with him, both from his own house and from London. He later appears to have obtained some furnishings in Williamsburg. We have also placed some of Dunmore's locally-made furniture in the Palace. Thus there is no one individual's overriding taste represented in every object chosen for the furnishing scheme of the Palace —— it is (as it probably always was, except when Spotswood occupied the newly-finished building) something of a composite.

That said, there are still stylistic observations to be made about the 1760-75 period, which is the main focus of the refurnishing scheme. This was the period when the rococo was going out and the "new style" (as it was called —— i.e. the neoclassical or Adam style) was coming in. However, it should be pointed out that even when the rococo was the height of fashion, around mid-century, the degree of elaboration found on objects brought or made here was quite restrained. On the Virginia scene, extensive ornamentation of the kind found in the more elaborate designs of Chippendale's Gentleman and Cabinet-maker's Director, for example, seems not to have been preferred (see figs. A 1, A 2). Generally, the affluent in Virginia preferred furnishings to be "neat," and frequently "plain."* (see figs A5-[illegible] Quality was looked for —— indeed, insisted upon —— but it was to be put into the body of the piece and not all over the surface of it. This was not an attitude peculiar to Virginia, moreover; it was shared by many of the gentry in England, including important patrons of Thomas Chippendale. Some of the simplified rococo designs do actually appear in Chippendale's Director, and seem quite "plain" when compared with the more flamboyant examples of rococo elaboration also to be found in that important pattern book; yet they were still "fashionable" to the provincial gentry of England and Virginia (see figs. A 3 and A 4).

To such patrons, the 1760s did not represent a sharp swing of the pendulum from the exotic rococo to the austere neoclassical so much as a very gradual transition from a pared-down, simplified rococo to the linear and somewhat more geometric designs of the neo-classical, which often incorporated references to ancient art. Chippendale worked and published designs in both the rococo and neoclassical styles. This is confusing to many people, for his name has been widely used in the past to describe a whole style of decoration —— the rococo or "Chippendale" style. Even if it proves difficult to break the habit of describing rococo objects as "Chippendale", it is important to keep in mind the ambiguity surrounding the term. This will be particularly necessary when pointing out that some severely plain objects can be matched against plates in the Director; or when we see the close juxtaposition of some objects that may be considered rococo with others that may be considered more neoclassical (rococo beds standing next to neoclassical carpets, for example).

While the 1760s did, indeed, see Adam creating some of the monuments of the neoclassical style in great houses in England such as Kedleson, Syon, Osterley, etc., it must not be assumed that this heralded a sharp break between the rococo and the neoclassical, any more than it should be assumed that this heralded a sharp break between the rococo and the neoclassical designs the moment a few conspicuously rich patrons did. Let us stress the point that the late 1750s to the early 1770s was a time when one style was merging into another, and that they often intermingled;* (See fig. A9) that there were definitely gradations of elaboration ranging from the highly ornamented to the "neat and plain", all of them being —— according to the rank and station of the patron —— "fashionable."

Examples of the neat and plain can be found in the straight legs ("marlborough" legs) of chairs, tables, rather than the cabriole legs so familiar to us; restrained patterns of pierced splats; in chests, desks, with little or no carved ornament (see figs. A 1 -plain blue wallpaper of the ballroom represents a the florid rococo type of paper, embossed with a neoclassical gadroon design. ballroom and supper room have some neoclassical decorative elements on them (figs. A 9, A 10).

Somewhat less austere are the Chelsea china figures, some of the ornamental china for the desert table, and the gilt brass sconces, all in the dining room; the large silver tea board in the Little Middle Room; the chimney glass in the Middle Room upstairs; and, particularly, the governor's bed with its rococo cornice and elaborate chintz curtains (or "furniture") (see figs. under separate listings for the rooms).

Representing the Queen Anne or very early Georgian taste are the large looking glasses in the passage and Middle Room upstairs —— acquired by the colony when the building was first occupied; and the brass candelabra in the ballroom.

Required reading for this section is Wallace Gusler's, Furniture of Williamsburg and Eastern Virginia (Richmond, Va., 1979), pp. 2-11.

RR163232A 1

RR163233A 2

RR163234A 3

RR163235A 4

RR163236A 5

RR163237A 6

RR163238A 7

RR163239A 8

RR163240A 9

RR163241A 10

Chairs - Williamsburg Furniture

Corrections & Updated Information:
Palace Notebook

Dining Room — the page before C-1 should read "drapery" curtain, not "venetian."

Middle Room Upstairs — 4th page. 5th line should read, "(specified as crimson damask)." (Cross out "silk.") We are using silk, but the records do not specify silk.

Governor's Bedchamber — Botetourt inventory on page 1 should read "Chintz & green satten."

Chamber Over Front Parlour. Second page, third paragraph. Substitute "green and gold carved cornice" for "marbleized."

Chamber Over Dining Room & Page 6, Paragraph 1, line 4, cross out "frequent." Paragraph 2, line 3 should read "such simple window treatment was not unusual."


Textile Definitions relating to Governor's Palace

Baize — a woolen fabric, woven fairly open, usually with a long nap. Often green or blue. Relatively inexpensive, it was used as a utility fabric to line plate closets (Pantry) to cut drafts and noise (Supper Room) or to protect carpets from spills. Not to be confused with green broadcloth used as desk and table covers (Capitol). "Broadcloth" was more expensive, being woven finer and finished to a higher degree (fulled, napped and shorn smoothly, so the weave itself is not visible beneath the velvety nap unless the fabric is well worn.)

Calico — Plain white cotton fabric.

Chintz — Term used in the 18th century to denote printed cotton (or cotton and linen) fabrics. The term included Indian mordant-painted cottons (as in His Lordship's Bed Chamber), English copperplate prints (as in the Chamber Over the Dining Room), and block-printed fabrics. Sometimes, but not alway glazed.

Moreen — A worsted fabric (fine wool) usually "watered," or 1mpressed with a wavy pattern.

Toile — In the 18th century, this French term referred to printed textiles, made in France, of which those from Jouy were the best known. Today the term is often used to indicate large-scale decorator fabrics. In describing an English copperplate print, like that reproduced in the chamber over the Dining Room, it is best not to use the term "toile," even though it has been named "Jones Toile" for merchandising purposes. I would suggest that you describe it as "a reproduction of a 1761 English copperplate print."

Virginia Cloth — Any fabric made in Virginia; often, the fabric was cotton. Virginia residents were producing white cotton counterpanes described by Governor Fauquier in 1766.

Wilton carpets — A loom-woven carpet with cut pile, woven in England in widths about ¾ yards wide (27" wide). These loom strips were then used as bedside carpets, bed "rounds," or seamed together to make larger carpets, up to room size. Borders were woven separately and hand stitched to the carpets. Wilton carpets came in a variety of colors and patterns, an4 were fashionable in England and in the colonies during the second half of the 18th century.


RR163243"Drapery Style"
Window Curtain
(Dining Room)

RR163244Parts of Bed Furniture

RR163245Parts of Bed Furniture
Bed Style: "Double Drapery"


Main sources:

  • 1.Botetourt Inventory 1770
  • 2.Account books on way to and at Palace 1768-1770
  • 3.Fauquier Inventory 1768
  • 4.Inventory of Stoke Park 1768
  • 5.Archaeology

1770 Inventory: Ceramics mostly called "China," "Staffordshire"

"China" - porcelain, both Chinese Export hard-paste porcelain and English soft-paste porcelain

Stored -

Figures:mantle shelf in Front Parlor
mantle shelf in Dining Room
Teaware:"Closet to little Room" for easy access
"2nd Store room" on 3rd floor for only occasional use
"Ornamental China":"Bowfat" in "diningroom" - vases or garnitures and ornamental and useful desert wares
Tea service and candlesticks bought for Palace
approximately 200 pieces in 1770 Inventory
approximately 60 brought from Stoke Park
approximately 40 bought for Palace
rest ?

"Staffordshire:" Most likely mostly creamware, perhaps some earlier Whieldon

Stored:Closet to the little Room:main tea service
odds and ends
dinner (60), soup (39) and breakfast (7) plates
2nd Store Room:odd tea ware
bulk of odds and ends
dinner (133) and soup (39) plates
Servant's Hall:mainly serving pieces- 4 tureens
5 sauceboats
131 round and oval dishes

About 825 pieces in all

£20 65 worth was bought in Williamsburg in 1770 - perhaps 100 to 200 pieces - none came from Stoke Park

Glass:Stored:Bowfat best "cut"
Pantry: other table
Kitchen (or near kitchen): desert wares
Styles "cut"- faceted in all-over pattern
"flowered"- engraved (ground on wheels) or painted (with enamel) in any pattern, not just flowers
"plain"- no service decoration
unspecified- could be any of above

There were more than 900 pieces of table glass in the Palace during the 1770 inventory.

Botetourt bought 314 pieces from the Estate of Governor Fauquier.

1770 Inventory listed 144 wine glasses

Sold to Botetourt for Fauquier Estate 55 wine glasses

1770 Inventory listed more than 300 Jelly, Sylabub and Desert glasses

Sold to Botetourt for Fauquier Estate 128

There were more than 5,700 wine bottles in Palace during the 1770 inventory, of which 2,000 were empty.


Governor's Palace
"Hall and Passage below"

Botetourt InventoryStanding Furniture
2 Mahogany red damask elbow chairs covered with checks (F)Arms and Colors
2 looking glasses
8 chairs of the same (F)6 fine leather Buckets
10 large globe lamps2 step ladders [closet?]

Documentary references

Ca. 1710: - "One great Lanthorn for the Hall." "Proposal for rendering the New House convenient as well as Ornamental. "

October 29, 1711: - "About 9 o'clock I went to wait on the Governor but he was not at home and I walked after him to the new house and found him there and saw several of the Governor's contrivances, and particularly that for hanging the arms." The Secret Diary of William Byrd of Westover, I, 429.

November 19, 17ll: - "I went to the Governors but he was gone to the new house and I went there to him and found him putting up the arms." Byrd, op.cit., p. 440 .

May 26, 1715: - "The Musquetts now in the Governor's hall being a hundred and sixty in number & in very good order," Executive Journals of the Council, III, 399.

April 26, 1723: - "that great part of the Arms in the Magazine and at the Governor's House are much out of repair & unfit for service"… Exec. Journals of the Council, IV, 31.

1723-24: -"The Palace, or Governor's House, is a magnificent structure, finished and beautified …with a great number of the best arms nicely posited, by the ingenious contrivance of the most accomplished Colonel Spotswood." The Present State of Virginia … by Hugh Jones (London, 1724) (Ed. R.L. Morton, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1956, p. 70.]

July 1750:"Governors House
2 brass Ordnance wt each15889 pounders
1 small do4505
4 Iron do (of wch 2 at the Church) each weight 8c 2 ps."
(PRO CO 5/1338, £.53 )

May 25, 1758: -"The President likewise communicated a letter from Sir John St. Clair, dated Winchester May 19th, signifying that both the Virginia Regiments wanted blankets, and that the second was without Arms, which he desired they might be supplied out of the Governor's House, as the Arms there can never be put to better use. " Exec. Journals of the Council, VI, 95-96.

May 31, 1758: - "I have this instant received a letter from Mr. President Blair acquainting me that he will not dismantle the Govrs house at Williamsburg of the Kings Arms. All I can infer from his stupid letter, is that he wants them in order to make War on the Cherokees … Surely when the Ministry sent those arms over they never were intended for adorning the Govrs House. " Sir John St. Clair to Col. Henry Bouquet.

June 2, 1758: -"The President acquainted the Board that considering the pressing Exigencies of the Service, he had sent away all the arms in the Magazine, and all those in the Governor's House, being near 700 .. ." Exec. Journals of the Council, VI, 97.

June 9th, 1758: - "…on the prests reflecting what he had done about Arms, he had all those in the Govrs House pack'd up and put on board of a Vessell, which said from York for Fredericksbourg the 2 inst… " Sir John St. Clair to Col. Henry Bouquet.

September 18, 1763: - "The whole number [of arms] I could muster up to help to arm the Frontier counties amounted to but 100 and many of them out of repair … " F. Fauquier, Williamsburg, to Sir J. Amherst, New York. (Fauquier official correspondence, typescript, Research Dept., CWF.)

December 13, 1763: - "A thousand stand of good musketts, with bayonets and cartouche boxes compleat …" arrived in Williamsburg from Sir Jeffrey Amherst, New York, via James Furniss, Comptroller of the Ordnance, New York. (Fauquier official correspondence, typescript, Research Dept., CWF.)

June 13, 1775: - "It appears to your Committee from the Deposition of John Frederick Miller, keeper of the Magazine, that in June last (1774) there were there thirty barrels of Gun Powder, containing each about fifty weight, in indifferent order; that, by the Governor's directions, he sifted twenty seven barrels, out of which he made up twenty six Casks and better, the other three he left unsifted; That the President, soon after, sent to the Governor, then on the Frontiers, eight of those he had sifted, three hundred Muskets, Bayonets, Cartouch boxes, and Carbines, which have never been returned; That one hundred and fifty of the said Muskets were furnished out of the Palace, and soon after replaced out of the Magazine; That the said Miller, by order of the President, also delivered out about fifty stand of Arms, to some Gentlemen men of this City, which have not been returned." Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, vol. 13, pp. 223-24.

June 21, 1775: - "… that the Arms belonging to the King, which have for so many years been lodged, may still remain, in the Palace…" Journal of the House of Burgesses, 1773-76, p. 273.

June 24, 1775: -"List of arms & etc removed from the Palace. In the handwriting of Theodorick Bland, Jr. --

Cart No. 196 )158 broad swords
" 275 ) firelocks134 small swords 292
" 359 )292
[A mistake was made in counting the swords -- the actual total delivered was 310.]
The above arms were taken from the Palace, in open daylight, and conveyed under guard through the street, and lodged safely in the magazine…" Bland Papers (ed. Charles Campbell, Petersburg, 1840, XXIII).

September 25, 1815: -"A considerable number of muskets, etc. was always to be seen in the Entrance of the Palace, where they were arranged upon the walls in an ornamental Manner, as in the Tower of London. It was these Arms, I suspect, that Lord Dunmore put into the hands of the Marines. He could not have brought them from the Magazine…without discovery…" St. George Tucker's Mss. comments of William Wirt's mss. Life of Patrick Henry [W&M Quarterly, 1st series, 22, 250-57].

Secondary references

"The distribution and general division of the house…will require certain places of reception and communication…the hall answers this purpose below…above stairs there must be the same conveniences…in a great house all is to be great…with respect to the place of common reception, and entrance below, which is usually a passage in small houses, and a hall in larger, we have observed that it may be made a hall in all houses with great propriety…In more magnificent houses it should always be made as large as the rules of proportion to the entire building, and to the other rooms, will allow…In town a hall is a place of reception for servants…in the country where there are other ways into the house, the hall may be an elegant room, and it is there we propose its being made large and noble…It serves as a Summer room for dining; it is an anti-chamber in which people of business, or of the second rank, wait and amuse themselves; and it is a good apartment for the reception of large companies at publick feasts. " Isaac Ware, A Complete Body of Architecture…) London, 1756) pp. 335-37.

July 3, 1774: - "About ten [a.m.] an old Negro man came with a complaint to Mr. Carter of the overseer that he does not allow him his peck of corn a week--the humble posture in which the old fellow placed himself before he began moved me. We were sitting in the passage, he sat himself down on the floor clasp'd his hands together, with his face directly to Mr. Carter, then began his narration…" Fithian's Diary, p. 129.

July 4, 1774: -"After school we rode on our errand [to Hickory Hill, Home of the Turbevilles] we found besides Mis-Lee - Mr. George Turbeville, his wife, Mr. Grubb, & Lancelot Lee - After the ceremony of introduction, & our Congees were over, we took our seats in a cool passage where the company were sitting…" Fithian's Diary, p. 130.

"In the houses of ministers of state, magistrates etc [the hall] is the place where they dispatch business and give audience." Builders Dictionary (London, 1774).

"The entrance or hall of any well-built house ought always to be expressive of the dignity of its possessor, so the furniture ought also to be designed in a manner adapted to inform the stranger or visitant where they are, and what they may expect on a more general survey of every apartment." Thomas Sheraton, Cabinet Dictionary (1803).

More than anything else in the whole Governor's Palace complex the arms, which are mentioned more often than any other item in the house, are symbolic of the long continuity of governance here, as well as being symbolic of authority and might. They were also, when installed by Spotswood, properly regarded as a legitimate accoutrement of a gentleman's (or nobleman's or royal personage's) culture. Thus they bespeak authority, power, culture, tradition, impressiveness … The hall of Tryon's Palace (built 1767-70) had four niches for statues. By that time, patently, an arrangement of arms was old fashioned, if not passe.

Some English houses being redecorated by the Adam brothers in the 1760s had arrangements of arms modelled in plaster in the hall —— a pointed commentary on the efficacy of the device by that time. However, it is important to note that Fauquier and Botetourt, neither of whom were military men, chose to retain the arrangements at the Palace, presumably out of deference to the continuity they represented.

St. George Tucker's comparison of the arrangement of arms at the Palace with that at the Tower of London could hardly have been more useful to us. Although the 18th century arrangements at the Tower have been changed, a series of designs for arms arrangements that have survived were drawn by John Harris of Eaton, the very man who designed the display at the Tower (the designs he drew were probably for Hampton Court Palace or Windsor Castle). They explain how large quantities of weapons could be accommodated, and show in detail the method of intermingling muskets, pistols, and swords typical of the early 18th century (fig .1 & 2).AA 1 & 2

In addition to these drawings we have used a contemporary domestic arrangement arms as a prototype —— the only one we know to have survived in England in its original form (figs. 3 & 4)AA 3 & 4. This arrangement is believed to have been in place by about 1715, so is contemporary with Spotswood's designs in Williamsburg. The house in which the arrangement is located is called Chevening in Kent.

The damask upholstered chairs were among the most expensive pieces of furniture that Botetourt bought from Fauquier's estate. (Unfortunately, we do not know where Fauquier used them.) That Botetourt kept them in this setting is perfectly consistent with Ware's and Sheraton's dicta —— they would in their elegance and impressiveness complement the display of arms, and could also serve to accommodate the waiting needs of "people of business, or of the second rank…" The check covers would help to preserve the damask upholstery from the stress of such people "Waiting upon" the governor (fig. AA 5)

The globe lamps, installed apparently by Botetourt, added a further element of highly refined and up-to-date elegance. References to such fashionable upholders as Chippendale supplying globe lamps to elegant country houses in England are known in this precise period, while other references to them start to appear in Virginia at exactly this time.

The globe lamps were reproduced exactly from one of a set of eight supplied in 1771 by Thomas Chippendale for a house in Yorkshire called Nostell Priory. Although the inventory reference to twelve in the Palace is rather cryptic, we do find that there were "6 brass Branches for Globe Lamps" in the 3rd store room on the third floor, as well as some "large glass Shades" in the 2nd store room —— thus suggesting a form very close to the one we have acquired.

"Elbow" or arm chairs and backstools, all with straight legs, are typical of the neat and plain furniture mentioned earlier. It is probable that the check covers were kept on year-round, except for ceremonial occasions, in order to preserve the expensive damask upholstery.

The fine leather buckets for sand or water, decorated with the arms of the colony, will hang near the door into the Little Middle Room. Step ladders were useful for servicing the guns, among many other purposes.

Discussion of the arrangement of arms in the hall and passage will inevitably provoke questions about the full-length walnut panelling and the placement of guns and swords thereon. Some of our visitors will point out that in the 18th century weapons were normally hung on bare walls. It is important to be clear on this matter. As is obvious from the preceding page, there is abundant evidence for the weapons in the hall throughout the period; no firm evidence for the full-length panelling exists.

The restoration architects designed and installed the panelling with the following considerations in mind:

At least one fragment of wood was recovered by the archaeologists in the late 1920s in the approximate location of the north end of the passage. This was later said to be part of a walnut panel-stile. [Unfortunately, this fragment appears to have been misplaced, so it is now impossible to double-check it—— a somewhat delicate problem, I'm afraid.]

Some Virginia houses —— notably Carter's Grove, Westover, and Stratford, —— have full-length panelling. [However, this is of pine and was meant to be painted. No full-length walnut panelling is known. ]

Spotswood was purchasing walnut in the 1712-14 period. [But how much is not known. In any event, the evidence for this postdates the first evidence we have for the arrangement of arms.]

It is clear that Spotswood was planning the arrangement of arms in the hall of the Palace soon after his arrival in Williamsburg. He would have been familiar with the European convention that arms were generally hung on plaster walls rather than on panelling and would have had the hall thus designed. Nevertheless, we are forced to compromise with the decision made by Perry, Shaw, and Hepburn in the early 1930s, and hang the weapons directly on the panelling, rather than above it.

RR163246AA 1

RR163247AA 2


Room Interior[Room Interior]



"In the front parlour"
Botetourt InventoryStanding Furniture
2 Leather Smoking Chairs (F)34 Scripture Prints
2 Card Tables, Mahogany (F)2 Shades in Frames
1 Walnut Writing Table (F)2 Brass Branches
1 Couch Mahogany Frame covered with checks (F?)7 Mahogany Chairs
2 Small Looking Glass (F?)1 Iron Grate
Fry Jefferson's Map of Virga
Bowen's & Mitchell's maps of N. America
1 pr. Tongs, Shovel Poker
Fender and hearth Broom
11 Chelsea China figures
2 Venetian blinds

"chex covers for the Smoaking Chairs" in storage in a closet on the third floor .
"Front Parlor do" [carpet] in storage in another closet on the third floor.

Parlor Closet

"In the Closet"
Botetourt InventoryStanding Furniture
1 old finear'd BeaureauFry & Jefferson's Map in the Closet
1 Mahogy Card Table
1 large black Ink Stand
1 small Japan'd do
1 Green Wax Taper & Stand
1 Venetian blind
1 Glass Lantern
16 Medn Passes
Documentary References

May 2, 1727: - "It is further ordered that the great Dining Room and Parlour thereto adjoining be new painted, the one of peach color the other of cream color…" Exec. Journals of Council, IV, 134-35.

Secondary References

"Parlour - from the French Parlor, a speaking-place; a place for conversation; a fair lower Room, designed principally for the Reception and Entertainment of Company." T. Neve, The City and Country Purchaser's and Builders Dictionary (London, 1736)

"The parlour, in a small private house, is a very convenient room; but as it is not the apartment of most shew, there is no necessity it should reduce the passage to an alley; and in larger houses, inhabited by persons of distinction, there must be anti-chambers, and rooms where people of business may attend the owner's leisure…" Ware 1756, p. 293.

"…of these two front rooms [either side of the hall] that on the right hand might very conveniently be made a waiting room for those persons who are of better rank than to be left in the hall…" Ware 1756, p. 408.

[in a "somewhat larger farm house" "a parlour, the place where the farmer, his wife and children sit retired from their servants when they choose to do so…" Ware 1756, p. 351.

January 18, 1774: - [Fithian accompanied Mrs. Carter and her daughters to a ball at the Lees] "As soon as I had handed the ladies out [of the chariot] I was saluted by Parson Smith; I was introduced into a small Room where a number of Gentlemen were Playing Cards, (the first game I have seen since I left Home) to lay off my Boots Riding-Coat etc - Next I was directed into the Dining-Room…" All did not join in the Dance for there were parties in Rooms made up, some at cards; some drinking for pleasure; some toasting the Sons of America; some singing "Liberty Songs as they call'd them…" Fithian's Diary, pp 56-57.

1731: - "I went into my closet to show him his letter he sent the day before, but before I came out he took up his hat and went flying out of my door…" John Custis letter book.

September 22, 1763: - "I have made use of all the Mediterranean Passes you sent me and must beg the favour of you to send me 20 more … " Francis Fauquier to John Cleveland, Admiralty, London.

March 12, 1766: - "Some Merchants have already applyed to me for some of the Mediterranean Passes which I lately received from the Admiralty Office…" [this during the Stamp Act crisis] Francis Fauquier to Secretary Conway.

In his Life in the English Country House, Girouard traces the long development of the parlour from the Middle Ages onwards; it is almost always found off the hall (originally, of course, the great hall, the central focus of the household), and in conjunction with the great chamber, later to become the great dining chamber. Thus it was always smaller and more intimate than the great dining chamber. Parlours were sometimes also used for eating and sometimes also for games such as billiards——which may explain Spotswood's "Billiard Room." In some great houses in the 17th century it was the room where the upper servants ate.

In the late 17th and early 18th centuries there was often also a great parlour, which gradually developed into the salon or saloon, necessitating, therefore, a "common" or everyday parlour, which was still on the ground floor. The possible use of the upper Middle Room as a salon or great parlour may explain the designation in the Botetourt inventory of the parlour always as the "front parlour."

Apropos of what was probably its primary function in this official residence, the parlor obviously contained enough chairs to act as a waiting room for "persons who are of better rank than to be left in the hall." For such persons who were obliged to wait, the Scripture prints undoubtedly provided edifying and entertaining "reading matter" — (viz. Fithian, March 20, 1774, "I spent much of this day in Mr. Carter's Library among the works of mighty-Men; I turned over Calmets, Scripture prints, they are beautiful & vastly entertaining — "Fithian's Diary, p. 83). And the presence of not one but three important maps, with an extra Fry and Jefferson in the closet, should hardly be considered coincidental; they were there for precise reference, since many of those who came to wait on the Governor came seeking favour of one kind or another pertaining to land.

In this context it is well to take note of the following comment from the South Carolina-Gazette, September 10, 1772: — "In Virginia their new Scotch Governor began his Government with Negligence and Disregard of the Duties of his office. His Lordship was hardly ever visited, very difficult of Access, and frequently could not be spoken with, when the most urgent Business of the Public called for his Attendance. These spirited colonists could not bear these haughty Airs, but deputed one of their Lawyers to remonstrate against this Supercilious Behaviour, so inconsistent with the service of the great Prince whom he represented. At first he stormed, but at last he agreed to name Office-Hours, when every Person concerned might attend on Business. Since which time all things have gone on very peaceably … "

It is obvious that the "Passage Up Stairs" was yet another waiting area, for even more privileged visitors——this will be discussed later.

The parlor obviously served other purposes too. The correspondence between the location of this room with its card tables, and Fithian's already-quoted experience at the Lees' ball (January 18, 1774) is rather exact. Yet Fauquier seems to have kept the same two card tables in the Upper Middle Room——although the evidence for this is slender and in no way indicates a constant practise.

A third card table was kept in reserve in the closet, where also, were kept the Mediterranean Passes, issued to those merchants or captains who wished to do business in the Mediterranean, who needed the passes as proof of their being there legitimately rather than nefariously, particularly in this period of parlours relationships between England and France.

Did, perhaps, the Governor's private secretary (Capt. Foy under Dunmore) fill out the Mediterranean pass for the petitioner who had been shown in by the footman, (Botetourt had a footman called Knight) using the writing table in the parlour, which the secretary would then take to the Governor to sign?

Notice also the couch in the parlor, indicative of yet another use to which this room could be put, probably out of office hours. Botetourt had only two couches in the entire house, one here and one in the pantry. He had bought one couch (for £2) and one settee (for £6) from Fauquier; because of a certain flexibility in terminology concerning this form it is not possible to say exactly, but it is conceivable that the "couch" in the parlor was the settee that Botetourt had acquired from his predecessor's estate, for it is not otherwise mentioned, rather than the more normal daybed-type of "couch". Fithian's illuminating quote — July 13, 1774, "The other day, Mrs. Carter was lying in the long room among the Books on the Couch …" describes the piece of furniture that Chippendale and others in their pattern books illustrate……what we call a daybed. But the Society of Upholsterers pattern book, which we have very good reason to believe was in Williamsburg in this period, shows a "settee-couch" and, under "couch's;" two sofas! Sheraton in 1803 shows the daybed forms, calls them chaises longues and says "their use is to rest or loll upon after dinner, and in some cases…serve for a sofa."

In any event, the couch was almost certainly for relaxing and/or reading.

It is interesting to note that at Tryon's Palace (built 1767-70) the room occupying the same relationship to the hall as our parlour was called the servants hall, while on the opposite side of the hall was a library. The parlour at Tryon's Palace was a large room next to the dining room/drawing room. Governor Eden of Maryland, meanwhile, had two parlours listed in his inventory of 1776, one called the Gilt Leather parlour and containing almost identical furnishings to our parlour, the other called the right hand parlour and containing primarily a card table, a large dining table, 12 chairs, and a number of paintings. Tryon in New York in 1773 gave a partial listing of the contents of his parlour or "Chints Room" there and included 3 mahogany card tables, a chimney glass, and a carpet.

There were seven mahogany chairs (standing furniture) in the front parlour, the upholstery unspecified. Seven is an unusual number, but there were also four standing furniture mahogany chairs in the pantry, across the hall. It is thus possible that they were all from the same set. The pantry chairs were upholstered with leather, as were all the other standing furniture chairs in the Palace; therefore, it is more than likely that the front parlour chairs were upholstered with leather too. If that were so, they would be more serviceable and intended for harder wear than if they were covered with damask, like the chairs in the hall.

This line of reasoning suggests that the front parlour did, indeed, serve as a place for as well as a place for relaxation and conversation (and card-playing) after meals or after hours.

The chairs we have chosen are side-chair adaptations of the rare armchair from the DAR Museum in Washington, D.C. (see "Style and Taste" at the Governor's Palace: Introduction, fig. A. 5 and fig. B. 1) which is stamped "VIRG" on the back seat rail, a strong indication of official ownership.

Two smoking chairs are based on a Virginia prototype in the St. George Tucker House in Williamsburg (fig. B.2). We have recently discovered, by means of an English drawing of 1787, that the term "smoking chair" pertains to the form we have traditionally called a "corner chair." This form is not uncommon in Virginia furniture (see Gusler, Furn. pp. 141-42).

A certain confusion surrounding the definition "couch" has already been referred to. Because of this, we have chosen to follow the one unambiguous Virginia reference to this form ——from George Washington's account books for 1759, for material from the London cabinetmaker, Philip Bell: ——"A Neat Mahogany Marlborough Couch with a Roll head & Leather Cushions to ditto, stufft up in the best manner & covered with black Leather, quilted, best princes Metal Nails, Boulster & 2 Pillows , filled with Goose Feathers £7-0-0." We have traditionally called this form a "daybed," but the more correct 18th-century terminology is "couch."

The mahogany card tables are of the mid-century period and of rather fine quality (fig. B. 3). The writing table is another example of an extremely restrained rococo form that can be found illustrated in Chippendale's Director (fig. B. 4). Two small looking glasses, perhaps from Fauquier's estate, are of mid-century date. Considerably less elegant than some others in the house (in all probability), they are still appropriate for a waiting room and for a room to which ladies might repair after meals.

As Lord Botetourt seems to have had a strong interest in ornithology, we have used the opportunity presented by the "11 Chelsea China figures" to show an important set of birds modelled at the Chelsea porcelain factory immediately after the publication in London of the last volume of George Edwards', A Natural History of Uncommon Birds … (1743-51), and based on plates in that book (see Austin, Chelsea Porcelain, pp. 120-29).

Notice that there are no curtains listed for the room and that the carpet had been in storage for the summer. This latter object, because of the less than completely up-to-date nature of some of the furniture in the room, we have based on a 1753 English design for a pile-woven carpet, drawn by Anna Maria Garthwaite. (see fig. B.5. The manuscript design is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.) The reproduction, woven in England, is very carefully based on the colours of the original carpets of the period, yet it may still surprise some of our visitors by its vividness.

Perhaps the most striking thing about the parlour, however, will be the arrangement of "Scripture prints". One set of such prints —— called "Calmet's," and owned by Robert Carter of Nomini Hall (who had earlier lived on Palace Green and was an intimate friend of Fauquier's) —— has already been noted. Identical prints were also to be found in the library of his brother, Landon Carter, which makes their documented connection with Virginia strong, indeed. (Calmet was an early 18th century, French author of a three-volume dictionary of the Bible, translated into English in 1732; the illustrations for his book were commissioned from various print-makers and are of an artistic quality that, I think is fair to say, would make them less than "vastly entertaining" to most people.)

Another appropriate set of "scripture prints" with a possible Virginia connection, and which we have been fortunate to acquire, was engraved mainly by the Frenchman Picart and the Dutchman Houbracken for an illustrated New Testament published in the 1720s in several languages (see figs. B.6 and 7 for two representative examples). Such prints were also sold separately, as well as to other publishers; a virtually identical set was incorporated into a Latin bible published in Amsterdam, and an English bible published in Cambridge, England. Versions of the Latin bible were owned by William Byrd and Robert Carter, and a version of the English bible was left by William Gooch's widow to the College of William and Mary.

Whether it was actually one of the above sets, or a different one, that adorned the walls of the front parlour (and because they were standing furniture, could have done for many years previously) we may never know. What is important is that they were edifying and decorative, something for those waiting upon the governor to contemplate and admire. Their arrangement is based on 18th century English prints of interiors showing such items massed on the walls. They introduce us to the role of the governor in the religious life of the colony. They also form, along with the arms in the hall, an important introduction to the 18th century's preference for sets of items, appropriately arranged, to give an impression of proper symmetry and grandeur.

The most obvious difference between the front parlour at the Palace and similar rooms in great Virginia houses is the presence of a couch at the Palace. Frequently this item was kept in the passage (or hall) of Virginia houses. Otherwise, the furnishings are quite similar —— the dining function that such a room could offer, if necessary, is occasionally indicated by the presence of a marble slab and/or a dining table.

Prints and looking glasses are not uncommon . Not enough evidence is available to compare the leather upholstery in the Palace parlour with that in other Virginia houses.

RR163251B 2

RR163252B 3

RR163253B 4

RR163254B 5

RR163255B 6

RR163256B 7

Among Governor Botetourt's possessions in the front parlour was a Bowen map of North America. Emanuel Bowen served in the rather unusual capacity of map maker to both George II and Louis XV of France, and thus most of his work was done for official government purposes. This particular map served to delineate the dominions of the British, French, and Spanish as determined at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1763 and was published shortly thereafter by Robert Sayer in London.

Full information on the Mitchell map of North America, also in the parlour, shown partially folded in a traveling case has been provided to the interpreters with their reading list.

1 Ticken couch, Mattrass boulster 3 blankets white quilt & red check covering
1 Library table with a Stool
1 Wash hand bason, bottle & stand
1 Mahogy Beureau 1 small blk walnut Table
1 Chest of tools
1 small drying horse of linnen
1 small washing tub, 1 Fender, poker tongs and shovel, 1 toastg fork, 1 hearth brush.
4 Meat & 2 Glass trays of Mahogy
1 wire bird cage with balance weight
1 small coppr tea kettle
2 Maps, 14 prints. 1 iron chest in closet next the fire & 2 braces of pocket pistols
1 cloath's brush
Pantry continued Closet
Broken pots of pickles
Vials of colour'd sugars
4½ Vials of Capilare
Physic closet contains a variety of Medicines, & a case of Instruments in Surgery
2 pair of Apothecaries scales.
2 Wire & 2 wooden cages
1 Shavg pot, Bason & case of 6 Rasors
1 Stone, 1 Water jug.
1 Lanthern. 1 small tin funnel. Vinegar jug. part of a jug of Lamp, and part of ajug of sweet Oil.
40 bottles of Rum, & 2 of Virga Cyder.
4 do Burgundy. 24 of Madeira.
Thread pins &c in library table draw
7 Setts of card counters in 3 damask silk bags.
6 doz. Mould tallow candles. 5 doz dipp'd do
7 do & 3 spermaciti do 7 large wax do
1 do & 10 large night lamps wax
5 do of small do
5 do & 7 wax tapers
4 Mahogy & 1 walnut knife box**
3 doz. strong black handle knives & forks little us'd
31 black handle knives & 35 forks pretty much worn.
34 buck handle knives & 35 forks
5 Green handle carving knives & forks & do white china handle.
1 do white china handle.
3 Staffordshire Mugs & Bason
3 large Japann'd Jacks 1 half pint mug.
1 small dutch oven.
13 japann'd hand waiters
2 japann'd wine Cisterns
1 Lignumvitae stand with 4 Casters
2 small cedar tubs Omitd
Plate, in the Pantry.
27 Dishes.
60 Plates
1 Turn & Ladle
8 Buttr boats
1 Bread basket
1 Large tea board
4 Salvers
1 Large waiter
6 small hand do
6 Large Salts & Shovels
1 Wash bason
1 Chamber pot
2 Half pint cans
1 large Lamp
1 small do
6 small Salts & Spoons
4 carving Spoons
3 Soup Spoons
1 Stand with 3 Casters & 2 Cruets
3 Large Casters
16 Candlesticks, 1 flat Candlestick
2 Taper candlesticks
3 Pr Snuffers with 1 Stand & 1 Pan.
8 French plate Candlesticks
3 do Soop Ladles
1 Silver fish Slice
1 do Lemon Strainer
1 do writing stand Bell & 2 Casters
2 do Branches with 4 nozzles
2 do do with 2 do
2 do do with 1 do
2 Nozzles & pans
6 Gold cups
18 Silver bottle Labells
3 do punch Ladles
8 Skewers
1 Wine strainer
30 Tea spoons
2 pr Sugr tongs
2 Cream pots
12 Card counters
54 large Knives & 55 forks with 3 prongs
2 black Shegreen Cases containg each
1 Doz large Knives & 1 doz. forks & 1 doz large table Spoons.
1 Case containing 1 doz Knives & 1 doz Forks with China Handles.
1 small Shagrine Case contg 1 doz Desrt Gilt Silver handled Knives; 1 doz Silver Forks & one doz Spoons
1 do contg 1 doz Silver handled desert Knives & forks & 1 doz Spoons
1 do contg eleven Silver handled desert Knives
1 Doz large table Spoons with Laday Hereford's Arms
1 ½ doz large table Spoons engraved with a Unicorn
1 Sheffield ware tea Kitchen
2 pr ornamental steel Snuffers & stands.
1 do steel spring Snuffers
3 do common
1 large mettal oval dish.
Glass in Pantry
5 cut glass wine decanters
16 plain qut do
12 quart water do
4 pint do
4 long beer glasses
6 flower'd small ones.
3 large cut beer glasses
28 do plain do
6 flowered wine glass & 13 Hock glasses
1 large tumbler & 10 small ones
3 Canns
6 double flint cut Salts
35 plain wine Glasses
30 flowered do
4 glass cruets 2 small flowered do
40 cut wash hand glasses & 47 Saucers
8 ground stoppers
3 pr nut crackers 1 iron cork screw.
Standing furniture
1 gilt looking glass
3 paintings over the door
Map of New England
4 Leather Bottom Mahogany Chairs
1 pr old Money Scales

Secondary References

"Pantry - a Room to sit Victuals in; a Store-Room" - R. Neve, The City and Country Purchaser's and Builders Dictionary (London, 1736).

"Pantry - a room or apartment in a house, etc., in which bread and other provisions are kept; also (butler's or housemaid's pantry), one in which the plate, linen, etc for the table are kept." OED.

The function of the pantry seems to have changed little from the Middle Ages to the 18th century, and, indeed, its location seems to have changed little either, although, of course, it was always susceptible to some variation. When it served the late medieval great hall it was generally at the opposite end from the recently introduced parlour, and it appears frequently in 17th and 18th century English house plans (including the grandest) on the opposite side of the hall from the front parlour.

Its function as a store room is self-evident from the inventory and it has been refurnished as such. Almost certainly it was Botetourt's butler's (Marshman) office, where he would keep accounts (in the Library Table) and keep strict control over the wine and liquor inventory and the valuable plate. Items that the butler needed in the dining room for the dispensing of wine and liquor were also stored here, as well as various types of candles that would be dispensed as needed.

The presence here of a built-in closet is confirmed by the inventory——"1 iron chest in closet next the fire." It is likely that the plate was kept locked in here, perhaps the "physic" also and the almost seven dozen bottles of wine and spirits. There is no reference to a movable cup-board in the room and it would seem, by itself, too small to contain such a profuse quantity of items without a closet. Nor is it likely that the closet next to it that contains the west entrance would have been an appropriate storage place for valuables.

The strategic location of the Pantry off the hall is obvious——the butler could make sure that the footman at the front door, whom he almost certainly supervised, was doing his job properly. At the Palace he could also watch the other help whom he supervised too using the other main (service) entrance.

Lord Botetourt, we know, had both a butler and an under-butler (Thomas Fuller). Robert Eden in Annapolis had a butler and a housekeeper, each with their separate offices——in the butler's pantry is found mostly silver, glass, and cutlery and in the housekeeper's room mainly linen and china . In the Botetourt inventory the glass and linen are listed in association with the kitchen; it may be that here the cook was also the housekeeper——which may well explain the unusual lengths that Fauquier went to in his will to thank his cook Anne Ayscough for her loyal services. At Tryon 's palace there was a housekeeper's room immediately adjoining the servants' hall (although not opening into it) and the parlour——perhaps a servant could be on hand in the housekeepers' room awaiting a call from the parlour. The Governor's house in New York, when Tryon lived there, contained a butler's room and a housekeeper's room, in addition to the household being replete with a steward, too. Unfortunately, in his schedule of losses Tryon listed the linen, plate, and china separately with no indication of where it was normally stored.

The way the Palace was constructed precludes our being able to install a closet in the pantry large enough to exhibit the lavish quantity of silver —— and the silver is extraordinary enough in quality and quantity for us to want to exhibit it to our visitors as a display. You should understand, however, that it would not have been exhibited in this room in the 18th century —— merely stored, probably behind solid, locked doors. Because of its value it is quite possible that the butler slept in this room to guard it —— it is well not to be too emphatic on this point, however.

For these reasons we have taken liberties with the inventory and have devised a glass-doored cabinet for this room in which the silver can be kept and where it can be seen as a real index of Lord Botetourt's wealth and station.

There are more than 1600 items listed in this room in the inventory —— obviously all you can do for the visitor, and all we can do for you (apart from the separate inventory books we shall supply you with) is to focus on the functions of the room rather than dwell upon the individual objects.

The fact that there is paneling and a marble mantel in the room merely indicates that when the building was built (over half a century prior to the documentary reference to this room as a pantry) the intention may have been to use the room for another purpose. As you know there is actually no evidence for the paneling or the marble mantel —— this was a supposition of the architects who reconstructed the building in the early 1930's. In any event, it is useful to point out that the building must have undergone changes and adaptations in its sixty-or seventy-year occupancy by a succession of different residents.

"The Closet next the fire" in the Pantry

Once again the Botetourt inventory provides us with an indisputable reference to an architectural feature at the Palace which the Restoration architects chose to ignore. In the Pantry listing are the words "1 iron chest in closet next the fire." The listing shortly continues "Pantry continued Closet, " is then briefly interrupted for "Physic closet…" and then continues with a long list of items that could have been kept in the "closet next the fire," culminating in the extensive quantities of silver and glass that would certainly have been kept under lock and key. Once again there is no movable piece of furniture specified in the room that could have contained such a large number of items. Furthermore, a careful inspection of the Jefferson drawing (particularly the photograph of the original rather than the illustration in Whiffen's book) reveals a definite break in the fireplace wall on the east side of the fire, that could well have been meant to indicate an entrance to a closet.

I believe that the restoration architects may have been persuaded that the west entrance, in what constitutes a closet-like space between the Little Middle Room and the Pantry, might have provided storage room. I do not, however, believe that silver or anything else of value —— would have been stored next to such a busy entrance and exit as the west door .

Maps for Pantry:

Already installed in the pantry and to remain filling the Botetourt inventory reference as part of the standing furniture is a map of New England. From the time of its making through until the end of the century A MAP OF THE MOST INHABITED PART OF NEW ENGLAND believed to have been made by Bradock Mead and first published in London in 1755 by Thomas Jefferys, then Geographer to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, was the most geographically acceptable delineation of the area to be available. Few impressions of this the first issue are presently recorded, but a second state, published in 1764, and a third, in 1775, are frequently found in good map collections. The unusual spelling "Konektikut" was changed on the later editions to the standard Connecticut and new counties in Rhode Island were added.

It should be noted that Jefferys position as Geographer to the Prince was altered when the Prince became King, and he remained in the position, publishing some of the most important mid-eighteenth Century maps of Colonial America.

A small map of Virginia and Maryland showing the Chesapeake Bay area is also to be installed in the Pantry to fill one place in the inventory listing of two maps, property of Botetourt. It was made in London by Emanuel Bowen about 1760. (Full information on Bowen will be supplied with the information on the maps for the Botetourt screen .)

Certainly a map showing the local waters would be an important document for the governor's household. Shipments back and forth across the waters was an essential part of the workings of the government .

The second map called for in the above reference will be the major work on Colonial America made by Henry Popple in London in 1733. Because of the exceedingly large scale of the map, it will be shown bound in boards, a typical eighteenth-century manor of handling such works. A complete discussion of this important map has been sent along with other interpretive materials.

Dining Room
Botetourt InventoryStanding Furniture
2 Leather Smokg Chairs (F)1 pr. brass Sconces
12 Mahy chairs hair bottoms (F?)1 Side Board wth Marble Slab
1 large mahy ding table (F?)
1 smal1er do
1 Wa1nut writg table
1 Mahogy plate warmer & 12 bottle stands
1 Mahogy Wine cooler
1 Mahogy Library Table containg papers public & private (F)
1 Mahogy Desk, containg Sundry papers private & public, one embroidd pocket book a miniature drawing, 1 Diamd mourng ring & a pair of Gold sleve buttons, pruning knife & a steel pencil
1 White wax taper & stand
1 black ink stand
13 Wax portraits
1 Shovel, pair Tongs, poker & fender & hearth broom
1 Mahog fire Screen
11 Chelsea China figures
Henry's Map of Virga
1 Oval lookg Glass (F)
3 Venetian blinds
1 East India fire lock
1 Small readg desk (F?)
1 large oyl Cloth at Mr. Kids
[In storage upstairs]
3 blue Moreen Window Curtains belonging to the dining room
Dining Room do [carpet]
1 Chimney Board belonging to the dining Room
In the Bowfat
2 large enamd China bowls
2 lessr blue & white do
2 pr English china Candlesticks
56 pieces ornamental china
12 large cut water Glasses
12 small do
4 large cut glass tumblers
3 small do
28 cut wine glasses
4 strong beer glasses
1 Hock glass
Sweet Meats, candy etc
4 dozen Oranges

Documentary References

May 2, 1727: - "The great Dining Room …to be new painted…pearl colour." (See Parlour)

March 6, 1747: - "Your friend Cannon…I wish I had never known…he had the assurance, in a most insolent manner, to affront my wife and Sister, at my own Table, for which he had no other Provocation than their rallying him upon his manner of Behaviour…I did not carry it the length I ought to have done by turning him out of my House, but sitting much disturbed until Dinner was over…I soften'd…provided he asked their pardon, next day at Dinner…this indeed he promised, but was far from performing, that when things were upon the Table, and they were call'd to Dinner and came into the Room, he was like a statue, as stiff and immoveable, and when we were satt down, tho' my wife, who I had prepared for this interview, carved for him, desired to know what dish of Meat he liked best; yet he continued silent, and at last calling for drink, 'tis true he drank my health, took no notice of either my wife or Sister…" William Gooch to his brother, Bishop of Norwich.

June 1770: - "to easeing drawers and fixing on moulding to my Lord's library table, 0..2..6" Joshua Kendall.

June 6, 1770: -"to taking down Dining Room curtains". Joseph Kidd

July 27, 1770: -"painting an oil cloth and sowing ditto, £7..10..0" Joseph Kidd

August 22, 1770: - "to fixing gun in the Dining Room two Brass hooks to Do., 1..7..6" Joshua Kendall

[Joseph Kidd charged £7.10.0 for making three venetian blinds, June 27, 1770, although there is no certainty that they were for this room].

Secondary References

December 18, 1773: - "Half after eight we were rung into Supper; the room looked luminous and splendid; four very large candles burning on the table where we Supp'd, three others in different parts of the Room; a gay, sociable Assembly, & four well instructed waiters! - So soon as we rose from Supper, the Company form'd into a semicircle round the fire…" Fithian's Diary, p. 34.

December 31, 1773: - "[Mrs. Carter and Fithian] took two whole turns through all the several walks… [then] walked out into the Area viewed some plumb-Trees, when we saw Mr. Carter and Miss Prissy returning [from a ride] we then repaired to the Slope before the front-Door where they dismounted — and we all went into the Dining Room…" p. 44.

March 18, 1774: -"[of the four Rooms below, at Nomini Hall] a dining Room, where we usually sit…" p.80

July 12, 1774: - "He is rather dull, & seems unacquainted with company for when he would, at Table, drink our Health, he held the Glass of Porter fast with both his Hands, and then gave an insignificant nod to each one at the Table, in Hast, & with fear, and then drank like an Ox…" p. 138.

April 7, 1774: -"In the Dining-Room [at Mount Airy], besides many other fine pieces, are twenty-four of the most celebrated among the English Race-Horses, drawn masterly, & set in elegant gilt Frames…" Fithian's Diary p. 95.

1773: - "To understand thoroughly the art of living, it is necessary, perhaps to have passed some time amongst the French, and to have studied the customs of that social and conversible people. In one particular, however, our manners prevent us from imitating them. Their eating rooms seldom or never constitute a piece in their great apartments, but lie out of the suite, and in fitting them up, little attention is paid to beauty or decoration. The reason of this is obvious; the French meet there only at meals, when they trust to the display of the table for show and magnificence, not to the decoration of the apartment; and as soon as the entertainment is over, they immediately retire to the rooms of company. It is not so with us. Accustomed by habit, or induced by the nature of our climate, we indulge more largely in the enjoyment of the bottle. Every person of rank here is either a member of the legislation, or entitled by his condition to take part in the political arrangements of his country, and to enter with ardour into those discussions to which they give rise; these circumstances lead men to live more with one another, and more detached from the society of ladies. The eating rooms are considered as the apartments of conversation, in which we are to pass a great part of our time. This renders it desireable to have them fitted up with elegance and splendour, but in a style different from that of the other apartments. Instead of being hung with damask, tapestry, etc., they are always finished with and adorned with statues and paintings, that they may not retain the smell of the victuals." R. & J. Adam; The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam, London 1773.

1803: - "the dining parlour must be furnished with nothing trifling, or which may seem unnecessary, it being appropriated for the chief repast, and should not be encumbered with any article that would seem to intrude on the accommodation of the guests.

The large sideboard…the handsome and extensive dining table, the respectable and substantial looking chairs; the large face-glass; the family portraits; the marble fire-places; and the Wilton carpet; are the furniture that should supply the dining room." Thomas Sheraton, Cabinet Dictionary.

In the development of the English country house from the Middle Ages to the 17th century, the trend, briefly, was to move away from the great hall as the ceremonial center of the household to the great chamber on the second floor and in the center of the building where possible. Later in the 17th century the eating ceremony gradually moved out of the great chamber into a parlour, and then later, dining room, which in grand houses became the great or (depending on its pretensions) state dining room, one of the best and biggest rooms in the house. Later still, the dining room was often called the Dining-parlour, to differentiate it perhaps from the common or everyday parlour, thus denoting its primary functions of eating and conversing. In the grander houses this room was generally found in conjunction with a drawing room, to which the ladies withdrew after the meal.

"Plate on the sideboard or central table and large numbers of footmen waiting in splendid liveries could make a big dinner an impressive sight, but mediaeval ceremony had by now entirely vanished. Each course was carried in by footmen and laid out on the central table; the more lavish the dinner, the greater the variety of dishes. The main meat dish was usually put in front of the host to carve. Footmen attended to the individual wants of guests by taking their plates to the dishes, rather than carrying the dishes round the table. The butler stayed at the sideboard with the wine; the footmen brought glasses to the sideboard to be filled or refilled. If the glasses had been used already the butler rinsed them in a cistern of water under the sideboard (or, as Swift complained, merely filled the dirty glasses). The one element of ceremony was provided by the company not the servants, in the form of toasts. These were either drunk by the whole company, or when one individual asked another to drink with him; in both cases the relevant glasses were taken to the sideboard by footmen to be refilled. On occasions an orchestra in, or more usually next door to, the dining room played music throughout the meal.

The meal normally ended with dessert, after which the ladies removed to the drawing room…[for example]'Lady Lyttelton wishes for a room of separation between the eating room and the drawing room, to hinder the ladies from the noise and talk of the men when left to their bottle, which must sometimes happen'. By then the English custom of the women leaving the men to drink, smoke and talk in the dining room was well established." Mark Girourad, Life in the English Country House (New Haven, 1978).

It is not known if this was the invariable custom among the Virginia grandees but it can be safely assumed that Lords Botetourt and Dunmore would be au fait with contemporary English habits and would probably observe them in Williamsburg. Perhaps the ladies withdrew to the front parlor.

At the Palace the dining room obviously served another function——business. Whether this was because Botetourt used this room mainly for intimate dinner parties, while larger ones were held in the Ballroom where there were four large dining tables, or because he did not have a separate office (for there is none mentioned in the inventory) is not known. The repair of the library table, the writing accoutrements, the private and public papers (sent to England after his death) all indicate usage. Did this room, in fact, serve as his private office? The articles in the mahogany desk might seem to indicate thus.

It is interesting that the contents of the room accord closely with Sheraton's dictum comparable to one he published ten years earlier——although he may well have considered the Chelsea china figures and a gun hanging on brass hooks as "triflings" and "unnecessary." Apropos of the "bowfat", Sheraton observed——"these ancient buffets* seem to be in some measure suspended by the use of modern sideboards, but not altogether, as china is seldom, if ever, placed upon them…" Actually the room had a sideboard but not a modern one for it was almost certainly the same one that was ordered for the room about 1710. "For rendering the new House Convenient as well as Ornamental…for the furniture of the lower Apartments…one Marble Buffette or Sideboard wth. a Cistern & fountain…" Still, the china was not on the sideboard as Sheraton said it should not be, but in the "bowfat" instead. The sideboard was thus reserved for plate, and other "dining equipage", all of which Botetourt owned in abundance.

The architect's plans for Tryon's Palace seem to indicate the terms "dining room" and "drawing room" were used interchangeably for the same room, which was between the large room that served for a Council chamber and the parlors. Tryon furnished his New York dining room, listed in his schedule of losses (1773) immediately after the parlour (or "Chints Room"), in approximately the same manner of Botetourt's, with the exception of the office equipment, and still thoroughly in accord with Sheraton's later recommendation.

Eden may well have used his "right hand parlour" as the more intimate dining room, and the "long room" as the room for larger feasts (as Botetourt almost certainly used the Ballroom) for that contained furnishings closely comparable to our Ballroom, including "1 elegant iron Dutch Stove".

The furniture of the dining room is stylistically consistent, and of the 1760-75 period except for the very early Virginia sideboard table (fig. C 1). This dates from about 1720-25, not quite so early as the reference mentioned above, but still one of the earlier pieces of Virginia furniture known.

Seating furniture: — the smoking chairs are identical to the ones in the front parlour. The 12 mahogany chairs (fig. C 2) are of a rare form and are virtually identical to one with a history of by Lord Dunmore (see Gusler, op. cit., p. 6) although, by an extraordinary coincidence, several of the same form have also been found at Badminton, the great Gloucestershire house that is the seat of the Dukes of Beaufort, into which family Botetourt's only sister married (she was the 4th Duchess). They are upholstered with horsehair, which is documented in Virginia from the 1750s on, and fashionable for dining rooms in England and Virginia. Eden's dining room chairs were also covered with horsehair.

Dining: — a large straight-legged, drop-leaf table of the 1760s for of to 8 in number, and a smaller "Pembroke" table of the same date for the governor when he dined (or breakfasted) alone. Remember that larger groups for dinner, which were not infrequent, moved to the Ballroom. The plate warmer (fig. C 3) kept the plates hot and the wine cooler —— generally placed under the sideboard table which was the centre for dispensing drinks — kept the wines cool.

The table will be set for desert, utilizing the silver-gilt knives and forks (listed in the Pantry) and some handsome silver-gilt plates. It will be decorated with some of the "ornamental china" that was kept stored in the "Bowfat" [buffet] when not in use, as well as some lovely cut glass of the 1760-70 period, elegant and fashionable.

It will be useful here to read again and completely familiarize yourselves with the description of dinners quoted above from Girouard's book.

The evidence points to the fact that Fauquier, as well as Botetourt, used this room for business. And the mahogany desk (fig. C 4) in bedchamber over the dining room we shall install has a history of belonging to Dunmore. thus the three governors of the third quarter of the 18th century are directly and personally evoked here. The Library table (fig. C 5) we shall use is not quite as fine as the one we now know Botetourt imported from London in 1768, but it is of the same form. The writing table and reading desk directly reinforce the picture of this room as a centre of the governor's work.

Remember Adam's description, quoted above, about political discussions in the dining room. As many of the influential men with whom the governor needed to be in touch came to Williamsburg only two or three times a year, and as he probably did not communicate with them much otherwise, social occasions such as dinner parties served another, immensely important function —— communication. The governor found out what was happening in the colony from them (and probably invited them to the Palace for that very reason), and they in turn found out what was happening in the capital of the colony and (through the governor) in the capital of the empire. Considering the relatively primitive state of communications then, the function of this room as an information-gathering and dispensing centre cannot be overstressed. The furnishings reflect these social conventions perfectly. Other Virginia houses such as Kenmore, Berkeley, Morrattico, and the Nelson house can be proved to have desks in the dining room, so the convention was not peculiar to the governor.

Looking glasses are often found in conjunction with sideboard tables (frequently in Adam's designs); the oval example here is a fashionable one, as are the Chelsea figures, kept — to judge by their placement in the inventory — near the fireplace, which is why we have placed them on the mantelpiece.

Botetourt ordered from London some firescreens with maps on them, and our rare example (on loan from Kenmore) has a history of ownership by him. John Henry's map (he was the father of Patrick) was issued in the late 1760s and Botetourt subscribed handsomely towards its publication —— another of the many examples of his important local patronage.

Wax portraits (fig. C 6) were sometimes issued in sets of thirteen —— they were novel, fashionable, and attractive. Botetourt had had his portrait taken in wax in London in the 1760s, and it was later used as a likeness by the sculptor of the full-length marble statue of him to which reference was made earlier. The royal family, philosophers, religious leaders, etc., were among the subjects popular at the time. Several replicas of the wax portrait of Botetourt were purchased by prominent Virginians after his death as a memorial to a most popular man.

A carpet and the curtains for this room were in storage when the inventory was taken —— probably a seasonal change. The painted canvas floorcloth was a fashionable and attractive form of floorcovering of the time, sometimes used by itself to protect the floor from the spillage of food, sometimes over the carpet. Our example is directly based on a design from the tradecard of Alexander Wetherstone, ca. 1760, (fig. C 7). We shall here follow a custom well documented in Chippendale, however, of covering the carpet in the winter months with a baize cloth —— a protective device.

As there are only three curtains listed for the three windows of this room, we believe they were panels for a Venetian (or pull-up) style of curtain, quite fashionable for this period. Tryon also had blue moreen window curtains in his dining room, as well as a carpet.

RR163257C 1

RR163258C 2

RR163259C 3

RR163260C 3A

RR163261C 4

RR163262C 5

RR163263C 6

RR163264C 7


The Dining Room "Bowfat"

In the initial proposal for "Rendering the New House Convenient as well as Ornamental" (ca. 1710), it was recommended that "one Marble Buffette or Sideboard" be procured for "the furniture of the lower Apartments." "Buffette" and "Sideboard" thus seem to have been interchangeable terms,* so it was assumed by the Restoration architects that what was ordered about 1710 was the same item as the one described in 1770 in the list of "standing furniture" at the Palace, in the dining room —— "1 Side Board wth Marble Slab." Actually this latter item had been initially included in the list of Lord Botetourt's possessions in the dining room as "1 marble sideboard table," but was later removed, probably by Robert Carter Nicholas, Treasurer of the Colony, and added to the list that he himself compiled of furniture in the Palace belonging to the Colony. This object was still in the Palace in 1779 —— "1 Marble Sideboard" —— and was among the furnishings —— "Marble table" —— later shipped to Richmond.

However, I believe that the evidence points to there being, after 1710, both a sideboard and a cupboard-type buffet in the dining room. Lord Botetourt's inventory of 1770 contains a long list of 125 pieces of china and glass, as well as some foodstuffs, "in the Bowfat" of this room. No movable piece of furniture known to us, that might be classified as a sideboard table, could contain such a large quantity of items, so we are forced to conclude that the "Bowfat" was a built-in cupboard or closet of the type commonly encountered in 18th century Virginia houses. I believe, furthermore, that there is another reference to such a cupboard at the Palace, which has long been ignored because it has seemed inexplicable —— in the Journal of the House of Burgesses, December 12, 1720, included in an "Estimate of Charges for Finishing the Governor's House" is the following item, "4 yards of painting on the Side Board Shutter." Now we have already seen that the words Buffet and Sideboard in this early period were interchangeable terms for a table; why could not they also have been interchangeable terms for a cupboard? If this were the case, the "sideboard" in 1720 would thus be the cupboard and the "Shutter" its door; if the shutter was to be painted on both sides, it would thus be approximately 6' x 3' which equals 18 sq. ft. each side, for a total of 36 sq. ft. or 4 sq. yds. A door (or perhaps a door divided into two) 6' high and 3' wide would be approximately right for a cupboard inserted in the wall above the chair rail °° which would not interrupt the floor plan and so explain why the Jefferson drawing shows no trace of such a cupboard in this room.

While the 1720 reference does not specify that the "Side Board" was in the dining room, we have seen that buffets and sideboards were an indispensable part of the dining function, and this room is the only one that we know was definitely used for dining in this early period.

If the above interpretation is correct, it shows that a "bowfat" was in place in the dining room by 1720. We would suggest, therefore, that it was most probably on the south (fireplace) wall in the manner of the attached print that I have already sent you in this context.

RR163265The Tea Table

Powder Room
1 Boot Jack
1 old pine table
2 Coppr coal scuttles
1 Wig block with Screw Stands
1 copper warmg pan
6 old japan candlesticks
1 Brass do
1 stone Cistern with brass cock
1 small wire cage
4 wooden do
2 japan bread baskets
4 Tin & wicker plate baskets
2 Fowling pieces
1 large & 1 small hair Sieve
4 round large glasses for candles
(A Parcel of old Glass Tho's Perquisite)
Little middle Room
2 oval mahogy tea boards brass hoops
1 Trivet, 1 Hanger, Cheese toaster.
1 Oak linnen press
1 Scollop'd claw tea table (f)
1 Fender poker tongs & Shovel
1 hearth brush & pair bellow
1 old oak chest of Drawers (f)
1 old umbrella
19 japanned Waiters
1 small wire bird cage
1 coppr boiler, 2 large tea kettles
2 japd Plate baskets
5 Maps
Closet to the litte Room
3 dutch lead boilers with heaters
1 do do tea kettle
4 do coffee pots & lamps
1 hand do mill
1 do do fix'd
2 Coppr coffee pots
3 chocolate pots with four mills
1 lime squeeser & stand
3 Sugar hatchets
1 large butter scoop
3 toasting forks
2 Sieves
2 Japan'd tea chests & canisters
4 japd sugr tongs
1 large blue & white Tea pot
2 red china tea pots
6 bleu & white breakft cups & saucers
12 do small
6 do Coffee cups
1 do sugr bason
1 do slop bason
1 do cream pot with top & stand
1 do tea jug with top & stand
1 do bread & buttr plate
4 Staffordshe coffee pots
4 do tea pots
2 do qt mugs
3 do pt mugs
3 do cream pails & ladles
10 do fruit baskets & 14 dishes
2 do lip'd cream pots
7 do sugr basons
2 do buttr basons
29 do tea cups & 64 saucers
30 do coffee cups
8 do wash hand Basons
3 do qt slop basons
7 do bowls
1 do pickle stand
7 do small breakft plates
16 do large do do
24 do soup plates
68 do shallow do
1 tin canister painted old
1 do funnel
1 wooden lemmon strainer
2 wicker plate baskets
1 Iron cork crew
5 tin canisters plain
1 wooden bowl
5 bottles arrack & 6 barbadoes Spirit
Standing furniture
Powder Room - 2 Dresses
Little Middle Room - Chimney &
2 brass sconces
a Dresser & Mo[illegible] Pie
to Twos Fiarfax
an old Glass Lanthorn
1 pr Steps

That the Little Middle Room and its attendant closet (under the stairs) functioned as a service area for the dining room is obvious from the inventory. Notice, however, that the china the closet contains is for personal use and does not include serving dishes and tureens, etc. In other words, it seems that the breakfast, dining, supping, and tea tables were set from this area, plates warmed, tea, coffee, and chocolate prepared, etc. It is possible that the house keeper's rooms at both Tryon's Palace and the Maryland governor's house served similar functions. To judge by its contents, the "Little Middle Room" did not serve as a "warming room" for food brought in from the kitchen, where it could be transferred to handsome silver or china covered dishes and brought to the table; rather, it along with the pantry, was the supply area for the setting of the dining room and the serving of beverages.

It is important to stress this fact; the inventory records that the main serving dishes were kept in the kitchen. Thus the traditional notion of this as the "Warming Room" should be dispelled. It is a service room for the dining room, to which dirty dinner plates etc. from the dinner table will be seen to have been removed, and in which the after-dinner tea and coffee equipment will be gathered on the large silver "tea board" (fig. D 1) ready to be taken to whichever room the Governor and his guests will move to (if they do decide to get up from the dinner table).

To fill the inventory reference for five maps owned by Botetourt a handsomely colored group of large-scale maps of foreign countries has been selected. The maps were drawn by the early 18th-century geographer, Herman Moll, and were printed and sold in London starting about 1727, not only by Moll, but also by John Bowles, Thomas Bowles, Philip Overton, and John King. Each work was dedicated to an important English nobleman. Despite the early date of the maps they continued to be an important part of English dealers' stock as late as 1775, when Robert Sayer listed them in his catalogue.

Even more important they have a long and distinguished history of ownership in Virginia and the adjoining colonies. In 1741 an inventory taken of the estate of Francis Robinson, late usher of the Grammar School of the College of William & Mary listed 7 Moll maps. In 1761 George Hunter bought directly from John Bowles five maps, "viz the world and quarters," as well as a separate map of Germany. In 1765 Hartwell Cocke bought from the Printing Office five four-sheet maps of the world and four quarters. The Cabell papers at the College note that on February 1766 maps of Asia, Africa, America and the world were secured. Lastly, in 1744 Charles Carroll of Annapolis ordered from his London merchant, John Bowles, maps of Europe, Asia, Africa and America, "of the best and latest Cutts and Largest."

A number of Robert Adam's grand English houses of the 1760s and '70s contain, in the private apartments of both milord and milady, a "powdering room." This was generally for the storing and dressing of the wig. The Powder Room at the Palace contains "1 wig block with Screw Stands," although it was obviously an overflow area from the adjoining closet too. Its use as a wig dressing room was probably a fashionable innovation of Botetourt's. In a storeroom on the third floor of the Palace were "2 Powder Machins" and "26lb common hair powder" and "27lb best do. " Whatever finishing touches were put to the wig as the governor put it on (probably in the Middle room upstairs--see later) is unknown at this time.

RR163266D 1

Page 24


Not specified in inventory.

Documentary References

1768-69: - "Two carved mahogany stands with one glass globe standing on the stairs."

"A square glass lantern hanging at the bottom of the stairs."

"A press for linen which stood on the landing of the stairs." [Does this refer to the upstairs passage?]

(Articles belonging, as Mr. Fauquier says, to his father's estate, not mentioned in the inventory.")

1756: - "A good house should always have two staircases, one for shew and the use of company, the other for domesticks. This latter should be thrown behind, but the other is to be shewn…" Isaac Ware.

"The window for the staircase should be in the middle and it ought to be allowed very large that there may be a sufficient light and that equally diffused…" Isaac Ware.

Almost certainly the display of arms would have proceeded from the hall into the stairwell, together with some of the globe lamps for light on the staircase——such a matter was obviously a concern to Fauquier. (Fig. E1) light on the staircase——such a matter was obviously a concern to Fauquier. Since it appears that the carved mahogany stands at Mt. Vernon may well have a Williamsburg origin, it would not be inappropriate for these to be reproduced (if permission is given) and installed here in deference to the Fauquier documentation. At some time in the future.

Page 25
Passage Up Stairs
Botetourt InventoryStanding Furniture
6 large globe glass Lamps3 large Roman Catholick Pictures
1 Spider Table (F)1 glass Lantern
12 Mahogy hair bottom chairs1 large looking glass
1 pr Steps in the Passage Closet
Documentary References

1768-69: - "A bell glass lantern which hung on the landing between Mr. Fauquier's dressing room and the china closet." (Among articles belonging to Francis Fauquier, requested by his son after 1768.)

Secondary References

1736: - "Passage — An Entry, or narrow Room, serving for a thoroughfair, or Entrance into other Rooms." Neve.

1756: - "…the landing place ought to lead to the best apartments in a plain direct manner, and to leave space and room for decoration…" Isaac Ware.

1802: - "Antichamber - A room that leads to the principal apartment…where servants wait, or strangers, till they may be spoken to by those on whom they attend …Anti-rooms are various, but always have a relation to some principal room, which they join, or are opposite to…" Sheraton, Cabinet Dictionary.

It is impossible to appreciate properly the function of the "Passage up Stairs" without first understanding the crucial ceremonial importance of the upper "Middle Room" or "great Room in the second Story." This latter was the innermost sanctum of the governor and was the ceremonial climax of the residence; thus the passage served as the waiting room or anti-chamber for it. A lengthy excerpt from a letter by Sir William Gooch, shortly after his return to London, will illustrate the use to which such a room was put, given the formal ceremonial practices of the 18th century; Gooch was petitioning for financial improvement in his position "When I gott to the Treasury, the Place for Intelligence, I went to my Friend Mr. West, for if a person Page 26 in his station can be such, I think he is; who at first word, gave me my Memorial Indorsed with this note "My Lords cannot do anything in the Matter;" but told me Mr. P — said when the Board came to that Resolution, Sir William must put it into some other shape, and advised me to wait on him next morning as he was the best interpreter, the meaning of those words. Accordingly I went, and mett Mr. West coming out of the House, who was pleased to say, I am sorry you are come at so improper a time for the D. of Devonshire is now with Mr. P. and there are many more Lords waiting to speak with him, and at 12 o'clock he goes to the Regency. Upon which I went to the Secretary, Mr. Roberts, to whom I have free Egress and Regress, and told him what had passed with regard to my Memorial, and he notwithstanding the Company offending, advised me to go to the antichamber, which I did, and satt there for above two Hours, seeing others call'd for that came in after me, until my Patience was quite subdued; when I remember'd that the time was come for Mr. P. to meet the Regency, so I came away, leaving word with the Master of Ceremonies, that if Mr. P. should ask for me, he should lett him know I would pay my Duty to him for another time…" Gooch to his brother, August 7, 1750.

Thus the large set of chairs in the passage here and the pictorial matter which, as in the parlour, was almost certainly arranged for the edification of those obliged to wait here. These, however, were not of the "second rank" or "tradesmen" but a notch above. Presumably the Governor's private secretary could act in the role of "Master of Ceremonies," to determine the gradation of rank so that the more important ones would wait the least amount of time.

Of the "Roman Catholick pictures" nothing else is known. The most informed supposition is that they were among booty taken from a ship destined for the Spanish New World, which, having little commercial value, were handed over to the authorities to decorate some otherwise bare walls——there are other colonial examples of such a practice. It is also possible that they could have been donated by, or acquired from the estate of, a former governor. In any event, they add an extra dimension to this room and also introduce the important religious role in the colony of the governor, especially in the dispensing of clerical appointments.

For the reasons stated above, it is important, therefore, to observe the 18th century nature of a noteworthy visitor's progress upstairs——not through the bedchambers to the Middle Room, as the present traffic pattern dictates, but along the passage, past the library to the grand room of the residence.

Such a progression also serves to accentuate the architectural division of this floor into the two apartments on the east and the west of the passage and middle room. In the case of married governors it is entirely possible that the three rooms in the east side served as bedchamber, closet, and wife's dressing room, or the three rooms as the wife's apartment, while Page 27 the rooms on the west served as governor's dressing room, closet and study, or as his bedchamber closet, and study. Botetourt clearly occupied the south-west room as his bedchamber, and used the middle room as his dressing room.

We believe that "the Roman Catholick Pictures" have very definite Roman Catholic content to distinguish them, in the minds of such erudite churchmen as Robert Carter Nicholas (who actually wrote the list of standing furniture), from Anglo Catholic pictures. Thus the subject of the pictures should be of the kind not normally found in Anglican churches——such as the Coronation of the Virgin, The Immaculate Conception, etc. Illustrations (Figs. E 2-4) show the kind of picture that we have been able to acquire up to now. The largest of the three is an especially good illustration of the kind of picture that has been preserved in Philadelphia, and Wilmington, N.C., with a history of being among booty (seized from pirate ships as well) emanating from Spanish treasure ships. In Boston there is record of the same kind of thing.

The set of 12 chairs will again be based on a Williamsburg-made original in our collections——a type distinguished for sturdiness rather than elegance (Fig. E5).

The large looking glass on the north wall (probably dating from the earliest order for furniture for the Palace, ca. 1710-14), the lantern, and the spider table have been here for some years; they will be returned to this area.

RR163267E 1

RR163268E 2

RR163269E 3

RR163270E 4

RR163271E 5

Page 28
Botetourt InventoryStanding Furniture
1 Shovel, tongs, poker fender hearth broom(called "Study")
Map of N. & S. America1 Looking Glass
20 Prints1 check Curtain & Rod
1 blue Venetian blind1 Writing Table
1 Wilton carpet (F?)
Books as pr Catalogue with the 2 Curtains which cover them
1 Japann'd ink stand, 1 green wax taper with japann'd stand
Documentary References

Books are listed separately in the inventory, title by title, shelf by shelf.

February 14, 1770: - "Brass nailing pictures in study. " Joseph Kidd

July 29, 1770: - "Puting lines on curtains in study. " Joseph Kidd.

Secondary References

1802: - "Such prints as are hung in the walls [of the library] ought to be memorials of learning and portraits of men of science and erudition. " Sheraton Cabinet Dictionary..

It was traditional for a gentleman to keep his books in a closet, usually adjoining the bedchamber. Here it is obvious that the governor kept his in "built-in" shelves (for there is no press otherwise listed for them) and kept them dust-free by means of curtains, for which ample visual documentation exists. The display of prints, not framed but attached to the wall with upholstery nails, was also prevalent in the period.

Lord Dunmore claimed to have a far larger library than Botetourt had——the former claimed compensation for "upwards of 1300 volumes."

Many have commented on the lack of chairs in the inventory for this room, not only for reading but also in connection with the writing table.

Page 29

However, it is conceivable that the writing table was similar to one delivered to Fithian's schoolroom at Nomini Hall, February 2, 1774: - "We had also a large elegant writing Table brought to us, so high that the writers must stand."

By the second half of the eighteenth century, the Library was a standard element of English houses. Because the Governor's Palace dates to a period prior to the formal Library, the room in which Lord Botetourt kept his books seems to have served more as a private study and an intimate space in which to read and write. This is evidenced by the lack of seating furniture (the Governor probably pulled in one of the chairs from the hall of his bedchamber), and by its close proximity to his personal quarters.

The only piece of movable furniture listed in the inventory is "1 Writing Table". Although this form did not appear in the Virginia colony until the latter part of the eighteenth century, we know from the account book of William Lightfoot (1762) that it was being produced in the Anthony Hay shop in Williamsburg. The fact that it belongs to the standing furniture indicates that this piece pre-dates Botetourt's residence at the Palace. The necessity for an early form of writing table allows for the selection of a mahogany "Pembroke" type table. (Fig. F1)

Corresponding to the Botetourt reference to "20 Prints" is the bill from Joseph Kidd for "Brass nailing pictures in study". We have interpreted this reference to be the custom of hanging framed pictures from decorative brass-headed nails. As Sheraton indicated, by the end of the 18th century the practice of hanging portraits of famous men of learning in libraries was well established. This holds true in England as well as in the colony. For this reason, the selection of a set of "The Heads of Illustrious Persons of Great Britain" is felt to be most suitable. (Fig. F2) In Addition to the prints, a map of North and South America was inventoried; for this we have chosen a map printed for John Bowles and Carrington Bowles. (Fig. F3) It is up-to-date in geography as it appeared shortly after the 1763 Peace treaty that assigned much of Canada and Florida to the British. The map illustrates these new boundaries and includes much descriptive material concerning new discoveries in and around both continents.

"1 Wilton Carpet" in the study is the only carpet that is clearly specified by type in the Botetourt inventory. Woven in strips in repeating designs and stitched together, often with accompanying borders, these carpets were one of the more fashionable of the imported carpets during the second half of the eighteenth century. Botetourt brought with him from England 234 yards of Wilton carpeting. Since original Wilton carpeting has survived in only minute quantities we have been forced to reproduce carpeting for the Palace. Prototypes are very scarce, but rare survivals include several water-color sketches by Robert Adam for carpet designs, giving us not only patterns for reproduction, but a good indication of the colors that Adam intended. A pattern with ogee curves enclosing rosettes Which he designed for Syon house (c. 1767) was chosen for the study (Fig. F4).

"Library" or "Study Wall paper

No evidence whatever exists for wallpaper in this room, to my knowledge. It is unlikely that Lord Botetourt would have had twenty prints brass-nailed to the walls (as he did in November of 1769) if there was paper on the walls both the arrangement of prints and the existence of bookshelves argue against paper here. Furthermore, the oriental paper now in place postdates the use of the building by the royal governors, according to our best information.

Fig F1 — Table

RR163273Fig. F2
[Print] - Mr. Alexander Pope

RR163274Fig. F3

RR163275Fig. F4
[Carpet pattern] - Copyright: Soane Museum

Page 30
Middle Room
Botetourt InventoryStanding Furniture
1 Large Chimney Glass gilt carv'd frame & 4 Gilded brackets (F)2 Long looking Glasses with red gilded frames
3 Suits of Window curtains (F)1 large Glass on the side of the Room with carved gilt frame
1 Desk & book case with glass doors empty (F)Glass Lustre with six Branches
2 Mahogy cloaths presses with apparel, 2 Snuff boxes 1 small ivory box & the Seal of the Colony 8 Crimson damask chairs with red check covers (F)
1 small arm do (F)
1 large Easy arm chair (F)
1 do Mahog. Table
2 small do and do
1 Wash Bason Mahog. stand compleat
1 Chimy Board. Grate, fender, Shovel, tongs poker and hearth brush

["In a Closet" on third floor] "Middle Room on second floor do" [carpet].

Documentary References

ca.l7l0: - "That the great Room in the second Story be furnished with gilt Leather hangings 16 chairs of the same, two large looking glasses with the Arms of the Colony on them according to the new Mode. Two small Tables to stand under the Looking Glasses and two Marble Tables Eight Glass Sconces four Chimney Glasses for the said [Second] floor." "Proposal for rendering the New House convenient as well as Ornamental."

[?] March 28, 1770: - "to altering four check cases and repairing 4 chairs 5..0." Joseph Kidd.

May 12, 1770: - "To repairing and polishing 2 desks and bookcases 15..0." Joshua Kendall.

Secondary References

ca. 1650: - "Let the fairest room above be placed in the very midst of the house, as the bulk of a man is between his members…" Sir Roger Pratt. (Externally, the "fairest rooms" in the center were expressed by a wider spacing of their windows…" M. Girouard, Life in the English Country House)

Page 31

1756: - "[the Saloon or salon is] a great room intended for state, or for the reception of paintings, and usually comprehending two stories or ranges of windows. Its place is in the middle of a house, or at the head of a gallery, and it is kind of a magnificent hall, spacious and continued with symmetry on all its sides, and cov'd at the top. It may be square, oblong, or octagonal, or of other regular forms…the purpose for which these rooms were originally contrived was the reception of great visitors." Isaac Ware.

1794: - "The prince of Wales' drawing room partakes principally of the character and ordinance of a state saloon-room in which are entertained ambassadors, courtiers, and other personages of the highest station… opposite each window is a large glass, and over each fire-place there is also a glass…the pier tables have marble tops and stand in front of the glasses]…the walls are done in paper…" Sheraton, Cabinet Maker and Upholsterer's Drawing Book.

1802: - "Drawing Room — The Chief apartment of a noble, or genteel house, to which it is usual for company to draw to after dinner, and in which formal visits are paid. In these rooms the most elegant furniture is requisite, as they are for the reception of persons of the highest rank.

The furniture used—are sofas, chairs to match…pier tables…large glasses…bronzes with lights on the cap of the chimney piece…sometimes a mirror with lights fixed at the end of the room, or the side, as may best suit for the reflection or perspective representation of the room, on the surface of the mirror." Sheraton, Cabinet Dictionary.

1802: - "The drawing-room is to concentrate the elegance of the whole house, and is the highest display of richness of furniture. It being appropriated to the formal visits of the highest in rank, and nothing of a scientific nature should be introduced to take up the attention of any individual, from the general conversation that takes place on such occasions. Hence, the walls should be free of pictures, the tables not lined with books, nor the angles of the room filled with globes; as the designs of such meetings are not that each visitant should turn to his favourite study, but to contribute his part towards the amusement of the whole company. The grandeur then introduced into the drawing-room is not to be considered, as the ostentatious parade of its proprietor, but the respect he pays to the rank of his visitants. Sheraton, Cabinet Dictionary.

The following should also be noted:

1756: - "A dressing room in the house of a person of fashion is a room of consequence, not only for its natural use in being the place of dressing, but for the several persons who are seen there. The morning is a time many choose for dispatching business; and as persons of this rank are not to be supposed to wait for people of that kind they naturally give them orders to come about a certain time, and admit them while they are dressing…" [this use of the Page 32 dressing room shows also the necessity of a waiting room where we have placed it. Though these persons are expected at a certain hour, they cannot always be admitted the moment they come, therefore they must have some place where to stay. When they are not there, it is convenient for the principal servants, who should have a room where they may be near their master, and in call]" Isaac Ware p. 432.

The unusual lengths to which the author of the ca. 1710 proposal for furnishing the governor's house went in detailing the furniture to be acquired for the "great Room in the second Story" is eloquent enough testimony of the room's importance in the initial scheme of things, while the rich details itemised in the Botetourt inventory indicate that the room retained much of its ceremonial character over half a century later.

The great room was the logical successor of the earlier "great chamber" —— in the 15th and 16th centuries some of the most ceremonial functions in the household (generally involving the receiving and hopefully impressing of important visitors) had been removed from the central great hall to a more private great chamber which was generally on the second floor off one end of the hall, adjacent to the bedchambers and reached by a staircase which in itself eventually came to provide a scene for some of the ceremony. Thus the location of the "great room" in the Palace accords perfectly with the earlier "great chamber". However, in the 17th century the dining function was generally removed from the great chamber to a different room, and in this period separate parlours generally appeared for family use, so that what remained in the great chamber was largely ostentatious and ceremonial. Thus in the ca. 1710 proposal for the Palace we see detailed the rich leather hangings with numerous chairs en suite, large looking glasses emblazoned with the arms of the colony, and pier tables standing below them.

By the third quarter of the 18th century such rooms were generally termed drawing rooms, or in grander houses saloons. Descriptions of such rooms by Ware and Sheraton quoted above reveal how similar their locations and furnishings were to the earlier "great rooms." Certainly the 1770 appearance of the "Middle Room," with its chairs richly upholstered in crimson damask en suite with the three sets of window curtains, the four "large" looking glasses with carved and gilt frames, the pier tables and the chandelier, was as sumptuous and ostentatious in its colonial context as the rooms Ware and Sheraton described.

What more appropriate room at the Palace for the Council to meet in? That august body, the embodiment of tradition in the colony, surely Page 33 appreciated the special significance of this room for its frequent meetings at the Palace. Thus it is likely that it was no accident for the seal of colony to be inventoried here after Botetourt's death .

Fauquier, from whom Botetourt had acquired the window curtains {specified as crimson silk damask) and the chairs {presumably upholstered to match the curtains then) and who seems to have kept those items in this room, seems also to have hung "8 pictures in gilt frames & 2 small Do in Do" here, which accords closely with Ware's description of a saloon. Not only does the rich standing furniture in this room (even if a bit old fashioned by Botetourt's standards) suggest the long continuance of tradition here but the furniture acquired from Fauquier further conveys suggestions of the continuity of governance in this particular place.

It also seems highly likely that Fauquier and Botetourt additionally used this room as a dressing room. Such a use need not seem totally at variance with the functions described above, as Ware's description will bear out——indeed, he called the dressing room "a room of consequence." After all, the number of rooms on the second floor of the Palace was limited, by grand English standards. Botetourt kept two mahogany clothes presses with apparel as well as a wash stand in this room, and it appears that Fauquier had a pine dressing table and 12 neck cloths here. Perhaps both men conducted here their versions of the levee—"A man's levee was attended by men only…great men (and the king) held a levee every morning…Levees were especially used to present petitions or to ask for jobs or favours…the select few would be invited to talk [to the great man] in his bedroom or dressing room but most waited patiently outside"(Girouard, op cit.) There are documentary references to both Mr. and Mrs. Fauquier's dressing rooms, while Governor and Mrs. Tryon also had a dressing room each, in addition to a study for the governor, in New York. For the Governor to receive petitioners and conduct business while surrounded by the panoply of the colony's——and his—official presence, particularly after the petitioners had passed by the impressive arrangement of arms on the way, was a well-calculated device indeed.

One major item that is not referred to above should most decidedly be included in any revised interpretation of the Governor's Palace——it could be introduced by the use of tangible objects in the building in accordance with documentary evidence. It is the one topic on which the governor spent more time, we believe, than any other single subject, and, incredibly, it is omitted from our present interpretation——it is the Indians .

"The Emperor of the Cherokee Nation with his Empress and their Son the young Prince, attended by several of his Warriors and great Men and their Ladies, were received at the Palace" by Dinwiddie in November 1752 and treated to a ball, which event may well have inaugurated the new room. Fauquier in August 1765 received an official visit from "the Little Carpenter" of the Cherokee Nation; the governor wrote to London——"With all these tokens of friendship he took his Leave of me as of a friend and brother and gave me a String of White Beads as a Mark thereof. He seemed to feel the Weight of an Argument I made use of in a private conference at my own House…" The minutes of the Council further record that Little Carpenter also "presented the Governor with a pipe to smoke out of, with any of his people, who might hereafter be sent here."

These figures were as close to "ambassadors" as the governor ever entertained at the Palace, so it would be entirely appropriate, we believe, for a string of beads and an Indian pipe to be introduced into the upper Middle Room so that its function as a "drawing room" … in which are entertained ambassadors, courtiers, and other personages of the highest stations" (Sheraton) be dramatically illustrated.

No account of the Palace as the official residence and work-place of the governor is complete without substantial reference to the Indians. (Figs. G1 & 2)

To use crimson damask, rather than the red that was specified for the hall below was a calculated device since crimson was more expensive (it cost more to dye) and therefore more impressive. The chairs you will see in this room (Fig . G3) are upholstered with the crimson damask and are closer to the 18th century manner than any upholstered pieces we have ever had at Williamsburg before. (We have made great advances in our knowledge of 18th century upholstery practices in recent years.) Although the chairs are specified in the inventory as also having red check covers, we have decided to dispense with these in order to suggest that a meeting of the Council has been taking place in this room and that the covers have been removed as an acknowledgment of the importance of that group. Thus the crimson upholstery of the chairs will be seen to be en suite with the curtains (which are also specified as crimson damask in the list of items bought by Botetourt from Fauquier's estate)and the crimson damask-covered, carved cornices.

The two clothes presses will consist of a Virginia one and an English example. We shall use the Virginia one (Fig. G4) because it is an excellent example, made in Williamsburg with a history of ownership in the Spottswood family and also because the top drawer of the lower section (Fig G5) holds a writing interior——it is here that we shall place the Seal of the Colony, and a string of wampum. The Seal of the Colony has been reproduced from matrixes in the Royal Mint in London, and we are extremely fortunate to have been able to procure it. Only one other colonial seal has survived (the one for South Carolina, which was not destroyed on the accession of George III in 1760 as it should have been).

For the desk and bookcase we will install an outstanding Williamsburg-made piece (Fig. G6) that descended in the Galt family of Williamsburg. (For the clothespress and the bookcase see Gusler, op. cit., pp. 87-88 , 123-124). It is instructive to compare the restrained style of these two pieces and the chairs with the large chimney glass with a gilt, carved frame (Fig. G7), which Botetourt acquired from Fauquier and was presumably in the somewhat florid rococo style, and also with the three earlier looking glasses which are part of the standing furniture. The two glasses on the south wall of this room we have had in that location for the last few years. The one on the side of the room (Fig. G8) is rather similar in style to the other two, although not quite so grand.

The "2 long looking glasses with red gilded frames" listed in the standing furniture, were almost certainly the same as the "2 large looking glasses with the arms of the colony on them according to the new mode" that were ordered circa 1710-14. Obviously, our hopes of finding a pair of appropriate glasses with the arms of the colony on them are not very high. The "new mode" could well mean verre églomisé, and if we ever find a pair of this type we hope to purchase them. In the meantime, we shall continue to use the outstanding pair of looking glasses of the 1720 period which have hung on the south wall of the room in the last few years.

For the winter months we shall install a modern carpet based on a Scotch carpet design (Fig. G9). There was a carpet for this room as the inventory shows. We shall use a Scotch carpet, since Tryon had one in the Council chamber of his Palace in New Bern. The carpet is based on an English prototype in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Our modern carpet is uncut loop-pile whereas the original is a heavy ("double") woven cloth.

A final note about the gilt leather hangings. In the 1690s these were very fashionable in England, where it was customary to procure them from Holland. At least one Virginian who was extremely interested in the building of the Governor's Palace (William Byrd II) had experience with an English house in which there were rooms hung with Dutch gilt leather——that house was Dyrham Park, the home of William Blathwayte who was Auditor General of the Plantation Revenues. (Through his office Blathwayte was in close contact with a number of Virginians in the first two decades of the 18th century.) Whether the leather hangings ordered for the Palace ever arrived, we do not know; there is no further reference to them. However, it is interesting to note that in the inventory of Eden's residence in Annapolis in 1775 there is mention of a "gilt leather parlor". Thus it is not unreasonable to suggest that the middle room upstairs was still hung with gilt leather in the 1770s.

Overmantel in the upper "Middle Room"

The Restoration architects based the treatment of the overmantel in the upper "Middle Room" on Hampton Court Palace and Drayton, Northhamptonshire. In the words of Thomas T. Waterman, July 8, 1932, the description of this room in the ca. 1710 "proposal…" as "the great Room in the second Story" "led to the adoption of a set back mantel instead of cutting off the corner and balancing it with a closet as in the room below [the hall], so as to preserve the apparent size of the room as much as possible." Persuasive or not, this reasoning did not appear to take into account a most important item in this room noted in the Botetourt inventory —— "1 Large Chimney Glass gilt carv'd frame." As this is the only one of three chimney glasses in the Palace described as being large, it can be presumed to be of a size commensurate with the other "large" and "long" looking glasses in this same room —— yet the space left above the fireplace by the above-mentioned architectural treatment will accommodate only a modest-sized glass.

Once again (as in the well-known instance of the "Family Dining Room" vs. the Pantry) it is apparent that intrinsic evidence was neglected or sacrificed to a vision of greater elegance and splendor than was justified.

G 1

Virginia Gazette, Wm. Hunter, Ed.

November 17, 1752.

The Emperor of the Cherokee Nation with his Empress and their Son the Young Prince attended by several of his Warriors and great Men and their Ladies, were received at the Palace by his Honour the Governor, attended by such of the Council as were in Town and several other Gentlemen, on Thursday the 9th Instant, with all the marks of Civility and Friendship, and were that Evening entertained, at the Theatre, with the Play, (the Tragedy of Othello) and a Pantomime Performance, which gave them great Surprize, as did the fighting with Naked Swords on the Stage, which occasioned the Empress to order some about her to go and prevent their killing one another. The Business of their coming is not yet made publick; but it is said to relate to the opening and establishing a Trade with this Colony, which they are very desirous of. They were dismissed with a handsome Present of fine Cloaths, Arms and Ammunition; and expressed great Satisfaction in the Governor's kind Reception, and from several others; and left this Place this Morning.

360, 361

G 2

At a Council held at the Palace, August 6th, 1770125

His Excellency

John Blair
William Nelson
Thomas Nelson
Robert Carter, Esquires
James Horrocks, Clerk

His Excellency communicated to the Board a Letter from John Stuart Esquire, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Southern District, dated the 12th July last; and the same being read, appeared to be in Substance as follows:

That he (Mr. Stuart) in Consequence of a Letter from his Excellency had the Day before sent an Express to Mr. Cameron, his Deputy, with Directions for convening the Cherokee Chiefs on the 5th Day of October next at Lochaber, to treat about the Cession of a certain Part of their Land on the Frontiers of this Government.

That he had purchased in Charles Town such Goods as he thought would be necessary, as Presents to the Indians, amounting to £16111.12.6, South Carolina Money, as by an Estimate in-closed; and that the other necessary Charges (exclusive of marking the Line) would be £4082.10 more, making together the Sum of £20194.2.6, Carolina Money, or £2884.17.6, Sterling; which exceeds his former Estimate by £384.17.6, Sterling; occasioned by a Change of Temper in the Cherokees, partly from the Solicitations of the Southern and Northern Tribes to enter into Confederacies against our Encroachments, and partly from the Delay of this Colony to treat about the Boundary.

That it would be convenient to remit him in Part about £300, Sterling, in Gold, if to be had; as Bills could not procure Cash, without allowing a Discount of 5 to 3 per Cent.

And lastly, that it would be necessary to postpone the marking the Line, till next April; at which Time, his Deputy and Interpreter, together with the Deputies from the Indians, would meet his Excellency's Surveyor and Commissioners, at any appointed Place.

His Excellency was then pleased to signify, that as the House of Burgesses were induced to limit their Grant of Money for that Service, not to exceed the Sum of £2500, Sterling, from an Estimate he had laid before them, made by Mr. Stuart, an Officer under the Crown, he would with the Approbation of the Board, draw on the Receiver General of his Majesty's Quitrents for the said Sum of £384.17.6, Sterling, to be charged to the Account of that Revenue.

Whereupon, the Board for the Reason above mentioned, and also because the Seating of those Lands by British Subjects would greatly improve the said Revenue, and inasmuch as the Revenue of 2s. per Hhd is not in a Condition to bear that Charge, approved of the Measure proposed.

They also advised his Excellency to remit to Mr. Stuart all the Money in Bills, and rather sustain a Loss of 5 per Cent' on £300 Sterling, than run the Risque of a total Loss of that Sum, by remitting it in Specie.

The Board was also of Opinion, that one Commissioner, to be appointed by his Excellency on the Part of this Government, to manage the intended Treaty with the Indians, would be sufficient; and that Col. John Donelson, of Pittsylvania County, is a proper Person for that Appointment, and also to the Surveyor to run and mark such Line as may be established by the said Treaty.

At a Council held at the Palace, August 17th 1770

His Excellency
and as before

His Excellency laid before the Board a Letter from the Indian Chief Oconostota, dated the 14th of June last; which being read, appeared to be in Substance as follows.—

362, 363

That the Young Warrior of Estato waited on his Excellen[cy] with that his Talk, which had been agreed to, in Council with the rest of the Warri[iors] of his Nation

That they thought themselves hardly dealt by, & much cramped in the Trade, which at present is only with Carolina; their Path to which Country the Creek[s] had threatened to stop up, which would deprive them of all Benefit of Trade, unless they could establish one with Virginia.

That Richard Pearis havin[g] been many Years known to them, both as a Trader & Warrior, & having often successfully led them against their Enemies, & done much Good for their Nation, the[y] loved him, and were desirous of settling him, his Son, & Jacob Hite his Friend, some of their Land, as a Reward for those his Services; and with a View also of further Trade with them, which they believed would be honestly carried on by th[em]

That they had already given Land to Mr. Cameron & a Son [of] his, being strongly sollicited thereto both by Mr. Stuart and the said Cameron. Notwithsta[nd]ing which, Mr. Cameron & many others in Carolina were much disturbed at their Kindness to the said Pearis &c. alledging that they had no Right to sell their Land to any but the King. that they did not sell, but freely gave it, & hoped the King would giv[e] a Patent of Confirmation. And, that if it could not be done otherwise, they desired a Letter to his Majesty, which the Young Warrior would carry.

That altho Mr. Stuart, & the People of Carolina opposed it, they were very willing, & always had been, to sell Part of their Land on Holston's River, but that they suspected their Talks had not been fairly delivered.

That they were desirous of meeting the Virginia People at Samuel Stalnaker's on Holston's River, to hold their Talk at relati[ve] to the said Sale, rather than in Carolina; as they might there be better supplied with Provisions, & should be on the Spot where the Business was to be done. That besid[es] it seemed strange that they should go to Carolina, to do Business with the white Peopl[e] of Virginia; and that for these Reasons, they were resolved to hear of no other Place.

And that in Token that what he had writ came from his Heart, he had caused a String of Beads to be inclosed.

His Excellency also laid before the Board a Letter from Col. Andrew Lewis, dated the 6th July last, which was also read, "complaining of Mr. Stuart's Misrepresentations, & referring his Excellency to the Talk which the Young Warrior would hold with him, for a Confirmation of the Report made by Doctor Walker & himself on their Return from Charles Town; and lastly, submitting it as his Opinion, that if Matters were negotiated thro another Channe[l] than that of Mr. Stuart, a very advantageous Boundary might be obtained."

Then, the Indian Chief, Salloue, or the Young Warrior of Estatoe was introduced , & delivered his Talk, to the following Effect

The Great Warrior wonders why the intended Line is delayed so long to be run; since the Cherokees are very willing to let the Virginians have their Land; & they desire to know, when they will attend to have that Business done.

We have never had any Talk but with Mr. Stuart at Charles Town, and are very desirous of treating now with the Virginians at the Great Island in Holston's River.

Mr. Stuart has often appointed us a Day to meet him, engaging that the Virginians should then attend; but we were always disappointed, so that we began to think, the People of Virginia were not in earnest about purchasing our Land.

Mr. Stuart told us, that the Line was to be run at Chiswell's Mines; but we could not approve of that, as our Claim does not extend so far; but we are willing to give up as far as to the Great Island in Holston's River, on proper Terms.

Mr. Stuart has told us, he believes the Virginians intend to display paying for our Land, to give their People Time to settle themselves on it, & then they would have it in their Power to do as they pleased.

Notwithstanding we have had frequent Talks with Mr. Stuart, our Trade suffers much. The Creeks have threatened to stop our Path to Carolina & Georgia, which would give the finishing Stroke to it. And then, Goods are grown so dear at Charles Town, that we are no longer able to buy them; & upon these Accounts are become 364, 365 very anxious to open a Trade with the Virginians, & to have no more Talks with the People of Carolina.

With this View, it is an Object with us, to have the Virginians come & settle near us, as Brethren; the proper Dispositions for which we are determined to cultivate to our utmost Ability.

All I have to add is, that we should be glad you would confirm a Grant we have made & laid off, of 12 Miles Square, adjoining South Carolina & the lower Town of the Cherokees, to Richard Pearls, his Son, & Jacob Hite. These Men we love, & are anxious to settle them and their Families on the said Land. The Carolina People, & Mr. Cameron in particular, make a great Noise about it, & say we have no Right to make a Grant to them; but as the Land is our own, we conceive we have a Right to dispose of it, as we please.

What I have said is our steady Purpose, & we can listen to Nothing else.

He then delivered a String of white Wampum.

In Answer to which, his Excellency, with the Advice of the Board, delivered the following Talk.

You are heartily welcome here; I am very glad to see you, & to learn by you from the Great Warrior, that the Friendship & good Disposition of our Brothers, the Cherokees, continue so favourable. And I can venture to assure you, that your Brothers of Virginia are equally desirous, on their Part, to cultivate strict Harmony, & Brotherly Friendship with the Cherokees.

In Answer to your Inquiry, for what Reason the Line has been so long delayed to be run, I must tell you candidly, the Delay arose from us; for as the Boundary agreed to at Hard Labour in October 1768, was so limitted as to exclude a great Number of our People, who had been long settled in those Parts, I therefore made Application to his Majesty, at the Request of his Subjects of this Colony, to have that Matter reconsidered; in Consequence of which Reconsideration Mr. Stuart has been directed to treat with your Nation, and informs me that he has given Orders to his Agen[t] Mr. Cameron, to hold a Congress with the Chiefs of your Nation at Lochaber the 5th Day of next October.

I have farther to acquaint you, that in Prosecution of this Plan, Goods have been purchased, & Carriages hired to transport them to Lochaber, so that you see it is out of my Power to make the Alteration You desire, with Regard to the Place of meeting; and, his Majesty having appoin[t]ed Mr. Stuart to superintend all Treaties with Indian Nations in the Southern District of America, & having positively directed, that with him & him only, all Cessions of Land shall be negotiated, betwixt the Crown of Great Britain, and any Nation of Indians living within his Department, it is equally out of my Pow[er] to appoint any other Person to transact this Business with you.

With Respect to the Establishing a Trade between your Nation & your Brothers of Virginia, which you so much desire, they would be as glad as you possibly can be, to encourage [it,] and with this View, a Cargo of Goods suitable for your Trade, was some Time since imported at the Public Expence & Risque, & was intended to be sent into your Country & sold, with the Expectation of no higher Profit, or other Advantage, than would barely pay the Expences of sending them; but the Path between us at that Time, and for a long while after, was so difficult & dangerous, that we were forced to dispose of them here at a great Loss, for Fear they should be spoiled, & rendered quite useless.

Trade is not to be forced any where; but must ever depend upon the mutual Profits arising to both Parties concerned therein. When our People can go to & return from you, with Safety to themselves & their Goods, they will be able to sell them to You at a cheap Rate; but if they are exposed to great Dangers, & Hazard of being plundered of their Property, they will be forced to sell their Goods much dearer, in Order to make good their Losses upon such Occasions.

When the Boundary-Line shall be happily finished, to the Satisfaction of your People and ours, we shall some of us be settled so near you, as to have frequent Opportunities of giving Proofs of our Affection for our Brothers, the Cherokees; & the most natural Chanel for those Proofs to flow thro, will be that of Trade between your People & ours, to our mutual Benefit & Advantage. And when 366, 367 such a Trade shall be once begun, You may depend that it shall have every Encouragement that I can possibly give it.

The Patent you ask for, to confirm the Grant you have made to Richard Pearis, his Son, & Jacob Hite, is so contrary to his Majesty's Instructions (which must ever be a law to me in all Cases of that Sort) that I cannot gratify you in that Request; and I am surprized that those, for whom you intend this Favour, should not know, that his Majesty will not suffer any Cession of Land to be made by any Nation of Indians, to any of his Majesty's Subjects in the first Instance.

I thankfully accept this String of Wampum, you have been pleased to present; & desire to assure You, that as it is designed to express a friendly Disposition on the Part of your Nation, towards his Majesty's Subjects, & a Resolution to continue in the good Sentiments contained in your Talk of this Day, I value it much, & shall take Care to preserve it as a most sacred Pledge.

And, as a Token that what I now say to you is the Sentiment of my Heart, I deliver you this String of white Wampum.

[The above Talk was inclosed in a Letter to the Great Warrior, the Seal of the Colony being first appended thereto; & signed, Botetourt—]

At a Council held October 15th 1770126

The Honble. John Blair Esqr. President
William Nelson
Thomas Nelson
Richard Corbin
William Byrd
Philip Ludwell Lee
Robert Carter
George William Fairfax
John Page Esquires
James Horrocks, Clerk

His Excellency, the Right Honourable Norborne, Baron de Botetourt, our late worthy Governor, having this Morning departed this Life, whereby the Administration of the Government devolved upon the President, agreeable to his Majesty's Commission to the said late Governor; he the said President, in Consideration of his great Age, and that he may be more at Leisure to attend to the Duties of his Office of Deputy Auditor, which furnishes sufficient Employment for one of his advanced Years; & more especially from a tender Concern that his Majesty's Interest & the Welfare of this Colony may not under such Circumstances be at the least Hazard Resignation of the Office of Commander in Chief of this Colony; which, therefore, is of Course devolved upon the Honourable William Nelson Esquire, as being the next in his Majesty's Council; who accordingly took the Oaths appointed to be taken by Act of Parliament, repeated & subscribed the Test, and took the Oath for the faithful Discharge of the said Office of Commander in Chief, & the due Observance of the Acts of Trade; which said Oaths were administered to him by Thomas Nelson, Richard Corbin, & William Byrd, Esquires, three of the Members aforesaid of his Majesty's Council.

Ordered, that a Proclamation127 immediately issue, for continuing all Public Officers in their respective Places.

Complaint having been made on Oath, That Thomas Samson, who was committed the 28th Day of last September to the Gaol of Gloucester County, on Suspicion of having murdered John Chavery, Mariner, on Board the Schooner Polly, John Corrie Commander, did on the 30th of the same Month break the said Gaol, & make his Escape;

Ordered, that a Proclamation128 issue, offering a Reward of £25 Current Money, for the Apprehending of the said Thomas Samson, to be paid on his Conviction.

His Excellency the late Governor having been pleased to grant a Commission unto John Blair junr. to b[e] Clerk of the Council, in the Room of Nathaniel Walthoe Esquire decd., and he producing a Certificate from the Clerk of York Court of his having taken th[e]

RR163276G 3

RR163277G 4

RR163278G 5

RR163279G 6

RR163280G 7

RR163281G 8

RR163282G 9

His Lordships Bed Chamber

Botetourt Inventory

a Gold Watch, and Walking Cane
1 Mahog. Bedstd 2 Matrasses, 1 Bolster 2 pillows 2 blankets 1 white quilt & Bedstead in 3d Store Room
Chintz & green cotten furniture & 1 bed carpet
1 Mahog. night table with close stool pan & chamber pot
1 Wash bason & Mahog. stand compleat with a dressing Glass.
1 large Walnut chest of draws conating his Lodp's Linnen, Gloves, Stockgs &c
3 Seal [s]kin cases of surveyor's Instruments &c.
1 Shagreen case containg 8 chas'd Silver tea spoons & 1 pr of tongs. 1 do a pair of paste buckles 1 red leather case a pr of stone shoe & knee buckles. 2 Morrocco Asses Skin Pocket books of Memorandums
1 Deal box 1 diamd stock buckle 1 pr of stone shoe & knee buckles 1 diad Hatt buckle 2 gold Seals 1 Steel do
3 Gold loops & 3 gold hat buttons
5 parcels of silver livery hat lace with loops & buttons.
1 pr of gold buttons.
6 Sets of mourng shoe & knee buckles
5 pr of sleeve buttons, mourng
2 pr of gild'd buckles.
3 gilded stock buckles.
2 Sets of New steel Shoe & Knee buckles. 1 pr cut steel Shoe Buckles. pr of old do
5 Mourng Stock buckles.
1 silver stock buckle
3 steel breeches buckles
1 handsome toothpick case.
1 small chest of draws some stockings & caps.
8 yellow bottom chairs & two stools of walnut. (F) Grate fender Shovel, poker, tongs & hearth broom.
1 Japan ink stand & taper with stand.
1 Mohgy dressg table.
Standing Furniture
One Chimney looking Glass
a Shade-
a Stand of Shelves
Page 38

References to, or explanations of, bedchambers are conspicuously absent from the architectural sources and pattern books from which we have formerly quoted, nor does the inventory provide much illumination other than the beds with their furniture (including carpets), case pieces for the storage of clothes, and various toilet and dressing facilities. The number of items in "His Lordship's Bed Chamber" with a probable Fauquier provenance is rather interesting. Certainly the quantity of Botetourt's apparel is remarkable and should provide a rich theme for interpretation, as should the conspicuous fashionableness of the bamboo chairs.

It is possible that the bedchambers could have been used for business purposes (note the desk in the chamber over the dining room), or that beverages could have been brought in and placed on a table (such as stood in the "chamber over the front Parlour"). If the wife of the governor held her version of a levee it could well have been in her bedchamber if she did not have a separate dressing room——although Mrs. Fauquier had a dressing room, as did Mrs. Tryon (and Miss Tryon, still a small child) and Mrs. Eden. Separate dressing rooms for husband and wife "so that at rising each may retire apart and have several accommodations complete" were customary in grand houses. In the few instances of children in the Governor's Palace it is possible that the younger and female children slept on this floor. The Carter boys slept away from the main house at Nomini, but the 5 girls slept on the same floor as their parents, together with the housekeeper and a negro maid, in the same room!

The incidence of ill health (or at least preoccupation with a climate that was deleterious to good health) among governors was fairly high. A committee of Burgesses visited the indisposed Gooch in his bed-chamber in 1746, for example. As three governors actually died in the building and two others were forced by ill health to resign, the health matter might be considered an important one for interpretation. Perhaps, too, this might be the place to introduce at least passing mention of the apparently widespread problem of bedbugs!

This Virginia bedstead chosen for "His Lordship's Bedchamber" (Figs. H1 & H2) is an unusually complete example of Colonial reliance on Virginia fashions of the time for it closely parallels plate 27 of Chippendale's famous Director, (Fig. H3), first published in 1754 and reissued twice in the 1760s. Lord Botetourt was probably familiar with this influential patternbook, as his brother-in-law, the Duke of Beaufort, was one of the charter subscribers to it; furthermore, a copy of the book is documented in Williamsburg, owned by the cabinetmaker, Edmund Dickenson, who also repaired seven pulleys on a bedstead owned by Mrs. Anthony Hay of Williamsburg (widow of his former shop master) in 1754.

This bedstead is one of the few American examples known to have survived with its original pulley-lathe intact. Pulleys inserted into the lathe allowed the bedstead to be furnished in the "drapery" style fashionable during the third quarter of the eighteenth century. Evidence associated with this pulley-lathe and the elegant drapery bed curtains suggests a degree of elaboration that makes this bed an appropriate choice for installation in the Governor's bedchamber.

In 1768 Lord Botetourt purchased from the estate of the late Governor Fauquier a mahogany bedstead complete with furniture for £25. It was the most expensive bed in Fauquier's inventory (not, unfortunately, itemized room-by-room), and may be presumed to have been used by the governor himself. Two years later, in Lord Botetourt's inventory, only one mahogany bedstead was listed in the principal bedchambers of the Palace, and that was in this location: "1 Mahog. Bedstd 2 Matrasses, 1 Bolster 2 pillows 2 blankets 1 white quilt [;] Chintz and green satten furniture & 1 bed carpet." The supposition that the same expensive bed had served both governors is strengthened by the fact that it was listed in Fauquier's inventory in immediate proximity to certain seating and case furniture that was also itemized in Lord Botetourt's bedchamber two years later.

Neither the bed frame, the Botetourt reference, nor print sources provided the detailed information needed to reconstruct exactly the "Chintz and green satten furniture". Although several unlined drapery curtains have survived in museum collections, complete sets of bed furniture matching this description have not survived, to our knowledge. The account of Thomas Chippendale with Sir Rowland Winn of Nostell Priory, Yorkshire (1771), provided the precedent for lining the curtains with green satin, while making the valances, tester, headcloth and counterpane of chintz: "A chints furniture and the Curtains lined with green Persian [,] the tester[,] head cloth [,] inside Valenes of Chints…ye Curtains to draw in drap'y with a Chints Counter-pain…". A surviving drapery bed curtain from Colonial Williamsburg's collections provided the precedent for stitching the brass rings to the back of the curtains in a curved path, in order to produce, when the curtains are raised, the kind of swag shown in the Director, plate 27, as well as in occasional English paintings of the period. To outfit this bed, a Schumacher reproduction has been chosen, the "pondicherry", based on an Indian mordant-painted cotton in Colonial Williamsburg's collections, dating from the third quarter of the eighteenth century. For the summer season a green silk gauze was chosen to comply with the reference to mosquito curtains in the accounts of Joseph Kidd, upholsterer; June 7, "puting up Muscato curtains in his room 0:1:6".

Among the other items in this room that Botetourt purchased from the Fauquier sale was "1 large Walnut chest of draws containg his Lodp's Linnen, Gloves, Stockgs &c. (F12). Its value is similar to that given for other large case pieces in the inventory such as desk and bookcases and clothes presses. Furthermore, surviving examples indicate that tall walnut chests were being made in Virginia at this time; therefore, we have chosen to use the form of a chest-on-chest. This chest is English and dates around 1750. (Fig. H4)

Sets of chairs and stools in large bedchambers were frequently found in English country houses and in some exceptional Virginia dwellings. The Botetourt inventory lists "8 yellow bottom chairs & two stools of walnut" in this room. These were purchased from Fauquier's estate for £5. In order to show a complete set of chairs of the appropriate type, we have reproduced a Williamsburg side chair attributed to the Peter Scott shop (ca. 1750, Fig.H5) . The knee brackets of this chair, with their small "C" scrolls and tattered shell, are the first indications of the rococo style found in chairs attributed to the Scott shop.

The English shaving table (c. 1760. Fig H6) in this room is a rare survival. Washstands and shaving tables were usually equipped with bottle basin sets, a typical pair being illustrated in the Director, Plate LIV. The Botetourt reference to "1 Wash bason & Mahog. stand compleat dressing Glass", leaves little doubt that the Director illustration is what Lord Botetourt owned.

Another piece of furniture used for his morning toilet was "1 dressg table". By the second half of the eighteenth century dressing tables often had flat box tops with hinged sides opening outwards at the center. George Washington ordered in January 1758, "A neat Mahoy card which may serve for a dressg one". This Philadelphia table (c. 1755, Fig. H8) has been chosen to correspond to this entry.

RR163283(Fig. H1)

RR163284(Fig. H2)

RR163285(Fig. H3)

RR163286(Fig. H4)

RR163287(Fig. H5)

RR163288(Fig. H6)

RR163289(Fig. H7)

RR163290(Fig H8)

Chamber over the front Parlour

1 Oak bedstd with a Suit of white callico Curtains & valens, bed bolster, pr of pillos & white Virga cloth counterpane & carpet.
4 Green Bamboo chairs with check cushions
1 Cloaths press Mahogy (F?)
1 Mahog. chest of draws
1 small walnut table
1 Chimney board, Grate, Shovel, tongs poker fender & hearth broom
1 Wash Bason with Mahog. stand compleat.
1 Japann'd ink stand. 1 white taper & stand.
Standing Furniture
1 looking Glass. 14 Prints

Taking into consideration the furnishings found in the remaining bedchambers on the second floor, along with contemporary accounts of visitors to the Palace, it is reasonable to assume that these rooms served as a suite for Lord Botetourt's out-of-town guests. They are joined by a closet which was intended for use as a dressing room. Although some of the Governor's clothing was stored in a clothes press in the larger chamber (seemingly off-season clothing), there is no evidence of his personal effects in this room.

Divided between the two rooms is a set of bamboo chairs. They are found in both the accounts of Thomas Chippendale and John Linnell (both supplied furniture to many influential English patrons). It is interesting that Linnell supplied furniture for the Duke of Beaufort, Botetourt's brother-in-law. Surviving accounts indicate that the chairs Botetourt brought with him from England were supplied by William Fenton. The original Bamboo style armchair (Fig. I1) used to reproduce the chairs for the Palace is English and dates c. l770.

This room is equipped with "1 Oak bedstd with a Suit of white callico Curtains & valens, bed, bolster, pr of Pillos & white Virga cloth counterpane, & carpet." (Fig. I2) White cotton fabrics such as calico (tabby weave cotton) and dimity had become fashionable as bed hangings by the latter part of the eighteenth century. Significantly, Governor Eden (Maryland) had "white Dimothy" furniture on a bed which had "ornamented cornice with vases compleat". As previously mentioned there is ample evidence for the frequent presence of superstructures accompanying such beds. The design of these bed furnishings is taken from various eighteenth century print sources and plate 96 in Hepplewhite's Guide (Fig. I3). Hepplewhite includes in his description "To this design the Cornice will look well japanned. The curtain to this bed is drawn up and fastened by lines at the head, or with a loop and button." We have elected to use a marbleized cornice and, corresponding to the Hepplewhite reference, curtains drawn up by loops and buttons, as seen in the curtain prototype from our collection (Fig. I4). The bed carpet will be a reproduction Wilton based on Robert Adam's design for Sir Lawrence Dundas (c. 1767, Fig. I5). This design was taken from Robert Wood's The Ruins of Palmyra, published in 1753.

The John Selden mahogany clothes press exhibited in this room for several years, will remain in the same location. (Fig I6) Selden resided in Norfolk and Hampton in the 1750s and 1760s and had connections with Williamsburg——frequently buying leather for chair seats here. His work is very close in character to that of Williamsburg, where he may have received his training, or been employed as a journeyman. This press is testimony that he followed closely Chippendale's designs (Fig. I7) or worked with a shop that did. The press is signed and dated 1775.

In the list of standing furniture for the Chamber over the Front Parlour is included 14 prints. We have elected to use 12 glass transfers of the months (Fig. I8). (The term painted on glass and glass transfer seems to have been interchangeable during this period.) In addition to the months will be glass transfers of Queen Charlotte (Fig. I9) and King George (Fig. I10). Prints of the rulers of England and other nations, as well as prints of the months were prevalent throughout the colonies.

RR163291Fig. I1
1936-344 (original)

RR163292Fig. I2

RR163293Fig. I3
Plate 96. To this design the Cornice will look well japanned. The curtain to this bed is drawn up and fastened by lines at the head, or with a loop and button.

RR163294Fig. I4

RR163295Fig. I5
-Design by Robert Adam for a pile carpet for Sir Laurence Dundas, Bart., Moor Park. About 1765. (Soane Museum)

RR163296Fig. I6

RR163297Fig. I7
Cloaths Press

RR163298Fig. I8

RR163299Fig. I9

RR1632100 Fig. I10

Chamber over the Dining Room

Botetourt Inventory
1 Oak bedstd with Chints curtains & valens bed, bolster a pr of pillow 2 Matrasses 2 blankets & white quilt 1 bed carpet
1 Mahogy night table.
8 Green bamboo chairs with check'd Cushions
1 Mahogy cloaths press.
A green hammer clot laced with gold laced.
5 small Swords & some of his Lordshp's wearing apparel
1 Mahogy Desk, empty.
1 painted chimney board.
1 Iron Grate, Shovel, tongs poker, fender & hearth broom.
2 pr green stuf window Curtains & rods
1 Japann'd Ink stand, white taper & stand.
1 old Mahogy dressg table.
In the Closet
small lookg Glass Mahog. frame
small Mahog. table with leaves.
Wash bason & Mahog. Stand compleat
1 large deal toilet table.
Standing furniture
2 looking Glass with black Frames & 2 glass Sconces
2 outer Window Screens
10 Prints in Frames in the Closet
one looking Glass wth painted Frame


In Chamber over Dining Room
1 Blue Cloth Frock wth white Lining
2 Blue Frocks, & 2 Waistcoats
2 Pr Leather Breeches, 5 Pr Black Silk Do
3 Pr Black Velvet Do 1 pr of white Cloth Do
1 Pr White Velvet Do 1 White Sattin Under Waistcoat
1 Crimson Silk Under. Waistcoat
1 White watered silk Embroidered Waistcoat
1 Thickset Frock, 1 Brown Doyley Do
1 Fustian Frock & Waistcoat, 3 White Silk Waistcoats
1 Old Brown, & 1 Old Blue Great Coat
2 White Cloth Waistcoats, 1 Old Scarlet Do Gold Laced
1 Blue Silk Do, 2 Blue Great coats, 1 Scarlet Cloak
4 Green Bays Wrappers-
In the Middle Room
1 Compleat suit of pale Crimson Cut Velvet
1 Do wth Gold Buttons, deep coloured Do
1 Do of White Cloth, and White Silk Waistcoat, laced with Silver,
1 Do Gold Tissue, 1 Do of a Larger Pattern
5 Black, and 1 White Hats
1 Suit of Mourning with Weepers
1 Mourning Frock and Waistcoat
1 Raven Grey Do—and Do
2 Full Suits of Black Cloth
1 Full trimmed Suit of Crimson Cloth
1 Do of Scarlet, 1 Blue Cloth Coat full trimmed
1 Brown Rateen Frock, 1 Scarlet Do Waistcoat,
1 Scarlet Rateen Coat and Waistcoat full trimmed
1 Scarlet Gold Laced Frock
2 Gold Laced Buff Waistcoats, 1 pr Buff Breeches
1 Camblet Sea Cloak, lined with Green Baize
1 Bed Gown and Night Cap
2 Pr of Flannel Drawers, 1 Do Under Waistcoat,
2 Cotton Under Waistcoats, 5 Linnen Do
3 Pr Linnen Drawers, 11 Pr of Cotton Do
Arrived since the taking the foregoing Inventory
1 Scarlet Gold Laced Frock,
1 blue plain do
6 Pr of Cotton Drawers,
His Lordship's Bed Chamber
56 Ruffled Shirts, 6 plain Do
51 Cambrick Stocks, 2 Doz Suits of Laced Ruffles,
1 Pr Mourning Ruffles, 37 Cambrick Handkerchiefs,
5 Sword-knots in Ban Boxes, 1 Small Gilt case of Phyals, 3½ Yds of Cambrick, 5 New and 1 Old pr of Kidd Gloves, 1 New Silk Wig Bag, 2 Remnants of Black Crape, 6 Black Silk Cockades,
15 Pr of Wash Leather & Doe Skin Gloves,
1 Pr of Yellow Kidd Do, 1 Black Silk Stock,
1 Black Silk Cravet, 11 Pr Cambrick Weepers,
1 purple Sprig in a Cockle Shell
26 Silk Handkerchiefs, 6 Pr New Black Worsted Stockings
6 Pr of White Do 6 Pr Brown Thread Do 1 pr White [Do]
10 Pr of Black Worsted Do, 1 Pr Black Worsted Gauze [Do]
20 Pr plain White Worsted Do, 6 Pr Ribbed Do
9 Pr White Worsted Gauze Do, 10 Pr Brown Thread [Do]
1 Pr of Boot Do—28 Pr White Silk Do
18 Pr Black Silk Do 30 Pr White Cotton Do
4 Pr Leggings, 2 Cravets, 2 Single Caps,
23 Cambrick and Linnen Caps, 16 Flannel Do
3 Pr New Shoes, 1 Pr pumps Do
20 Pr Shoes worn, 8 Pr pumps Do
5 Pr Slippers, 4 Pr Boots Do, 2 Pr lased Spurs,
5 Wigs worn, 1 New Do, 2 Flesh Brushes,
1 Whisk, 1 Cloaths Brush, 3 Wig Stands
Botetourt manuscripts, Virginia State Library

Chamber Over the Dining Room

The Chamber Over the Dining Room is the largest chamber on the second floor of the Governor's Palace. Lord Botetourt, a bachelor, chose a smaller room for his personal bedchamber, so it is probable that he offered this room to Governor Tryon of North Carolina and his wife when they were his guests during the summer of 1769. Preceding married governors may have shared the larger bedchamber over the dining room with their wives. Since, however, most of the governors were not young men during their stay in Virginia, they might have followed upper class English custom of husband and wife using separate bedchambers. The east and west sides of the second story, each side consisting of two rooms connected by a closet, form convenient "apartments," as such suites were called in the eighteenth century, for elderly connubial bliss. (See Mark Girouard, "The Social House: 1720-70," Life In the English Country Home, pp. 181-212, passim.)

Evidence indicates that Fauquier may have kept the same southwest chamber as his successor, Lord Botetourt. Several of the furnishings that are grouped together in the list of items which Botetourt purchased from the Fauquier estate —— the most expensive bedstead and furniture (£25), 8 chairs and 2 stools, and a large and small chest of drawers —— reappear in "His Lordship's Bedchamber" in the Botetourt inventory. While the Fauquier list does not specify the woods of the bedsteads sold to Botetourt, the Botetourt inventory describes the governor's bedstead as mahogany, and the other two on the second floor as oak, a much cheaper wood. Therefore, the Fauquier bed that sold for £25, much more than the others, must be the mahogany bedstead in His Lordship's Bedchamber. Botetourt may have chosen to keep his newly-acquired furnishings in the room where his predecessor had left them.

The furnishings of the chamber over the dining room during Botetourt's tenure in the Palace seem to correspond to its size and importance. The inventory indicates that the room was handsomely fitted out with fashionable furnishings of the 1760's: eight green bamboo chairs, chintz bed furniture, and mahogany case pieces. The several green objects (bamboo chairs and "green stuf" curtains) listed in the room seem to provide the key to a color scheme. The east side of the second story (two bedchambers and a closet) will, therefore, be painted en suite in a pale version of what in the 18th century was termed an "olive" or "pea green" color. The larger room will receive the more important decorative treatment, with molding details picked out in white.

The practice of highlighting architectural details was common in houses influenced by the Palladian ideal (see Cornforth and Fowler, English Decoration in the Eighteenth Century, chapter 5, pp. 174-209, passim.) The practice is also documented in Thomas Chippendale's accounts with Sir Rowland Winn at Nostell Priory: (before 12 August 1767)"

"Anty room Next to ye green damask bed Chamber, the room to be hung with a plane green paper to posable the bed and hangings of ye Bed Chamber. The Cornice of the room to be painted white and green and the Moulding of ye upper part of the Cove. Query [read ask] if the moulding, the Sr. base [Surbase, or chairrail], architrave of the windows, and chimney &c to be painted green." (Christopher Gilbert, Life & Works of Thomas Chippendale, pp. 180-81.)

For American precedent, the primary upstairs bedchamber of the Covenhoven House in Freehold, N. J., has original paint with architectural details picked out in blue and white (See Antiques cover, January 1980.) Although this room illustrates a folk art tradition in house painting rather than a formal Palladian decorative scheme, it documents the practice of architectural highlighting in America in the 1750's.

The oak bedsteads listed in the two east bedchambers of the Palace were at first a puzzle. Oak had been popular in the previous century for the heavy Jacobean beds, but by the mid-eighteenth century had been relegated to use as a secondary wood, mahogany being the preferred primary wood. A 1755 Williamsburg reference to Dr. Kenneth McKenzie's "1 oak Marlborough Bedstead" proved that the cheaper and retardataire woods were being used to make the fashionable rococo beds illustrated in Chippendale's Director. The furniture conservation shop has made reproduction beds, which will be covered by the bed hangings. Perhaps this same practice of bedcurtains hiding the bedstead prompted the use of cheaper wood in the 18th century.

The bed will be fitted out with chintz bed furniture according to the inventory reference. The bed furniture, a purple and white copperplate print with green silk lining, is based on several sources: 1) Thomas Chippendale's frequent use of purple, white, and green in the 1760's, as in the purple and white bed curtains with pea green lining that he made for Sir Edward Knatchbull at Mersham-Le-Hatch; and 2) the original Jones copperplate printed bed furniture in the Colonial Williamsburg collection. Fig. J1 Schumacher has printed a special color-way of the "Jones Toile" fabric, a scenic design of classical ruins. This bold fabric is suitable to the scale of the room, and its classical subject matter suggests the burgeoning taste for things neoclassical that Lord Botetourt may well have introduced to Virginia in the late 1760's. All valances will be scalloped and edged with fringe as in the original. The lining will be of green Persian silk. The molded cornice will be covered with the "Jones Toile." Fabric-covered cornices are recorded in Chippendale accounts and in the 1760's daybook of Thomas Elfe, a cabinetmaker in Charleston, South Carolina.

Straight panels of green wool satin will represent the "2 pr. green stuf window curtains and rods." Period print sources reveal that such simple window treatment was not usual, even in formal rooms. Painted wooden cornices will cover the rods.

To represent the "1 bed carpet" listed in the inventory, we will show a U-shaped bed round of Wilton cut-pile carpet. The Badminton papers reveal that Botetourt ordered 11il ton carpeting; which was made on English looms, a domestic competitor to the hand woven Turkish carpets. It was evidently already popular with Virginians, for in 1766 John Wayles commented, " … nothing are so common as Turkey or Wilton carpetts…" (Mildred Lanier, English and Oriental Carpets at Williamsburg, p. 59) The U-shape is based on a bed round that survives in situ at Osterley, Fig. J2a Robert Adam house near London. The geometric pattern in greens, purples, and pinks is based on a carpet which Adam designed for Lord Coventry in 1767. Fig. J3

An English mahogany clothespress of about 1765 Fig. J4 will represent the piece that Botetourt kept in this room. This fashionable English form for the storage of clothing was popular in the South; Eastern Virginia cabinetmakers produced this form (see John Selden of Norfolk clothespress in Chamber over the Parlour.) Lord Botetourt kept some of his extensive wardrobe in this clothespress. The press may be opened to show some wearing apparel, depending upon the interpretation of the room.

The mahogany night table Fig. J5 was used to store a chamber pot. The night table had superseded the commode chair by mid-century.

The closet between the two east bedchambers contained a large deal (pine or fir wood) toilet table. The inexpensive wood indicates that the table was meant to be covered; in fact, Joseph Kidd billed Lord Botetourt for dressing a "toylet" table on two occasions. The reproduction linen "twilight," as such toilet table covers were sometimes called in inventories, is based on the proportions of an original in the collection, and corresponds to those seen in many period prints and paintings. Fig. J6

Among the standing furniture in the closet are "10 prints in frames." We will show a series of the "Gods in Love" Fig. J7 to represent part of this entry. These amorous subjects were printed after paintings by Titian which hung at Blenheim; first published in 1708, they were popular throughout the eighteenth century. John Custis of Williamsburg owned a set of the "Gods in Love" in 1717. Four classical views will complete the group. One of these prints was derived from an original painting by Gaspar PussinFig. J8; painting was owned by William Fauquier, brother of Lt. Governor Francis Fauquier.

RR1632101Fig. J1

RR1632102Fig. J2

RR1632103Fig. J3
155. Coventry House, 29 (now 106) Piccadilly, London. Office copy of a rendering for a carpet, offering alternate colour schemes, c1767 (Sir John Soane's Museum).

RR1632104Fig. J4

RR1632105Fig. J5
36-215 (1851)
Cupboard, bedside, Chippendale, mahogany

RR1632106Fig. J6

RR1632107Fig. J7
Mars & Venus

RR1632108In the Collection of Wm. Faquier Esqr.

Page 19

Ballroom & Supper Room

Botetourt Inventory
3 large mahogy dining tables
1 large round walnut do
12 Mahogy chairs hair bottoms
1 large dutch stove
3 glass lustres with 6 branches each & gauze covers
2 large paintings of the King & Queen gauze covers
2 Venetian blinds
Standing Furniture
19 Leather Bottom Mahogany chairs
8 long stools
8 stocker brackets
6 brass branches
Supper Room
1 large dutch stove
2 long walnut dining Tables
16 Walnut leather bottom chairs
A Glass Lustre wth 12 branches

[In "3rd store room"] "2 spare Branches Etc belonging to the Lustre in the Ballroom."

["In a closet" on 3rd floor] "8 long green Cushions for Stools in the Ballroom."

[In "3rd store room"] "a long box of Gilt bordering intended for the Supper Room."

["In a closet" on the 3rd floor] "1 blue baise do [curtain] for Supper Room." "Oznabrigs intended to paste the Paper on in the Supper Room."

["In a closet" on the 3rd floor] "Supper Room Carpet."
"large Sandbag for Supper Room."

Page 20
Documentary References

November 10, 1768: - "I have the satisfaction to find that the King and Queen's pictures are arrived perfectly safe. Mr. Ramsey [Alan Ramsay, the King's official portrait painter] never did two better. We are all delighted with them." Botetourt to Hillsborough.

December, 1768: - "To painting the stove fundles 15..0" Charles Talliaferro.

May 10, 1769: - "52 dined with me yesterday and I expect at least that number today — most of whom are already arrived and waiting for me. 3 just returned from the Council." Botetourt to Hillsborough.

November 28, 1769: - "To pressing and nailing down a large carpet for the ballroom." Joseph Kidd "to mending paper in the ballroom." Joseph Kidd

February 14, 1770: - "making a sandbag." Joseph Kidd

June 7, 1770: - "to mending paper in ballroom." Joseph Kidd
"to taking down supper room curtains." Joseph Kidd
"to covering all the lustre pictures and chairs." Joseph Kidd

June 15, 1770: - "mending brass chain cleang. etc. in Ball Room." John Draper

June 24, 1770: - "cleang. two stoves and paint.g." John Draper

April 15, 1771: - "I observed that Lord Botetourt had hung a room with plain blue paper and bordered it with a narrow stripe of gilt leather, which I thought had a pretty effect." Robert Beverly to Samuel Athawes.

Secondary References

1756: - "In houses which have been some time built, and which have not an out of proportion room, the common practice is to build one of them: this always hangs from one end, or sticks to one side, of the house, and shows to the most careless eye, that, though fastened to the walls, it does not belong to the building.

The custom of routs* has introduced this absurd parctice. Our forefathers were pleased with seeing their friends as they chanced to come, and with entertaining them when they were there. The present custom is to see them all at once, and entertain none of them; this brings in the necessity of a great room, which is opened only on such occasions, and which lords and generally discredits the rest of the edifice…" Isaac Ware, A Complete Body of Architecture, p. 295 [my italics]

Page 21

1756 - "A banqueting room…should have a boarded floor, and it should be carpeted for the reception of the guests…" Ware, p. 341

1756: - "The use of carpeting at this time has set aside the ornamenting of floors in a great measure: it is the custom almost universally to cover a room entirely so that there is no necessity of any beauty or workmanship underneath…" Ware p. 123

It is interesting to note how contemporary with the addition to the Governors Palace of the Ballroom and Supper Room Ware's comment (not wholly unbiased) is. The ball given by Dinwiddie to celebrate the birthday of George II, described in the Virginia Gazette November 17, 1752, and at which the Emperor, Empress, and Prince of the Cherokee nation were present(Fig. K1), was probably the first to be held in the new apartments. Whether balls were given routinely at the Palace on the anniversary of the King's accession, the Queen's birthday, etc., is unknown——they were certainly not reported in the Virginia Gazette if they were. We know Botetourt gave at least three balls in 1769, but that may not have been the general practice.

Ware's further comment——that such rooms were opened only on the occasion of "routs"——must be treated with some caution, for Botetourt's large dinner parties must have been given in the ballroom or supper room or both, for here are listed six dining tables, forty-seven chairs and eight long stools altogether. Such a large group as mentioned above obviously could not gather in the dining room.

Whether all the collations arrayed in the supper room on the occasion of a ball were as sumptuous as that held in 1746 to celebrate the Hanoverian victory at Culloden is open to question. The ball was held at the Capitol because of the illness of Gooch: — "In the evening a very numerous Company of Gentlemen and Ladies appear'd at the Capitol, where a ball was open'd, and after dancing some time, withdrew to Supper, there being a very handsome collation spread on three Tables, in three different Rooms, consisting of near 100 Dishes, after the most delicate Taste. There was also provided a great variety of the choicest and best liquors…" What is certain however, is that the effect generally sought in the Supper room was one of elegance and sumptuousness, with various tables set with the handsome (and expensive) linen, plate, glass, and china, with servants in livery, all gathered here for the occasion.

For what other purposes were these rooms used? Did the presence in the ballroom of the full length royal portraits indicate its use as an alternative Council chamber? The Council did meet frequently at the Palace — and at New Bern and New York the royal portraits were in the room designated as the Council chamber, which in the former residence at least served also as a ballroom. Or did the Council meet instead in the upper Middle Room where the seal of colony was inventoried?

Page 22

The comparable use of an iron Dutch stove in the "Long Room" of the Governor's House in Annapolis has already been mentioned. Fortunately, the third stove that Botetourt brought into the colony and intended for the Capitol, and which arrived shortly after his death, has survived, giving us an excellent prototype for those he had installed in the ballroom and supper-room. Other comparable items link the "Long Room" in Annapolis and the ballroom here, suggesting common purposes, and the same is true with Tryon's North Carolina and New York residences.

Robert Eden had, furthermore, imported six chandeliers from London by 1776 at a cost of £285; these were still in packing cases in the servants hall when he was obliged to leave. Perhaps he had been inspired by those that Botetourt had installed in the ballroom here, which he must have seen on his visits to Williamsburg in 1769 and 1770.

Did the ballroom also serve as a "gallery" so fashionable in houses of the 17th and 18th centuries? Its location beyond the dining room, was appropriate. Fauquier owned a larger quantity of pictures than Botetourt——10 seem to have been hung in the upper Middle Room, and 8 elsewhere, the latter being highly valued. This can only be guessed at, unfortunately, for it would have been just as appropriate for Fauquier to have kept them in the dining room. Dunmore claimed to have had "a number of valuable pictures by Sir Peter Lely," but, again, we have no way of knowing where they were hung.

Certainly, these must have been impressive rooms——at least the cosmopolitan Robert Beverley thought so, for he was so inspired by Lord Botetourt's having hung the ballroom with plain blue paper that he ordered similar paper for the house he was building at the time at Blandfield——a house that he said was to be in the "present fashion" or the "plain neat manner" of the emerging neo-classicism of the 1760's. Nor was Beverley the only one so influenced; Robert Carter, who lived next to the Palace for a decade and who was an intimate friend of Fauquier's, as well as being at least acquainted with Botetourt, ordered plain blue paper with a border "figured with Chinese Rail" upon his return to Nomini Hall in 1773. This, together with the "plain Crimson" and "plain yellow" paper hangings he also ordered were in marked contrast to the rococo floral patterned papers he had imported for his town-house ten years earlier.

From the inventory it is evident that Lord Botetourt had plans to paper the supper room, too; the lining and the border were in hand but the paper was not at the time of his death.

By 1802 "rout chairs," according to Sheraton, were unpretentious and institutional things, often "lent out by cabinet makers for hire." The set of Williamsburg chairs with a Dunmore history that we now own, together with a double-chair back settee that could conceivably have been described as a "long stool," are sturdy and unassuming and seem very appropriate for this context.

Furthermore, some of the musical instruments that Dunmore owned would be appropriate in the ballroom, but not necessarily all of them. There is firm reference to a harpsichord, a forte piano, a xylophone, and three organs (which number may or may not include the "chamber organ" and the "very Small Organ for teaching Birds" that Dunmore ordered in 1773)——these would logically seem to be dispersed throughout the house rather than gathered in one place.

In addition to the aforementioned Beverley and Carter, Washington and Jefferson can also be recorded to have ordered plain wallpaper about this time——Jefferson in 1769, in fact, shortly after the ballroom had been so decorated. The order he placed for supplies to paper a room almost exactly duplicates Botetourt's, which we now know from the account books recently discovered in England.

When installed, the wallpaper was mounted——in sheets not rolls——on a coarser paper, which was pasted to linen on the walls, the outer paper then being painted with a mixture of verditer and Prussian blue. As a finishing touch, a border was installed——this could be of carved wood, papier maché, or leather as Beverley observed the governor to have used. Various decorative patterns for this border could be used, Botetourt having chosen a "gadroon gilt" design, according to the account books. We have taken the gadroon pattern in a neoclassic style from an architectural design book of 1770 (Fig. K2).

The interest and importance of this paper can hardly be overstressed. It was one of the most frequently emulated aspects of the Palace, at least as far as the evidence tells us, and therefore it must have made a strong impression on those who saw it. It vividly illustrates for us the role of the governor as a transmitter of taste, as a kind of conduit through whom ideas from the Mother Country came to the colony, to be eagerly accepted by the Virginia gentry.

The paper serves to introduce us to the world of ideas (not just fashion), for it was neoclassical in style, and neoclassicism was an important component of enlightenment thought, the importance of which to influential Virginians such as Washington and Jefferson I need hardly stress. The paper is symbolic of the interaction of taste and thought——which we call culture, in short——and is a perfect symbol of the relationship between the cultural matrix (England) and the colonies. It is a perfect example of how you can start with an object and by close examination radiate outwards to embrace a whole cultural milieu.

The paper will also, we believe, be most attractive! Enhancing its appeal will be the 8 stucco brackets we shall install on the side walls of the room, on which "brass branches" or candelabra (Fig. K3) will stand, the set reproduced at the Geddy Foundry from a very rare English original in our collections.

The important, documented Dunmore chairs and settee (Figs. K4-K5) mentioned earlier have been supplemented with reproductions made at the Anthony Hay Shop to form a suite commensurate in size with that belonging to the colony (see Gusler, op. cit., pp. 40-41). The settees have been included primarily because they are part of the suite, but also because of the reference to "long stools" in the ballroom. Considerable confusion exists in 18th-century terminology for settees, stools, sofas, etc.; settees such as these could have been called "long stools" at the time. It would be better, however, and less confusing for our modern audiences, if you used the term "settees."

Complementing this suite will be reproductions of an important Virginia chair (Fig. K6) made for Lt. Gov. Gooch (the original pair now at the Virginia Historical Society). They are compatible in appearance with the Dunmore chairs, are a good Virginia type, and increase our representation of objects in the Palace with a strong Palace association.

The Ramsay portraits, the Lely portraits of Charles II and his queen (the latter suggested by Dunmore's claim to have had in the Palace "a number of valuable pictures by Sir Peter Lely," and by the fact that Governor Eden of Maryland had a portrait of Charles I——a copy of a Van Dyke——in his house in 1775) will remain. They and the chandeliers you are familiar with will be covered with gauze in the summer months, as they were in the 1770s, presumably as protection against flies and summer dust.

Botetourt kept no musical instruments in the Palace——he hired musicians for his ball nights. Dunmore did, however (his daughters played and sang), and we shall acknowledge that with a harpsichord and a bureau organ, and eventually a reproduction forte piano——an extremely rare item for this early date.

We shall also (hopefully in time for the opening) install a stove——a reproduction based on the very important Botetourt stove of 1770 that we installed in the Capitol in recent years (see Gusler, op. cit. , p.7) and Fig. K7. We shall have carved the intricate mahogany patterns for the plates of this stove ourselves——and note that Chippendale carved patterns for stoves for his clients. In the 1760s and 1770s iron stoves were most desirable and fashionable for large assembly rooms, although almost none have survived to the present day. The Botetourt stove is important not only because of its rarity but also because it helps to document the introduction of neoclassical taste in Williamsburg several years before it has generally been thought to have made its way to the colony.

We shall install another stove in the Supper Room. For what purposes other than suppers this room was used we do not know, but in order to prevent a clutter of large musical instruments in the ballroom we shall install the recently acquired, and rather rare, chamber organ of the 1770s here (Fig. K8). A chamber organ is not, after all, an instrument normally associated with dancing at a ball. The 16 walnut chairs (Fig. K9) will be reproductions of yet another Williamsburg-made one with a Dunmore history (see Gusler, op. cit., p.91).

We shall install spring blinds (roll shades, in modern parlance) in this room, such as were used in the most fashionable and wealthy of the houses that Chippendale was decorating and supplying furnishings for in this period. Although Kidd charged for taking down the supper room curtains in June of 1770, none are specifically listed in the inventory——but spring blinds are, the right number for the room. For winter months the single blue baize curtain and the sandbag (a roll to keep at the bottom of the door) would have been used at the north door to keep out drafts.

For more information on the subject of wallpaper in this room see Fig. K10. To this it should be added that Chinese paper of the type we have had in the Supper room for many years was almost always used in English houses for bedchambers, not assembly rooms.

K 1
Virginia Gazette, Wm. Hunter, Ed.
Also: William & Mary Quarterly, 1st series Vol. 13, page. 14.

November 17, 1752.

Friday last, being the Anniversary of his Majesty's Birth Day, in the Evening, the whole City was illuminated. There was a Ball, and a very elegant Entertainment, at the Palace, where were present the Emperor and Empress of the Cherokee Nation, with their Son the Young Prince, and a brilliru1t appearance of Ladies and Gentlemen; several beautiful fireworks were exhibited in Palace Street, by Mr. Hallam, of the Theatre in this City

Virginia Gazette, Wm. Hunter, Ed.

November 17, 1752.

The Emperor of the Cherokee Nation with his Empress and their Son the Young Prince attended by several of his Warriors and great Men and their Ladies, were received at the Palace by his Honour the Governor, attended by such of the Council as were in Town and several other Gentlemen, on Thursday the 9th Instant,with all the marks of Civility and Friendship, and were that Evening entertained, at the Theatre, with the Play, (the Tragedy of Othello) and a Pantomime Performance, which gave them Great Surprize, as did the fighting with Naked Swords on the Stage, which occasioned the Empress to order some about her to go and prevent their killing one another. The Business of their coming is not yet made publick; but it is said to relate to the opening and establishing a Trade with this Colony, which they are very desirous of. They were dismissed with a handsome Present of fine Cloaths, Arms and Ammunition; and expressed great Satisfaction in the Governor's kind Reception, and from several others; and left this Place this Morning.

RR1632109K 2

RR1632110K 3

RR1632111K 4

RR1632112K 5

RR1632113K 6

RR1632114K 7

RR1632115K 8

RR1632116K 9

K 10

Supper Room Wallpaper

While this is not strictly an architectural matter I should welcome your informed views on the subject.

There are only two known references to wallpaper for the Supper Room, both from the Botetourt inventory. Lord Botetourt obviously planned to paper this room but died before the wallpaper arrived in Williamsburg. In the inventory appear the following references —— in the "3d Store Room" (which I believe, in contrast to Whiffen, was probably on the third floor rather than above the Ballroom), "a long Box of Gilt bordering intended for the Supper Room," and, "in a Closet," "Oznabrigs intended to paste the Paper on in the Supper Room."

There is no reference to the actual paper, which was probably meant to be a plain one such as his Lordship had installed in the Ballroom —— "I observed that Lord Botetourt had hung a room with plain blue paper and bordered it with a narrow stripe of gilt leather" (Robert Beverley to Samuel Athawes, April 15, 1771).*

It is most doubtful that Lord Botetourt would have removed a handsome, hand-painted Oriental wallpaper, such as we now have in the Supper Room, for it would still have been relatively new in 1770. In the absence of any other evidence it must be presumed that the Supper Room was never papered.

(Efforts to determine an exact date for the paper now installed have been unavailing. In this context it is also worth recording, I believe, the account by Milton Grigg, who was on the architectural staff at the time the Palace was being reconstructed, that the actual discovery and purchase of this paper in 1928 prompted the introduction of Chinoiserie designs for the woodwork in the room.)


In the 1760's, built-in coal-burning grates were growing popular and being widely used in England. There is no reason to believe that the same was not happening in Williamsburg. Lord Botetourt owned about 1000 bushels of sea coal at the time of his death, some of which he had bought from George Wythe. By 1773 the built-in type of grate ("Bath Stove") was being specifically ordered from England for use in Williamsburg by Robert Carter Nicholas. And by 1778 there appear to have been built-in grates at the Palace that were in need of repair Humphrey Harwood charged four times between October 1778 and October 1779 for taking down grates, altering and plastering chimneys, and setting up grates anew.

Lord Botetourt purchased five grates from Fauquier's estate, which, with one exception, were not inexpensive. If Fauquier had had them built-in at the Palace, which is possible, is it not also possible that they would have been included in his estate, even if they were by then a fixture? An alternative point of view, however, is that the lack of specific mention of either grates or andirons in the hall, dining room, little middle room, and library is the best indication we have that built-in grates were in use, at least in those rooms, by Lord Botetourt. Rooms where grates are mentioned (the expensive ones acquired from Fauquier, I believe) are the upper "Middle Room" and the bedchambers.


  • Lanier, Mildred. English and Oriental Carpets at Williamsburg. pp. 31-32, 36-39, 44-46, 59-61, 82-83.
  • Montgomery, Florence. Printed Textiles. pp. 52-63, 78-82.
  • Roth, Rodris. Floor Coverings in 18th Century America. pp. 37-40, 58-60, Figure 7.
  • Walton, Karin. Golden Age of English Furniture Upholstery. pp. xi-xxi, Figure 47.
  • Cornforth, John and Fowler, John. Decoration in the 18th Chapter 4, noting especially Figures 56, 71 and Plate XVj chpt. 7.
  • Inventories of Governors Eden and Tryon of North Carolina
  • Dolmetach, Joan. "Prints in Colonial America: Supply and Demand in the Mid-Eighteenth Century" in Prints In and Of America to 1850, ed. by John D. Morse, Winterthur Conference Report, 1970, pp. 53-74.
  • Hitchings, Sinclair H. "The Graphic Arts in Colonial New England" in Prints In and Of America to 1850, pp. 75-109.
  • Hood, Graham. "The Role of the British Eighteenth-Century Print at Williamsburg" in Eighteenth Century Prints in Colonial America, ed. by Joan Dolmetsch, pp. 1-11.
  • Hitchings, Sinclair. "London's Images of Colonial America" in Eighteenth Century Prints in Colonial America, pp. 11-32.
  • Wolf, Edwin II. "The Prodigal Son in England and America" in Eighteenth Century Prints in Colonial America, pp. 145-175.
  • Dolmetsch, Joan. "European Prints in Eighteenth-Century America" in Antiques, May 1972 (Vol. CI, No. 5), pp. 858-863.
  • De Vorsey, Louis, Jr. Notes to accompany reproductions of the 1755 John Mitchell "Map of the British Colonies in North America" and the 1775 Fry-Jefferson "Map of the most Inhabited part of Virginia."
  • Gilbert, Christopher. The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale. Chapter 6.
  • Girouard, Mark. Life in the English Country House. Chapters 6, 7 ,8.
  • Gusler, Wallace, Furniture of Williamsburg and Eastern Virginia, 1710-1790. pp. 2-10, 59-112; illustrations #16, 32-34, 57-58, 78-79, 101. 2.
  • Noël-Hume, Ivor. Glass in Colonial Williamsburg's Archaeological Collections.
  • Noël-Hume, Ivor. Pottery and Porcelain in Colonial Williamsburg's Archaeological Collections.
  • Roth, Rodris. Tea-Drinking in 18th-century America: Its Etiquette and Equipage.
  • Notes on Popple's Map of the British Empire in North America, 1733 and on John Henry's Map of Virginia.


^Jos. Kendall supplied
1 large Black Walnut knife box 12-0 (May 17, 1770)
1 small Mahogany knife box 10-6 (May 19, 1770)
^* "Buffet. Anciently, an apartment separated from the rest of the room…" Cabinet Dictionary
^* The Dictionarium Britannicum of 1730, for example, defines Buffet as "a repository or sort of cupboard for plate, glasses, China-ware, etc, also a large table in a dining room, called a side-board for the plates, glasses, bottles, etc." Alternative spellings are beaufet, bofet, bowfat and so on.
^125 The text of the following Journal, August 6-November 8, 1770, is from a photographic copy of a manuscript in the Public Record Office, C.O. 5/1349, ff. 28-37. There is the following endorsement: "Journals of the Govr. and Council of Virginia. In Mr. Presidt. Nelson's (No. 9) of 15th Decr. 1770 (2) dr." The Title page reads: "Journals of the Governor and Council of Virginia, from the 21st June (to which time the last Copy extended) to the 8 Novr. 1770." Although the title page and Mr. Nelson's letter both give these dates, the first meeting actually recorded is that of August 6, 1770.
^126 The proceedings of this date are also found, with minor differences, as a separate manuscript in the Public Record Office, Co.O.5/1333, ff. 73-74, endorsed "In Mr. Nelson's Letter No. 1."
^127 See p. 626 for the text of this proclamation.
^128 See p. 627 for the text of this proclamation.
^*( Rout - a fashionable gathering or assembly, a large evening party or reception, much in vogue in the 18th and early 19th centuries. O.E.D.)
^* The location of this paper in the Ballroom is presumed by Joseph Kidd's charges for twice "mending paper in ball room."


Sheets M-1 through M-8

John Mitchell: A Map of the British Colonies in North America with the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements, Humbly Inscribed to the Right Honourable The Earl of Halifax, And the other Right Honourable The Lords Commissioners for Trade & Plantations, By Their Lordships Most Obliged, and very humble Servant Jno Mitchell. Tho: Kitchin Sculp. Published by the Author Febry 13th 1755 according to Act of Parliament Printed for Jefferys and Faden Geographers to the King at the Corner of St. Martins Lane Charing Cross London. Scale: 1 inch = c. 32 miles.

This truly grand map, covering the area from Labrador and Hudson's Bay south to the Gulf of Mexico and west from the Atlantic to the high plains, has been appropriately identified by experts as the single most important map in the history of the United States. This is because it was the official map employed by British and American diplomats in framing the definitive Treaty of Peace of 3 September 1783, the document which ratified once and for all the full and independent membership of the United States in the world family of nation states. In the words of John Adams written after that event in 1784. "We had before us, through the whole negotiations, a variety of maps, but it was Mitchell's map upon which was marked out the whole of the boundary lines of the United States." Other significant historical uses of the map include its employment by Parliament during the debates on the momentous Quebec Act of 1774: as well as its presence in the halls of the U.S. Congress in 1802 and on several subsequent occasions. It was central to several discussions concerning British land grants in the Ohio and Mississippi valleys. Great Britain and the United States agreed to its official status in the Convention of 29 September 1827, and it played a crucial role in the negotiation of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842. Since that time it has figured in literally scores of litigations before such tribunals as the Court of Arbitration at the Hague, the British Privy Council, the Supreme Court of Canada and the Supreme Court of the United States down to the present day.

The elegance and comprehensiveness of the map speaks for itself upon the first of it. How did its author, John Mitchell, come to compose such a significant map? This is the question which almost immediately intrigues anyone who begins to study this crucial cartographic document. To find an answer one should know something of Mitchell's life and background.

Although Lawrence Martin and other Mitchell scholars have usually placed his birthplace in England, recent research by Dorman and Lewis makes it clear that John Mitchell, author of the great eighteenth century map of Britain's colonies in America, was a native of Virginia. Mitchell was born the son of Robert Mitchell, a successful planter and merchant, and his wife Mary in St. Mary's White Chapel Parish, Lancaster County, Virginia, on 13 April 1711. Unfortunately, little appears to be known regarding Mitchell's early life and education in Virginia. It is suggested that he may have begun university study at Edinburgh while in his early teens since he appears to have received his M.A. there in 1729. Just where Mitchell went on to study medicine and receive a further degree is still in doubt. The records indicate, however, that he returned to Virginia in 1731 and began the practice of medicine in Lancaster at or near his old home. In 1734, he purchased a house and property in the small village of Urbanna on the Rappahannock River in Middlesex County. This village is shown on both the Mitchell and Fry-Jefferson maps found in this collection.

While following his calling as a physician, young Doctor Mitchell undertook a number of scientific studies as was often the wont of educated gentlemen during his period. In particular he became deeply interested in the flora and fauna of his native Virginia. This interest soon led Mitchell into an active correspondence with some of the leading natural scientists in Europe including Peter Collinson and Sir Hans Sloane. In addition to this correspondence Mitchell prepared scientific papers on such varied topics as Virginia's medicinal plants, the American o'possum, and the "Causes of the Different Colours of People in Different Climates". The latter essay required 48 printed pages when it appeared in the Transactions of London's prestigious Royal Society. These intellectual excursions were carried on as Mitchell's medical practice grew, and by the summer of 1744 his health was suffering to a serious extent from apparent overwork. It was then that he decided that he must get away from sultry Virginia for a recuperative sojourn in the more temperature climate of Pennsylvania. In Philadelphia he established stimulating friendships with the renowned botanist, John Bartram, as well as Benjamin and the bibliophile, James Logan. Although intellectually bracing, the trip north had little remedial effect on Mitchell's physical health and in the autumn of 1745 he resolved to sell his practice and property and travel to England. In a note to John Bartram written early in 1746, Peter Collinson reported "Dr. Mitchell is arrived safe with his wife at London and is much recovered."

Mitchell lost no time and soon after his arrival in England began a significant research effort concerned with discovering the best process for producing potash. In June 1748, he was formally proposed for membership in the Royal Society. His nomination was endorsed by an impressive group of London savants including such figures as Mark Catesby, William Watson, Dr. Cromwell Mortimer, Thomas Birch, and Martin Folkes. Mitchell read a portion of his findings on potash production at the 17 November meeting during which he was formally elected to the Society.

With such an early and clear recognition of his scientific abilities it is not surprising to find that Mitchell quickly became known to many of Britain's most powerful nobles and ministers of state. The Duke of Argyle and the Duke of Richmond, both famous for their interest in botany, opened their circles to Mitchell and sought him as a companion on plant gathering jaunts. In these circles of science-oriented politicians were included several members of the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations, the royal government's chief advisory panel on American affairs. Mitchell, as a respected scientist with an intimate knowledge of the American colonies was soon identified as an expert and frequently called upon for information and advice on a wide variety of colonial problems.

It would appear likely that the need for a comprehensive map of the American colonies was being increasingly felt by Britain's leaders during this period as the French began to penetrate into the Ohio valley. Mitchell, like others close to the American scene, was alarmed at both the seriousness of the French threat and the lack of awareness to it being evidenced in Britain. At that point only Henry Popple's outdated map of 1733 was available to illustrate the situation comprehensively from a British point of view. Not surprisingly, therefore, the resourceful Mitchell undertook the task of drawing an improved general map of America sometime in the late 1740's. The Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations were so greatly impressed by his preliminary efforts that they made their official files of reports and maps available to him. As indicated by Mitchell's explanatory text appearing in the upper box on Sheet M-7, he completed his first draft in 1750. In an effort to ensure that Mitchell had the very best and latest information from which to draw, the Lords Commissioners ordered all colonial governors to send maps of their provinces to London as rapidly as possible. Among other things these maps were to show all boundaries exactly and also any incursions being made by the French along the frontiers. Admiralty logs and journals were also made accessible to Mitchell. His lengthy commentary and tables on such topics as latitude and longitude, the positions of prominent coastal landfalls and tides attest to his diligent and effective usage of these primary materials in his cartographic compilation. With such a plethora of original data at his disposal it is not surprising that five years elapsed between the completion of Mitchell's first draught in 1750 and the first publication of his elegant engraved map in February 1755. John Pownall, secretary of the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, leaves no doubt that John Mitchell's map was to be viewed as an "official" British cartographic statement. Pownall wrote:

This Map was undertaken with the Approbation and at the request of the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations; and is chiefly composed from Draughts, Charts and Actual Surveys of different parts of His Majesties colonies and plantations in America; Great part of which have been lately taken by their Lordships Orders, and transmitted to this Office by the Governors of the said Colonies
Plantation Office
February 13th, 1755

John Pownall

Mitchell's map met with a very favourable reception in Britain as well as on the continent of Europe and in the American colonies. A number of editions and plagiarisms of it were issued over a period of three decades or more. Lawrence Martin, long time Chief of the Library of Congress Map Division (1924-46) identified seven English impressions; two Dutch editions, with English titles, published in Amsterdam; ten French impressions, several with titles and notes in German as well as French; and two Italian piracies published in Venice. Richard W. Stephenson has recently compiled a "Table For Identifying Variant Editions And Impressions of John Mitchell's Map Of The British And French Dominions In North America" from Martin's original notes. This valuable guide appears in the volume A la Carte edited by Walter W. Ristow, present Chief of the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division. The carto-bibliographers, Henry Stevens and Roland Tree, include a section on the Mitchell map in their Comparative Cartography which was republished in the Map Collectors' Circle, vol. IV, no. 39 (1967). This source indicates that the full-scale facsimile of John Mitchell's map included in this collection is reproduced from the Fifth Edition of the original produced by the London map publishing firm of Jefferys and Faden in the year 1775.


  • Edmund Berkeley, "Dr. John Mitchell: The First Virginia-Born Scientist" (A Lecture given in Klein Theatre on 26 October 1971). Occasional Papers, Number 5, E. Lee Trinkle Library, Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, Virginia, May 1972.
  • Lyman Carrier, "Dr. John Mitchell, Naturalist, Cartographer, and Historian", Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1918, I (1921), 201-19.
  • William P. Cumming, The Southeast In Early Maps (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1962), pp. 223-24.
  • John Frederick Dorman and James F. Lewis, "Doctor John Mitchell, F.R.S. Native Virginian", The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 76 (October 1968), 437-40.
  • Edward M Douglas, Boundaries, Areas, Geographic Centers and Altitudes of the United States and the Several States [U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey Bulletin 817 (Washington 1932), pp. 26-7.
  • Emerson, D. Fite and Archibald Freeman, A Book of Old Maps Delineating American History (Cambridge, Mass., 1926 [reprinted by Dover Publications, 1969], pp. 180-84, 290-93.
  • Gordon W. Jones, "The Library of Doctor John Mitchell of Urbanna", The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (October 1968), 441-43.
  • Hunter Miller (ed.), Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America, 3 [Publications of the Department of State, Number 453] (Washington, 1933), pp. 328-53.
  • Henry Stevens and Roland Tree, "Comparative Cartography", Map Collectors' Circle, 39 (1967). 342-4-

Sheets FJ-1 through FJ-4

Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson: A Map of the most Inhabited part of Virginia containing the whole Province of Maryland with Part of Pensilvania, New Jersey and North Carolina Drawn by Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson in 1775. To the Right Honourable, George Dunk Earl of Halifax First Lord Commissioner; and to the Rest of the Right Honourable and Honourable Commissioners for Trade and Plantations. This Map is most humbly Inscribed to their Lordships, By their Lordships Most Obedient & most devoted humble servt Thos Jefferys. Printed for Robt. Sayer at No 53 in Fleet Street, & Thos Jefferys at the Corner of St. Martins Lane. Charing Cross, London. Scale: 1 inch = c. 10.4 mi.

This is the first printed map of Virginia to be prepared and authored by Virginians. Perhaps even more important than the citizenship were the attainments and personal experiences of its authors, Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson. Both men were land surveyors with an abundance of first hand experience throughout both the frontier and settled regions of their home colony. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and son of one of the members of the surveying team of Fry and Jefferson, "they possessed excellent materials for so much of the country as is below the blue ridge; little being then known beyond the ridge".

Joshua Fry, who had emigrated from England sometime between 1710 and 1720, flourished in his adopted Virginia. He was to hold the positions of justice of the peace, county lieutenant, member of the House of Burgesses, and member of the Kings Council in addition to being a professor of mathematics at William and Mary College and a practical surveyor. In I738 he joined Robert Brooke and William Mayo in forwarding to the House of Burgesses a proposal "to make an exact survey of the colony, and print and publish a map there of, in which shall be laid down the bays, navigable rivers, with the sounding, counties, parishes, towns, and gentlemen's seats". Unfortunately for all who might have benefited from this ambitious undertaking the Burgesses moved to reject the proposal.

At this time most Virginia counties had official surveyors responsible for surveying and mapping the county as well as land grants and sales. Very few colonial county maps were ever printed, and there was no adequate map to show the whole of the colony. This lack was to vex Virginia residents and Crown administrators alike severely as the colony's population and economic interests continued to expand into the mid-eighteenth century. As the French menace in the Ohio basin became recognized the need for a large scale general map of the colony began to assume crisis proportions.

On 15 January 1750, the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations requested a general map of Virginia in their effort to accumulate current and accurate data on the American colonies. Among other needs for this detailed data was the comprehensive map which Dr. John Mitchell was then preparing to show all of eastern America from the British point of view. It is clear that Mitchell drew heavily on the Fry and Jefferson map of Virginia as he compiled his own outstanding map which also appears in this collection.

Virginia's governor, Lewis Burwell, was doubtlessly relieved to be able to respond to the request for a map in a positive manner. He reported to the Board of Trade that he had employed "the most able Persons" to prepare his government's map. These persons were Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson, at that time probably among the most competent and experienced surveyors and cartographers in Virginia. In his later letter of transmittal of the map itself, governor Burwell referred to Fry as being:

A Gentleman very eminent for his skill in mathematicks, who was formerly a Professor of it in our College of William and Mary, and since his quitting that Place has retired to the back Settlements in Order to raise a Fortune for his family. This situation of his together with his having been employed by the Government to run the Northwest boundary of Lord Fairfax's Grant and likewise the Boundary between this Province and North Carolina has given him many Opportunities of acquainting himself with the Geography of this Country.

Peter Jefferson's career became intimately intertwined with that of Joshua Fry's from 1745 onward. In the words of Fairfax Harrison:

The constructive influence of Peter Jefferson's career was that of Joshua Fry. From his appointment in 1745 as a deputy county surveyor of Albemarle under Fry, the remainder of his life work was a complement of that of the former professor of mathematics. Thenceforth it was "Fry and Jefferson" not only at home in Albemarle and in the Northern Neck survey of x746, but in the westward extention of the North Carolina boundary in 1749, in the compilation of the 'Map of the Inhabited Parts of Virginia' in 1751, and, finally in Jeffersons' successtion to Fry's offices as County lieutenant and Burgess for Albemarle.

Like many of the other great Revolutionary Era maps of America, this by Fry and Jefferson enjoyed several printings. The original map was engraved by the London master, Thomas Jefferys (or under his supervision) while the handsome cartouche was engraved by Reynolds Grignon from a design by Francis Hayman. Although the original edition of the printed map bears the date 1751, it seems clear that this refers to the finished manuscript only. In the judgement of Professor Coolie Verner, the acknowledged Fry and Jefferson expert, the first printed copies of the map probably appeared in London in the late summer of 1753. Verner has prepared an exhaustive carto bibliography which indicates that the Fry and two principal ectypes in its lengthy evolution. The version of the map presented here is identified as state 6 and was included in Thomas Jefferys', The American Atlas …, published by Sayer and Bennett in 1775 as the American Revolution was about to flare into an open conflict of arms.


  • William P. Cumming, The Southeast In Early Maps (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1962), pp. 219-21.
  • Emerson D. Fite and Archibald Freeman, A Book of Old Maps Delineating American History (Cambridge, Mass., 1926 [reprinted by Dover Publications, 1969]), pp. 242-44.
  • Fairfax Harrison, "The Northern Neck Maps of 1737-1747", William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, 4, 2nd Series (January 1924), 1-15.
  • Dumas Malone, "The Fry and Jefferson Map of 1751", The Fry and Jefferson Map or Virginia and Maryland [Facsimiles of the 1754: and 1794 Printings with an Index, Published for the Harry Clemson Publication Fund of the University of Virginia] {Charlottesville, Va., 1966), pp. 7-12.
  • Delf Norona, "Joshua Fry's Report On The Back Settlements of Virginia (May 8, 1751)", The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 56 (January 1948), 22-41.
  • Coolie Verner, "The Fry and Jefferson Map", Imago Mundi, 21 (1967), 70-94.

Among Governor Botetourt's possessions in the front parlour was a Bowen map of North America. Emanuel Bowen served in the rather unusual capacity of map maker to both George II and Louis XV of France, and thus most of his work was done for official government purposes. This particular map served to delineate the dominions of the British, French, and Spanish as determined at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1763 and was published shortly thereafter by Robert Sayer in London.

Full information on the Mitchell map of North America, also in the parlour, shown partially folded in a traveling case has been provided to the interpreters with their reading list.

Maps to be installed in the Little Middle Room

To fill the inventory reference for five maps, part of Botetourt's possessions, a handsomely colored group of large scale maps of foreign countries has been selected. The maps were delineated by the early eighteenth-century geographer, Herman Moll. (They were printed and sold in London starting about 1727 not only by Moll, but also by John Bowles, Thomas Bowles, Philip Overtaon, and John King. Each work was dedicated to an important English noble. Despite the early date of the maps they continued as an important segment of English dealers' stock as late as 1775 when Robert Sayer listed them in his catalogue.

Even more important they have a long and distinguished history of ownership in Virginia and adjoining colonies. in 1741 an inventory taken of the estate of Francis Robinson, late usher of the Grammer School of the College of William & Mary listed 7 Moll maps. In 1761 George Hunter bought directly from John Bowles five maps viz the world and quarters as well as a separate map of Germany. In 1765 Hartwell Cocke bought from the printing office five four sheet maps of the world and four quarters. The Cabell papers at the college note that on February 1766 maps of Asia, Africa, America and the world were secured. Lastly in 1744 Charles Carroll of Annapolis ordered from his London merchant John Bowles maps of Europe, Asia, Africa and America of the best and latest Cutts and Largest.

For the Study

To fill the inventory reference for a map of North and South America, also Botetourt's possession, another map printed for John Bowles and also by Carington Bowles has been selected. However, it is more up-to-date in geography (no maker is known) as it appeared shortly after the 1763 Peace treaty which gave much of then explored Canada and Florida to the British. The new boundaries are delineated on the map, as well as much descriptive material on new discoveries in and around both continents.

In the Dining Room, A Map of Virginia by John Henry

A NEW AND ACCURATE MAP OF VIRGINIA WHEREIN MOST OF THE COUNTIES ARE LAID DOWN FROM ACTUAL SURVEYS. WITH A CONCISE ACCOUNT OF THE NUMBER OF INHABITANTS, THE TRADE, SOIL, AND PRODUCE OF THAT PROVINCE. Signed: John Henry. Engraved by Thomas Jefferys, Geographer to the King. Published according to Act of Parliament for the Author by Thos. Jefferys at the Corner of St. Martins Lane in the Strand. Dated: February 1770.

With the 1751-55 publication of the Fry and Jefferson map of Virginia the colonists and the English crown were provided with a most accurate delineation of the area. Additions and alterations to subsequent editions helped maintain the work's dependability. Therefore, when John Henry, father of Patrick, had the audacity to announce that he was prepared to render a new and better map of Virginia, the public greeted the idea with little enthusiasm and a good deal of skepticism. Such a response proved justified for when the map was completed, it was geographically inferior to the Fry and Jefferson work. Some of the problems that occurred in Henry's map are carefully spelled out in a series of amusing exchanges which appeared in Williamsburg newspapers shortly after the work's publication. These are quoted later.

The history of the making of the map is of some importance in helping to understand some of its inadequacies. John Henry, born and educated in Scotland, came to Virginia sometime before 1730. He became a member of the colonial militia, served as a chief justice of the Hanover County court, and, most important to his cartographic skills, acted as surveyor of Hanover County.

His first notice of intent to publish a map of Virginia cured on November 10, 1766 when he petitioned the Virginia House of Burgesses for funds to aid in his survey of the colony. Henry hoped to make up the cost difference between such a subsidy and his expenses by selling subscriptions to the work . However, in December of 1766 the House rejected his plea for money.

Undaunted, Henry advertised the plan for the map in the June 25, 1767 Purdie and Dixon Virginia Gazette. He expressed disappointment that his effort "has not got so great a number of subscribers as expected." Shortly after, on July 30, 1767, the paper carried another notice for subscriptions to be taken at the Williamsburg post office.

In hopes that the House of Burgesses might change its opinion, on April 2, 1768 Henry returned a new petition to them for help. At this time he admitted that what subscription money had already been received was almost gone, and he was now threatened with bankruptcy unless the Burgesses would come to his rescue. Again his plea was rejected.

"lavishing away" THE COLONY'S MONEYA Thematic Paper Prepared for the Department of Interpretive Education
March 1981

Peter E. Martin
Research Department
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

The Governor's Palace Gardens:
"lavishing away" the Colony's Money

Gardens change with the passage of time. Unlike Miss Havisham and her dining room in Dickens' Great Expectations, gardens can never be frozen in time. Even if a gardener resolved to preserve his garden as he originally laid it out, he would fail, because gardens are dynamic, not static, entities. Fashion and taste, change of ownership, plant availability, the inevitable movement of the earth, climatic changes: all of these conspire to alter a garden's look and feeling.

The gardens that Alexander Spotswood laid out at the Palace in Williamsburg between 1710-21 are not to be construed as identical or even similar to (except for the shape and size of the entire enclosure) Botetourt's gardens during the period 1768-1770. Between 1721 and 1768 landscaping in both England and America changed dramatically in the direction of a looser, more naturalized, and more picturesque style. Convenient phrases like an "eighteenth-century garden," an "Enlightenment idea of gardening," "neo-classical gardening taste," do not describe this evolution and therefore mean little. It is better to use dates or the names of people {gardeners, owners or both) when attempting to pin down a stage in the development of any landscape design; or, one could be even more explicit and actually describe particular aesthetic effects that we know or suppose existed in a certain decade or under the influence of a certain individual. These caveats need not tongue-tie anyone who wants to talk about the Palace gardens. Instead they should encourage an awareness that gardening is an ephemeral art and that during the seventy-year history of the Palace gardens their design undoubtedly passed through several distinct phases.


(i) Governor Spotswood's Use of the Gardens as a Cultural Pose

Alexander Spotswood suffered relentless political troubles in Williamsburg up until the moment he was superseded as governor in 1722. Some of his troubles may be traced to expectations he brought with him to Virginia from England in 1710. The Palace gardens that he laid out epitomized the kind of heady life style he hoped to lead. It was the gardens, not the governor's house, that the House of Burgesses cited in 1718 as an instance of how Spotswood with his grand ideas for propping himself up was "lavishing away" the colony's revenues. When he arrived the house already had its roof, thanks to his predecessor Edward Nott's success in getting the Virginia Assembly to provide for the construction of a governor's residence; but it was chiefly after his arrival that specific plans for the gardens were drawn up. There was as a result more scope available to him for self-expression in the creation of these gardens than in the completion of the house. And the available evidence suggests that he distinguished himself with the Palace gardens, perhaps using their size and dignity as one means of lifting himself artistically above the leading planters like William Byrd and Philip Ludwell, or the town luminaries like James Blair and John Custis. Such self-exultation, however, played an integral part in his falling out with the local gentry.

Of course, Spotswood had the colonial purse to help him achieve his cultural ambitions through gardening, but equally important is the fact that he took personal command of the Palace gardens at a critical juncture in the history of Anglo-American gardening. While it is necessary to make allowances for such circumstances, like climate and resources, that made gardens in Virginia differ from those in England, and while three thousand miles of ocean somewhat slowed the passage of ideas and fashions from the mother country to its oldest colony, 3 it is absurd to conclude, as some have, that it was nearly half a century before new ideas in English gardening reached and affected colonial gardens. Indeed, by virtue of his unique position of leadership in the colony, Spotswood's appearance on the Williamsburg scene and his energetic gardening according to European and English styles could not have failed to accelerate what we might call a gardening renaissance in Virginia.

Surely, he brought to Williamsburg an awareness of new gardening attitudes and a familiarity with some of the latest English gardening fashions——essentially French, Dutch and Italian styles. In addition he brought newly developing, English home-grown notions of landscape beauty. From the beginning of the century, English publishers issued a stream of books on gardening at a rate that continued to increase through the century. These publications made gardening a more exciting business. Given his demonstrable interest in architecture and gardening in Williamsburg and then later at his estate in Germanna up in northern Virginia, one would expect him to have shown an interest in such publications. Francis Nicholson certainly did, as his gift to the College of William and Mary library suggests. Gardening was becoming an art, one of the so-called "sister arts," — and not just a hobby or practical occupation. Here in Williamsburg was an opportunity for him to demonstrate this art, and could he be blamed for wanting to impress Virginians in the process——leading them, as it were, into a new vein of culture?

When he arrived in Virginia, Spotswood was surprised at the squire-like, "perfect retir'd country life" being lived by Ludwell, Byrd, and other planters. This inspired him to adopt a similar pose, "neither in a crow of company nor in a throng of business, but rather after a quite country manner." He mentions gardening as if he were a transplanted Squire Allworthy from Fielding's novel, Tom Jones. "Now I am sufficiently amused," he says, "with planting orchard and gardens and with finishing a large house which is designed (at the country's 4 charge)." Whereas his colleagues the planters had to pay for gardening and architectural projects out of their own pockets, he could assume the persona of a squire and still let the colony foot the bill. In other words, he could have his cake and eat it, too. He could play the squire game with the best of them, a coveted role in which he could never have cast himself back home because he had not the financial means to become "propertied"; he could also in the governor's robes and with public monies embark on grandiose projects, like these gardens, prominently placed in town, symbolizing his role as the Crown's representative in Virginia. In the effort to have it both ways, he apparently managed to gain little understanding or appreciation from his fellow gardeners in the Virginia elite. A Byrd of Ludwell did not like being out-squired with public funds; neither did they enjoy the spectacle of a garden laid out with an air of autocracy or, as they saw it, profligacy in the colony's new town.

There is an interesting parallel between Spotswood in Williamsburg and the Duke of Marlborough at the famous Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire that helps us understand the artistic — and human — contexts within which the Palace gardens were first laid out. Spotswood had served as a colonel in the British army under the Duke of Marlborough. On the strength of his famous victory at Blenheim in 1704, Marlborough was given a small fortune by a grateful and politically sympathetic Parliament towards building himself a country house. The magnificence of Blenheim, aptly named a palace, eventually became notorious and scandalous. Poets and pundits ridiculed it regularly. But at least Marlborough and his wife Sarah had their material rewards. While Marlborough was building Blenheim, Spotswood was discovering that his military career was leading nowhere. Neither did he own a country seat to which he could "retire" and where he could construct a visible symbol of his self-importance. Instead he resigned his commission and accepted the appointment as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. For a man in his position that was quite a 5 plum, but it would not be surprising to discover that he aspired more to belong to the English landed gentry. That was not to be. His "country seat" turned out to be first, the Palace at Williamsburg, and then later at Germanna, not a demesne in Oxfordshire, Scotland, or anywhere else in Britain. His compensations for a dead-end in the army and a lack of capital and land in England became gardening and architectural projects in Virginia——rebuilding the College and Bruton Parish Church, finishing the Palace, and designing the Magazine.

It seems inevitable that his thoughts would have frequently travelled back with nostalgia and even jealousy to his military superiors, men like Marlborough and Sir Richard Temple (Viscount Cobham) who were building and landscaping impressive estates. Temple created an immensely popular landscape garden at Stowe in Buckinghamshire, and Marlborough especially could have pricked Spotswood's envy, with all that public money at his disposal. Was Spotswood emulating Marlborough in drawing freely from the public purse for his gardening amusements? Was he resolved on having his own miniature Blenheim, or Stowe, or Dyrham Park (William Blathwayt's landscape garden)?

There was a fashionable form of garden iconography practiced by retired military heroes that we know Spotswood did emulate, though he limited it to within the Palace itself as far as we know: the use of military emblems to allude to one's military career. Marlborough did this at Blenheim, Temple at Stowe, Peterborough at Bevis Mount, and (in the seventeenth century) Lord Fairfax at Appleton House. Military gardening, in fact, became no small dimension of the associative gardens designed in the early eighteenth century——gardens that put a person in certain moods and generated some meaning. Spotswood, in any case, spells it out clearly in his 1710 letters to his brother in Edinburgh that he was after certain cultural and material benefits for himself in Virginia, though in the early years he was contented merely with what appears to have been a pose.


By 1716-17 the pose alone was no longer enough. He wanted the real thing. Accordingly, he set out to accumulate land and wealth; in so doing, he was singularly successful, to the chagrin of the wealthy planters who always regarded him an outsider and foreigner. The author of the anti-Spotswood "Memorandum for His Excellency" in 1721 accused Spotswood of neglecting the Palace gardens, and Williamsburg, too, while he devoted his energies and skills to his own interests in Germanna: "He is building a very fine House there & has encourated artificers of all sorts to people his new town which I hear is regularly laid out in streets and squares and a pretty many houses are already built." Spotswood has ambitions, said the writer, to be "a very great man." Then the writer adds, "In the whole Williamsburg seems to have seen its best days and it will not be otherways whilst so powerful a rival as Germanna is growing."

Before turning to the Palace gardens for some detail, we should pause to remind ourselves that Spotswood did his first original gardening in Williamsburg during a period, 1710-21, of astonishing revisionism in English landscaping. Gardeners, artists, essayists were writing, satirizing, and designing their way toward an anti-French insistence on variety. The jardin anglais was beginning to emerge. If Spotswood had been concerned with keeping up with the rusticated Whigs back home, he would have been interested in these aesthetic and intellectual developments. Not all Whigs in England, of course, eagerly received the rising gardening revolution. Many were judged to be backward by artists like Pope and Swift who reflected and advocated Tory perspectives of art and taste. Thus Alexander Pope could praise the gardens of Stowe (owned by another famous general, Sir Richard Temple), the center of Whig opposition, as "A Work to wonder at," and yet censure the Whiggish squire boobies (like Fielding's Squire Western in Tom Jones or Squire Booby in Joseph Andrews) whose dull and tasteless gardening achieved little more than an insult and violation of nature. Pope found especially 7 offensive (to art and morality) Marlborough's monumental arrogance and pride at Blenheim, to which he possibly alluded with his cutting phrase, "labour'd Quarry above ground". He had him and Prime Minister Robert Walpole of Houghton Hall in mind when he wrote these scathing lines on a fictitious Whig squire named Timon:

At Timon's Villa let us pass a Day,
Where all cry out, 'What Sums are thrown away'!
So proud, so grand, of that stupendous Air,
Soft and come never there.
Greatness with Timon dwells in such a Draught
As brings all before your Thought.

His Gardens next your Admiration call,
On ev'ry side you look, behold the Wall!
No pleasing Intricacies intervene,
No artful Wilderness to perplex the Scene:
Grove nods at Grove, each Ally has Brother,
And half the Platform just reflects the other.

Even before Pope's poem, however, writers had already begun to deal death blows to gardens designed in the French Grand Manner and Dutch formality.

(ii) Spotswood's Palace Gardens

Surprisingly little is known about the gardens Spotswood laid out and nurtured around the Palace during his tenure in Williamsburg. One would think that a few of the countless visitors to the gardens throughout the century, participants in the annual Birth Night celebrations, or house guests simply gazing 8 at the gardens through the windows would have been impressed enough to put down in a journal, letter, or whatever, a particular account of these gardens. But no such account is known to exist. This is a dismal fact for the American garden historian, and the poverty of impressionistic evidence is maddeningly reinforced by the almost total absence of graphic evidence. The Bodleian Plate is the fortunate exception. It shows the so-called north garden laid out in parterres with diamond-shaped centers and the forecourt garden taken up with oval beds separated by gravel walks. Understandably the engraver of this plate was more interested in the Palace than the gardens, so he did not bother to include the gardens we know existed east and west, and perhaps north, of the north garden. The north garden, moreover, is shown much as one would expect the garden immediately fronting the house to have looked. Of greater interest are the gardens to the west and the view to the far north. That is where the potential existed for imaginative gardening: for variety, the pictorial, and the natural. And that is an area for which we lack evidence that aids us in putting together a few of the pieces of this perplexing gardening puzzle. Even more helpful are the clues supplied by the archaeological excavations done on the site in the 1930s. They have helped to reconstruct the skeletal outlines of the Palace gardens, and of a number of others, too, in Williamsburg. With the aforementioned documents we can fill in the outlines with a few facts, at least, about the garden's dominant features.

It all began when Spotswood came to Virginia. Four months after his arrival the House of Burgesses was persuaded to pass "An Act for finishing a House for the Governor of this Colony and Dominion" that, in effect, rescued the project from the inertia to which it had succumbed. Given his ambitions and the pose he sought to cultivate, Spotswood must have been appalled at the ragged environs of 9 the house. No effort had been yet organized to lay out a garden setting. Undoubtedly he was behind the act's intent to render, without further delay, the house "more complete and commodious" as the 1705 act had prescribed, and its insistence that "severall buildings, gardens and other ornaments" be built and laid out. The word "ornaments" applied to the gardens suggests how the burgesses viewed this aspect of the building project, or how Spotswood had persuaded them to view it; they also said they "freely and unanimously" were granting the £435 for such ornaments, words that imply a past record of foot-dragging. Regardless, in the same precise fashion that the 1700 act authorized the building of the Capitol, this act commanded as follows:

That a Court-Yard, of dimensions proportionable to the said house, be laid out, levelled and encompassed with a brick wall four foot high, with the ballustrades of wood thereupon, on the said land, and that a Garden of the length of two hundred fifty-four foot and of the breadth of one hundred forty-four from out to out, adjoining to the said house, to be laid out and levelled and enclosed with a brick wall, four feet high, with ballustrades of wood upon the said wall, and that handsome gates be made to the said court-yard and garden.

Such detail as this about garden dimensions, known simply because the gardening, was paid for by public funds, is not to be found for any other garden in Williamsburg or in any Virginia garden until Jefferson paced out his gardens at Monticello in the 1770s and recorded their dimensions and plantings in, is Garden Book. The garden dimensions cited in the act were for the area now known as the North Garden (B) plus the Ballroom Garden (A) and the ground on which the mid-century ballroom and dining room wing was built. Archaeologists confirmed that the garden's width, which they determined through foundations they discovered 10 of the brick walls, and its length, determined by the foundations of the house and gate, answered very closely to the dimensions.

The four-foot high brick walls enclosing the garden on the east and west sides, topped with the wooden balustrades, offer another clue about the garden. Obviously, at a height of four feet the brick walls did not completely cut off outside views from inside the garden, as did the high brick walls of Tudor gardens. The wooden balustrades could be seen through, just how much depending upon the spacing of the balusters. While the balustrade was an effort at ornamentation, construed doubtless as more elegant than a plain brick wall, and a way of encouraging the circulation of air in the garden, it is possible that Spotswood decided on the brick and balustrate combination in order to diminish the feeling of separation between this central part of the garden and garden areas west and east of it. If other parts of the garden could be seen through the wall, there would be a greater sense of movement from one part of the garden to another. The increased openness would lend itself also to the creation of visual angles and perspectives consistent with the pictorial aspects of much of the town's layout.

There is some more detail about the gardens from that same year (1710) in a document which the House submitted but never enacted. It was "a proposal For rendring the new House Convenient as well as Ornamental." There is no record that the following proposals were legislated; but inasmuch as they may have been Spotswood's ideas anyway, they were probably realized. The burgesses may have deferred to the governor's judgment and initiative and saw no need to deal further with the matter of the garden and yard layouts in sessions. They were undoubtedly pleased to be able to rely on him to take a personal interest in the gardens, as in the house, and put into them whatever expertise and imagination——and money, too, as Spotswood reminded them a few years later——he could bring to the task.

First, there must be at the Palace amenities normally found at plantations, 11 including a "stable, Coach house, Cowhouse & Hen-house together with an enclosed Yard for Poultry." The Act of 1700 specified the purchase of sixty-three adjoining acres to the north (in York County) so that from the beginning the idea was to allow the Palace to function somewhat as a plantation. Spotswood's delight over this acreage, as an aspiring squire, can be imagined; if the land had not been purchased, he most certainly would have sought to acquire it. He later tried to acquire more adjacent land through an exchange of land with Philip Ludwell. Cows and horses required sufficient grazing land, and Spotswood mentions using the land for convenient firewood; later there is even a suggestion by Gooch that Spotswood kept deer in adjacent land.

Kitchen gardens were also provided for in the "Proposal." The 1710 act had ordered, not with any great originality, that it had to be in a "convenient" place, which meant near the house or the kitchen, but it is not possible to be any more precise about its location than that since it is not certain whether the kitchen was located in the west advance building or (as it is now) in a dependency to the west above the south end of the canal. In any case, the kitchen garden was to be "enclosed with pailes," not brick.

An orchard and pasture were also designated, probably in the sixty-three acre tract of land to the north (F), not within the twelve acres on which the house was sited. The "Proposal" stated that the orchard, as well as the kitchen be fenced in, but plainly an orchard sizable enough for the Palace could not also be "convenient" to the kitchen. Spotswood's orchards, then, of which he was so proud that he mentioned them to his brother, were located a considerable distance from the house——certainly not in the immediate gardens. A ditch and fence combination, which separated the pasture from the gardens and may also have separated the orchards from the gardens.

That the orchards were large and that Spotswood took a special, immediate 12 On October 8, 1711, just one year after Spotswood began laying out his gardens, Byrd records that the governor took him "to the house that is building." He left the governor resolved upon helping him plant his orchard. In the next few months Byrd supplied the Palace gardens with fifty cherry trees, poplar trees, and large numbers of sundry other fruit trees. Doubtless Byrd was motivated in part by a sense of contributing to a public institution, though Spotswood did not see it that way.

We cannot pass over the "ha-ha" around the orchard and pasture without a few more words about it. The significance of the mention of the ditch in the 1710 documents as a type of fence or boundary cannot be overstated. Although such use of a ditch, sometimes as in the Palace grounds combined with a fence, had occurred (though rarely) in the seventeenth-century French garden, it was advocated for the interest in them is evident from Byrd's first time in world garden literature in A. J. Dezallier d'Argenville's Theory and Practice of Gardening (1712). The "ha-ha" revolutionized English gardening. It was a sunken barrier, in effect, deep enough to keep livestock out of gardens without interfering with prospects or views of the surrounding countryside. In thinking back on its effect on the English landscape garden, Horace Walpole in his Observations on Modern Gardening (1760) judged that it exerted the single greatest influence in leading English gardening away from French and Dutch styles into the new era of the uniquely English landscape garden. "The capital stroke," he wrote,

the leading step to all that has followed, was (I believe the first thought [practice] was Bridgeman's) the destruction of walls for boundaries, and the invention of fossés [ditches]——an attempt then deemed so astonishing that the common people called the Ha! Ha's! to express their surprise at finding a sudden unperceived check to their walk.
13 D'Argenville called it an "Ah, Ah," which he said, somewhat conservatively in the English edition of 1712, was "on some Occasions, to be preferred, for that it does not shut up the Prospect." Christopher Thacker in his recent History of Gardens has even compared the impact of the "ha-ha" upon gardening to that of the rotary mower in our time. "An Orchard in Flower," Joseph Addison wrote in 1712, is well worth seeing clearly from a house and garden; a "ha-ha" could promote that pleasing "Confusion of Kitchin and Parterre, Orchard and Flower Garden." If he entertained such conceptions and practices, Spotswood would have been abreast of the earliest English tendencies toward getting (in Addison's words) the air of a "natural Wilderness into a garden."

The North Garden, at least judging from the Bodleian Plate, would have contrasted with the open and free landscape, not blended with it, but there are plenty of English examples in the second and third decades of the century of that kind of contrast between formality near the house and naturalness away from it. These were the so-called transitional gardens preceding the picturesque landscaping style that towards mid-century people like "Capability" Brown were hotly pursuing. In the latter style swaths of grass became increasingly popular substitutes for those geometric gardens next to the house; in the former, the formal gardens were thought to contrast with and in a sense "frame" the spacious and natural garden scenes offered by the countryside.

Considering how the Palace pasture (F) was managed, or at least how the 1710 documents specified that it should be managed, it appears that it became a park-like adjunct to the house and gardens. Later references to it as the governor's "park" bears this out. The English park, of course, became an integral part of the English landscape garden and was deliberately landscaped for visual effects. The "ha-ha" was crucial to this vein of gardening. Later references to the Palace pasture as a "park" substantiate its integration within a landscape garden scheme. 14 Governor William Gooch was so taken with Spotswood's landscape when he first saw it in 1727 that he wrote a brief description for his brother Thomas in England. Brief as it is, Gooch's nonetheless is one of the few known descriptions of the Palace landscape:

The house is an excellent one indeed, all manner of conveniences that you can imagine, an handsome garden, an orchard full of fruit, and a very large Park, now turn'd to a better use I think than deer, which is feeding all sorts of Cattle, as soon as I can stock it.
It is tempting to conclude from Gooch's mention of deer that Spotswood's pose as an English squire in Virginia took him as far as stocking the park with deer instead of cattle, but his remark may be hearsay and is not substantiated in any other source.

After a lapse of forty years, there is further evidence of the pasture or park being regarded as part of a landscape garden. In December 1770, just after Governor Lord Botetourt died, William Nelson of Yorktown wrote to Samuel Athawes of London saying that Botetourt's "Gardener is also being continued, that the Garden-Park etc. may be in good order for the next Governor." Apparently, he was thinking of these two parts of the Palace land as one landscape garden. Soon after he arrived at the Palace in 1768, Botetourt revealingly wrote to the Secretary of State: "My house if admirable, the ground behind it is much broke, well planted and watered by beautiful Rills, and the whole in every respect just as I could wish." He was referring, in part, to the natural landscape in the park since there was no opportunity for "beautiful Rills" in the immediate gardens except possibly at the ends of the canal and in the fish pond. Botetourt's inventory, moreover, listed garden tools and implements in two distinct, classes: one set for the garden, the other for tending the park. There is also a description 15 in 1771 of a pit in the Palace "Garden," which was really in the park, that supplied shells and fossils for "Walks instead of Gravel." These materials, said Mr. F. Feilde in a letter to a Dr. McKenzie, were to be found only along the "banks of little Riverlets"; the riverlets were in the park, not in the gardens. Lord Dunmore, in May 1775, complained that the rebelliousness of the people had reached such a pitch that they had taken possession of the "park"——"a considerable piece of land," he explained, "adjoining and belonging to the Governor's house——wantonly cutting up and maiming my cattle." After Thomas Jefferson became governor in 1779, there was authorization for "Hedging and Ditching" in the governor's "meadow."

Returning to the gardens adjacent to the Palace, we discover that Spotswood's flower gardens remain a mystery except for this brief allusion to them in the "Proposal": "That a Flower Garden behind [north of] the House as well as the Courtyard before it be enclosed with a Brick Wall 4 foot high with a Ballustrade of Wood on the Top." This explicitly states that the 254' by 144' garden prescribed in the 1710 act was, in fact, a flower garden. The diamond-patterned parterres shown in the Bodleian Plate suggest one version of the garden's layout, but gardens change frequently and that design existed almost thirty years after Spotswood's flower beds were planted. Unfortunately, we do not know how much interest he took in the flower garden. When he sent plants to William Blathwayt for his seat at Dyrham Park, it was more for political favor than out of botanical enthusiasm. Vistas, canals, ponds, and terraces seem to have attracted his energies more than flowers, herbs, and bushes.

We can best appreciate what Spotswood's North Garden looked like by comparing it to what we know about its appearance after the (ca.) 1751-54 addition of a ballroom and supper room wing onto the original house's north front. Archaeologists have determined that when the wing was built the ground between the east and west walls of the garden was filled in and levelled northward up to the point where a low wall ran (and still does run) east-west across the garden. This 16 earth-moving project was doubtless designed to create a flat, even, and formally elegant setting on the three sides of the new wing. It also created two levels in the garden, so that from the upper or Ballroom Garden one looked down on the lower North Garden. These revelations about the effects of the new wing upon the gardens were confirmed by the discovery of three sets of steps leading from the upper to the lower garden. The three sets of steps stood on the lines of three north-south paths or walks, two on the sides of the garden enclosure and the middle one centered on the house and main north iron gate--discovered fragments of which revealed that the gate was similar to the existing eighteenth-century gate at Westover: a triple-gate arrangement made in England. The two side paths terminated at the northeast and northwest corners with two necessary houses, the foundations of which were also discovered. A cross-walk was determined by the discovery of the foundations of east and west gates in the brick walls; the three sets of steps descended directly onto that cross-walk, which established the principal east-west axis of the entire garden layout that extended west through the wall and over to and down the terraces.

The flower garden preceding the new wing, then, which presumably did not alter much in shape and in the grading of the ground between Spotswood's time and mid-century, was a single-level garden. It had three north-south side paths, at least for the sake of convenience, one on each side in addition to the central one, although the Bodleian Plate (ca. late 1730s) shows only the eastern one. The Bodleian Plate does show that the diamond-patterned layout of beds extended all the way to the north, with the necessary houses at the corners. The house itself on the plate obscures the central axis, as well as the low east-west wall, but archaeologists have found the remains of a sixteen-foot-wide carriageway that came almost right up to the steps descending from the original dwelling. This central axis, therefore, was longer and more dominant before the wing was 17 added and may have provided the main carriage-approach to the house.

If you were visiting Governor Spotswood at the Palace, then, soon after he moved in sometime in 1716, you would pass from the house into the gardens through the main rear doorway and see a large rectangular garden on one level with a wide central carriageway bisecting it along its length. The garden would impress you with its formal parterres, consisting probably of flowers and herbs within little beds geometrically shaped by box or some other kind of edging. The carriageway, side paths, and cross-walks certainly were bordered with some pattern of evergreen bushes that both set off the paths and frame the parterres. More likely than not, you would see a few gardeners——trained slaves, perhaps——busily at work since this kind of garden required constant attention otherwise it quickly looked unkempt. All of this would appear to you unique in the context of the town of Williamsburg, of course, because except for Custis's gardens there were no other grounds as yet elaborately laid out; but one feature in Spotswood's gardens that Custis's gardens may have lacked was brick walls. Only in the Palace Gardens have footings of brick walls been found around garden areas. This would look to you very European, even with the wooden balustrade crowning it, embellishing the garden and appropriate for the most elegant residence in the colonial South.

Later in the century at least (it would appear) after the Bodleian Plate was drawn (which does not show brick pillars in the brick walls), Governor Gooch during the building of the rear wing enhanced the elegance and substantiality of these walls by increasing their height and adding regularly spaced oblique brick pillars which immediately or eventually were topped with stone balls. Humphrey Harwood, the successful and ubiquitous Williamsburg builder, repaired these walls in 1788——seven years, incidentally, after the Palace had burned to the ground——by patching up the pillars and fashioning new balls and caps for them. 18 Stone balls were fairly common ornaments for brick pillars by mid-century. The Speaker of the House of Burgesses, John Robinson, had some sitting on pedestals upon the walls around his gardens at Pleasant Hill.

The other public part of the gardens that you would have seen right away when visiting the governor——that is, if you arrived on foot——is the little courtyard facing the south front of the house (F), at the head of the Palace Green. Brick walls enclosed that courtyard, too, although the Bodleian Plate shows higher ones than the four foot walls with wooden balustrades designated by the 1710 documents. As long as the walls enclosed the little courtyard and cut it off from the traffic outside on the Palace Green and along Scotland Street, the little garden with four oval flower beds provided a pleasant forecourt welcoming visitors. After the north wing was added, though, vehicular access from the north may have been eliminated——there would not have been enough room for it unless the north garden was severely reduced in size, which is improbable——and directed instead to the main south entrance. The walls may then have been taken down and the little garden obliterated. The Rochambeau, Desandrouins, Frenchman's, Simcoe, and Jefferson maps and plans (all dating from near the end of the Revolutionary War) show neither walls nor garden there.

What else did Spotswood achieve in the Palace gardens? To seek out his more interesting landscape treatment, you would have to go west and northwest from the North Garden. There would have been two ways for you to walk over in that direction. The readiest access was through the west gate, although you could pass out through the north gate, turn left, and eventually reach the terraces and what may have been the greenhouse that way. The northern route was inevitably the less elegant choice for a promenade since it lay outside the long north garden wall stretching from the North Garden to the uppermost terrace. But it was nonetheless a possibility probably because of the "ha-ha" or fence, or both, separating this 19 area from the park and its livestock.

Since the garden wall serving as a substantial boundary for the inner gardens rendered a "ha-ha" and fence superfluous just there, the latter (which enclosed the "park" but of which abbreviated archaeology could find no trace) must have been sited some distance to the north, thus creating an area (C) unmolested by livestock, deer, or whatever grazing in the park. Within this area, which extended from the eastern drive (coming up from Scotland Street) westward as far as the terraces and canal, garden features of some kind, if not the maze and mount there today, may have been laid out. At the very least there was probably a drive or track in the area for carriages and carts, connecting the eastern drive, the north gate, and the (supposed) greenhouse. Naturally, the larger carts could not be driven through the gardens.

If you passed instead through the west gate on the principal east-west axis path, you would walk in between two other gardens, perhaps common boxwood gardens resembling the one that exists there today or the one Byrd had northwest of his house at Westover. Nothing definite is known about what these gardens looked like in Spotswood's time or later, though we do know that whatever garden was laid out north of the axis was obliterated when during the war it was turned into a mass graveyard for soldiers (9). Archaeology unearthed over 150 graves and skeletons in that garden. By virtue of being on the other side of the brick wall from the relatively busier scene of the north gardens, these spots felt relatively tranquil and remote, though not as tranquil as a graveyard.

Further north, but within the north wall, the ground sloped suddenly down into a garden (D) enclosed on three sides by the north wall, the wall separating the area from the North Garden, and a wall or building alongside the uppermost terrace. What practical or ornamental use this garden was put to is anyone's guess, but two factors, its position next to what may have been a building, 20 conceivably a greenhouse, at the northwest corner of the garden, and the protected character of the place argue for its having been used as a nursery garden. Existing maps date from a much later period and suggest only that sometime between about 1715 and 1781 such a building may have been placed there; the Frenchman's Map shows what looks like a building along the northern and part of the western sides of this corner garden, and the Simcoe Map has what looks like a building on the northern side.* In any case, it was an appropriately remote corner for a greenhouse and yet convenient to most of the gardens and the terraces. It was, moreover, easy to carry plants and equipment to the greenhouse via a drive outside (north) of the gardens. The Frenchman's Map, incidentally, also indicates two path crossing at right angles in this corner garden.

A beautiful feature of the principal east-west axis of the Palace gardens was its dramatic termination at the terraces (E) overlooking the canal. Spotswood's financial trouble with the House over his gardens began at about the time when he decided to transform the ravine west of the house into elaborate terraces facing west over a formal canal that opened out into a fish pond, possibly at its northern end. The project necessarily involved much earth-moving and tree felling, as well as the canalization and damming up of the rivulet. Then there was the fish pond to dig out as the canal's extension; I prefer to think of it as naturalized although it may well have been geometrically shaped as a hexagon, octagon, or whatever, in keeping with English fashion at the time. This sizable area, reaching from Scotland Path north all the way beyond the north wall, had to be landscaped, too, and maintained at no small expense.

It was in the area of terraces, canal, and fish pond that Spotswood enjoyed the largest scope for creative expression. Terraces were an Italian contribution to the English Renaissance garden, and Governor Berkeley had laid out some system 21 of terraces at Green Spring in the preceding century. Spotswood's terraces built with three sets of steps (foundations of which were discovered by archaeologists), one at each end and one near the center lined up with the east-west cross axis. Whether they were naturalized through the planting of fruit trees and shrubs, as were Moor Park's and many English terraces in the eighteenth century, is impossible to say, but the terraces certainly were broad enough to accommodate some planting.

As for the canal at the foot of Spotswood's terraces, the Dutch influence there was paramount, as it was in most canals in English gardens of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. D'Argenville had advertised the use of canals in The Theory and Practice of Gardening (1712), which he felt needed to be laid out with respect for "the Situation of the Place." One of his ideal gardens contained "a large Canal, reaching the whole Breadth of the Garden … At each End of this Canal, the Walls are opened, with wet Ditches, to preserve the Prospect." The fish pond, which we know existed and which Spotswood stocked with fish for his table, provided an attractive ornamental feature at the northern end of the canal. When the canal and pond were introduced, they comprised the only known water gardens in Virginia. But the House of Burgesses was unimpressed. To them the water effects seemed another prodigality of Spotswood's——a frittering away of the colony's money so that he could conveniently have fish for dinner.

Notwithstanding the grudging attitude of the House, Spotswood's reputation as a talented garden-designer lived on throughout the century and into the next. The most interesting praise for his gardening that he received in his lifetime came in 1738 from Sir William Keith, Governor of Pennsylvania from 1717-26. In his History of British Plantations, published in London, Keith declared Spotswood deserved credit for "laying out of Ground to the best advantage" at the Palace. He went on to mention (but not describe) the "Improvements which he made to the 22 Governor's House and Gardens."

(iii) "It is not finished"

Because of all these improvements, Spotswood ended up spending far more money on his gardens than the House of Burgesses, probably in its most generous estimates, ever thought possible. The burgesses were amazed and appalled. If this man wanted to live the high life, to emulate Blathwayt or whomever at places like Dyrham Park, they might have thought, he ought to pay for it out of his own pocket. They charged indignantly that he "lavishes away the Country's money." They asked him testily in November 1718, whether the gardens and palace were yet completed and, if not, how much more money would be required to bring the whole business to an end. Spotswood's reply was equally testy: "It is not finished and I don't know how much it will take."

Spotswood's responses in early 1719 to the House's charges mention chiefly the gardens, which suggests that the Assembly was disturbed mostly by his gardening expenses. He rose defiantly to his own defense: "I have expended about their Building and Gardens but little above Two Hundred pounds per annum," he told the burgesses, adding that in May he had offered "to be at the Expence of the Fish-Pond and Falling gardens, to take them to my Self; these improvements happening to be upon the Town Land [i.e., on a portion of the original twelve acres purchased for the house] and such as would not long want Purchasers." He reminded them that he had personally overseen all the improvements——in effect, served the colony as a landscape architect free of charge——and in the process had saved the public about £100 annually. If it had not been for him, he pointed out, the four-man select committee set up by the House to inspect the house and gardens would have tried to "pull to pieces" the 1710 legislation that "allows an Orchard, Gardens, and other Appurtenances." 23 Thanks to him, he was saying , Virginia has a governor's residence with appropriately elegant and varied gardens.

He was certainly right, but the burgesses were again unimpressed. The quarrel and rivalry had taken on a life and energy of their own and refused to be put down. In November 1720 the Assembly, determined not to be obligated to him, requested Spotswood to walk around the garden to "view all the Improvements that had been made since Christmas 1717 in the Gardens for the ornament and preservation thereof and compute the Charge of the whole." He told them, essentially, to go jump in a lake and that from then on they could hire their own overseer. Accordingly, they appointed a committee, of which James Blair was a conspicuous member, to compute charges for work to be done; significantly, the committee allowed no money whatever for more gardening and earmarked only £52 for Matthew Cary to finish up the house and £1 for the completion of a "bannio"——an Italianate bath-house affair, apparently, perhaps something like those that occasionally ornamented English gardens at the time. At least by this point, Spotswood washed his hands of the gardens and turned his artistic attention to his house and town at Germanna, spurring the author of the "Memorandum for His Excellency" to announce in the fall of 1721 that the "fine Gardens and Fish pond, etc. are not so much regarded as Formerly."

Regardless of the burgesses' recalcitrance, Robert Beverley praised the gardens in his 1722 History, giving Spotswood full credit for their beauty. And two years after Spotswood had been removed from office, Hugh Jones in his Present State of Virginia (1724) published this resounding endorsement of Spotswood's gardens: "The Palace, or governor's house, is a magnificent structure, finished and beautified with gates, fine gardens, offices, walks, a fine canal, orchards…"

If this controversy had any positive value, it is not that it stopped Spotswood from doing any more gardening at the Palace, but that it happens to tell us he had not created the terraces, canal, and fishing pond until about 1717. It also points 24 up that these landscape elements were among the most expensive and last of Spotswood's improvements, and that it is fairly certain he never later designed features like a mount, "wilderness," fountain, grotto, maze, and so on. Garden features like these would have made the House of Burgesses break down into tears. Political history aside, it is unmistakably a shame that Spotswood did not stay on with the Assembly's cooperation. If he had, he would have embellished the gardens to a degree that its fame might have reached England and, as a result, its features possibly been better documented. As it was, Spotswood enjoyed only six years of residence amidst those gardens, with his innovative canal, pond, and terraces coming only after he had moved into the house.

(iv) William Gooch Inherits the Gardens

Nothing whatever is known about the gardens during Hugh Drysdale's short tenure as governor from 1722 to 1726; but we have seen that Governor Gooch was immediately fond of the Palace and its gardens when he arrived in Williamsburg in 1727, thinking the gardens "handsome," the orchard impressively fruitful, and the park spacious and useful (for cattle if not for deer). He also liked the College gardens.

When Gooch arrived, Thomas Crease was already the head gardener, and possibly had been since soon after Spotswood left. He proved to be most useful as a transitional figure, keeping the gardens neat in between governors. This was going to be a concern of the Council throughout the life of the Palace: keeping the gardens from becoming overgrown while no governor was in residence. Governor Drysdale's unexpected death left the colony without a governor for over one year and induced the Council in August 1726 to resolve that John Grymes "purchase of Mrs. Drysdale [before she left] the remainder of the present Gardiner's time, and that he be employ'd in taking care of the said Gardens" in a supervisory capacity. Crease, 25 apparently the Drysdales' gardener, was the man they turned to at this awkward time, paying him in October for "assisting in putting in order the Gardens belonging to the Governor's house."

Except for Gooch's request in 1730 that a "covered way" be built connecting the Palace to outbuildings, probably to the flanking office building southeast of the house, history is silent as to what, if anything, Gooch did to the gardens. Friendship with the Dawson brothers at the College, and later correspondence after he had returned to England, suggest that he and his wife were both fond of the innocent pleasures of gardening, but surprisingly his letters tell us nothing about the Palace gardens. The Englishman William Hugh Grove, who left Britain in 1732 to visit Virginia and brought with him a cultivated and alert taste for the latest English gardening, in his diary for that year mentioned dining at Gooch's table on beans from the garden. The Virginians, he says,

have plenty of Garden stuff but as I came from England too soon so I came here too late for pease, Beanes, Cherryes, Raspberrys, Asperagass, goosberrys, Currants, Strawberrys, Mulberryes and tasted none except a plate of old purple witherd Cherryes at York and a Dish of Beans & Bacon at the Governors table kept Backward in his own Garden.
It is puzzling that when Governor and Mrs. Gooch departed for home in 1749, they left the Palace and garden "in ruinous Condition," according to the burgesses. Richard Taliaferro and James Wray were appointed to inspect the house and gardens in September 1749, and recommended almost £1300 to put the place right. It is true Gooch's letters repeat time and time again that he was losing money in the colony and could not really afford his expenditures for entertaining at the Palace. Among the more interesting (and severe) expenditures in which he frequently indulged were the balls he held in honor of the King's birthdays. Beginning immediately in 26 1727 with his celebration of George II's accession to the throne, Gooch staged at least six such expensive balls at the Palace. The word "staged," in fact, may be an apt one. The Palace gardens may have seen service during these balls, in the tradition of the French formal landscape in which the gardens were seen as an extension of the chateau or house and were used as settings for dramatic performances of one kind or another, from fireworks to plays. It will be recalled that upon King William's death in 1705 the College gardens were the scene of a fireworks display.

Regardless, the two-year hiatus following Gooch's departure in 1749, when Virginia was without a governor, became a propitious time not only for repair work, but also for the new wing and corresponding landscape alterations. The second stage of the Palace gardens was beginning.

(v) The Last Thirty Years

During its seventy-year history, the gardens undoubtedly evolved. Any one of the governors in the second half of the century, after Gooch, might have re-fashioned the garden according to shifts in taste. By mid-century the Palace gardens were almost certainly more naturalized and freer. Shady, winding walks might open onto views making use of a variety of elevations, perspectives, and garden styles. Thick and irregularly placed foliage would be watered by rills and rivulets. The park was visually let into the garden to a greater degree than in the first half of the century. The whole effect, as described by Botetourt, would be of a place "much broke well planted and water'd by beautiful Rills."

The garden therefore reflected changing perspectives on nature and man's relationship to it. In the French formal garden order is imposed on nature according, to man's autocratic impulses——his desire to dominate the landscape. In the more naturalized garden, order and pattern is perceived as a spirit or principle inherent in nature that guides the gardener if he takes the trouble to consult it. Man grows closer to the landscape and tries to lay out a garden scene that suggests the reciprocity he feels does exist between himself and nature. It is in this context, well established in England by 1750, that we need to consider the last thirty years of the Palace gardens.

The Palace gardens were not going to have along history, but during their last thirty years as the elegant setting for the Palace they were carefully kept up by a succession of gardeners-nurserymen. Nothing suggests that they went into a decline after Gooch until after the War. On the contrary, Lord Botetourt was charmed by them in 1768 and brought a gardener over from England specifically to help maintain them.

Robert Dinwiddie, governor from 1751 to 1758, like Drysdale left no record at all of having a gardener's interest, although it was he who first enjoyed the modified gardens. The only hint of gardening activity that I have turned up for those years is a note written into a Virginia Almanack (ca. 1753) owned perhaps by John Blair, nephew of James Blair and son of Dr. Archibald Blair of Williamsburg. As a member of the Council, Blair had frequently checked on the progress of the Palace renovations in 1751. The writer noted that he had been watching over the Palace while the governor was away at Norfolk, and that "M. Secretary sent up the Vases in two Carts. The Gardner says they are not Stone." These vases or flowerpots apparently were earthenware, which displeased the gardener. Ornamental earthenware and stone flowerpots have been found in excavations at the Palace, as well as on the Custis site and elsewhere in Williamsburg, so they were not uncommon.

When Dinwiddie returned to England in 1758, he was replaced by Francis Fauquier, 28 who governed for ten years and about whose identity as a gardener-governor much more is known. For his entire stay in Williamsburg, Fauquier's gardener was Christopher Ayscough. On November 30, 1759, Ayscough ran an advertisement in the Virginia Gazette (Hunter ed.) for the sale of vegetable "Garden-Seeds" in which he described himself as "living at the Palace, in Williamsburg; where Gentlemen may depend on being well served." Fauquier was therefore allowing his head gardener to sell seeds on the Palace premises.

By 1759 the governor was allowed £20 from the public purse for the hire of a gardener, so that apparently was the sum of Ayscough's base salary. He also benefitted from the services of an assistant gardener, a slave named James from Carter's Grove whom Lewis Burwell lent to Fauquier at the rate of £12 per year. He must have been a skilled gardener to have fetched that kind of salary, but most significant of all is that, according to the Burwell account books, James worked as assistant gardener at the Palace from 1765 to 1777, his labors spanning the tenures of three governors. With that longevity and continuity, James must have been second to none in his knowledge of gardens.

In 1765 we catch a brief glimpse of the Palace gardens when an Englishman, Robert Rogers, who apparently had an entreé to the gardens and house, referred in his Concise Account of North America to "The Governor's House, an elegant seat being enclosed with beautiful walks of trees and elegantly furnished out[side]." The tantalizing phrase, "enclosed with beautiful walks of trees," evokes an image of naturalized grounds with thickly planted and mature trees cut through by meandering paths; on the other hand, "elegantly furnished inside and out" suggests that the formal designs had been preserved in the ballroom and north gardens. It sounds as if the outlying gardens may have become more like shady groves or "wildernesses." At about the same time, Lord Adam Gordon passed through town and remarked on 29 Fauquier's "very good house and garden," but that is not much help. The most suggestive description of all comes from Fauquier's successor, Lord Botetourt, who (as has been mentioned) wrote home in 1768 about the garden being "well planted and watered by beautiful Rills."

Fauquier's gardeners were well equipped with tools, bell glasses or jars, and other implements fro maintaining both the gardens and the park, which tells us that he was interested enough in the grounds to keep them tended and neat. Fauquier's inventory lists thirty-five bell glasses (used widely as miniature greenhouses, in effect, for individual plants) and 325 earthenware pots. Lord Botetourt, who was eager to maintain the gardens he admired, bought from Fauquier's estate all or most of the bell glasses and earthen pots. Botetourt's inventory, drawn up after his death just two years later, spells out just how well supplied Fauquier's garden staff was. Some of these Botetourt probably purchased elsewhere, but in only two years he had neither time nor much need to supplement Fauquier's. Moreover, the account books of Robert Carter Nicholas, Treasurer of the colony and trustee for Botetourt's estate, reveal that during 1769-70 Botetourt was paying to have several of Fauquier's tools repaired. Under the heading of "Garden Implements," Botetourt's inventory lists ninety-four items, from weeding knives to wire sieves.

There is also a heading in the inventory for "Park Implements," including tools for cutting hay, sundry kinds of axes, calf muzzles, a turkey coop, and four casks of clover rye, and grass seeds. A detail suggesting the regard for the park as a pleasant area in which to take a ride is the mention of "1 Green park Chair." The gardener, by the way, rated special quarters designated in the inventory as the "Gardiner's Room." Among "standing furniture" in the garden, there were "12 leaden and 6 stone flower Potts, 1 Rolling Stone, Tubbs and orange Tree and Roller for the Tubbs"——all ornamental gardening items perhaps belonging to a patio, terrace, or some such area next to the house.


Fauquier, then, clearly showed incentive in his care of the gardens. There is no way of telling if he did any re-designing. Another clue to his involvements exists in a letter he wrote to Governor Horatio Sharpe of Maryland in July 1768 regarding sending seeds to William Augusts, Duke of Cumberland, third son of George II.

Judging from the list of his books in the inventory, not recorded anywhere as having been purchased from Fauquier's library but which possibly were, Botetourt took a practical interest in eighteenth-century English and American gardening and botanical literature. In addition to displaying the works of eighteenth-century English wits like Pope and Swift, Botetourt's library included Philip Miller's Gardening Dictionary, "Flora Virginie" by Joannes Gronovius (Leiden, 1762), "Flora Virginica——said to have come from Mr. [Rev.] John Clayton," and "Essays on Husbandry." These last could have consisted of several English works that were known to be held in colonial libraries.

Botetourt did not know what kind of gardening staff he would find at the Palace when he arrived, so he brought his own gardener with him. One of the little pigskin volumes in which he kept copious note of daily household affairs states that "James Simpson, the gardener" was a member of the party travelling from England to Williamsburg in 1768. His salary was £16 in 1768 and £20 in 1769. It is a good thing Botetourt brought his gardener since Ayscough probably resigned when Fauquier died. Yet, there is another entry later (September, 1769) in that pigskin volume stating that £7.16 was paid for the "gardener's passage to England," which may mean that Simpson did not like Williamsburg and, pining away for the green lushness of England, returned home. Within one week after Simpson's departure, Botetourt hired James Wilson, very likely a local man, to be his head gardener. The annual salary was £20.

This little pigskin household book also tells us the charming news that on one 31 occasion money was paid for "hauling earth to the front door," and that two months later money was paid for "hauling earth away from the front door." There are also references to servants bringing the governor strawberries and gooseberries from Mrs. Wythe's garden halfway down the Palace Green, and asparagus and other produce from John Randolph's impressive garden at Tazewell Hall.

Botetourt inherited some lovely gardens, then. According to a nineteenth-century writer, he even had a bowling green. Raised as he was amid beautiful English gardens such as those at Badminton House, he was perhaps determined to keep the gardens the pride of the Palace.

(vi) Lord Dunmore, Thomas Jefferson, and the End

Dunmore in 1771 was asking the Assembly for a "public gardener" to be hired at the public expense, so he doubtless concluded that he desired making the garden's maintenance a matter of public, not his, responsibility and interest, although according to a mid-nineteenth-century writer he imported linden trees from Scotland and planted them in the grounds. The point is that although by 1759 the governor's perquisites included an annual £20 stipend for the hire of a head gardener. Dunmore wanted the entire supervision of the gardens to be a matter of public responsibility. Sometime after 1771 the job of head gardener fell to John Farquharson (or Ferguson), a Scottish gardener who had announced in the Virginia Gazette (November 8, 1770, Purdie and Dixon, ed.) that he was leaving the colony. Somebody or something persuaded him to stay, however, because he became Lord Dunmore's "public gardener" and remained in the post long enough to serve Thomas Jefferson while he was governor and resident in the Palace from 1779-81.* 32 The first time we hear of Farquharson working in the gardens is after Dunmore has fled the Palace. In May 1776 soldiers were working "under Mr. John Ferguson in the public garden," and he was paid £16.8.4 on June 8th in the Palace garden as "Public Gardener." This soldier contingency was whimsically called the "grass guard," and their job was "to see that the fences are up, no cattle or horses to be suffered to enter but through the great gate by the Palace."

It was the park, in fact, that took on added importance during the war. Its livestock, crops, and fruit were critical, but it was used for horses and, most important, as a site for a hospital before 1780. After Jefferson became governor in 1779, "Hedging and Ditching" was authorized in the "Governor's Meadow" and in the "Public Pasture." If a contemporary map (1781) is any clue, the park was an important piece of real estate in town around 1781. It shows the "Governors Park" as a large dominant section of the townscape, while it ignores the garden layout entirely. James Parker of Yorktown confirms a legend that Dunmore even liked the park for his Sunday morning constitutionals before church; in May 1772 he wrote to Charles Steuart of Edinburgh that he had just accompanied Dunmore for a Sunday "morning walk through his park." By the 1770s, the gardens had seen their best days. The ironic paradox is that the democratization of the Palace garden into "public gardens" marked the beginning of their end. The public's interest in community areas was focused on the Market Square and Palace Green; pleasure gardens were a low priority. Even if the Palace had not burned in 1781, inevitably the gardens would have been neglected. In 1786 Robert Hunter, a young London merchant, saw the Palace and observed that "there were formerly most beautiful gardens belonging to it, & the governor lived there in great state."

Jefferson always had been fond of Williamsburg's gardens, ever since he had been a student at the College in the 1760's, so while he was living at the Palace he hoped that the house and its gardens still had a future, at least perhaps as a 33 functional relic of the past. He drew designs for the renovation of the house, and sketched the approach to it via the 200-foot wide Palace Green with its catalpa trees planted 100 feet apart (mentioned in July 1782 by General de Lauberdiere in his journal). In his Notes on the State of Virginia (London, 1787), Jefferson praised the Palace for being "happily situated" at the head of the Green and in the middle of its grounds; always thinking of the landscape around a house, he judged that "with the grounds annexed to it, [it] is capable of being made [once again] an elegant seat."

But the Palace did burn, its bricks were sold, and although Edmund Randolph tried valiantly to pick up the pieces by buying the remaining buildings and 300 acres of the land (in June 1785), and having Humphrey Harwood repair some of these structures for him such as making four arches for "Necessary House in the Garden at Pallace," repairing the "back Gate and cutting the Stone Caps and putting on the Balls," and "bricking up the Spring," he merely presided over a deteriorating elegance in the gardens during the waning years of the century. When Benson J. Lossing saw the grounds and nostalgically described the gardens as once having been "beautifully laid out in gardens, parks, carriage-ways and a bowling-green," they had long disappeared. Eventually warehouses, a railroad yard, garages, telephone wires, a junk yard, and a school buried the gardens. They slept until that medley of modern man's pollution above them was vanquished in the 1930s.

RR1632117The Governor's Palace
Williamsburg, Virginia


^*Colonial Williamsburg Foundation architects in the 1930s conjectured that these maps show only a retaining wall.
^* Farquharson by 1780 was also employed as steward and gardener at the public hospital, judging from a receipt he made out upon receiving £247 for four months' work there. This is the only known reference to a gardener for the hospital grounds (Treasurer's Office Receipt Book, 12 Feb. 1780, Virginia State Library).

Department of Interpretive Education
February 1981

Patricia A. Gibbs
Research Department
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation


Introduction: A Note on Sources and an Explanation of Room Use1
I. Overview of the English Servant System4
A. Upper Servants4
B. Lower Servants6
C. Master/Servant Relationship7
II. Palace Servant System: Adaptation of the English System9
A. Occupational Hierarchy at the Palace (1768-1770)10
1. Upper Servants12
2. Lower Servants18
3. Slaves25
4. White Day Workers28
5. Obtaining Temporary and Full-time Workers29
B. Conditions of Service30
1. Housing30
2. Diet31
3. Clothing32
4. Recreation34
C. Relationship Between Botetourt and His Servants35
III. How the Palace Functioned as a Working Household38
A. Work Areas38
1. House38
2. Kitchen39
3. Stable40
4. Gardens40
5. Farm41
B. Economic Ties between the Palace and the Town42
IV. Daily Activities of Selected Palace Servants*44
A. Butler45
B. Coachman and Groom47
C. Cook50
D. Footman53


No footnotes appear in this theme paper since a fuller, documented study of the subject is forthcoming.

Source material covering the period when Lord Botetourt lived at the Palace is tantalizing because portions of the Botetourt manuscripts at Badminton, ancestral home of the dukes of Beaufort, are extremely detailed and frustrating because other portions of this manuscript collection and other documentary evidence raise more questions than they answer [See the January 1971 issue of The Colonial Williamsburg Interpreter for an interview with Graham Hood which describes his discovery of the collection and explains why manuscripts concerning Lord Botetourt were sent to Badminton.].

Many sources provided information for this study but the three major manuscript collections used deserve mention here.

Botetourt manuscripts at Badminton, which relate to the Palace, include ——

  • 1.Letters: Only several are from Botetourt but others, written after his death, are most useful.
  • 2.Inventories: The administrators of the governor's estate in Virginia began to compile an inventory of Botetourt's personal estate at the Palace nine days after his death and sent a copy to Botetourt's nephew and principal heir, the fifth duke of Beaufort. Inventories of Stoke Park, Botetourt's country house in Gloucestershire, taken before Botetourt left England and after his death provide clues about the size of his residence, furnishings, use of various rooms and number and names of some of his servants.
  • 3.Account books:
    • a. "Servants Receipts for Wates" (April 1764 - January 1770)
    • b, "Dayly Account of Expenses" (Jne 1768 - October 1770) - petty cash book
    • c. "Work Done with the Cart" (February 1769 - November 1770) - record of carting by Thomas Gale and Samuel King
    • d. "Account of Money received and disbursed For the Use of the Right Honourable Lord Botetourt…by William Marshman" (April 1769 - July 1771) - includes money collected by Peter Pelham, clerk of the governor's office
    • 2.
    • e."Virginia. Disbursements. Housekeeping" (July 1769 - July 1771) - kitchen accounts kept by the cooks, beginning with William Sparrow

Another group of papers relating to the settlement of Botetourt's estate in Virginia were dispersed. The remnants survive in two repositories:

  • 1. "The Robert Carter Nicholas Account Books. Accounts of the Botetourt Estate. 1768-1771" at the Library of Congress contain a number of receipts and bills submitted to the administrators of Botetourt's estate in Virginia. Robert Carter Nicholas, treasurer of the colony, was one of the administrators.
  • 2. The "Botetourt Manuscripts" at the Virginia State Library contain copies of letters from the administrators to the fifth duke and his replies and a rough copy of the inventory.

One of the important questions raised but not answered by the documentary evidence concerns use of certain rooms and outbuildings at the Palace. Room use undoubtedly changed during the sixty-four years that seven colonial and two state governors occupied the Palace. Although we know that a major renovation and addition of the north wing occurred c. 1752-1754, documentary evidence mentions —— but does not describe —— details. Because Botetourt's inventory was taken by room, we know the most about room use around 1770, but even this document is ambiguous —— particularly about the use of the outbuildings. Lacking complete evidence has forced archaeologists, architects, curators, historians, and others to make educated guesses. Since we approach room use from different viewpoints, it is not surprising that we disagree in certain instances.

My ideas about where certain activities occurred at the Palace (c. 1768-1770) stem from research on English servants, the Palace household staff, and viewing the evidence as an historian. I feel that documentary evidence strongly supports the location of the governor's office in the east flanking building. Though less certain about the use of the west flanking building, it is possible that the servants' hall and cook's bedchamber were located on the ground floor with the gardener's chamber (all mentioned in the inventory) and perhaps a spare room above. The Virginia State Library copy of the inventory suggests that by 1770 3. the number of outbuildings in the kitchen yard generally resembles the present reconstruction. On the other hand, the inventory and most other documentary sources are vague about the location of and type of outbuildings in the stable yard.

Because of many questions left unanswered by the documentary evidence, this theme paper contains many qualified statements and what may seem like an excessive use of the words probably, possibly, and perhaps. Yet, I feel it is only fair to use these qualifiers to alert you to my educated guesses. I will be only too happy to have any of these proved wrong by new evidence.



The nature of the work performed by domestics determined their rank as upper of lower servants within the occupational hierarchy of the English servant system. Upper servants held executive, supervisory positions which required special skills; lower servants worked at relatively unskilled, manual tasks directed by the upper servants. Lower servants were further divided into persons holding highly visible and less visible positions. By the eighteenth century this division was primarily according to sex. The colorful, elaborately trimmed livery worn by the highly visible male domestics was "for show" —— intended to impress visitors and to reflect the position of the master or his mistress. Male servants wore plain clothes while performing manual tasks. Females did much of the drudgery about the house and dressed accordingly.

To show the full range of English servant positions, the occupational hierarchy [see chart on the opposite page] of a model large country house between about 1720 and 1770 follows.

A. Upper Servants

Even though employers held ultimate authority, the upper servants possessed considerable freedom in implementing their master's commands. They gave orders to subordinates, supervised routine work, oversaw the operation of the house and grounds, and usually possessed the power to hire and dismiss the lower servants.

A land steward generally held the top position in the occupational hierarchy. He managed the estates, directed outside activities, and kept detailed records of expenses and receipts. He was often assisted by a bailiff, who managed the home farm. At town properties and on some small estates the house steward occupied the top position. He managed the residence and was responsible for household expenditures.

RR1632118Occupational Hierarchy at the Palace - 1768-1770


Servants who ranked directly beneath the house steward included the clerk of the stables, who was in charge of the stables and all servants connected with them; the clerk of the kitchen, who ordered provisions, protected supplies, oversaw the preparation of food, and supervised all servants connected with the kitchen; and the housekeeper who assisted the house steward, cared for the linen, and supervised the work of the maid servants. Subordinate to the clerk of the kitchen were the cook, generally a man trained in French cuisine; the confectioner, who prepared desserts and other sweets; and the baker, who made bread.

The butler and gardener occupied the tier just below the clerks of the kitchen and stables and the housekeeper. The butler supervised the serving of food and beverages at mealtimes and was responsible for the wine cellar and for cleaning and protecting the glass and plate stored in the pantry. The gardener had to be accomplished in many branches of horticulture and understand the elements of landscape gardening. At times he also guided visitors through the grounds.

The groom of the chambers occupied the lowest position of the upper male servants. Trained in upholstery work, he was primarily responsible for maintaining the furniture.

Though considered upper servants, the chaplain, private secretary, valet, and gentlewoman or lady's maid are difficult to rank in the occupational hierarchy. Earlier, when these positions were generally filled by educated but less wealthy members of the gentry, these servants ranked directly below the master. But when persons of the middling sort began to assume these roles during the eighteenth century, their rank in the servant hierarchy became less clear. The chaplain preached at chapel, read services, and generally attended to the religious needs of the family; the private secretary wrote letters and messages and prepared legal documents; the valet attended to his master's appearance and clothing and often served as a combination companion-escort-personal servant; the gentlewoman or lady's maid — the feminine counterpart of the valet — dressed and undressed her 6. mistress, arranged her hair, cared for her clothes, and served as a companion.

B. Lower Servants

The clerk of the stables supervised the coachman, undercoachman, and groom. The coachman — the highest ranking inferior manservant — drove and maintained the vehicles and assisted the clerk of the stables in directing work performed by the groom, postilion, and stable hands. Occasionally he was assisted by an undercoachman who ranked equally with the groom, game keeper, park keeper, porter, underbutler, and footman. The groom cared for the horses.

The land steward also supervised the game keeper, who preserved the game for his master's diversion and his table, and the park keeper, who cared for the deer in the park, mended fences, and controlled the size of the herd.

The house steward supervised the porter, underbutler, and footmen. The porter guarded the entrance to a country estate or the front gate or door of a townhouse and allowed only persons with proper credentials to enter the property. The underbutler assisted the butler. The footman worked both within and without the house. Inside he set and waited on the table, served tea, and cleaned the glass, cutlery, and plate. Outdoors he ran errands, delivered messages, and escorted his master or mistress when they went out by coach or chair. Large households usually employed a number of footmen.

Several positions were filled by boys or young men. The postilion, who rode the near lead [left-hand] horse and helped guide the team which drew a coach, ranked below the groom. Boys often served as postilions but occasionally a slight, older man held the position. Footboys served under the butler; stable hands assisted in the stable yard; and yard boys helped the gardener. A special variety of footboy, called the page was a vestige of the medieval household that had nearly disappeared by the eighteenth century. Generally sons of the lesser gentry, pages served with the understanding that after some years they would receive 7. preferment from the master.

Maid servants — whose work was directed by the housekeeper — included the chambermaid, who ranked slightly above the other maids and cleaned the bedrooms and often assisted the lady's maid in caring for the family's clothing; the housemaid, or maids, who cleaned the parts of the residence not specifically delegated to others; the laundry maid, who washed, mended, and ironed the clothing and household linens; the dairy maid, who milked and made butter and cheese; the cook or kitchen maid, who assisted the cook; and the scullery maid, who washed the dishes and cooking utensils and cleaned the kitchen.

C. Master/Servant Relationship

In theory, the relationship between master and servant was contractual — with the master hiring a person to do certain tasks and agreeing to maintain him in the interim and the servant agreeing to perform his assigned duties. Eighteenth-century masters were exacting. A servant was considered bound to his master and expected to relinquish all thoughts of a separate, private life. Masters also expected their servants to be loyal, obedient, honest, and deferential.

In practice, the relationship was seldom mutually agreeable. Genuine attachment between master and servant was unusual and long-term service exceptional. By our standards working conditions — particularly for lower servants — were poor, hours long, wages low, and many masters, mistresses, and upper servants overbearing. Servants often found their situations untenable and employed various means of retaliation — dishonesty, insubordination, neglect and ill treatment of guests, malicious gossip, and (when all else failed) quitting. A high turnover was especially common among the female lower servants.

However, trusted relations between a master and servant were valued by the master and beneficial to the servants. Such domestics frequently advanced in position. Although some recently hired servants were dismissed when they became 8. sick, trusted servants often received good care and attention when they became ill or infirm. In addition to granting these servants valuable perquisites, masters frequently rewarded faithful servants with pensions and legacies. The tribute of diarist John Byng, who became the fifth Viscount of Torrington, to T. Bush exemplifies several advantages of such a relationship. When Bush died after twenty-six years of service which began as a groom, Byng commented that "from long observance of my manners, he knew me so well, as to render orders unnecessary; and to leave me at ease about his care and attention. Soon after my getting into the Stamp-Office, I was lucky enough to be able to find a situation for him there; that reliev'd his family from a wretchedness I could scarcely conceive. " Byng was away during Bush's final illness but his wife attended at Bush's bedside.

RR1632119Occupation Hierarchy for a Large English Country House (c. 1720-1770)



Botetourt's living arrangements at the Palace differed markedly from those at Stoke Park, his country house in Gloucestershire where he lived with his sister, Duchess Dowager of the fourth Duke of Beaufort. Several inventories and the book of servant receipts suggest that in size and servant hierarchy, Stoke resembled the model country house described above.

By English standards the Palace was a small residence and its household staff of twelve live-in white servants in 1768 was an abbreviated version of the English servant system. The conversion eliminated some staff positions altogether and added to the functions of other positions. For example, the butler apparently assumed the duties of the house steward and the housekeeper.

Before coming to Virginia Botetourt sought advice about domestic affairs at the Palace — possibly from Francis Fauquier, Jr., or his mother, the widow of the former lieutenant governor. George Mercer, a Virginian living in London, wrote his brother in August 1768 that "His Lordship has employed me as his councillor, as to the first arrangement of his family affairs in Virginia," and requested him to recommend a "worthy industrious young man" to serve as the Governor's clerk. Mercer noted that he had asked the Williamsburg tailor, Robert Nicholson, to "take the conduct, and direction of his Lordship's Household, till he arrives."

Botetourt arrived in Williamsburg about sunset on October 28th and, after taking his oath of office at the Capitol and supping with the Council at the Raleigh, retired about 10 p.m. to the Palace which, according to the Virginia Gazette, "had been put in order for his reception." However, the new governor viewed the situation differently. Several days later he wrote the Earl of Hillsborough that "as my Servants coud not keep up with me and the Palace was 10. totally unprovided with every thing, I have been asked every day to dinner by the principal Gentlemen and am at present upon the very best terms with all." Within a few weeks Botetourt was sufficiently settled to host a ball or other event which required the services of six musicians and the Attorney General's man, cook, and girl.

We don't know why Botetourt brought an all-male staff to Virginia. Nearly half of his men servants[*] (Thomas Fuller, Thomas Gale, William Knight, William Marshman, and Thomas Towse) came from Stoke. Four left their wives behind in England. Another, a widower whose wife worked at Stoke before her death, had served Botetourt for about twenty-five years. Though we know few details about their lives and their previous work experience, these men can certainly be characterized as loyal.

Botetourt hired additional personnel several weeks before sailing from Portsmouth, England, in late August 1768. Persons hired to work at the Palace included a gardener, an undercook, three craftsmen, and the son of the land steward at Stoke. The records do not tell whether the groom came from Stoke or was hired in August. A Virginia resident who had returned to England for ordination also accompanied Botetourt and later became his chaplain.

A. Occupational Hierarchy at the Palace (1768-1770):

The hierarchy at the Palace during Botetourt's tenure was an abbreviated version [see chart on the opposite page] of the English model discussed earlier. As in the English system, the Palace upper servants occupied executive, supervisory roles, and lower servants performed unskilled, manual work. Likewise, the lower servants were divided into highly visible domestics such as the footman and less visible domestics who mainly worked behind the scenes. But the addition of slaves 11. merged the transplanted English servant system with the Virginia servant system. With the addition of slave labor, the bottom layer of what had formerly been a two-level system acquired a sub-level. For the most part, slaves performed the drudgery within and without the Palace.

When Botetourt moved into the Palace in October 1768, the resident white staff consisted of persons holding the following positions:

UPPER SERVANTSButler --William Marshman
Land Steward --Silas Blandford
Cook --Thomas Towse
Gardener --James Simpson
LOWER SERVANTSUndercook --John Cooke
Footmen --Thomas Fuller and William Knight
Upholsterer and Gilder --Joseph Kidd
Carpenter --Joshua Kendall
Blacksmith --John Draper
Coachman --Thomas Gale
Groom --Samuel King

During 1769 one servant died, several others returned to England, and the craftsmen left to establish local businesses. Between February and mid-October 1770 the resident white staff consisted of the following persons:

UPPER SERVANTSButler --William Marshman
Land Steward --Silas Blandford
Cook --Mrs. Wilson
Gardener --James Wilson
LOWER SERVANTSUnderbutler --Thomas Fuller
Footman --William Knight
Coachman --Thomas Gale
Groom --Samuel King

Even when we add about twelve slaves (the number fluctuated since some hired slaves only worked part time) to the eight resident white servants in 1770, it is obvious that the Palace operated with a small staff. Considering the work involved — waiting (often referred to as "attending") on the governor and his guests, cooking, cleaning, washing, tending to the horses and vehicles, gardening, and farming — this staff obviously functioned efficiently. Though adequate to 12. handle the daily routine, Botetourt supplemented his regular staff by hiring additional workers — both black and white — when large numbers of guests attended balls, large dinners, and other events at the Palace or seasonal demands required additional workers for the farm and gardens.

1. Upper Servants

Two upper servants, the chaplain and the clerk of the Governor's Office, are difficult to rank in the hierarchy. They served Botetourt directly, did not live in, and functioned separately from the rest of the Palace staff.

Arthur Hamilton — Chaplain (1768 - ?) Within a week of Botetourt's arrival, the Virginia Gazette announced the appointment of the Rev. Mr. Arthur Hamilton as the governor's chaplain. This position was apparently more ceremonial than actual for Hamilton did not relinquish the title when he became rector of Petsworth Parish in Gloucester County the next month. He continued to be identified as chaplain through at least July 1769.

Botetourt regularly attended prayers at the college chapel. In December 1769 he wrote his nephew, the 5th Duke of Beaufort, that "The College of William and Mary is my present object——I constantly attend their morning prayers at seven o'clock and never miss evening Service unless when I am kept at home by doing Companies."

Peter Pelham (b. London 1721; d. Richmond 1805) — Clerk of the Governor's Office (1768-1770). Born in London in 1721, Pelham moved to Boston about 1726, studied music, and later became a church organist and music teacher. Pelham and his family moved to Williamsburg in the early 1750s after spending several years in Hampton and Suffolk. In addition to being organist at Bruton Parish Church, Pelham taught music and served in several non-musical capacities. In late 1767 or early 1768 he became clerk of the Governor's Office for Fauquier. In June of 13. 1768 Pelham advertised as a merchant. From 1771 to 1779 Pelham served as keeper of the Public Jail. He continued to be the local church organist until 1800 when he moved to Richmond.

While he clerked for Botetourt, Pelham and his family lived on Francis Street near the Chiswell-Bucktrout House. The Badminton manuscripts list the fees collected by Pelham and turned over to Botetourt but mention no wages, an indication that the expenses of the Governor's Office were handled separately. [The Research Department continues to seek information on the work of this office and its staff.]

Pelham received £1.1.6 — the same amount paid to each of the eight musicians who played that evening — for attendance at the ball held in May 1770. If Pelham also performed, then he supplied the instrument because Botetourt had no musical instruments at the Palace. Botetourt's estate paid Pelham —10 for attending the governor during his final illness, assisting in taking the inventory, and helping with the sale of Botetourt's effects the following spring.

William Marshman — Butler (1768-1771). Marshman served Botetourt from 1763 or earlier — possibly as a footman/clerk. His salary (£7 wages and £5.5 vails [tips] per year) suggest that he was a footman, but since most of the receipts in Botetourt's 1764-1771 receipt book are in Marshman's hand, he probably also served as a clerk. Like footman William Knight, Marshman had a room in Botetourt's house at Stoke. In 1766 Mary Marshman, Marshman's wife or a female relative, began working for Botetourt. Letters written after Botetourt's death indicate that Marshman had a wife, mother, brothers, and sisters in England. Marshman's age is unknown but indirect evidence suggests he was fairly young — perhaps in his early thirties.

Even though his responsibilities corresponded to the English house steward's position, Botetourt called him the butler. Also, Marshman referred to 14. himself by that title and wrote after Botetourt died — "I had always every thing under my care since we came here." By 1770 Marshman received the highest salary of any member of Botetourt's staff (£40 per year plus £3 for washing his clothes). He directed all activities within the Palace, supervised the household staff (under-butler, footman, underfootmen, and housemaids), handled Botetourt's money, kept the household accounts, oversaw the serving of meals, and was responsible for the care and protection of the contents of the wine cellar and of the silver. He may have also served as Botetourt's private secretary. Marshman claimed that during Botetourt's final illness he and the underbutler waited on their master day and night. Whether this means that he also served as Botetourt's valet is unclear. But it seems unlikely that he could have successfully managed valet duties on a full-time basis with his other responsibilities. After Botetourt's death the governor's nephew directed that Marshman receive all of his Lordship's clothes as a perquisite.

While the administrators appointed by the General Court dismissed most members of Botetourt's staff soon after the governor died, they retained Marshman and Fuller to help settle Botetourt's affairs. For this reason the two men remained in Virginia until July 1771.

Silas Blandford — Land Steward (1768-1770). Since his father, Silas Blandford, Sr., served as Botetourt's land steward for many years, Silas Blandford, Jr., probably grew up at Stoke. We know little about his ear1y life except that in 1767 he and Elizabeth Blandford witnessed Silas, Blandford senior's promissory note for £400 to Botetourt. Assuming he was of age at that time, he was probably in his early twenties or possibly older when he came to Virginia.

Blandford was hired 8,August l768 at £20 per year, presumably to serve Botetourt in Virginia as his father did at Stoke. No evidence specifically identifies him as a land steward but indirect evidence suggests that he oversaw the work of the gardens, the stable yard, and the Palace Lands; hired supplementary 15. laborers for out-door work; and handled the receipts and disbursements relating to the exterior of the Palace. In this position he would have also dealt with the lessees of the Governor's Lands (about 3000 acres) near Jamestown. After the last male cook left for England in early 1770, Blandford appears to have taken charge of the kitchen accounts. Also, about this time his wages increased to £25 per year. These uncertainties could be clarified if Blandford's account books come to light. At present only a few scattered receipts hint at his involvement in Palace affairs.

Blandford became ill shortly before Botetourt's death. Lucy Atherton attended him day and night for 21 days and William Pasteur treated and visited him frequently between October 20th and November 9th. Sometime in November he evidently returned to England for he arrived in early January 1771. Later records show that Silas Blandford, Jr. , became land steward for Botetourt's sister.

Blandford may have also been Botetourt's valet/companion. A clue to his position in the Palace servant hierarchy lies in the fact that the most expensive mourning suit worn by the servants at Botetourt's funeral was made for Blandford. Also Botetourt's nephew requested that Blandford remain in Virginia to assist the administrators in settling Botetourt's affairs. However, this order came too late since Blandford arrived in England before the Duke's letter reached Virginia.

Thomas Towse — Cook (1768-December 1768 or early January 1769). By 1764, and possibly earlier, Thomas Towse worked at Stoke, earning £47.5.0 in wages and £5.5 in vails per year. Towse's wife, who occasionally made shirts and washed clothing at Stoke, remained in England when her husband came to Virginia. Towse, the highest paid person n Botetourt's Palace staff in 1768, was assisted by an undercook named John Cooke. Towse died in late December or early January 1769.

Towse's high salary suggests that he, like most skilled English male-cooks, 16. was familiar with French culinary techniques and practices. His duties as Palace cook included ordering provisions, disbursing kitchen account funds, overseeing the distribution and proper storage of foodstuffs and supplies, preparing menus, directing the kitchen staff (several slaves and supplementary workers hired on special occasions) in preparing meals, making special dishes himself, seeing that the food was served punctually, and maintaining high standards of cleanliness and orderliness in the kitchen and its associated outbuildings.

John Cooke — Undercook (October-December 1768 or early January 1769) Temporary Cook (January-July 1769). John Cooke, hired in early August 1768 at a salary of £30 per year, served as undercook to Thomas Towse. In that position he ranked as a lower servant. But after Towse died, Cooke became an upper servant when he filled the cook's position on a temporary basis until William Sparrow arrived in July 1769. Then Cooke returned to England.

William Sparrow — Cook (July 1769-February 1770). William Sparrow left England in April and arrived at the Palace around the first of July 1769. His salary of £63 per year suggests that he, like Towse, was well qualified to serve as cook at the Palace. We do not know why he remained on Botetourt's staff for less than a year. He left Virginia in February and arrived in England in late April 1770.

Mrs. Wilson — Cook (c. February-c. November 1770) Indirect evidence suggests that Mrs. Wilson (first name unknown) became Botetourt's cook after Sparrow left in February 1770. Twice before that date Mrs. Wilson served at the Palace, but the type of work she did was never specified. On 21 November 1769 she received £1.1.6 for two days work and on 10 January 1770 she received £2.13.9. Whether she was the wife of James Wilson (Palace gardener from September 1769-November 1770) is also unknown. Joshua Kendall "set up" a bed for her at the Palace in May 1770 but whether that means she moved into the cook's bedchamber 17. at that time is uncertain. Several months later Kendall mended a sifter for her.

No indication of Mrs. Wilson's wages appears in the Badminton manuscripts nor does any record show her receiving money for kitchen expenses. Since Blandford received larger and more frequent payments beginning in February 1770, he may have assumed the responsibility for the kitchen expenses while Mrs. Wilson oversaw the actual work of the kitchen and its related outbuildings.

James Simpson — Gardener (1768-September 1769). Botetourt hired James Simpson in August 1768 to come to Virginia and serve as Palace gardener. We know nothing about Simpson's background but can assume that Botetourt hired a technician skilled in the many branches of horticulture — including the planting and cultivating of herbs, flowers, fruits, and vegetables; the managing of hotbeds and greenhouses or orangeries; the laying out and maintaining of pleasure gardens; an understanding of the elements of landscape gardening; and a willingness to show the gardens to interested visitors. The Palace gardener whose work was supervised by the land steward, also maintained the orchard and probably assisted with park and farm activities. Several slaves assisted the gardener. James (hired from Carter's Grove in 1765) served Fauquier, Botetourt, and Dunmore. One or more of Botetourt's slaves also assisted the gardener and supplementary workers were hired occasionally.

By 1759, and perhaps earlier, the governor's perquisites included £20 yearly for the gardener's salary. Though hired in England at a salary of £16 per year, Simpson's salary increased to £20 by January 1769. Like several of the cooks, Simpson's tenure was brief. In September 1769 he returned to England.

James Wilson — Gardener (September 1769- October 1770). Several days after Simpson left, Botetourt hired James Wilson to be gardener at a salary of £20 per year. Since there is no record of payment for his passage from England, Wilson may have been a local resident. With such a common name it is not possible to determine whether he was the James Wilson whose son John was baptised at Bruton 18. Parish Church in 1749, the carver by that name who advertised in 1755 that he was lately from London and could be spoken with at Anthony Hay's cabinetmaker's shop, or another individual. Also, we do not know whether he was married to Mrs. Wilson, Botetourt's last cook.

The administrators of Botetourt's estate paid Wilson through October 1770. After that date William Nelson, President of the Council, hired Wilson to maintain the Palace gardens and park until Botetourt's successor arrived. In March 1773 Wilson advertised seeds for sale. From 1773 to about 1780 the college employed Wilson as its gardener.

2. Lower Servants

The ranking of Botetourt's lower servants shifted during the two years between Botetourt's arrival and his death. Under the English system the coachman held the top position but if salaries can be taken as an accurate measure of status, in the fall of 1768 the coachman — outranked by Kidd, Kendall, Cooke, and Draper — came below the mid-point of the white lower servants in the servant hierarchy. Only King, Fuller, and Knight ranked beneath coachman Thomas Gale in 1768. But with the departure of several lower servants in 1769 and the increase in Fuller's wages, by 1770 Fuller — followed by Gale, King, and Knight — led the ranking of white lower servants.

Part of the initial imbalance was due to the inclusion of three skilled craftsmen (a blacksmith, carpenter, and upholsterer and gilder) among the servants that Botetourt brought to Virginia. Their presence suggests that Botetourt expected to make alterations and redecorate portions of the Palace. Items in Botetourt's inventory such as "Oznabrigs intended to paste the Paper on in the Supper Room" and "a large Box of Gilt bordering intended for the supper Room" indicate that certain redecorating projects remained unfinished at Botetourt's 19. death. Even though their salaries surpassed those of some Palace upper servants, the craftsmen should be considered lower servants since they performed manual tasks. The craftsmen, depending on whether their work occurred inside or outside the Palace, reported to Blandford or Marshman. All three of the craftsmen were hired in August 1768 but none of them remained on Botetourt's staff beyond the fall of 1769.

Joseph Kidd — Upholsterer and Gilder (1768-November 1769). Though not actually called an upholsterer and gilder in the Badminton manuscripts, his salary of £40 per year indicates that Joseph Kidd was a highly skilled craftsman. After he went into private business, Kidd referred to himself foremost as an upholsterer and gilder. In May 1769 while still in Botetourt's service, Kidd and Joshua Kendall advertised that they had engaged a person from England well acquainted with plumbing, glazing, painting, and gilding and, in September, they noted the kinds of products produced at their lead manufactory behind the church.

No documentary evidence mentions the variety of work Kidd performed before he left Botetourt's service in November 1769 but his detailed bill for work at the Palace between November 1769 and October 1770 suggests the range of his abilities — painting, performing assorted lead work, mending books, repairing paper in the ball room, taking up and nailing down carpets, taking down and putting up beds, upholstering assorted items, painting and gilding the post chaise and several smaller items, repairing lamps, painting an oilcloth, making and lining Botetourt's lead coffin, and covering the outer coffin and making various hangings and ornaments used during the funeral. Perhaps while he was working for Botetourt but certainly later, Kidd frequently waited at the Palace — probably serving as a footman — when Botetourt hosted a ball or other event requiring supplementary workers. In may 1771 Kidd helped out with the sale of Botetourt's effects — 20. probably serving as auctioneer since that was one of his many avocations. In 1775 Kidd became ensign of the Williamsburg militia and several years later served as quartermaster for Brunswick County.

Joshua Kendall - Carpenter (1768-November 1769). Joshua Kendall's salary (£30 per year) as a carpenter indicates that his craft was not as highly skilled as Kidd's. Though in partnership with Kidd by May 1769, Kendall did not actually leave Botetourt's service until November of that year. The partnership was short lived for in January 1770 Kendall, house carpenter and joiner, announced his move to a house on the back street and noted that he performed house painting and glazing "in the neatest and genteelest manner." Kendall's account for work done at the Palace between May and October 1770 indicates the range of his abilities — repairing bedsteads, desks, birdcages, and other pieces of furniture; making and mending utilitarian items such as kitchen utensils, tool handles, and small boxes; repairing the chaise and cart; making a turkey coop; replacing chimney boards; making Venetian blinds; attaching a gun in the dining room and jacks in the kitchen and scullery; making staffs and cloaks for the funeral; making coffins for William Knight and Botetourt; and taking up a pew and floor boards in the college chapel. In May 1771 he helped with the sale of Botetourt's effects. Kendall also served as a footman when events at the Palace required additional workers.

Kendall continued to work in the Williamsburg area until 1777. That August John Holt advertised for sale the tools, household furniture, and wearing apparel of Joshua Kendall, deceased.

John Draper — Blacksmith (1768-September 1769). Botetourt hired blacksmith John Draper at a salary of £18.5 per year but also paid him occasional token payments of 2/6 for extra work such as cleaning the kitchen yard, sinking 21. a vault, and cleaning out the laundry cellar. After Draper left in September 1769 he opened a blacksmith and farrier's business on Duke of Gloucester Street.

In late 1769 and 1770 he performed a variety of jobs at the Palace — waiting at balls and other functions, mending lamps and an assortment of other items, cleaning stove grates, making a variety of kitchen and household items, raising a bucket out of the well, making and repairing garden and farm implements, trimming horses' feet, making and removing horses' shoes, and curing horses of various complaints.

In 1780 he bought a lot at the corner of Francis and Waller Streets where he apparently lived until his death about 1789.

John Cooke — Undercook (1768-January 1769) [See above under section on upper servants.]

Thomas Fuller — (1768-1771) Underbutler by 1770. Thomas Fuller's salary (£7 wages and £5.5 vails per year) and the fact that he had a room in Botetourt's residence at Stoke suggests that he served as a footman. He entered Botetourt's service about 1767, a year after Sarah Fuller — presumably his wife — began to work at Stoke. Her wages suggest that she was a housemaid. Fuller left his wife in England when he came to Virginia.

Fuller's position as a lower servant at the Palace is indicated by the fact that he — along with Knight, Gale, and King — regularly received clothes, presumably livery. From 1769 to 1770 Fuller's salary remained constant (£12.5 including wages and vails and £2 for washing his clothes); however, in 1770 he received £23.7.6 plus an allowance of 10/6 for stocks and shoes. The increase may indicate his promotion from footman to underbutler; however in the English system the two positions ranked equally. With only one other footman on Botetourt's staff, Fuller probably served in that capacity most of the time. On rare occasions when Marshman was unable to preside, Fuller undoubtedly assumed the butler's role. 22. In such cases Fuller would not wear livery. Fuller and Marshman nursed the governor during his final illness. The Virginia State Library copy of the inventory indicates that Fuller received a parcel of old glass as a perquisite.

The Badminton manuscripts give no clues about Fuller's age. He remained in Virginia with Marshman to assist in settling affairs and returned to England in July 1771.

William Knight — Footman (1768-1770). Of the servants whom Botetourt brought to Virginia William Knight probably spent the longest time in Botetourt's service. The issue of the Virginia Gazette which announced Botetourt's death reported that "an old servant of Lord Botetourt's, who had lived between six and seven and twenty years in his family, died the same morning with his Lordship" and printed a poem "On the death of a FOOTMAN."

Knight's salary (£7 wages and £5.5 vails per year) remained unchanged between 1766 and 1770. On coming to Virginia he received an extra £2 a year for washing his clothes. Ann Knight, probably his wife, worked for Botetourt from 1766-November 1767. When Knight drew up a will in July 1768 he identified himself as a widower and bequeathed several cottages and parcels of land in Roade, Northampton County, England, to his brother Robert Knight.

As footman, Knight wore livery and served in a number of ways — delivering messages and running errands about town, answering the door, waiting in the hall to assist visitors and carry out the butler's orders, setting the table and serving meals and afternoon tea, and assisting Botetourt and persons accompanying him into and out of vehicles and riding on the back of the vehicle with the groom. Early in the morning before donning livery, footmen performed other tasks — including cleaning the glass ware and polishing the plate, lighting candles, laying and lighting fires. Indirect evidence suggests that several slaves, serving as underfootmen, assisted the footmen.


On several occasions Knight worked outside the Palace. In March 1767 he received token payments of 1/3 per day for picking up wood in the park and helping the coachman and groom haul wood from the park to the Palace.

Thomas Gale — Coachman (1768-1770). By 1764 Thomas Gale, position unknown, received a yearly salary from Botetourt of £7 wages and £3 vails; from 1766-1769 he received yearly £10 wages and £2.2 vails; and beginning in 1770 he received £14.2 per year with an additional £2 for washing his clothes. Like several others who served Botetourt at Stoke, Gale left his wife in England when he came to Virginia.

Even though Gale's position is never specifically identified, indirect evidence indicates that he probably served as coachman and probably worked under Silas Blandford's supervision. While driving he wore livery but dressed in sturdy work clothes for most of the day. Botetourt furnished these clothes. Gale and the groom, Samuel King, each had rooms located adjacent to the stable yard. As coachman, Gale drove the vehicles, cared for the vehicles and harnesses, and oversaw the work of the groom, postilion, and stable hands.

Botetourt paid Gale and the groom token extra wages (1/3 for working a full day and 7-½ d. for working a half day) for performing additional duties. An account book labeled "Work Done with the Cart" notes that Gale received £3.15 for work done 23 May - 21 October 1769 and £5.15 for work done 19 February - 14 November 1770. Occasionally Gale and the groom worked together but they were paid separately. Gale's extra jobs included some farming activities (plowing, harrowing, rolling, and making hay) but mainly hauling. The hauling varied considerably — oats, corn, hay, peas, flour, slat, beer, wine; trees, wood, coal, gravel, poles, clay, pea sticks for the garden, dung, dirt, pipe, fences, and rubbish. Hauling occurred both on the Palace Lands (to and from the back yard, front door, ice house, and park) and elsewhere (to and rom Mr. Attorney's, the 24. mill, the brick yard, Capital Landing, Martin's Hundred, Burwell's Ferry, and York). Even though Gale's full-time employment ceased 1 November 1770, Botetourt's estate paid him for carting goods during the following two months. William Nelson, President of the Council, informed London merchant Samuel Athawes that he bought Botetourt's coach horses "with the sole view of offering them" to Botetourt's successor and hired the "coachman, an excellent servant to take care of the Horses" and hoped that "he may be employ'd by the next Governor." We do not know what Gale did during the next decade but by 1782 he worked at Kingsmill. Gale remained in the Williamsburg area through 1790. That March Humphrey Harwood paid Gale £2.10 for curing his horses.

Samuel King — Groom (1768-1770). The Badminton manuscripts do not indicate whether King came from Stoke or was hired just before Botetourt came to Virginia. King's position at the Palace is never specifically identified but since he clearly worked under Gale and received a smaller salary (£10 wages, £2.2 vails, and £2 washing per year by 1770), we may assume that he was the groom. Like Gale, King received livery and work clothes and had a room adjacent to the stable yard. As the groom, King cared for the horses — including feeding, watering, grooming, and treating ones that became injured or sick. The groom probably rode on the rear of the vehicle with the footman whenever Botetourt went out in either of his coaches or the post chaise. Vehicles drawn by four or six horses need an experienced horseman to assist the coachman.

Also like Gale, King received wages totaling £18.2.6 (1/3 for a full day's work and 7-½ d. for a half day's work) for performing additional duties between 16 May 1769 and 9 November 1770. Even though he worked more days than Gale, King did the same things except that he also hauled ice to the ice house and hauled goods to and from Cappahosick Ferry. Like Gale, KIng also continued to cart items for Botetourt's estate through January 1771. Sometime later he may 25. have moved to Gloucester County. His name appears in the Gloucester County (Petsworth Parish) personal property tax list for 1782.

3. Slaves

The executors appointed to settle Botetourt's affairs in Virginia informed Botetourt's nephew that the governor had "found it convenient & necessary to purchase & hire Negroes to assist in the business of his Family, and do the Drudgery without Doors." At his death Botetourt owned three male slaves — Cesar, Dan, and Matt Piper — and four females and a child — Doll, Hannah, Phillis, and Sally and her child Billy. Except for Hannah (bought 1 November 1768 from Fauquier's estate for £45) and Phillis (bought 4 November 1769 from Mr. Connelly for £37.10), surviving records do not indicate when or from whom Botetourt acquired the slaves. Certainly Botetourt purchased the remaining slaves sometime before the following fragmentary references to them appear in the account books:

Doll--pair of buckles purchased for her 23 July 1769
Sally and her child Billy--process of elimination and indirect evidence suggest she may be the laundrymaid for whom a midwife was paid 20 July 1769 and a nurse was paid 23 July 1769 for attending her for 25 days
Dan and Cesar--breeches made for them 5 December 1769
Matt Piper--flogged 30 January 1770

Slaves hired by the year, month, and day supplemented Botetourt's regular staff. Even though records concerning the hired slaves are fragmentary, we know several details about this group. James, a gardener from Carter's Grove when Fauquier hired in 1765, later served Botetourt and Dunmore. Initially the estate of Carter Burwell received £12 a year for the hire of James but Botetourt paid £14 for the hire of James in 1770. This sum, the highest amount that Botetourt paid for hiring a slave, suggests that James was a skilled gardener. The range in the amounts paid for the yearly hire of these other slaves suggests varying degrees of skills: Susan, hired in November 1768 for £6 (owner unknown); Sarah, 26. hired in August 1769 from Thomas Everard for £8; Abraham, hired in December 1770 from William Presson for £8; Lewis, hired in January 1769 from Mr. Jones for £10; and Lewis, hired in December 1769 from Mary Tabb for £10.

When Botetourt hired slaves for shorter periods he generally paid them 1/3 per day, the amount usually paid unskilled male or female workers in eighteenth-century Virginia. Botetourt hired Natt from Mrs. Grissel Hay for 54 days, except Sundays, between 10 August and 12 October 1770. Since James Wilson approved Mrs. Hay's account, Natt may have assisted James in the garden. We do not know how Pall, hired from John Shiphard from mid-July to October 1770, served but he also had Sundays off — a common practice for Virginia slaves, although house servants generally did some work on Sundays. Man, a male slave hired from Lydia Cooper, worked for Botetourt between April and June 1770 and may have also worked the previous fall. Hired female slaves included Edy, hired from Mrs. Hubbard, who probably worked from November 1768 through May 1769; Bett, hired from Susan [?] from November 1768 through July 1769; and Betty, owner unknown, hired for about a month and a half around May 1770.

The incompleteness of Botetourt's accounts becomes apparent when expenses are shown for slaves for whom no record of hire appears. For instance, expenses are noted for Isham — beginning in May 1770; Mitchell (or Mike) — beginning October l769; and Will —beginning in November 1769.

When the periods that the slaves worked are charted [see chart on the opposite page], it becomes apparent that eight to fourteen slaves generally served at the Palace while Botetourt was governor. Since this group usually included four women, I have assumed that some of them assisted the cook with food preparation and cleanup and that the others worked as house and/or laundrymaids.

There was also plenty of work to keep the male slaves occupied. References to special clothes and accessories for Isham, Will, and Cesar suggest RR1632120SLAVES HIRED BY OR OWNED BY BOTETOURT BETWEEN NOVEMBER 1768 AND OCTOBER 1770 27. that they served as underfootmen and that Mitchell (or Mike) and possibly Dan served as postilions. But the evidence is too slim to express certainty about these positions. The remaining male slaves — Abraham, the two Negroes named Lewis, Mann, Matt Piper, and Pall probably worked as farm or stable hands.

A nineteenth-century Richmonder recalled that the most prominent member of the local black aristocracy, the fiddler Sy Gilliat, claimed to have served Botetourt. Several excerpts from the descript ion bear repeating:

When he appeared officially in the orchestra, his dress was an embroidered silk coat and vest of faded lilac, small clothes, (he would not say breeches,) and silk stockings, terminating in shoes fastened or decorated with large buckles. This court-dress was coeval with the reign of Lord Botetourt, and probably part of the fifty suits which constituted his wardrobe.
Sy was sexton for one of the Episcopal churches in town until he was impelled to resign after
hearing that he was suspected of partaking of the wine without the other ceremonies of the sacrament. His declaration, that he had drunk Lord Botetourt's best wine long before his accusers knew the difference between Malaga and Malmsey, whilst it vindicated Sy.'s connoisseurship, did not obtain for his absolution from the charge, and he left the service of the church highly indignant.
Since none of Botetourt's slaves was named Simon or Cyrus, Sy's name evidently changed after he left Botetourt's service. Sy may have been an underfootman but the recollection is too vague to be certain.

Occasionally slaves were hired for short periods ranging from one day to several weeks — including the skilled and unskilled workers who supplemented the regular staff when Botetourt had a ball or large dinner. I assume that John Randolph's cook, undercook, pastrymaid, and man, and James Horrocks', Robert Carter's, and Thomas Everard's men were slaves, but some of these individuals may assume that persons such as Randolph's cook and pastrymaid were skilled. Other slaves hired included porters (who presumably served as doormen), 28. sentinels (who stood outside the front and kitchen doors), Jack and Ben (who lit the candles), and unidentified persons who waited or worked behind the scenes.

Presumably all of these dayworkers lodged on their owners' land and only ate at the Palace when they worked for Botetourt. Neither Botetourt's inventory nor the Palace accounts provide clues about where the Palace slaves slept or ate. Perhaps, like most other blacks who lived in town, they slept above the kitchen, scullery, stable, or other outbuildings. The only reference to a quarter appears in the 1790 deed for the sale of the Palace Lands which locates "the Palace Brick Quarter" at the southeast corner of the property (site of the present stable). However, since this reference appears nine years after the Palace burned and we know that many changes were made to the remaining outbuildings after 1780, the likelihood that this building housed slaves during the colonial period is slim.

I can only conjecture where the Palace slaves ate. Possibly they ate at a separate table from the lower white servants in the servants' hall. But since blacks and whites generally ate separately in colonial Virginia, I suspect that the slaves ate elsewhere. Since the scullery maid was traditionally the lowest ranking servant, blacks would have commonly worked in and possibly gathered in the scullery. For this reason, I think it is possible that the slaves ate in this building.

4. White Day Workers

The white day workers, like the hired slaves, performed a variety of jobs in and about the Palace and were paid according to their skills or the demands or responsibilities of their jobs. Even though the Palace accounts do not always distinguish between whites and blacks who worked by the day, presumably the musicians (paid 21/6 each for performing at balls) and the barber (paid 15d. for dressing each servant's hair on the days when Botetourt gave a ball) were white. 29. But no clues suggest the color of the man paid 1/3 per day for filling the ice house or the woman paid 1/ per day for assisting at different times. On the other hand, we can generally assume that the workers identified by name were white.

Occasionally the type of work performed is either named or suggested. Since a suit of livery was made for John Rogers in November 1769 we might assume that Botetourt planned to hire him as a footman; however, Rogers was only paid for waiting at the ball held on 21 May 1770. Perhaps Marshman found that Rogers was not suited for waiting. Later, when he worked under Blandford's supervision, Rogers received 16/3 (1/3 per day) for thirteen days' work. John Camp also received different pay for dissimilar jobs. In September and October 1770 he received 7/6 per day for plowing and 12/6 per day for carting. Since twelve shillings sixpence was the usual charge for a day of carting in Williamsburg at this time, we can assume that Camp furnished the horse and cart.

Persons who worked at the Palace during Botetourt's final illness and/or at the funeral also received varying amounts: 10/ to John Shiphard for helping with the funeral; £2 to Benjamin Bucktrout for attending for four days; £7 to Robert Hyland for attending at the Palace seven days and nights and assisting in laying out the corpse; and £7.5 to James Levey for attending seven days and nights, shaving Botetourt after his death, and helping with some correspondence.

Another group of day workers included former, servants such as John Draper, Joshua Kendall, and Joseph Kidd who often returned to the Palace to wait when Botetourt held a ball or hosted a large dinner. A description of their work appears in the section on lower servants.

5. Obtaining Temporary and Full-time Workers

The most common way of procuring servants in Virginia, as was also the case in England, was through friends or by word of mouth. After Towse died 30. Botetourt sent to England for another cook but when his first gardener returned to England, he obtained a replacement locally. Later when Sparrow returned to England, Botetourt again hired a local person, Mrs. Wilson, to serve as his cook. Most of the owners of the slaves that Botetourt hired lived in town or nearby. This was also true of the white persons that Botetourt hired as day workers. Some persons advertised in the Virginia Gazette when they needed workers, but as far as we know, none of the governor's advertised for workers.

B. Conditions of Service:

1. Housing

As at Stoke, Botetourt's upper and lower servants lived at the Palace. The inventory mentions bedchambers for the cook, gardener, coachman, and groom. I assume that the cook's bedchamber was located in one of the ground floor rooms in the west flanking building. This makes it separate from but convenient to the kitchen which I think was located as reconstructed. Especially since Botetourt's first cook was his highest paid servant, I believe that the cook's room would have been on the first floor. The gardener's bedchamber may have been one of the second floor rooms in this building. Though not directly stated, Botetourt's inventory indicates that the rooms used by the coachman and groom were located in the stable area.

Entries for the Palace attic suggest that other servants — perhaps Marshman and Fuller, Knight, and Blandford — slept in the "Garret Room over his Lordship's bed Chamber," the "Room over the Study," and the "Garret over the front Parlour." The Virginia State Library copy of the inventory, which shows "Mr. Blan" written faintly above the entry for the garret room over the front parlor implies that this was Blandford's room.

Although the room assignments are conjectural, the contents are inventoried and contain adequate sleeping accommodations — including a bed and in 31. most cases a separate room — for the white members of the Palace staff who worked for Botetourt at the time of his death. When guests stayed at the Palace, some of Botetourt's servants may have doubled up and shared rooms to accommodate the servants who accompanied the guests. Extra rooms in the attics of the Palace and flanking buildings may have been used earlier when Botetourt's staff was larger and more servant sleeping space was needed. Slave housing has already been described in the section on slaves.

2. Diet

As in the English servant system, the various levels of Palace servants probably ate different types of foods and consumed them separately.

Generally the upper servants ate the leftovers from the food served their master and his guests. For this reason I assume that the butler, the cook, the gardener, and the land steward ate after Botetourt and his guests finished dining. [See the comments under the "Daily Activities of the Cook" at the end of this paper.] Presumably, the lower Palace servants, like their English counterparts, ate plain food supplemented by the previous day's leftovers from the upper servants' table. With so little information about accommodations for the Palace slaves, I hesitate to speculate on their food except to say that their diet probably resembled the food eaten by the slaves of the gentry who lived in town. [Clearly, more research is needed on slave eating habits.]

Since Botetourt's inventory mentions a servants' hall, no doubt the lower white servants (the coachman, footman, groom, and underbutler), day workers, and visiting servants of the same rank ate in this room. I think the servants' hall, was probably located in one of the ground floor rooms of the west flanking building. The inventory shows two tables and curiously no chairs in this room — which suggests that some furniture was rearranged during the nine days between the time Botetourt died and the inventory began to be taken. Or, if the inventory is taken literally, 32. perhaps the servants stood at table. The two tables could imply that two levels of servants ate in the servants' hall. If that was the case then either the upper servants sat at one table and the lower servants at the other; or, if the upper servants ate in the cook's room, then the lower white servants may have eaten at one table and the slaves at the other table. However, considering that blacks and whites generally ate separately in colonial Virginia, I think it is more likely that the slaves ate elsewhere — perhaps in the scullery as mentioned above.

Furnishings of the cook's bedchamber — including a round table with leaves, six chairs, and one arm chair — suggest that this room functioned as a bed-sitting-room. If as in many English homes, the upper servants dined in an upper servant's room such as the steward's or housekeeper's room, possibly the Palace upper servants ate in the cook's bed chamber.

In sum, I assume that the upper servants ate in the cook's bedchamber, the lower servants in the servants' hall, and the slaves elsewhere — such as in the scullery.

3. Clothing

The clothing worn by servants depended on their position and varied according to the work they performed.

Traditionally in the English servant system upper servants supplied their own clothing. The absence of references to their apparel in Botetourt's accounts indicates that Botetourt expected the upper servants at the Palace to clothe themselves. Though fashionably cut, the upper servants' clothing differed from that worn by the gentry in that the cloth was of inferior quality and had less trim and fewer buttons. Also, since upper servants were expected to appear unobtrusive, the colors of their clothes were generally subdued. In other words, these servants — in direct contrast to the brightly colored and highly trimmed suits worn by the liveried servants — dressed conservatively.


Botetourt regularly furnished clothing and shoes to the lower servants. The liveried servants (footmen, underfootmen, coachman, and groom) received both livery and work clothes. The slaves who worked behind the scenes (cookmaids housemaids, assistants to the gardener, and farm and stable hands) also received work clothes and shoes and dressed like their counterparts working elsewhere in colonial Virginia.

Botetourt's accounts, though incomplete, provide some details about clothes furnished to the lower servants at the Palace. Knight, Fuller, Gale, and King received breeches and boots in February of 1769 and 1770 and shoes and stockings in November 1769. In January 1769 Knight, Fuller, and King also received gloves — presumably to wear out-of-doors. The November 1769-September 1770 account of Williamsburg tailor, Robert Nicholson, records making, altering, and repairing livery and work clothes for the lower white servants and slaves. [For further remarks on livery see the theme paper by Linda Baumgarten on "Costumes at the Governor's Palace ", January 1981.]

Nicholson also made mourning suits for most of the upper and lower white servants (and several former lower servants) to wear at Botetourt's funeral. Suits for Blandford, Marshman, Pelham, Draper, and Kidd are mentioned specifically and suits for Fuller, Gale, King, and Wilson are implied. Because Blandford's suit was more expensive than the others it could indicate that Blandford ranked slightly above the other Palace servants or it could mean that his was made separately from the others which were listed together in one entry. Since Blandford was very ill just after Botetourt died, there may have been some delay in ordering a suit for him.

Apparently Botetourt expected his servants to maintain their own clothes. Fuller, Gale, King, and Knight received a £2 allowance and Marshman — and perhaps the other upper servants — received a £3 allowance each year for washing. These 34. men may have washed some of their clothes but it is more likely that they paid someone to wash for them.

The governor's cast-off apparel provided another source of clothing for the Palace servants. After Botetourt's death his nephew directed that Marshman be given all of the governor's clothes. We do not know what Marshman did with Botetourt's clothes. He probably wore some and may have given some away. As used clothing was marketable in England, perhaps Marshman sold some of the clothes after he returned.

4. Recreation

Knowing how much work had to be done and how few workers staffed the Palace on a regular basis, we might wonder: when was there any time for recreation?

Most English servants received some time off to participate in public and private festivities; receive calls from friends and relatives; and occasionally visit friends, the local public house, and the theater. But the amount of free time and ways it could be used varied with different masters.

Even though the conjectural daily activities of the butler, cook, footman, and coachman and groom located at the end of this paper show full schedules from early morning until after Botetourt retired, the rhythm of the day's work varied. Some parts of the day obviously required hard work but these were often offset by slack periods. Also, days when Botetourt hosted balls or large dinners were obviously busier than others when he did little entertaining or visited with neighbors or journeyed to a nearby plantation. Often when Botetourt left the Palace fewer workers were needed and lower servants could take some time off. Occasionally the upper servants may have doubled up on their supervisory roles and thus allowed a fellow upper servants some free time. However, the irregularity of activities probably prevented regular time off for Palace servants except for some of the hired slaves who did not work on Sundays.


How did Botetourt's servants use their free time? The surviving records are silent on this topic but we can assume that they spent their time as others did: visiting, drinking, card playing and gaming, dancing, hunting, fishing, riding a horse rented from a local tavernkeeper, and attending the occasional fairs and other special events which occurred in the area. It is possible that the servants gathered in the servants' hall during some of their free time.

C. Relationship between Botetourt and His Servants:

Because many sources indicate that Botetourt was well liked by his family, friends, associates, and constituents, it is natural to find evidence that he established good relationships with his servants. Marshman's death provides insight into why relations between Botetourt and his servants were mutually satisfying: "In Lord Botetourt, I always experienced more of the Friend and Father, than of the Master."

The fact that four of the five servants (the fifth was a widower) whom Botetourt brought with him from Stoke left their wives in England and accompanied Botetourt to Virginia implies a measure of loyalty and devotion to one's master beyond that generally expected of English servants. All of these servants (except for Towse who died several months after arriving) remained on Botetourt's staff until his death.

However, the same cannot be said for the servants that Botetourt hired shortly before he left England. Except for Silas Blandford, Jr., who apparently grew up at Stoke, none of this group remained on Botetourt's staff at his death. The gardener and undercook returned to England and the three craftsmen left Botetourt's service to open businesses in Williamsburg during the fall of 1769. But even after they left the Palace staff, the craftsmen remained on good terms with their former master who hired them to wait at balls and dinners and to make items and do a number of repairs at the Palace. Botetourt loaned Kidd money and 36. later the estate paid him for attending Botetourt during his final illness. Suits of mourning clothes were made for Kidd and Draper to wear at the funeral and Kendall was directly involved with carrying out details during the funeral.

Letters written after Botetourt's death contain special tributes and also cite specific instances of the love and respect which his servants had for their master. For instance, Edward Montague reported to Botetourt s nephew that all of the servants behaved "with the utmost Fidelity & Tenderness, particularly Marshman, Fowler [Fuller] & the Coachman [Gale]." Marshman wrote that the loss of "my Dear kind Master" caused him the "utmost Grief and Consternation" and several persons attributed William Knight's death to his being overcome by hearing that his master had died. Though perhaps not the cause, Botetourt's death undoubtedly worsened Silas Blandford's illness. Two days after Botetourt died Marshman wrote a friend in England: "to add to my Calamity and Confusion at the loss of my Lord, an Old Fellow Servt. dyed within 4 hours after him, and another lays now dangerously ill."

Several weeks later Marshman wrote his brother that he and Fuller attended Botetourt day and night during the three weeks that he was ill and that he was not away from him for more than half an hour during that period. "I did my utmost," noted Marshman, "and have the pleasing sensation of having given perfect Satisfaction to my Dear Lord, to his last Breath. His Expressions to me, at several times, were tender and Affectionate beyond my power at present to describe…. I believe no Servant had evr heaped upon him such continual proofs of kindness from any Master, as I receiv'd from that Generous and Good Man."

An incident reported by one of the persons attending at the Palace several days before Botetourt died reveals Marshman's devotion to his master and the close relationship between Botetourt and his butler: "he Called his Servant (Marshman) & told him no man ever had a more faithfull or better Servant then he was, You 37. must Says he go home to the Duke of Beaufort he will provide for You, The Man burst into tears, & his Ldshp. Chid him Fy Marshman why do You unman yr. Self, do You envy me the happiness I'm goeing to enjoy, what have I lived for."

On the other hand, Botetourt was not adverse to necessary punishment of his slaves. The accounts do not indicate cause but list payments at various times for flogging Doll, Phillis, Sarah, Matt Piper (twice), and Will.

Though weighted by available source material toward he relationship between Botetourt and Marshman, we can infer from the above remarks that Botetourt earned the devotion of his staff through kind treatment and genuine appreciation for their service. Bequests in Botetourt's will further indicate that he valued those who served him. He left a year's wages to all servants living with him at his death and bequeathed to Silas Blandford, Sr., his "very faithful Servant" and long-term land steward at Stoke, an annuity of £100 a year during is life and earnestly recommended that his successors "employ and trust him."



With upper servants supervising the various work areas — the house, the kitchen, the stable, the garden, and the farm — each area functioned separately but also integrated its activities with the other areas. The Palace and the surrounding formal gardens and kitchen and stable yards comprised about ten acres; the remainder of the Palace Lands included about 150 acres of cultivated land, pasture, woodland, and wasteland located west, north, and northeast of the Palace.

A. Work Areas:

1. House

The Palace differed from other houses in Williamsburg, not only in size but also in function. As the official residence of the King's representative in Virginia, the Palace served as a public building as well as the private home of Lord Botetourt.

The fact that the Palace functioned in a public capacity affected household operations considerably. Since many parts of the building were, in effect, on display day and night, it was essential that the Palace be well managed by an efficient staff, not only capable of cleaning and caring for the personal possessions of the governor but also able to attend to the needs of the governor and his guests and persons who came to the Palace for business reasons. This required seeing that most of the housework occurred early in the morning and then continued unobtrusively as necessary throughout the day. In this respect the pantry, which served as the butler's office, was well located with ready access to the hall and the side entrance. The inner staircase also served a useful function for the servants and helped them carry out their duties behind the scenes.

Contemporary accounts indicate that Botetourt's butler, William Marshman, performed admirably as head of the Palace household. For an indication of his 39. regular duties, see the "Daily Activities of the Butler," as well as those of the footman, located at the end of this paper.

2. Kitchen

The buildings in the kitchen yard, like those in the stable yard, are poorly documented both historically and archaeologically. Botetourt's inventory indicates that by 1770 the number of outbuildings in the kitchen yard generally resembles the present reconstruction. According to the Virginia State Library copy of the inventory, the larder, smokehouse, salt house, charcoal house, coal house, and scullery were adjacent to the kitchen. Also the servants' hall and cook's bedchamber, and possibly the gardener's room, were apparently nearby — probably in the west advance building. The inventory names but does not locate the dairy and laundry; however, these outbuildings were commonly associated with kitchen yards. Though not actually in the kitchen yard, the cellars beneath the Palace were also associated with this area since most of the items inventoried in the cellar relate to eating and drinking.

Domestic activities — particularly ones involving cooking and cleaning — and to a certain extent the social life of the household staff, centered around this area. This was also the logical delivery point for foodstuffs and most household goods brought from the local market, nearby plantations, or other parts of the Palace Lands by cart, wagon, wheelbarrow, or carried by individuals.

The cook supervised most of the work in this area. Because there were usually only four female slaves on the Palace staff — and two would have been needed for food preparation and cleanup — it is possible that the housemaids did the laundry. If so, presumably the butler, who otherwise supervised the housemaids, oversaw the washing.

For an indication of the daily work in the kitchen area , see the "Daily Activities of the Cook" located at the end of this paper.

3. Stable

Presumably, the stable yard was located between the east advance building [used for the Governor's Office] and Lots 175-177 which belonged to Thomas Everard by 1770. This area served as the transportation center for the Palace. In addition to providing shelter for the horses, vehicles, and equipment which belonged to the governor, this area also accommodated visitors' horses and vehicles. Because space was limited, shelters for poultry and farm animals were probably located north of the stable yard.

Botetourt's inventory, which assembles most items in this area under the heading of "The Out-Houses," mentions a stable, granary, and poultry house. Though no coach house is named, the fact that Botetourt had a post chaise, post coach, park chair, and state coach implies the existence of one or more coach houses. Several of these buildings may be the structures shown just north of Scotland Street on the Frenchman's Map but the historical evidence is too sparse to identify these buildings with certainty.

Botetourt's land steward, Silas Blandford, provided overall supervision of the stable yard with the assistance of coachman Thomas Gale. Gale drove the vehicles, cared for the vehicles and harnesses, and oversaw the work of the groom, postilion, and stable hands. For an indication of the daily work in the stable area, see the "Daily Activities of the Coachman and Groom" located at the end of this paper.

4. Gardens

The gardener was responsible for planting and maintaining both pleasure and utilitarian gardens at the Palace. The pleasure gardens created a pleasing setting for the residence, reflected the governor's style of living, and provided privacy and enjoyment for the governor and his visitors. Since the pleasure gardens were constantly on display, it was the gardener's responsibility to maintain 41. the grounds according to the highest standards and incorporate changes in design and plant materials desired by the governor. Several slaves regularly assisted the gardener and other laborers provided temporary help when needed.

These workers also planted and maintained the orchard (location unknown but undoubtedly outside the formal garden area) and kitchen garden. Because so little space was available for planting herbs and vegetables adjacent to the kitchen, a large vegetable garden — located away from the Palace — may have supplemented the kitchen garden. At times, the gardener and his assistants probably helped with the farm activities. The gardens, as well as the stable and farm areas, fell under the overall supervision of the land steward .

5. Farm

By 1768 the Palace Lands comprised about 164 acres which extended west, north, and primarily northeast of the Palace. Revolutionary War maps which accurately depict Williamsburg and its surrounding countryside in September 1781 indicate large areas of open space within the Palace Lands, but since it is not possible to distinguish between land used for pasture and cultivation, neither the location of nor the extent of arable land can be determined. The main entrance to the cultivated and pasture land appears on the Frenchman's Map as the road just east of the Palace which leads north from Scotland Street.

References to farm activities during Botetourt's tenure are confined to several receipted accounts, the listing of farm implements in Botetourt's inventory, and payments made to Gale, King, and several others for farm work. As land steward, Silas Blandford supervised these activities. In August and September 1770 John Draper and Donald Ross repaired plows and harrows for Botetourt. Although no records mention the farm work done by slaves, token payments made to Thomas Gale and Samuel King partially outline the farm work schedule. Plowing, followed by harrowing and rolling, occurred in the spring and late summer. Haymaking happened frequently from 42. late spring through the fall. Since the inventory lists Indian corn, oats, English wheat, and clover and grass seed, one or more of these crops may have been raised on the Palace Lands.

Fodder and straw would have been likely crops for governors who raised livestock to grow but even so, accounts show that Fauquier, Botetourt, and Dunmore purchased fodder and straw locally. The purchases may indicate that the governors chose not to raise these crops or that they supplemented their crops. At his death Botetourt owned the following livestock: 5 coach horses and a mare, 2 saddle horses and a mare, 1 filly, 4 cows, 1 bull, 5 steers, 3 calves, 2 pigs and a boar, 37 sheep, and 19 wethers. He also had 10 turkeys, 18 geese, and 9 ducks.

No surviving sources indicate that tenant farmers cultivated a portion of the Palace Lands but it is possible that parts were leased for that purpose. Until the Revolution, Virginia governors collected rents on leased portions of the Governor's Lands (about 3000 acres) near Jamestown.

B. Economic Ties between the Palace and the Town:

Except for the college, the Palace was the largest household in Williamsburg (with around twenty-two members including the governor, the resident staff and slaves, and the hired slaves) and therefore a good customer for food, supplies, and services available in the community and on nearby plantations.

Even though Botetourt imported many non-perishable foods and supplies, feeding his staff and many visitors created a larger demand for local, fresh, perishable food and supplies. Botetourt's accounts indicate that items were purchased both in quantity and in small amounts — occasionally on the same day. Did the latter result from lack of modern communications or, to further good public relations, were the cooks and Marshman instructed to also buy small amounts of items such as eggs and chickens from persons who brought them to the Palace and 43. offered them for sale? The latter may well be the case since persons bringing gifts of food were well tipped for their offerings.

Botetourt also patronized the services and goods available from local craftsmen and sold by local merchants. Also the hire of additional workers to supplement the Palace staff benefitted local freemen as well as the masters of hired slaves.


Daily Activities of Selected Palace Servants

  • A.Butler
  • B.Coachman and Groom
  • C.Cook
  • D.Footman

Note: Though primarily conjectural, the daily schedules which follow are based on known details about Botetourt's life at the Palace, appropriate Virginia and English precedents, and reliable secondary source material .



The butler directed all activities within the Palace —— including over-seeing the work of the footmen, underfootmen, and housemaids; keeping the household and Botetourt's personal accounts; and assuming responsibility for the plate, glassware, and the contents of the wine cellar. In addition, he assisted Botetourt when called upon and coordinated his work with the cook and the land steward to ensure that the entire Palace complex functioned efficiently and harmoniously.

Except when extra workers were hired to help at a ball or large dinner, the staff that assisted the butler on a regular basis included two footmen (one of whom became the underbutler in 1770), several liveried male slaves who served as underfootmen, and two female slave housemaids.

The butler's daily routine followed a schedule similar to this:

c. 5:30 a.m.Rise, shave, and dress.
6-7 a.m.Direct the footmen's work in the pantry.
6-8:30 a.m.Direct the housemaid's work in straightening up and cleaning the Palace.
6-8:30 a.m.Assist Botetourt with anything he needed before he left for and after he returned from morning prayers at the college chapel.
8-8:30 a.m.Direct the footmen in setting the breakfast table.
8:30-c. 9:30 a.m.Direct the footmen in serving breakfast to Botetourt and his guests.
c.9:30-10 a.m.Breakfast with the other upper servants in the cook's bedchamber as soon as Botetourt and his guests finish eating. While eating discuss orders and activities for ensuing days .
10 a.m.-2 p.m.Remain in or near the pantry while settling accounts, overseeing the work of the footmen, underfootmen, and housemaids. Be available to see that Botetourt's needs are met and that household activities function smoothly.
Throughout the day the butler's activities will be interrupted by persons on the household staff reporting items needing attention and meeting with persons who come to the Palace on business.
2-2:30 p.m.Direct the footmen in setting the dinner table .
2:30-c. 3:30 p.m.Direct the footmen in serving dinner to Botetourt and his guests.
c. 3:30-4 p.m. Dine with the other upper servants in the cook's bed-chamber as soon as Botetourt and his guests finish eating.
4-7:30 p.m.Remain in or near the pantry to be of service to Botetourt and direct the work of the household staff.
7:30-8 p.m.Direct the footmen in setting the supper table.
8-c. 9 p.m.Direct the footmen in serving supper to Botetourt and his guests.
c. 9-9:30 p.m. Sup with the other upper servants in the cook's bedchamber as soon as Botetourt and his guests finish eating.
9:30 p.m. until Botetourt retiresRemain in or near the pantry to be of service to Botetourt and direct the work of the household staff.



Ordinarily the day's work began about 6 a.m. But if Botetourt chose to ride, rather than walk, to morning prayers at the college (7 a.m. in winter; 6 a.m. in summer), the work at the stable began about 4:30 a.m. Even if Botetourt needed only one horse for an early morning ride or drive, all of the horses needed to be fed at the same time. [Feeding should occur at least an hour before work time.]

The coachman generally received orders a day in advance.

Several slaves probably assisted the coachman and groom with the work in the stable yard.

The daily routine followed a schedule similar to this:

6-7:30 a.m.Open the doors and shutters to air out the stable.
Water and give hay and grain to the horses [The amount and type of grain fed to each horse varied according to each horse's temperament and the amount of work expected that day.].
Clean and bed up the stalls.
7:30-8 a.m.Breakfast in the servants' hall for the coachman and groom.
After breakfast Clean the vehicles and harnesses [coachman's work]. Groom the horses, allowing about one-half hour for each horse [groom's work).
Wash and hang out to dry the sponges, brushes, bandages, and rubbing cloths.
Clean and put away tools and other equipment.
Dust the stable and harness room and put the stable yard in order.
By about 9 a.m. the stable is "set fair" for the day.
Later in the morning, if there are no orders for the day, the horses are exercised in the pasture or paddock.
Before noon water and give hay and grain to the horses.
1-1:30 p.m.Dinner in the servants hall for the coachman and groom.
6:30 p.m.Water and give hay and grain to the horses.
7-7:30 p.m.Supper in the servants' hall for the coachman and groom.
9 p.m.Water the horses and give additional feed when necessary.

The amount of time required before one of Botetourt's vehicles was ready to be taken out varied:

State coach and six horsesabout 1 hour
Post coach and six horsesabout 1 hour
Post chaise and four horsesabout 45 minutes
Park chair and one horseabout 25 minutes
All but the chair, which Botetourt drove himself, required the services of the coachman, the groom, and a postilion. Also one of the footmen would accompany the vehicles to open and close the door for Botetourt and anyone accompanying him.

Preparation for an outing using one of the vehicles:

  • 1.Livery is laid out.
  • 2.Vehicle is drawn from the carriage house and dusted.
  • 3.While in the stable all staff assist in harnessing the horses except for their bridles.
  • 4.Staff don their livery and an apron.
  • 5.After putting on the bridles the horses are taken out where the coachman supervises the putting to of the horses.
  • 6.The coachman mounts the box, the postilion mounts the near lead horse [front left-hand horse] , and the groom takes his position on the rear of the vehicle.
  • 7.The vehicle is drawn up to the front door and the footman assists Botetourt and anyone accompanying him into the carriage. After the footman closes the door he takes his posit ion beside the groom.
  • 8.The vehicle proceeds to its destination.

The coachman and groom's workday was extended when Botetourt went out in the evening. Upon returning about 1 and ½ hours was spent in removing the 49. harness, cleaning but not fully grooming each horse, cleaning the harnesses including polishing the brasses, and light-cleaning the vehicle. This work made the next day's tasks easier.



As an upper servant the cook supervised and assumed responsibility for procuring foodstuffs and supplies, cooking and preparing meals, and overseeing other activities of the kitchen yard —— including dairying and, perhaps, laundering. Except when preparing special foods, training assistants, or during emergencies, the cook performed few manual tasks.

The records are not specific but probably only two female slaves assisted the cook on a regular basis with supplementary help added on special occasions.

The cook 's daily routine —— mostly supervisory —— followed a schedule similar to this:

c. 5:30 a.m.See that kitchen and scullery fires are started or replenished, water drawn, and provisions for breakfast assembled.
See that initial preparations of food for dinner is begun (such as killing and plucking poultry).
[A kitchen slave may have milked the cows at this time. But, because the cowshed was located a considerable distance from the kitchen yard (probably northeast of the formal garden), a farm or stable hand may have milked the cows and delivered the milk to the kitchen.]
c. 6:30-7:30 a.m.See that dough for bread served to Botetourt and the upper servants is kneaded and set aside for second rising.
See that Dutch oven is preheated.
See that breakfast food is made for lower servants .
7:30 a.m.See that breakfast is served to lower servants in the servants' hall.
c. 7:30 a.m. See that bread is baked for Botetourt and the upper servants.
8:30 a.m.See that breakfast is served to Botetourt and his guests.
c. 9:30-c. 10 a.m.Breakfast with other upper servants in cook's bedchamber. While eating discuss orders and activities for ensuing days.
c. 9:30-10:30 a.m.See that dishes and cooking utensils are washed.
10-10:30 a.m.Review accounts and plan menus for upcoming days. [Throughout the day the cook is occasionally interrupted in order to buy or receive foodstuffs and supplies brought to the Palace by local residents.]
10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.Discuss dinner preparations with kitchen assistants; assemble needed provisions and supervise preparations for dinner; possibly make some special dishes; and see that dinner is prepared for the lower servants, Botetourt and his guests, and the upper servants.
1:30 p.m.See that dinner is served to lower servants in the servants' hall.
c. 1:30 p.m.See that a fire is built in the oven for the afternoon baking.
2:30 p.m.See that dinner is served to Botetourt and his guests.
c. 3:30 p.m.Dine with other upper servants in the cook's bedchamber as soon as Botetourt and his guests finish dining.
See that dishes and cooking utensils are washed.
4-7 p.m.See that sweets and breads for supper or for serving at dinner the next day are prepared and baked.
See that supper is prepared for lower servants, Botetourt and his guests, and the upper servants.
7 p.m.See that supper is served to lower servants in the servants' hall.
8 p.m.See that supper is served to Botetourt and his guests.
c. 8:30 p.m.Sup with other upper servants in the cook's bedchamber.
See that dishes and cooking utensils are washed.
c. 9 p.m.See that dough for breakfast bread for Botetourt and the upper servants is made and set aside to rise overnight .
See that the kitchen is cleaned and put in order.

Possible variation on market days (Wednesdays and Saturdays):

7:30 a.m.See that breakfast is served to lower servants in the servants' hall.
c. 7:30 a.m.Breakfast in the cook's bedchamber with other upper servants and discuss orders for upcoming days.
c. 8:30 a.m.Leave for the market as soon as Botetourt's breakfast is served and return about 10 a.m.

Rationale for scheduling mealtimes:

Since Botetourt regularly attended morning prayers at the college (7 a.m. in winter; 6 a.m. in summer), this daily schedule allows plenty of time for Botetourt to return from the college before breakfast is served. [Englishmen and Virginians generally worked for an hour or two before breakfasting.] Botetourt's dinner and supper times are similar to the hours when most upper class Virginians ate. All of these mealtimes were flexible and varied according to Botetourt's plans for the day.

In general, the upper servants ate the leftovers from the food served to their master, his family, and his guests. For this reason I have scheduled their mealtime to follow Botetourt's. Presumably, the lower servants at the Palace —— like their English counterparts —— ate plain food supplemented by the previous day's leftovers from the upper servant's table. By staggering the mealtimes of the upper and lower servants, someone would always be available to wait on the governor.

References to food for the slaves is purposely omitted. At this point too little is known about where and what the Palace slaves ate to speculate.

Since laundering was generally a weekly or biweekly occurrence, and not a daily task, it is excluded from the cook's schedule of activities. Also, the housemaids may have laundered under the butler's, rather than the cook's, supervision.



The footman 's daily routine, supervised by the butler, followed a schedule similar to this:

c. 5:30 a.m.Rise and dress in work clothes.
c. 5:45-7 a.m.Lay and light fires (in season), clean glassware, cutlery, and polish silver.
7-7 :30 a.m.Wash, shave, polish buttons and buckles, brush livery, shine shoes, and dress in livery.
7:30-8 a.m.Breakfast with other lower servants in the servants' hall.
8-8:30 a.m.Set breakfast table.
8:30-c. 9:30 a.m.Serve breakfast to Botetourt and his guests and clear the table.
c. 9:30-10 a.m.One footman: Serve breakfast to the upper servants in the cook 's bedchamber.
c. 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.Wait —— While waiting the footmen are expected to perform various tasks for Botetourt and/or Marshman. One footman or an underfootman should remain in the front hall unless the butler directs otherwise.
1:30-2 p.m.Eat dinner with other lower servants in the servants' hall.
2-2:30 p.m.Set dinner table.
2:30-c. 3:30 p.m.Serve dinner to Botetourt and his guests,
c. 3:30-4 p.m.One footman : Serve dinner to the upper servants in the cook's bedchamber.
c. 3:30-7 p.m.Wait.
7-7:30 p.m.Eat supper with other lower servants in the servants' hall.
7:30-8 p.m. Set supper table.
8-c. 9 p.m.Serve supper to Botetourt and his guests.
c. 9-9:30 p.m.One footman: Serve supper to the upper servants in the cook's bedchamber.
c. 9 p.m. until Botetourt retiresWait.


If Botetourt goes out in one of his vehicles, one or both footmen will accompany him to help him in and out of the vehicle. The footmen ride on the back of the vehicle with the groom.

RR1632121Occupational Hierarchy for a Large English Country House (c. 1720-1770)

RR1632122Occupational Hierarch at the Palace - 7168-1770


^* Note: Though primarily conjectural, the daily schedules which follow are based on known details about Botetourt's life at the Palace, appropriate Virginia and English precedents, and reliable secondary source material.
^[*] Note: In this report the term servant, except when used to include slaves which Botetourt hired or purchased, indicates a free person hired at a fixed salary to perform specific duties. Botetourt did not have any indentured servants on his staff.
^* Victor Shone, Manager of Coach and Livestock Operations, assisted with this schedule.
^*Beverly Lewis, Supervisor for Domestic Crafts, assisted with this schedule.
Botetourt Manuscripts at Badminton (M-1395)
I-2, f. 1: A Catalogue of Family. 1758. Netherhaven [transcript]

A Catalogue of Family

My Ly. Dts's Table.
My Ly. Duchess
Her Son
Ly. Anne
Ly. Elizabeth
Ly. Henrietta
Ly. Mary.6.
The Steward's Table.
Mr. Capper
Mr. Threader
Mrs. Peach
Mrs. Stallard
Mrs. Cooke
Mrs. Bousquet
Mrs. Pain
Mrs. Kent8.
The Hall Table.
John Hayes }Jane Foster }
Tom Saunders }Jane }Kitchn.
Charles Twine }StablesJoyce Farrington }
Wm. Godwin }Mary Green }Landry
Wm. [Bear?] }Jane Bladen }
Jacob Twine }Anne White }
John Goulter }FootmenMargat. Robins }
Frans. Heach }Houseds.15.

in all 29.

Taken Augst. 1758

Botetourt Manuscripts at Badminton (M-1395)
III - ff. 148-190 passim.: "Dayly Acct of Expenses." [petty cash book—— excerpts from]
21 May 1770ball followed by several dinners at later dates
24 May '70to barber for dressing 6 servants hair 21st (and 6 servants 8 Nov past) 13/9
to 8 musicians 21st @ 21/6 £8.12
to 2 sentinels at the great door £1
to 2 sentinels at the kitchen door 10/
to Negros Jack & Ban for lighting candles 2/6
to Brammer for bumbo for populace £10
25 May '70to Draper 4 times waiting @ 5/9 £1.3
to Attorney's servant Tom 4 times waiting @ 2/6 10/
to Horrock's servant 10/
to Attorney's servant Harry once 2/6
to Kidd once waiting 5/9
to Kidd once waiting 5/9
30 May '70to Mrs. Carter's servant once waiting 2/6
to Attorney's servant once waiting 2/6
6 June '70to Draper once waiting 5/9
21 June '70to Rogers waiting the ball night 5/9
22 June '70to Attorney's servant 6 times waiting 15/
27 June '70to Horrock's servant 3 times waiting 7/6
29 June '70to Horrock's servant once waiting 2/6
25 July '70to Draper once waiting 5/9
31 July '70to Carter's servant once waiting 2/6
1 Aug '70to Pelham - attendance last ball [illegible]
Botetourt Manuscripts at Badminton (M-1395)
I- item 6: "Rules & Orders for Servants [at Netherhaven]", no date [transcript]
Rules to be observed at Netherhaven.
Bell ring for Breakfast at 9 o'clock
Do. for Dinner at 2¼ o'clock
Do. for Supper at 8½ o'clock
The Breakfast & Supper for the Servants to stand out half an hour, & none be allowed to be absent at any Meals except Those that are sent out by Orders from the Dts. or Capper, & then to have their Meals irregularly.
No Servant to have their Victuals cut off & sent to Them, except in case of sickness; nor any allowed to behave rudely in the Hall.
Somebody always to be in the way to answer to Bell.
Servants going to Salisburg or elsewhere if They dine 1s. 6d.
If they only set up their Horse—— to drink 6d.
Not to be allowed to ask People to dine unless first proposing it to Capper.
Hired Horses bo to the Inn.
Servants going to Sandy Lane
for Dinner when alone or with the addition of One only 6 Things.
for Supper when alone 3 or 4 at 9½ o'clock.
Introduction: A Note on Sources and an Explanation of Room Use
I.Overview of the English Servant System
A.Upper Servants
B.Lower Servants
C.Master/Servant Relationship
II.Palace Servant System: Adaptation of the English System
A.Occupational Hierarchy at the Palace (1768-1770)
1. Upper Servants
2. Lower Servants
3. Slaves
4. White Day Workers
5. Obtaining Temporary and Full-time Workers
B.Conditions of Service
1. Housing
2. Diet
3. Clothing
4. Recreation
C.Relationship Between Botetourt and His Servants
III.How the Palace Functioned as a Working Household
A.Work Areas
1. House
2. Kitchen
3. Stable
4. Gardens
5. Farm
B.Economic Ties between the Palace and the Town
IV.Daily Activities of Selected Palace Servants*
B.Coachman and Groom


^* Note: Though primarily conjectural, the daily schedules which follow are based on known details about Botetourt's life at the Palace, appropriate Virginia and English precedents, and reliable secondary source material.

A Look at Eighteenth-century Gentle PersonsA Thematic Paper Prepared for the Department of Interpretive Education
July 1981

Gretchen Schneider
Research Department
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

This Theme Paper is a distillation and clarification of my Palace Training Lectures. Continuing research for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation will culminate in a fuller, documented study of the subject which is forthcoming.

Because movement cannot be adequately described in words (a problem that has plagued the study of the most ephemeral of human acts——body movements and dance——since the Renaissance) and because movement as represented in graphics can be easily misunderstood, performance descriptions of specific public behaviors used in Palace interpretation will be presented in the form of video-tapes or film when this study is complete. Such media (accompanied by a work book) will allow graphics from the period, verbal instructions, musical accompaniment, directions, and model demonstration to occur concurrently, of course, there will always be necessity for informed, live teaching with this educational aid.


page no.
INTRODUCTION: A definition of Public Behavior and its particular application to the Governor's Palace1
I. Duty, Courtesy, and Manners: Foundation for Studying Public Behavior in the Eighteenth Century.
A. Adaptation of the English System in America3
B. The Mid-eighteenth Century English World View of Duty, Courtesy, and Manners Encompassed in Key Terms of the Period 1750-17758
II. Public Behaviors Appropriate to the Governor's Palace: Selected Examples
A. Social encounters and interactions17
B. Selected civilities20
C. Selected ceremonies22
III. Conclusion38
IV. Endnotes39
V. Appendices
A. Address in the Proper MannerA1
B. Calendar of Governor's Palace Balls and Other Festivities as indicated in Account Books at BadmintonB1
C. Rules of Precedency,…, for the Settlement of the Precedency of MEN and WOMEN in AMERICA as published in The Virginia Gazette (Purdie & Dixon), 26 May 1774C1
D. Selected descriptions of Virginia ballsD1


In July 1774 Robert Carter hosted a dinner, and Philip Fithian, the Carter's tutor, recorded the following incident that attended that event:

Dine with use, one——one——Mr.——Mr.——I forget his name——I know his trade tho': An Inspector [of Tobacco]——He is rather Dull & seems unacquainted with company [,] for when he would, at table, drink our Health, he held the Glass of Porter fast with both his Hands, and then gave an insignificant nod to each one at Table, in Hast, with fear, & then drank like an Ox——the Good Inspector, at the second toast, after having seen a little our Manner [:] "Gentlemen & Ladies["] (but there was none in Womans Cloathing at Table except Mrs. Carter) ["] The King——I thought that during the Course of the Toasts he was better pleased with the Liquor than with the manner in which at this Time he was obliged to use."1

In a similar vein, Devereux Jarratt described his entry into good company:

I went now to board with a gentleman, whose name was Cannon. He was a man of great possessions, in land slaves, &c. &c. As I had been always very shy of gentlefolk … imagine, how awkwardly, and with what confusion, I entered his house [——an entire stranger,] both to the gentleman and his lady … The interview, on my part was the more awkward as I knew not … what style was proper for accosting persons of their dignity. However I made bold to enter the door, and was viewed, in some measure, as a phenomenon. The gentleman took me … for the son of a very poor man in the neighborhood, but the lady, having some hint, I suppose from the children, rectified the mistake, and cried out, it is the schoolmaster.2

In the first situation, Fithian was reading the non-verbal behavior of a visitor and judging him accordingly. In the second situation, Jarratt acknowledged being intimidated upon entering the house of a social superior. In both cases verbal address was less important than appearance and body movement.

Physical movements of the human body——"body language"——convey impressions of the individual. A person's speech likewise contains a "hidden 2. dimension": how words are emphasized, how the voice is intoned, and how eyes, facial muscles, and the head coordinate with words. These physical and verbal "gestures" constitute the expression of an individual. Such expressions are culturally and socially determined and form the basis of public behavior. An individual "plays to" an audience that supports, rejects, or condones his or her expression.

In this essay, we will not be concerned with the whole spectrum of eighteenth-century Williamsburg society. Such a society, as you know, encompassed diverse groups——native born and immigrants, young and old, literate and illiterate, black and white. Instead, we will be looking at members of the colonial elite——the inhabitants, household staff, and visitors of the Governor's Palace. We want to demonstrate to Colonial Williamsburg visitors who these groups interacted with one another.


I. Duty, Courtesy, and Manners: Foundation for Studying Public Behavior in the Eighteenth Century

Adaptation of the English System in America.

Education in duty, courtesy, and manners in Virginia and England was conducted both formally (by tutor or school) and informally (by experience and observation). Training in personal virtue, interpersonal conduct, and duty to God assisted the child in seeing the practical application of cultural ideals in his social relationships. Consequently, upper-class Virginians insisted that their children acquire "polite" accomplishments. This preoccupation is clearly revealed in their papers. for example, in a letter dated 1718 Nathaniel Burwell of Gloucester County deplored his brother's inattention to his studies, not only because an ignorance of arithmetic would hamper him in "the management of his own affairs," but also because if he lacked a broad basis of knowledge, he would be "unfit for any Gentleman's conversation, & therefore a Scandalous person & a Shame to his Relations, not having one single qualification to recommend him"3 In a similar spirit William Fitzhugh of "Bedford" in Stratford County asserted in 687 that his children had "better be never born than illbred."4

Subjects such as mathematics, surveying, and law prepared a youth to manage the estate he would one day inherit and to discharge the social obligations that his position imposed. But the goal of education was not professional specialization. Rather, it was to develop fully every side of a gentleman's character. George Washington expressed this ideal in planning for the education of his ward, young "Jacky" Custis, in 1771. Admitting that "a knowledge of books is the basis upon which other knowledge is to be built." he explained that he did not think "becoming a mere scholar is desirable education for a gentleman."5 Likewise, Robert Beverley, father of Harry Beverley of "Hazelwood" in Caroline 4. County, directed in his will that his son's guardians should continue the boy's education until he should be taught "everything necessary for a gentleman to learn."6 Young women were not exempt from learning gentility. Charles Carter of Cleve directed in his will of 1762 that "it is my positive will and desire that my daughters may be maintained with great frugality and taught to dance." Regarding his sons, John and Landon, who were then in England "for the benefit of their education," Carter stipulated that "it is my will and meaning that they shall be continued at school to learn the languages, Mathematicks, Phylosophy, dancing and fencing till they are well accomplished & at proper age to be bound to some reputable, sober, discreet practising attorney til they arrive at the age of twenty-one years and nine months."7

The landed gentry of Virginia provided tutors, plantation schools and in some cases sent their children to England.8 That these young men were educated in both England and America is significant because it suggests that educational standard were interchangeable. The shared values of the education systems argues for a cultural nationalism between England and America. This cultural nationalism is further indicated by the similarity of books that were in the libraries of Virginia and English gentry. Many of these books dealt with the duty and conduct of gentle persons.

Although parents and tutors were responsible for cultivating genteel behavior, dancing masters (for the most part itinerants in Virginia during the mid-eighteenth century) taught the ceremony and civility of proper behavior. The itinerant dancing and music master set up school for a certain period of time, usually several days, at a plantation. Philip Fithian, tutor to the Robert Carter family, recorded the arrival and departure of Mr. Francis Christian (ca. 1770s), the dancing master whose circuit covered the plantation seats of Bushfield, Stratford, Wakefield, Sabine Hall, Mount Airy, Nomini Hall, 5. Mount Vernon, and the towns of Part Royal and Fredericksburg. Other dancing masters of the Northern Neck were William Dering (ca. 1740s), Stephen Tenoe (1740s), John Victor (1770s-1780s), and John Stadler (1760s-1770s)9.

To some, "the world"——participation in society——was at least as significant an agent in learning gentility as was formal training. by associating with persons of rank, a youth would learn gentle and good behavior. Civility was the product of worldly experience. The company of others was needed to determine what was universally acceptable behavior. A person secluded from company and from society had little opportunity to consult others or to put his good sense to use. Chesterfield urged his son to look for the laws of good breeding "in company, and renounce your closet till you have got them."10 Although the fundamentals of courtesy belonged to both an American savage and a French courtier, the courtier had made his courtesy well nigh infallible by spending his life in polite circles.

Informal education thus relied on participation in society. The wealthier a person was, the broader his or her experiences in society might be and, therefore, the wider-ranging his observations and his knowledge of how to act in particular circumstances. Participating in society was the best way for a young person to learn appropriate behavior because such participation required the unremitting performance of acts of civility and ceremony. Gradually, universally pleasing conduct would become habitual to a gentleman or gentlewoman, so that they no longer had to pause to consider whether or not their actions would be agreeable. "As soon as we have gained knowledge of civility," James Forrester affirmed, "we shall find the best way to improve it will be Exercise."11 Similarly Chesterfield reminded his son that "good-sense can only give you the great outlines of good-breeding, but observation and usage can alone give you the delicate touches and the fine colouring."12 Governor 6. Gooch found that a young man who visited the Palace had not learned from his experience and observations in society:

Your friend Cannon, who, I wish I had never known, and to whom I have nothing to give, … to say nothing of his prophane Jests against Religion and things sacred, or of his lewd and unnatural Lust of which he Boasts, … to enlarge upon his Principles, he had the assurance, in a most insolent manner, to affront my Wife and Sister, at my own Table, for which he had no other Provocation than their rallying him upon his manner of Behaviour.13

Hugh Jones, an Englishman and professor of mathematics at the College of William and Mary, observed that Virginians were inclined to "read men by business and conversation,"14 a statement indicating the importance of informed education. In face-to-face encounters of a small community——Williamsburg or the plantations of the Northern Neck——reading the behavior (intentions and dispositions) of one's fellows was essential to one's social, political, and economic survival. Virginians tended to rely on their immediate reactions to determine what would be pleasing to another person and what made sense in a given encounter.

In summary, Virginians' social life rested on the easy practice of civilities with ceremony. Adult men and women informally recognized a self-imposed code that guided their conduct. Observing the code in others behavior made gentlemen and ladies sensitive to their own social obligations. Consequently, they were quick to resent any imputation that their conduct did not accord with customary practice. Monitoring the conduct and behavior of one's fellows was an important way of "reading" and "knowing" one another; imperfections and slips acted as guards and catches in perpetuating the efficacy of this system of informal education.

When the Reverend John Camm wrote to the bishop of London on September 3, 1768, responding to accusations that he failed to extend civilities to 7. Governor Fauquier, he was exposing the Virginia system of duty to future historians as well as defending himself:

I have received from Mr. Horrocks such Intimations of the grounds of this confirmed dislike of the Governor & his family to me as the following. That, the Governor & His Lady once fancied Mr. Graham & me to have purposely Omitted the putting off of our Hats to them, when they passed by in a Chariot on the out side of the Pales of the College, while we were walking to & Fro in the gravel Walk within. And it was taken notice of it seems, that I did not put off my hat to Mr. Fauquier & Captain Fauquier when I happend to meet them in the Streets. This compliment I never failed to pay the Governor so far as I can recollect; because custom here gave it to him from every body. But I did not extend it to his sons: because I thought it would be resented as a challenge of Acquaintance, from one who had never enjoyed the Honor of being introduced to them, & therefore could have no pretensions to make such a challenge.15


The Mid-eighteenth-Century English World View of Duty, Courtesy, and Manners Encompassed in Key Terms of the Period 1750-1775.

Mid-eighteenth-century English elites assigned certain key terms to their ideas about their social world and how life in it should be lived. These terms do not mean the same thing today as they meant over two hundred years ago.


According to mid-eighteenth-century meaning, civility had its foundation in the natural world. Civility was the practice of one's God-given, good nature, an immutable essence with which every human being was endowed. A person was led to recognize his good nature through moral instruction. In short, training in virtue and morality encouraged the practice of civilities.

Civilities such as prudence, charity, modesty, and complaisance were considered permanent aspects of character. Even so, they had to be practiced and demonstrated. Such practice, termed "politeness," pleased everyone, regardless of place of origin or social rank, and was expected of every class of people. A person's "politeness" could be counted on to create a favorable impression all over the world, not only at a specific court or capital.

Colonial Virginians were constantly reminded of their civilities by parents, tutors, and by observing how other people conducted themselves in public. Virginians, like Englishmen and Scotsmen, also read practical lessons in civility. For example, Lord Chesterfield's famous letters of advice to his son and his nephew emphasized civilities and noted that they were "practiced by a good-natured American savage as essentially as by the best-bred European."16 Virginians read in the widely circulated and long-popular magazine The Spectator that good breeding was "nothing else but an imitation and mimicry of good-nature, or in other terms, affability, complaisance, and easiness of temper reduced into an art."17 Earlier, Richard Steele had written in The Spectator that a truly 9. well-bred gentleman is one whose actions "rise in him from great and noble motives… The more virtuous the man is, the nearer he will naturally be to the character of genteel and agreeable,"18 In another popular English guide for tutors, Petrie's Rules of Good Deportment (1720), incivility and sinfulness were synonymous: "Tis sinful and ill Breeding to lie … It is unjust and uncivil in Magistrates to oppress their Subjects."19

Unlike civility, which involved practice of basic humanity towards others, ceremony emphasized the acquisition of precise skills in human interaction. Ceremony was the high polish of politeness. All the modes of conduct observed in fashionable society, from table manners and forms of address to clothes, gestures, opinions, and games, fell under the rubrick of ceremony.

Ceremony related to formality and tradition as well as to fashion and modishness. Although some persons in the eighteenth century recognized that many of the customs were ridiculous, those who did not observe ceremonies were criticized for an affected singularity. We have seen how the tobacco inspector's lack of knowledge of the Carters' table ceremony elicited derogatory comments. Similarly, Jarrett was anxious that his ignorance of entry ceremonies would give the Cannon family an unfavorable impression. Both socially and politically, it was though better to try to "fit in" so as not to draw attention to oneself.

Ceremony was an important part of life at the Governor's Palace. What traditions or customs the governor chose to uphold and what new fashions or ideas he chose to display would dictate the conduct of those who wished to remain in or join his favor. For example, Botetourt's observation of Virginia custom when he took the oath of office at the Capitol and then retired to the Raleigh Tavern for dinner was comparable to Dunmore's similar respect paid to Virginia ceremony. (Dunmore, however, took the oath of office at the Palace.)20 10. In his role as the symbol of the crown's sovereignty and the values of English culture, the governor used formal ceremonies and his personal example to illustrate the authority and cultural leadership of England.

An important contrast between civility and ceremony must be emphasized. Civilities were considered immutable, were as ceremonies changed or altered elements according to fashion. Nonconformity to current modes of conduct and manner was ill manners, but marks of incivility were considered immoral. A person who had not received the formal education from tutors and dancing masters to clarify these concepts did the best he could by watching the most educated and polished people and following their example. Such direct participation in fashionable society would lead one to acquire refinements, in Chesterfield's terms, "by observation and experience." When a new governor came to Williamsburg, watching and following were a key to becoming part of the governor's "inner circle." Furthermore, selective use of the governor's fashions gave out subtle clues indicating just how involved you were with the governor's political policies and in his favor generally.


Decorum was the circumspection and fitness of all actions and attitudes, embracing both civilities and ceremonies. Once accomplished, the luster of decorum perpetuated the illusion that civility and ceremony were really the product of one's good nature rather than the result of much study. Virginians read about decorum in Francois Teussaint's Manners (1770). Toussaint put forth two major guidelines. First, "[p]erform no action that is not stamped with the characteristics of rectitude and virtue." If everyone expressed their good nature, those who were less refined would at least receive good example. Second, "[d]o not perform those actions which the law of nature permits or requires, otherwise than in the manner, and under the limitation prescribed."21 If everyone followed the 11. same prescriptions public decency would prevail.

Virginians knew that although God was witness to their good intentions and pure hearts, their peers saw only the externals and therefore judged intentions by conduct. By observation and experience Virginians examined and evaluated one another. The alliance and esteem of others were important to Virginians. It was in their interest to act in a way that would not arouse suspicion and thus would not damage their reputations. It was not sufficient, therefore, that virtue lay hidden in the heart. It must be rendered visible.

In a letter 29 July 1761 to the Reverend Dr. Nicholls, Governor Francis Fauquier provides an excellent example of eighteenth-century decorum. Fauquier expressed distress that Mr. Robinson was appointed Royal Commissary (to replace the late Mr. Dawson). Fauquier noted, however, that when Robinson came to him to clarify his intentions in his new appointment …

he executed the Charge given him by his Lordship in the handsomest manner, offering his Services with great Sincerity and Cordiality, desiring my Friendship and declaring that if he had offended me, he was very sorry for it and asked my pardon.

Robinson's display of decorum in acknowledging his duty to the governor was intended to dissipate Fauquier's suspicion and to set the new commissary's intention in the fairest light. He was demonstrating to Fauquier his good nature. Apparently it had a strong effect. Fauquier noted:

After some Observations and Remonstrances on his former Behaviour, I got up and took him by the Hand (a constant Token of good will in the Country which I had purposely omitted when he first entered my House) and told him this was all any Gentleman could do, or could be asked of him: and that as a private Man I was fully satisfyed and he should find so by my Conduct.


Fauquier's story does not end with the affirming symbol of brother hood, the taking of the hand. The governor wished to coerce his political inferior and asserted that "all the colony" knew that Robinson had treated him (the governor) injuriously,

and therefore it became necessary that the Colony should know that his Majesty's Lieutenant Governor had received Reparation for his injured Honor: That I wuld not make the Affair too publick but that I should insist on his making the same Declaration before two or three Friends whom I would ask to meet him at Dinner the next Day.
Before President John Blair, Councillor Robert Carter of Nomini, and Attorney General Peyton Randolph at dinner, Fauquier noted that "he [Robinson] could not be brought to make use of the Words proposed by himself the Day before, and he thought it more honorable to evade, than to ask pardon." Fauquier and Robinson did not settle their difficulties. Nonetheless, for the "sake of the Colony and in the interests of peace," Fauquier half-heartedly accepted Robinson's excuses, and they "shook Hands and drank to the Continuance of peace and Harmony in the Colony."22


Control of undesirable or unwanted body gestures and twitches that might convey an unintended meaning to others was a preoccupation in the mid-eighteenth century. External expressions belied one's relationship not only to God but to society in general. Good conduct revealed good nature, good manners, and successful management of self. Self-control was considered a duty to others.

The result of self-control was called demeanor. The process of achieving demeanor was called deportment. Understanding demeanor and deportment insured the circumspection and fitness of all actions and attitudes, or decorum. Demeanor and deportment were the practical application of ceremony.

A well-bred demeanor was an aesthetic way of doing everything. It was a graceful air, a comeliness of execution——the "graces" or the "je ne sais quoi" 13. (that little indefinable something) of which Chesterfield so often spoke. It was to be part of every action of gentle persons, even when they were simply standing in a room or sitting in a chair. Demeanor was a decorative quality that enhanced the merit of individuals who acquired it. British "conversation piece" paintings, a genre of small-scale, informal portraiture that represented real people "at home" or in intimate surroundings, captured the essence of demeanor.23 The persons who sat for these paintings believed that mannerly example was a living picture. A painting, because it was inanimate, could seldom represent real virtue in the "actor".

Demeanor gave unity to a person's expression. A major attitude of a person's unified expression was the restraint which was a special predilection of the period by which to show the self. Paradoxically, restraint dictated that a person appear artless and nonchalant while demonstrating and using the artful mastery of techniques (such as foot positions and waling patterns) and ornaments of behavior (for example, hand positions and dress accessories such as fans and canes). Not only did the taste of the period sanction control, but such control constituted the very beauty of an eighteenth-century person. Both control and beauty were identified with virtue.

Demeanor was evident in the act of dancing. In the eighteenth-century dancing, especially "art" or "court" dances, represented perfection in social behavior. Therefore it was practiced faithfully. The dancer became an emblem of societal ideals, expressed in the extreme control of the body's rhythmic motion: order, harmony, memory, musicality, and judgment. Could we not construe that Governor Gooch's comment to this brother shortly after his arrival in Williamsburg in 1727, that there was "not an ill Dancer in my Govmt."24 was by analogy a compliment to himself: The public weal was a smooth-running clockwork in which everyone was well schooled in decorum (dance) by their gover[nor] 14. (the dancing master)?

Deportment was the conscious attention to the skill of achieving correct and graceful gesture and motion. Unlike the other terms we have defined, deportment was not a philosophy or an inner attitude but a science, eminently practical. Not only did lessons in deportment teach a person how to sit, stand, walk, arrange the limbs, and use objects such as teacups, pillows, and chairs, but they also dealt with the physical limitations and restrictions to movement that dress presented. The Robert Carter family tutor, Philip Fithian, was not unusual in observing dress right along with grace and motion: "Miss Betsy Lee … is drest in a neat shell Callico Gown … & her whole carriage is easy inoffensive, & graceful."25

Dancing masters urged both young and old pupils "to appear easy and amiable, genteel and free in person, Mien, Air and Motions, rather than stiff, awkward, deform'd and consequently disagreeable." In his Rules of Good Deportment, or of Good Breeding. For the Use of Youth (1720 Adam Petrie cautioned:

Be careful what Gestures or Motions of the Body you use, especially in speaking; see that it be decent, not accompained [sic] with nodding, shaking of the Head, or looking a skew, or wry Mouth'd, moving the Hands, &c.26
Ungainly air, which the scientific principles of deportment sought to eradicate, was a fatal sign of ill-breeding. Deportment was a body skill, insuring ease and harmony of body parts. Dancing went further and extended the lessons of deportment, by inculcating balance, alignment, aesthetic lines and twists, and rhythm.


A Virginian laid claim to his or her gentility on the bases of birth and virtue. Wishing to claim gentility, a Virginian might have read in Daniel Defoe's The Complete English Gentleman (1728-29, and later editions): 15. "If the vertue descends not with the titles, the man is but the shaddow of a gentleman, without the substance."27

Virtue was the real source of nobility and gentility. All men were equal in the sight of God, but some had been elevated above their fellows because of their outstanding moral qualities and exemplary conduct. Among these qualities were patriotism; piousness and godliness: and the accomplishments and discipline of an education. Such heroic qualities were what had raised one's ancestors to honor, to a glorious throne, and to an honorable name. They were expected in all gentle persons but particularly in leaders such as the governors of Virginia.

In addition, gentility moderated a world that on the one hand was made up of rules and conventions and on the other hand was essentially rude and natural. From tutors and by observation the gentle person bred to civility had learned those habits that afforded pleasure to others. In his Essay on Conversation (17[illegible]) Henry Fielding, the English novelist whose writings were sold and read by Virginia elites, gave a definition of the gentle person that was generally accepted by the age: "In short, by good breeding … I mean the art of pleasing or contributing as much as possible to the ease and happiness of those with whom you converse."28 Lord Chesterfield similarly counciled his son: "Do as you would be done by is the surest method that I know of pleasing. Observe carefully what pleases you in others, and probably the same things in you will please others."29 Thus the Golden Rule was a guidepost to gentility.

Richard Steele, the English essayist whose newspaper The Guardian was popular in Virginia, gives us a portrait of a "gentle person." Certainly such a portrait informed Robert Carter and Mr. and Mrs. Cannon on how to read their visitors, the tobacco inspector and the young schoolmaster. According 16.

When I view the fine gentleman with regard to his manner, methinks I see him modest without bashfulness, frank and affable without impertinence, obliging and complaisant without servility, cheerful and in good-humour without noise.30

The gentle person had the responsibility of educating himself or herself in the art of pleasing and in the manners and customs of a given place and time. Formal education by parents, tutors, and schools assisted the person in this very serious issue of virtue and humanity. Being "well-bred" and "of good breeding" meant that an individual had used the educative process to meet the task of bringing his or her natural inheritance to flower.


II. Public Behaviors appropriate to the Governor's Palace: Selected Examples

Social Encounters and Interactions.

The Governor's Palace was one of many locations in Williamsburg where persons were likely to meet and transact affairs. Social encounters, meetings, took place between those who (1) lived in the Palace and its grounds: (2) came to the Palace on business, including ships' captains, shopkeepers, artisans, vendors, religious leaders, members of the College of William and Mary and other educational leaders, members of the House of Burgesses, Councilors, dignitaries from other colonies and Europe, and plantation owners; (3) came to the Palace for pleasure——guests, friends, family and, on ceremonial occasions, selected gentry and townspersons; (4) acted as intermediaries for business and pleasure——messengers servants of upper class individuals, coachmen, apprentices, and the like. In any one given social meeting (encounter), the historian can either determine direct[ly] or hypothesize who might have been involved in the encounter, what was transacted during the encounter, where the encounter might have most likely occurred (what room, the physical place of meeting), and when it would have most likely happened during year, month, week, day, and time of day. Sometimes the historical record speaks eloquently of social encounters at the Palace, oftentimes the encounters must be conjectured. Two examples will make this clear.

Writing to the bishop of London on September 8, 1768 (after Fauquier's death), the Reverend John Camm spoke of an encounter he had with Governor Fauquier during which he "thought it became me to take with me two Clergymen of unexceptional characters, Mr. Robinson the late Commissary & Mr. Warrington, to be witness to what should pass between the Governor & me in transacting such Business for the Body of the Clergy." How fortunate for historians that both Camm and Robinson wrote down their observations of the meeting! Camm's description captured the 18. essentials:

The Governor appeared in view ready to receive us before we approached near to his House met us at the Door & scarcely could be said to admit us within the Passage. On receiving the Papers he fell into a most indecent & unmanly rage; charged me with having shewn more respect to Mr. Warrington than to the Governor, alluding I suppose to the few days which I had spent at Mr. Warrington's since my arrival; said I had told lies of him in England. This I took the Liberty to deny, to be that I might know my Accuser, & that we might be brought face to face. On which he roar'd out I will appear with you no where. We prepared to depart. With a commanding voice he bellowed to us to stop. We obey'd on the top of the Steps. When he came out & called with great violence for Westmore one of his servants. Westmore came. Call my Negroes, says he, call all my negroes, in high wrath. When the Negroes were come; look at him, mark him, says he, that you may know him again, & running his finger close up to my face; & if this Gentleman ever hereafter approach my Gates, take care that you do not suffer him to enter them. This singular & insulting Ceremony the manifest Child of violence, having spent itself, we were permitted to depart.
31 Should we jump to the conclusion that the governor was irrationally upset, we must look at the encounter from his point of view. Writing to the Board of Trade. Governor Fauquier noticed that Mr. Camm was the messenger fro the official Order from his Majesty in Council to repeal four Acts of Assembly. Copies of the Order and Instruction were in the Colony for six months before they were brought to the governor, thus putting the governor in the awkward position of not being able to enforce his Majesty's will for six months.

Upon receiving the Order (Camm's description is of his reception at the time of delivery), Fauquier found "his Majesty's royal Order in Council and Instruction, both open, dirty, and worn out at the Edges and Folds. Seeing they were of an old Date, I ask'd him [Camm] where they had been till this Time. He answer'd in the Custody. I ask'd him if they were deliver'd to him open and without Cover. His answer was, they were."


Governor Fauquier felt in this situation that if Camm wasn't to blame then perhaps the "Lordships [of the Board of Trade] meant to cast a Slurr upon [him]…, and lessen…[him] in the Eyes of the Gentlemen in the Colony." He felt that Mr. Camm had treated him "with great Indignity," affronting the privilege of his office.32 Governor Fauquier's behavior was a reaction to the magnitude of the affront that he felt had been paid to him by Camm.

This particular account is exceptional in its vivid detail; others are not. Yet the historian can synthesize encounters from an understanding of the protocol that surround meetings with the governor and by studying the routines and schedules of the household staff. We can conjecture the various typical meetings that occurred as the governor's household staff and family went about their daily business and when the governor received visitors. For example, the hypothetical daily activities of selected Palace servants gathered by Pat Gibbs suggest the following encounters: (1) butler directs footmen's and housemaids' work at a variety of locations in the Palace at various times during the day; (2) butler assists the governor before chapel, before meals, and before retiring; (3) coachman and groom meet each other while maintaining and caring for the equipment and animals in the stable area as well as meet others who will use vehicles and animals during the day; they will also meet the coachmen of visitors to the Palace; (4) coachman and groom meet with Palace footmen at meals; (5) footmen greet visitors to Palace and direct sequence of arrival up to the actual meeting with the governor; (6) governor meets with visitors and guests.

Each of these encounters would necessarily entail the transaction of business, whether it be conveying the rather precise logistics of carrying out a household task (butler instructs housemaid how to clean a spot on the carpet) or conveying respectful honors and conversation for civil or ceremonial purposes (butler extends honor to visitor and inquires how he might make the visit 20. more comfortable).

In the mid-eighteenth century every person, no matter what his or her position on the social scale, ranked social encounters according to whether they occurred with superiors, equals, or inferiors. This typology determined the attitude Virginians assumed and the honors they gave when they met someone. Most persons acquired this knowledge informally, by "being in society," but English writers offered formal descriptions for those who would not learn by "observation and experience." Adam Petrie's Rules of Good Deportment guided youth and adults for over a hundred years. Some examples of Petrie's social admonishments with superiors and with inferiors were:

When you walk with your Superior, let him have the right Hand; but if near a Wall let him be next to it. In Scotland the right Hand is only given, but in England and Ireland they give the most eminent Person the Wall, and to all Ladies.

When you walk with a Person of Quality keep not up by his Side, except he desire you; and when he speaks to you keep off your Hat. I do not mean here that Gentlemen of ancient and handsome Fortunes should do so.

When you walk with Superiors you must not keep to the Middle, but let the most eminent Person have it; and the next eminent Person his right Hand. Be sure not to walk with your Hands behind your Back, or in your Sides before your Superiors; nor must you handle any Part of your Body in their Presence.

If you be walking in a Garden with a Person of Quality, it is rude and uncivil to fall about plucking of Fruits or Flowers; it evidences little Esteem of his Company. If they are presented, it is civil to take them.

If a Person of Quality sits down for his Ease, it will not be civil for you to sit down, unless he desires you. If he be engaged with other Company, it will not be discreet for you to walk up and down before him, nor to sit down …33

Selected Civilities

The most basic sign of outward respect that could be paid to a person was called an Honor. Honors were classified according to sex. In the phraseology of the period men "paid a bow" or "gave a bow," and women "paid a courtesy" or 21. "gave a courtesy," as if the acts were currency. If a gentleman gave an honor, he paid out respect and expected in return the respect due his station. Such an exchange was civil. In July of 1774 Fithian recorded that he "bow'd to the venerable old Negroes [Dadda Gumby and his wife]," who offered him "Eggs, Apples, Potatoes" and gratitude for his visit.34

Males bowed their bodies (from the hip joint, keeping the back through the neck straight) and females bent their knees during their honors. The point of respect was the lowering of the eyes, which the tilt of the man's body did automatically, but which women coordinated with the knee bend, so that "the Eyes (being downcast,…) discover Humility and Respect, … then rising from the courtesie gradually raise the Eyes so too, and look with becoming Modesty."35 The simplicity and plainness of honors executed "in a regular Manner," were thought to be very grand, noble, and highly ornamental to good character.

Honors were categorized into two groups: Standing and walking. Standing honors included taking leave and taking praise. Walking honors involved acknowledging another person with a minimal break in the cadence of the walk itself. Honors occurred at several key points in encounters: (1) on breaking off a conversation, as in taking leave; (2) in acknowledgement of some favor or words of praise; and (3) upon entering a room or meeting a person in passing.36

Honors recognized the status and rank of the person to whom they were directed. Adam Petrie cautioned: "Be indebted to no man for a Hat, tho' he be far inferior to you; but discreetly pay him home his salute."37 Pierre Rameau, the French dancing master whose deportment instruction enjoyed an international reputation, said: "A very necessary matter for everyone, whatever their station, to be informed upon, is the correct manner of raising one's hat a making a[nd] graceful bow." The depth and number of the bows or courtesies related to the rank of the person being saluted. Superiors were accorded a deeper gesture or more than one, 22. depending on their rank and the circumstances of the encounter. For instance, a citizen would accord the Governor of Virginia a deeper bow than he would an equal in passing but would also give a standing bow as his superior passed.38

The removal of the hat, coordinated with the bow, was also a sign of respect. The grasp of the hat (pointed over the left eye) was crucial to making sure the inside of the hat was open to the honoree at the lowest point of the bow.39

Hand shaking was not a sign of respect or honor, but rather a signification of a bond. In As You Like It (V, iv) Shakespeare noted the shaking of hands to swear brotherhood. Samuel Papys (1662) noted that handshakes accompanied the taking of oaths. We have seen how Governor Fauquier purposely withheld his handshake (which he deemed "a constant Token of good will in this Country") from Mr. Robinson until he was sure of Robinson's character and sincerity. Only after the governor's evaluation could Robinson enter "brotherhood" with him.

Verbal greeting accompanied physical gestures and related to the tripartite ranking of persons as superior, equals, and inferiors. The political and religious hierarchy within the colony created a list of precedence. Most instructional books containing greetings illuminate the Virginia model. (SEE: Appendix——"Address in the Proper Manner.")

Selected Ceremonies

The most essential aspect of ceremony was the presentation of the self. The outward appearances of self that others "read" included dress, mannerisms, attitude, and conversation. Of these, dress was the most significant because it literally moulded the body into identification——fashionable, proportional, and stylish; dress "spoke" if it was out-of-fashion, occupational or social class-related, or foreign. Mannerisms and attitude were conveyed by deportment, taught formally by the dancing master. Conversation was a matter of formal education and 23. being in society——familiarity with social usages and pleasantries.

Fashionable dress for both men and women must be a major concern at the Governor's Palace, for style of dress was significant in bodies and therefore the quality of movement. Style of dress can be related directly to style in decorative arts and was a major source of information for persons in the Palace concerning taste and aesthetics.

How the body moved——the exact range of movement of the limbs, the articulation of the torso and the rate of movement depended on clothing. The clothing a person wore supported his or her self-image and implied the degree of social rank and status. Behavior and clothing are like the hand in the glove; behavior cannot be defined independently of dress.

In order to understand how dress controlled behavior, it is important to realize that dress was not designed strictly to function in terms of bodily comfort, natural movement patterns, or any utilitarian purposes. Dress usually did keep the wearer warm in drafty, unheated halls, but beyond this it was detrimental to health because it inhibited physical activity. The symbolism of dress was evident at the Governor's Palace, where dressing à la mode was one of the ceremonial functions of attendance. Clothing symbolized the separation between those who were invited to attend and those who were excluded. Within the political and social hierarchy of the colony, clothing symbolized the degree of privilege held by reason of wealth, birth, or favoritism. The length of coats, new closer-fitting fabrics for men's breeches, colors designated by royal edicts or fashion (consider the fashionable blue wallpaper of the ballroom), sumptuous fabrics that were in themselves negotiable assets, and even the quality of a servant's livery were important emblems of status that represented the wearer's financial and political clout. Clothing was thus intended to do more than become the wearer or serve as protection——it was meant to astonish and even intimidate. 24. In short, clothing was armor.

As stated above, fashionable dress imposed physical restrictions and limitations of movement on men and women. The major confinement for a woman was her stays, which fit from under the arm to the hip joint, immobilizing the torso and completely restricting movement from the waist. The stays created a particular body proportion and shape, forcing the body into an unnatural alignment by pushing it forward and up. The shape of the body was cone-like: A flat line from the middle of the breasts to the pubic bone and a very narrow waist. Stays accommodated the hips, which were accentuated by paniers. In stays, a person today can feel the extreme forward and upward push on the body; thus, in order to balance the body (and sometimes because of stay straps), the arms were held behind the shoulder. The overall posture was accentuated by small heels on shoes, which also caused the body to tilt forward. Thus, balance became a key aspect of proper deportment.

Men's dress, although not as restrictive as women's, paralleled the aesthetic lines of women's dress. Men assumed an alignment and postural configuration similar to women. For instance, in place of women's stays, men's waistcoats created the illusion of an unbroken torso line. Although men were able to bend at the waist, proper deportment did not allow them to do so. Men's coats and waistcoats, structurally had the armholes set back, forcing the arms to hang behind the shoulders, thus encouraging the same upright posture as that of women. The slight flare of the outer coat subtly picked up the wider line of the ladies' paniers. As with women's dress, the narrow look at the shoulders of the coat contrasted to the fullness at the hips. Heels on men's shoes also forced the body to tilt forward, necessitating compensation in balance.

Both sexes employed neck scarves and ruffles at the breast to accentuate the upward-turned sternum.

It was not merely the clothing, but the ability to handle oneself within 25. the limitations and restrictions of dress that constituted the presentation of self. Writers on deportment and manners maintained that graceful bearing was more important to insuring social success than were sound sense and profound knowledge. Certainly Lord Botetourt found this idea expounded when he read Henry Fielding's novel Tom Jones, wherein a youth with no knowledge gained formally is accepted into society by virtue of his graceful bearing.

John Locke, widely read in all the colonies, discussed at length the desirability of "managing the self"——acquiring his good-breeding——in his book Some Thoughts Concerning Education. Lessons in "managing the self" and deportment ideally began in early childhood, not by following rules, but by having the opportunity to follow examples. Locke believed that

young children should not be much perplexed about [managing the self]; I mean about putting off their Hats, and making Legs modishly. Teach them Humility, and to be good-natur'd, if you can, and this sort of Manners will not be wanting. If you can teach them to love and respect other People, they will, as their Age requires it, find ways to express it acceptably to every one, according to the Fashions they have been used to: And as to their Motions and Carriage of their Bodies, a Dancing-Master, as has been said, when it is fit, will teach them what is most becoming.40

In addition to the presentation of self and deportment of the "players" or "performers," ceremony included the structure of the event, which acted as a kind of script telling players what to do next, when, and how. This structure often had its own history and traditions. Ceremonial structures at the Governor's Palace included formal dinners and balls, presentation of letters of introduction, and meetings of the Council. Rites of passage——christenings, marriages, and funerals——were additional occasions for ceremony.

The taking of the oath of office by Botetourt and Dunmore are two more examples of ceremony. For both men the event began with their ceremonial 26. conduct into the city and ended with illuminations. Botetourt noted in a letter to the Earl of Hillsborough, 1 November 1768,

Colonel Cary finding me eagerly bent upon being at Williamsburg that night, immediately order'd his Chariot and convey'd me within four miles of the City, where I was met by Mr. Secretary Nelson and his brother; at the Capitol we found the Council and all the Gentlemen of Williamsburg assembled to receive us. I was immediately conducted to the Council Chamber; and after my Commissions were read took the oaths and swore in the Council.41
The Virginia Gazette reported
Next morning his Excellency landed at LITTLE ENGLAND, and was saluted with a discharge of cannon there. After tarrying a few hours, and taking a repast, his Excellency set out about noon for this City, where he arrived about sunset. His Excellency stopped at the Capitol, and was received at the gate by his Majesty's Council the Hon. the Speaker, the Attorney General, the Treasurer, and many other Gentlemen of distinction, after which being conducted to the Council chamber, and having his commissions read, was qualified to exercise his high office, by taking the usual oaths. His Excellency then swore in the members of his Majesty's Council, after which he proceeded to the Raleigh Tavern, and supped there with his Majesty's Council . His Excellency retired about ten, and took up his lodgings at the palace, … Immediately upon his Excellency's arrival the City was illuminated, and all ranks of people vied with each other in testifying their gratitude and joy that a Nobleman of such distinguished merit and abilities is appointed to preside over, and live among, them.42
The reception of Governor Dunmore repeated the ceremony. Again the Virginia Gazette reported
Yesterday arrived in Town, between ten and eleven O'Clock, the Right Honourable the Earl of Dunmore, our Governour, with Captain Foy, his Excellency's Secretary. He cam from York that Morning accompanied by His Honour the President, Mr. Secretary Nelson, and the Honourable John Page, Esquire, and immediately, with those Gentlemen, and the Honourable Robert Carter, Esquire, repaired to the Palace, where he was sworn in to the Administration of Government. They, with several of the Principal Gentlemen in this City, who went to pay their Respects to his Excellency, were invited to dine at the Palace, where they spent the Day. In the Evening there were Illuminations, &c…43


Within the framework of such ceremonies, civilities (honors, for example) became more important than they were in everyday life. Because civilities were an integral part of the performance at ceremonial functions, participants were made more conscious of their meaning and executed them with a heightened sense of awareness.

Historical evidence of the ceremonies at the Palace during the governorship of Lord Botetourt is sparse. Data from other colonies can be useful in providing ideas for interpreting the fragmentary evidence that does exist. For example, to discover how Lord Botetourt received official visitors into the Palace, we can look at the activities at one reception ceremony recorded by William Black. Black was appointed as Secretary to the commissioners in 1744 by Governor Gooch of Virginia, to join his counterparts from Pennsylvania and Maryland, to treat with the Iroquois or Six Nations of Indians for the lands west of the Allegheny Mountains. The reception by the governor of Pennsylvania, George Thomas, had precedents in seventeenth-century English royal entries into a city. At the line dividing Maryland and Pennsylvania, the commissioners of Maryland and Virginia were met by "the High Sheriff, Coroner, and under Sheriff of New Castle County with their White Wands, who came at the Desire of the Governor to Conduct us thro' their County." At the line dividing New Castle and Chester counties, the commissioners and the New Castle County delegation were met by the high sheriff, coroner and under sheriff of Chester County, who conducted them to Chester Town, where they spent the night. The next day the whole entourage, now accompanied as well by "several Gentlemen of the Town," moved toward Philadelphia. Three miles from the Schuylkill, the entourage was met by the sheriff, coroner and sub-sheriff of Philadelphia County. Here the Chester County delegation took their leave. At the Schuylkill, the commissioners were met by Richard Peters, Esq., secretary of the province, Robert Strettell, Andrew Hamilton, and several other gentlemen of 28. Philadelphia, "who Received us very kindly, and Welcom'd us in to their Province with a Bowl of fine Lemon Punch big enough to have Swimm'd half a dozen of young Geese."

After crossing the river into Philadelphia, the commissioners and their welcoming committee were conducted to the governor's house.

The Secretary Introduced the Commissioners and next their Levee to his Honour, who came to his Gate where he received Us with Great Civility and bid us all heartily welcome to Philadelphia[.] [A]fter this Ceremony was over, he led the way to the Hall, where we was [sic] presented with a Glass of Wine, and after some talk on the Stay of the Indians, and his Recommending us to the Care of Mr. Secretary, and Mr. Robert Strettell, who had provided Lodgings us before, we took leave of the Governor for that night, after having Received an Invitation to Dine with his Honour the Tuesday following44
Evidence for official welcoming ceremonies at the Virginia capital, Williamsburg, is yet to be found.

A Ball at the Governor's Palace

Another question that we must ask is, What was the structure of one of Lord Botetourt's formal dancing parties at the Palace? Here again the sources are extremely fragmentary. Yet we can supplement what we do know about these parties with evidence from other formal dancing parties held in Virginia, in addition to what we know were traditional precedents for balls in both the colonies and England.

Dancing parties and balls took place at the Governor's Palace on a calendrical basis. Dates for dancing were determined both by season and by society. Lord Botetourt's formal dancing parties, although falling within the traditional solstice season for balls (November through June), were also social events meant to mark occasions of national unity (the birthdays of the British 29. royal family), community good feeling, honor to visiting dignitaries, and business or diplomatic responsibility.

The Virginia Gazette informs us of the event or persons given honor by some of the governor's balls.

May 25, 1769
Last Friday being the QUEEN'S birthday, the flag was displayed on the Capitol; and in the evening his Excellency the Governor gave a splendid ball and entertainment at the Palace to a very numerous and polite company of Ladies and Gentlemen.
Thursday, October 26, 1769.
Yesterday being the day appointed for celebrating the anniversary of His Majesty's birthday, his Excellency the Governor gave an elegant ball at the Palace, where there was a numerous and very brilliant assembly of Ladies and Gentlemen.
December 28, 1769.
Last Tuesday his Excellency the Governour gave a ball and elegant entertainment at the Palace to the Gentlemen and Ladies of this City.

From the Badminton Account Books we begin to get a view of what went into the organization of a dancing event and what activities accompanied dancing.

Accommodation of guests at the Palace necessitated a temporary expansion of the household staff. On November 22, 1768, payment is noted for six musicians, a servant man, a cook, and a girl. On May 19, 1769, for the ball honoring the Queen's birthday, seven musicians were hired, a hairdresser to dress ten servants, a cook, and undercook, a pastrymaid, an extra footman, porters, and Brammer, a merchant who provided bumbo to the populace. On October 25, for the King's same year, eight musicians were hired, two sentinels, Brammer for the bumbo again, a barber to dress the servants, a waiter, and two servants. The accounts indicate that servants from other households were hired: Servants are identified by the name of the household——Attorney (General John Randolph), Carter (Councillor Robert), (Thomas) Everard, and (President of the College, Revd. 30. James) Horrocks.45

While they are not explicitly described, it seems likely that other activities enhanced the dancing event, since such activities and entertainments commonly occurred at balls in other parts of Virginia and in other colonies. Genteel and fashionable persons did not just dance. For example, six packs of cards were purchased for November 23, 1768. This modest number of card packs may have augmented the Governor's pre-existing stock of cards. The relatively large number of musicians hired for dancing could mean several things: (1) concerts were often expected at balls; (2) in days without amplifiers, more musicians would raise the volume. The presence of servants, porters, cooks, and pastrymaid indicates that food was cooked and served. Eating and drinking were also an expected part of balls. We can conjure up a lively picture for twentieth-century visitors to the Governor's Palace by calling their attention to all the preparations that must have occupied the staff. Game tables were set up with the cards and candles in some room of the Palace. The supper room had to be set up——dishes pulled out of their cupboards and arranged. Provisions had to be brought together for preparing the predetermined menu. Undoubtedly there were methods to ensure that foods stayed warm or cold, or at least artfully arranged, on their trip from the kitchen to serving table. Throughout the evening, smoothness, harmony, and order (good "orchestration") would be valuable. Guests arrived by carriage and were met by the governor's footmen. On May 21, 1770, we know that sentinels were impressively situated at the Great Door and at the kitchen door. Coachmen and footmen attended to their owner's vehicles while their owners went into the Palace. Throughout the evening, servants observed the guests, seeing that their needs for food and drink were accommodated. Servants, like the "Negros Jack & Ben" mentioned in the ball accounts for May 21, 31. 1770, lighted, trimmed, and changed candles imperceptibly. The inside scene might strike up today in the fashion of the candlelight scene that was so well achieved by the film Barry Lyndon.

In order to flesh out the sparse historic record of the Botetourt years at the Palace, evidence from other eighteenth-century balls will be helpful in understanding what happened at the Palace.

According to eighteenth-century dancing teachers acquainting their pupils with the ballroom, or dancing space, was very important. Consequently, Kellom Tomlinson, a London dancing master, went to some lengths to define ballroom space. He said:

First, then, you are to observe, that the Shape and Figure of Rooms differ exceedingly; for some are of a direct Square, others not square but oblong or longish,…[those of no form] render … Dancing extremely difficult and confused to those, who have not a just and true Idea of the Room, in its different Situations; because, if this be wanting, altho' they may perform very handsomely, at their own Houses, or in School with a Master, yet, in Assemblies or Rooms Abroad, they are as much disordered and at a Stand, as if in an Uninhabited Island. I therefore conclude, that … by endeavouring to remove the above mentioned Causes of Disorder and Confusion: … those … [Ladies and Gentlemen] … shall receive Improvement.46

Dancing was a spacial art. The dancing area was a space to be sculpted by moving figures and a space whose architecture was to be respected. In the process of beginning to sculpt the space, eighteenth-century dancers had concerns similar to those of dancers today. They had to know where the dance would begin. The four sides of the room were given names so that the dance could be properly executed. In the ballroom of the Governor's Palace, court dances would begin at the south end of the room where the door opens into the main house. This side was called the Bottom of the Room, or the Lower End. The end that the dancers face was called the Preference, or Upper End. On the right shoulder was the Right Side and on the left shoulder was the Left Side of the room.47


The Preference, or End, had particular ceremonial significance. Although we have no specific example of how Virginia governors conducted official receptions, the royal representative would have sat to receive at this end of the room, as it was at this end of the room that centuries earlier, the royal personage sat to watch entertainments. It was also at this end of the room to which the head of the set for country dancing and reels would be closest. Thus, the person highest on the list of Virginia precedence would be closest to the governor when these dances began. Today, we can point to the portraits of the reigning monarch George III and his wife Charlotte which give a royal presence to the Upper End.

I hope that eventually research will be able to describe the ceremony involved as the Governor's guests entered into the ballroom. At the present time, we can appreciate some typical procedures. It was the custom in most ballrooms, as in other rooms, to have chairs and settees against the walls. Guests of the governor, having received some formal presentation into the ballroom, would have eventually seated themselves against the walls and around the room. Included as standing furniture (belonging to the Colony of Virginia), Lord Botetourt's inventory lists twelve mahogany chairs with hair bottoms and nineteen leather bottom mahogany chairs in the ballroom. In addition, there were eight long stools with green cushions. Can you imagine them placed against the walls of the ballroom?

The Botetourt inventory lists three glass lusters, each with six branches and eight stucco brackets with brass branches. Extravagance of lighting——light reflected from glasses, gilt bordering, silver and gold threads in the dress of men and women, brass and silver of dining equipment and lighting devices——was aesthetically beautiful and sublime. Today, by contrast with our wealth of lighting, darkness holds the greater mystery. In the age of the Golden Rule of pleasing, when everyone strove to reflect their virtues off one another, balls were indeed glittering affairs.


In addition to physical arrangements, balls typically had formal structure "the order." The precedent for the traditional order of eighteenth-century balls was set by Beau Nash, a man of fashion who took charge of the dancing events at Bath, England, around 1705. Before then, social confusion reigned. Court and country mingled uncomfortably on social occasions without rules of precedence and directions for social organization, which court hierarchy had formerly prescribed, and without guidelines for knowing one's superiors, equals, or inferiors. The bourgeois mercantile class was moving in on "the old system," the strict rules of court society. In 1703, when Queen Anne went to take the curative water at Bath, she attracted the attention of the genteel to the possibilities of the pleasant old Roman town as resort for the idle rich. Naturally dancing became a major amusement at the spa, thereby setting the stage for Beau Nash.

Beau Nash established the structure for the smooth handling of social encounters that occurred during the balls at Bath. His structure endured throughout the eighteenth century as the prototypical pattern for organizing formal balls. Nash's balls began promptly at six o'clock in the evening with Nash himself leading the first minuet, and continued until eleven o'clock, with an interval for tea and conversation at nine. The first two hours were devoted to minuets, and the remainder of the evening was taken up with Country Dances. The fashion for dancing assemblies spread from Bath, paralleling the spread of exclusive men's clubs.

The first American dancing assemblies organized along Bath's strict rules were the St. Cecilia Society of Charleston, South Carolina, in the 1740s (officially incorporated in 1762) and Philadelphia's Dancing Assemblies, in 1748-1749. The Richmond Dancing Assemblies printed a circular in 1790 that stated their rules of order. At the present time we do not know when the Richmond Dancing Assemblies were first organized, but the very existence of a structure for the conduct of formal balls in Virginia is important in helping to determine what might have been customary before 34. the Revolution at the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg. Some of the Assemblies' rules are therefore important to note: (1) "The Dancing shall commence with minuets of which there shall not be more than four," (2) "That every couple in set dances [cotillions, reels, country dances] shall stand according to the number which the lady may draw, unless she chuse to stand lower or exchange her place; and every lady intending to dance must draw." (At the Governor's Palace, it would have been unnecessary to draw places in the set because of the "Rules of Precedence", which would have automatically ranked persons by social standing. See Appendix.) (3) "The company may devote half an hour (and not more) to fancy dances, to be succeeded by country dances."48 (4) "That the couple which have last led a dance, must thereafter stand at the bottom, and no couple may call two dances." (5) "No gentleman shall dance in boots, or without gloves." (6) Each set may be divided into sections at the discretion of the Managers."49

We have two indications that Beau Nash and the concept of a "Master of Ceremonies" was part of Virginia culture at the time of Lord Botetourt. Robert Wormeley Carter, writing to Landon Carter, his father, from Williamsburg on May 26, 1770, mentioned that he went to the Governor's Birth Night, "which in my opinion was no way preferable to our Christmas Gambol; Starke the Beau nash wish for [?]."50 What is important is that Richard Starke, a Williamsburg attorney, assumed the role of master of ceremonies for this ball; he "played" Beau Nash. Mary Spotswood, writing to her mother Mary (Dandridge) Spotswood Campbell, from Williamsburg on May 28, 1769 or 1770, noted that "I need not say how much I long to return to dear Newpost for Williamsburgh is at present extreamly dull I have been at but one ball Since I Came to this town and I Cant Say I was agreably entertained at that for their was no Master of the Ceremonys and of Corse a great deal of Confusion must issue."51 Thus Mary Spotswood believed that a master of ceremonies was necessary to maintain the order of the evening and to keep the participants within the 35. ceremonial structure. Further comments in the letter indicate that the ball was not at the Palace.

The best description we have of the structure of a ball in Williamsburg is, unfortunately, not of a ball given at the Palace, but of a ball given at the Capitol on July 15, 1746. (See Appendix for complete description as it appeared in The Virginia Gazette.)52 The ball commenced "in the Evening." It was "opened" (the dancing of the formal and fancy dances?). After "dancing some Time," a supper was served, during which many toasts were given and a cannon discharged eighteen or twenty times. The dancing continued until 2 a. m., and "the whole Affair was conducted with great Decency and good Order." In conjunction with the ball "All the Houses in the City were illuminated, and a very large Bonfire was made in the Market-Place, 3 Hogsheads of Punch [were] given to the Populace."

For balls given at the Governor's Palace in 1769-1770 we can conjecture the following structure:

  • (1) Ball begins around 6 p.m.
  • (2)Guests greeted (honors and verbal gestures of welcome) at the front of the Palace by the governor's footmen, who lend assistance to the company, if necessary, in alighting from their coaches.
  • (3)Servant announces arrival of guest at the Great Door (honors exchanged).
  • (4)Master of Ceremonies personally receives each guest at the Great Door (honors exchanged) and hands guest to others (guest of honor, for instance) for greeting and honors.
  • (5)Guests are taken to the ballroom and seated without formally noticing any of the rest of the company. (Such recognition would have necessitated formal honors and general disorder, since it was a sign of great incivility to enter or leave a room without acknowledging those who 36. were gathered. Ritualized "not noticing" saved the participants from incivility.)
  • (6) The governor comes up, pays honor and speaks to each guest.
  • (7)The ball is opened by the governor leading out the lady of highest rank, or the lady whom he wishes to honor, for the first minuet.
  • (8)In order, perhaps predetermined by the master of ceremonies (for not everyone would know fancy dances), couples individually dance minuets, or other fancy dances, not to exceed two hours. (This was more than just entertainment. The dancers are displaying formal manners and extreme skill, which were being measured by the observers.)
  • (9)The London precedent of having rooms set aside for other activities (card playing, smoking, and conversation) is fashionable. (See, Notations by Fithian of Carter parties and the Botetourt accounts for card purchases around the time of balls.) We do not know when guests were at liberty to enjoy those activities. Did, for instance, protocol demand they wait until the "ball was opened"? Did they have to wait until after the minuets?
  • (10) Supper is served.
  • (11) A more informal atmosphere, but not a lapse in deportment, might ensue after supper. Various activities might take place——card playing, conversation, dancing country dances and reels, smoking, and so forth.
  • (12)Master of ceremonies maintains the order of country dancing and reels by placing dancers in order of rank in the lines and seeing that everyone who wishes will have chance to choose a dance.
  • (13) Ball ends after midnight.
As research progresses, this structure will be modified and amplified.

It must be stressed that "informality" later in the evening did not mean loss of control. The ritual of receiving and observing the status and rank of 37. precedence occurred in the early part of the evening. The emphasis shifted from (this high degree of attention and participation to less-focused activities. The dancing of country dances and reels did not mean that the atmosphere "relaxed". The same formal deportment guided the behavior of individuals, especially in the presence of the governor. Philip Fithian's remarks suggest general approval of dancers who stayed within the rules of proper deportment (the only means by which steps for dances could be executed correctly) for minuets, country dances, and reels:

Miss Washington is about seventeen; She has not a handsome Face, but is neat in her Dress, of an agreeable Size, & well proportioned, & has an easy winning Behaviour; She is not forward to begin a conversation, yet when spoken to She is extremely affable, without assuming any Girlish affection, or pretending to be overcharg'd with Wit; She has but lately had oppertunity of Instruction in Dancing, yet She moves with propriety when she dances a Minuet & without any Flirts or vulgar Capers, when She dances a Reel or Country-Dance:… Her person & carriage at a small distance resembles not a little my much respected Laura… Mr Christien very politely requested me to open the Dance by stepping a Minuet with this amiable Girl, but I excused myself by assuring Him that I never was taught to Dance.
Later he describes another young lady, Miss Betsy Lee.
[She] is about thirteen; a tall slim gentel Girl; She is very far from Miss Hale's taciturnity, yet is by no means disagreeably forward; She dances extremely well, & is just beginning to play the Spinet… & her whole carriage is easy inoffensive, & graceful.
At yet another party he described:
At last Miss Ritche danced a Minuet … She is a tall slim Girl, dances nimble & graceful … Miss Aphia Fantleroy danced next, the best Dancer of the whole absolutely … And the finest Girl … Her head tho' was powdered white as Snow, & crap'd in the newest Taste … She is the Copy of the goddess of Modesty … Very handsome; she seemed to be loved by all her Acquaintances, and admir'd by every Stranger. 53


III. Conclusion

Public behavior focuses attention on sets of expectations and webs of small acts of conduct that shape interpersonal relationships. As interpreters, if we can begin to identify and understand which actions signalled respect or disapproval, how behavior expressed states of mind and feelings, and how behavior was organized into systems of proper conduct and by whom in this historical period we can show and demonstrate to visitors how people in the eighteenth century communicated non-verbally. When we realize that an individual of the eighteenth century clarified his social position (1) through the position that he occupied in a ceremony (such as a ball or formal dinner), and (2) through continual exercise of good conduct (virtue) in his public behavior, we can begin to convey to our visitors common modes or non-verbal behavior from the colonial era. Using anecdotes, illustrations, and demonstrations, we can introduce Palace visitors to aspects of eighteenth-century life——clothing, posture, gesture, as well as social conventions and ceremonies (like dancing and eating) ——which are sometimes considered too trivial to accord cultural and social significance.


IV. Endnotes.

^1 Journal & Letters of Vickers Fithian 1773-1774. Farish, Hunter Dickinson, ed. (Williamsburg, Va.: Colonial Williamsburg, Inc., 1957), p. 138.
^2 "The Autobiography of The Reverend Devereux Jarratt, 1732-1763," William and Mary Quarterly, 3d Ser., IX (July, 1952), p. 370.
^3 "Letter of Col. Nathaniel Burwell," William and Mary Quarterly 1st Ser., VII (July, 1898), pp. 43-44.
^4 Richard B. Davis, ed. William Fitzhugh and His Chesapeake World. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, V 1963) , p. 203.
^5 Fithian, p. xvii.
^6 "The Beverley Family, continued," The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, XX (October, 1912), p. 437.
^7 Will of Charles Carter of Cleve, Virginia Historical Magazine, XXXI, (January, 1923), pp. 39-69.
^8 Several Virginians learned their manners in England. After a diligent search, Mrs. Mary Newton Stanard found that less than three dozen Virginians matriculated at Oxford and Cambridge in the period preceding the Revolution, but among these were representatives of such influential families as the Lees, Wormleys, Carters, Blands, Byrds, Pages, Fitzhughs, Burwells, and Corbins. The artist Benjamin West painted five young American men——Andrew and James Allen of Philadelphia, Arthur Middleton of South Carolina, Ralph Izard of South Carolina, and Ralph Wormeley of Virginia——in England prior to their return to America in 1763. Ralph Wormeley, educated in England at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, also had his "leaving picture" painted by Robert Edge Pine. Peyton Randolph attended The College of William and Mary, then Middle Temple London, in 1739. He was called to the bar in 1744. [Stanard's study is mentioned by Louis B. Wright, The First Gentlemen of Virginia (San Marino, California: The Huntington Library, 1940), p. 112. He footnotes additional work on the subject of Americans educated in England.]
^9 These dancing masters are treated in Norman Arthur Benson, "The Itinerant Dancing and Music Masters of Eighteenth-Century America," diss. (University of Minn., 1963).
^10 Chesterfield, Philip Downer Stanhope, 4th Earl of. Letters. ed. Bonamy Dobree, (London: 1932), 6 vols, IV, p. 1740.
^11 James Forrester. The Polite Philosopher: Or, An Essay on That Art, Which Makes a Man Happy in Himself, and Agreeable to Others. [1734; 15th ed. 1758]; rpt. Magazine of History with Notes and Queries. XXI, Extra No. 83 (Tarrytown, New York, 1922) pp. 97-131.
^12 Chesterfield, IV , p. 1488.
^13 William Gooch to Thomas Gooch, bishop of Norwich, Mar. 6, 1746/47. Typescript. Restricted Use. pp. 132-133. CWF, Research Center. Va. Colonial Records Project.
^14 Jones described the customs and habits of Virginians in 1724. According to Jones, the planters were "generally diverted by business or inclination from profound study, and prying into the depth of things, being ripe for managements of their affairs before they have laid so good a foundation of learning." He noted that Virginians were so naturally quick and clever, with "a sufficiency of knowledge and fluency of tongue," that their learning is "but superficial," and they are more inclined to "read men by business and conversation than to dive into books." Hence they were "desirous of learning what is absolutely necessary in the shortest and best method." Describing the education of planters' sons, Jones remarked that "several are sent to England for it, though the Virginians, being naturallY of good parts … neither require nor admire as much learning as we do in Britain, yet more would be sent over were they not afraid of the small pox, which most commonly proves fatal to them." Jones found that English education was not satisfactory for Virginians because of "pedantic methods, too tedious for their volatile genius." (Quotes from Jones' The Present State of Virginia, 1724; as quoted by Wright, pp. 110-111. Underlining mine.)
^15 Reverend John Camm to the bishop of London, 8 September 1768. Correspondence of the Bishop of London, Fulham Palace Papers, 14, item no. 188. Lambeth Palace Library. C1 Re search Center, Microfilm, Va. Colonial Records Proj ecc.
^16 Chesterfield, IV, p. 1433.
^17 Joseph Addison, The Spectator, No. 169 (September 13, 1711), pp. 165-l67.
^18 Richard Steele, The Spectator No. 75 (May 26, 1711), pp. 323-325.
^19 Adam Petrie. Rules of Good Deportment … . (London: 1720), pp. 54, 90, 103, 115.
^20 This subject will be dealt with in more detail in Section II: Selected ceremonies.
^21 Francois Vincent Toussaint. Manners, Tr. from the French, (London, 1749); 5th ed. (Glasgow: Printed for Robert Hire, 1770), pp. 103-116. Sold in Williamsburg in 1751, 1765, and 1770.
^22 Francis Fauquier to the Rev. Dr. Nicholls, Williamsburg, 29 July 1761. 3 pp. Correspondence of Fauquier to Dr. Nicholls, Fulham Palace Papers. Lambeth Palace. CWF Research Center, Microfilm, Va. Colonial Records Project.
^23 For examples of the "conversation piece" see: Ellen G. D'Oench, The Conversation Piece: Arthur Davis & His Contemporaries. New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, 1980. Virginian and American colonial examples of the conversation piece and portraiture will be presented in media form in my extended study.
^24 Letter to Thomas Gooch, December 28, 1727. In Gooch Letterbook, p. 4. Typed copy in CWF Research Center.
^25 Fithian, June 1774, p. 125.
^26 Petrie, pp. 58-59.
^27 Daniel Defoe. The Complete English Gentleman (1728-1729: ed. by Karl D. Bulbring (London: 1890), p. 24.
^28 Henry Fielding, "Essay on Conversation," (1743). In William E. Henley, ed. Works. (London: 1903) XIV, pp. 243-277, quotation on p. 249.
^29 Chesterfield, III, p. 1035.
^30 Richard Steele, The Guardian, NO. 34 (April 20, 1713), pp. 74-75.
^31 Reverend John Camm to the bishop of London, 8 September 1768. op cit. Mr Robinson's account is as follows:
On the 27th Mr. Camm, Mr. Warrington and myself waited upon the Governour. Mr. Camm told his Honor he had papers for him, which he thought his Duty to delver, and accordingly delivered to him, the Order of his Majesty's Privy Council and his Majesty's further instructions; then the following dialogue ensued,——[Gov.] "Were these Papers deliver'd to you open? [Camm.] Yes, Sir. [Governor.] In whose possession have they been in all this time? [Camm.] In Mine, Sir. [Governor.] I Shall write to the Board of Trade, and Lords of Council to enquire about these things. [Camm.] Your Honor may do as you please. [Governor.] I am well acquainted with the Calumnies you have thrown on me. [Camm.] I am willing to face your Honor's Informers. [Govr.] I am above board and quarrel with people to their face. [Camm.] Your Honor never quarrelled with me to my Face before, and I do not come to quarrel with your Honor now. [Gov.] You thought proper to visit Mr. Warrington before you awaited on Me. [Camm.]But I expected no better treatment from you. [Governor.] You are very Ignorant or very Impudent, take wich [sic], alternative you plese. You are a foolish Negotiator; and I order you never to enter my Doors again." We were going to withdraw. [Gov.] "Stay——Westmore (speaking to one of his white Servants), call my Negroes, call all my Negroes." Two Negro men appeared, then he call'd for a Negro Boy who, likewise came. "Here (says he), look at him, look at him (pointing at Mr. Camm); that you may know him again. If ever he should come to ask for me suffer him not to enter my Doors."
The Governor thro' the whole, in Countenance, Words and Gesture shewd himself to be in a most violent Passion. Mr. Camm bore his Treatment with the greatest Patience.
This reception, my Lord, was premeditated for he had declared his intention to some before Mr. Camm's arrival, who endeavoured to dissuade him from it, telling him that perhaps he might come in Commissary; he replid [sic], he would treat him in that manner, if he came in Arch Bishop.
Mr. Robinson to the bishop of London, 20 November 1760. Correspondence of the Bishop of London, Fulham Palace Papers, 15, item no. 69, 2 pp. Lambeth Palace Library. CWF REsearch Center, Microfilm, Va. Colonial Records Project.
^32 Letter. To the Board of Trade, June 30, 1760. In George Reese, The Official Papers of Francis Fauquier, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia 1758-1768. Charlottesville: The University of Virginia, 1980), vol, I (1758-1760), pp. 383-385.
^33 Petrie, pp. 7-9 additionally,
If you be to go or come in the Presence of Persons of Quality, endeavour to go behind them, if it my be done without Disturbance; and if you must go before, then be sure to beg Pardon for your Rudeness. If you be travelling and meet your Superior, step to the left Hand, and wait till he hath past; and in his Passage let him have a genteel Bow.
It is civil for Men, be their Quality what it will, to give Ladies the Way in their Passage, tho they are Strangers.
If an Inferior enter the Company, and any of the Company advances to salute him, it will be civil for you to do the same. (pp. 7-9)
Of visits, Petrie wrote:
Let your Visit e well tim'd, and, if to a great Person, see that it be short; and if he do you the Honour to wait upon you, you may say, My Lord, if this great Honour be intended for me, it is beyond my Deserts. There are some that are troublesome with their Visits, who not only incroach upon the Patience of their Superiors, but corrode their most precious Time.
If a Person of Quality makes you a Visit, and gives you notice, you should meet him with your Friends and best Equipage: If he surprises you, wait on him from his Coach, and conduct him to your best Room, and let him have the best Seat, and place your self in a Chair without Arms, if there be any such in the Room, and is at a Distance from him….
It is rude for Superiors to be inaccessible to their Inferiors; the best way to treat such, is to let them have no Converse untill they learn more Civility. I have seen some Noblemen treat Gentlemen that have not been their Dependants, and Men of ancienter Families than they could pretend to, like their Dependents, and carry to the Ambassadors of Jesus Christ as if they had been their Foot-men. I must say of such, that they have little Esteem of Christ. This is a Way to create to themselves secret Contempt of those they are conversant with, by presuming too much upon their Quality, or seeming to slight others on this Account only. (pp. 11-13)
^34 Fithian, p. 140.
^35 Francois Nivelon, The Rudiments of Genteel Behaviour, (London: 1737), op . p. 1[illegible]
^36 Kellom Tomlinson, The Art of Dancing (1724); rpt. 1735 ed. (N.Y.: Dance Horizons, 1969), pp. 3-17. Nivelon, op. cit.
^37 Petrie, p. 44.
^38 Tomlinson, p. 16: "And if it should fall out, … [as in a] publick Place …, where you may walk, perhaps a considerable, Way, before you find an Occasion for paying this Respect, you are to note, that these Bows, as we said, in Relation to the Ladies Courtesies, are never made, before you come equal to those you salute; and, if it be a Person of Nobility or extraordinary Fashion, an additional Bow, sideways, as when leaving a Room, may be added, with the contrary Foot to that which made the Scrape, turning full to the Person to whom you pay this uncommon Respect, in passing; …."
^39 Nivelon, op. cit.
^40 John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693); (London: Scolar Press, 1970), pp. 170-171.
^41 Dianne J. McGaan, "The Official Letters of Norborne Berkeley, Baron de Botetourt, Governor of Virginia 1768-1770," (thesis, William and Mary, 1971), p. 38.
^42 Virginia Gazette (Purdie & Dixon), October 27, 1768.
^43 Ibid., September 26, 1771. Further evidence of the ceremony of oath taking for the colony of Virginia exists in the Executive Journals, Council of Colonial Virginia:
At a Council held October 26th 1768
His Excellency the Right Honorable Norborne Baron de Botetourt his Majesty' s Lieutenant and Governor General of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia, and Vice-Admiral of the same.
John BlairPhilip Ludwell Lee
William NelsonJohn Tayloe
Thomas NelsonRobert Carter
Richard CorbinRobert Burwell
William ByrdGeorge William Fairfax
John Page Esqrs.
His Majesty's Royal Commission, bearing date at Westminster the 12th day of August, in the 8th Year of his reign, constituting and appointing Norborne Baron de Botetourt his Lieutenant and Governor General of this his Colony and Dominion &c. thereby giving and granting unto him full power to exercise all and all manner of jurisdictions, powers and authorities to the same belonging, his Excellency took the Oaths appointed to be taken by Act of Parliament, repeated and subscribed the Test and took the Oath for the faithful discharge of the Office of Governor General, and due observation of the Acts of 44 Trade; which said Oaths were administered to him by John Blair, William Nelson, and Thomas Nelson, three of the Members of his Majesty's Council.
His Excellency afterwards administerd to all the Members of the Council present, the Oaths appointed by Act of Parliament to be taken, and they repeated and subscribed the Test, and also took the Oath of their Office.
Ordered, That a Proclamation immediately issue for continuing all public Officers in their respective Places.
Benjamin J. HIllman. Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia (June 20, 1754-May 3, 1775), (Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1966), VI 301.
At a Council held at the Palace, September 25th 1771
His Excellency, the Right Honourable John, Earl of Dunmore, his Majesty's Lieutenant and Governor General of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia, and Vice-Admiral of the Same
William NelsonRobert Carter
Thomas NelsonJohn Page Esquires
His Majesty's Royal Commission, bearing Date at Westminster the 19th Day of January, in the eleventh Year of his Reign, constituting and appointing John, Earl of Dunmore, his Majesty's Lieutenant and Governor General of this his Colony and Dominion, and thereby giving and granting unto him full Power to exercise all and all Manner of Jurisdictions, Powers, and Authorities to the same belonging, his Excellency took the Oaths appointed to be taken, by Act of Parliament, instead of the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, and the Abjuration Oath, repeated and subscribed the Test, and also took the Oath for the faithful Discharge of the Office of Governor General, and due Observance of the Acts of Trade; which Oaths were administered to him by the said William Nelson, Thomas Nelson, and John Page, Esquires. His Excellency afterwards administered to all the members of the Council present, the Oaths appointed by Act of Parliament to be taken instead of the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, and the Abjuration-Oath, and they repeated and subscribed the Test, and also took the Oath of their Office.
Ordered, That a Proclamation immediately issue, for continuing all public Officers in their respective Places .
Hillman, 430-431.
^44. "Journal of William Black, 1744" The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, I (1877), pp. 239-243.
^45 For a more detailed view of the information in the account books that deal with the governor's entertainments, see Appendix B, "Calendar of Governor's Palace — Balls and Other Festivities as indicated in Account Books at Badminton."
^46 Tomlinson, p. 18.
^47 Ibid., p. 19-20.
^48 Fancy dances, like passepieds, contredanses, loures, gavottes, and courantes, were learned dances taught by the dancing masters. In 1790 these dances were less fashionable than the minuets, country dances, and reels. Because fancy dances would have been executed by select persons, the ball would have been monopolized by solo couples and small groups.
^49 Richmond Dancing Assemblies, mss. Virginia Historical Society.
^50 Letter. Robert Wormeley Carter from Williamsburg to Landon Carter (his father) at Sabine Hall, Richmond County, 26 May 1770. Virginia Historical Society.
^51 Letter. Mary Spotswood from Williamsburg to Mary (Dandridge) Spotswood Campbell (her mother), 28 May 1769 or 1770. Virginia Historical Society.
^52 Virginia Gazette (Parks), July 18, 1746, p. 4.
^53 Fithian, pp. 123-125, 154-155.

V. Appendices.

A.Address in the Proper Manner.
B.Calendar of Governor's Palace Balls and Other Festivities as indicated in Account Books at Badminton.
C.Rules of Precedency, …, for the Settlement of the Precedency of MEN and WOMEN in AMERICA, as published in The Virginia Gazette (Purdie & Dixon), 26 May 1774 .
D. Selected descriptions of Virginia balls.


FROM: Mathew Towle. YOUNG GENTLEMEN AND LADIES PRIVATE TUTOR. London: 1770, "Chapt. VII: Of Behavior to Superiors."

DUKE: my Lord Duke, may it please your grace … your grace

MARQUIS: my Lord Marquis, your Lordship


SONS OF AND ELDEST SONS OF EARLS: Lord and Right Honorable



DAUGHTERS: Honourable


To an Archbishop: My Lord
Your Grace
To a Bishop: my Lord

Reverend Doctor, Mr. Dean,
Reverend Sir, &c.

TO AMBASSADORS, SECRETARIES, AND CONSULS: Excellency Sir, your Excellency,…
The Secretary from the Republick of Venice, Sir.
To his Majesty's Consul at Smyrna, Sir.

Every Barrister is entitled Esquire, and is addressed thus, Sir.
Judges, if Privy Counsellors, are Right Honourable, --
A2 my Lord, your Lordship

Gentlemen in the Commission of the Peace

Governors of Hospitals, Colleges, &c. which consist of Magistrates, or have any such among them, are titled:
Right Worshipful, or Worshipful

my Lord, your Excellency
my Lord, your Lordship


FROM: John Pendleton Kennedy, Editor, JOURNALS OF THE HOUSE OF BURGESSES OF VIRGINIA 1766--1769. Richmond : 1906.

Botetourt is addressed in speeches as "My Lord, …" (p. 199, 233)

The King is addressed in writing as "your Majesty," (p. 215)

FROM: Letter. [From Wm. Nelson, John Randolph, Robert Carter Nicholas, John Blair, Jr., and George Wythe, the executors in Virginia of Lord Botetourt], Henry Somerset, 5th Duke of Beaufort 1770, 30 October.

Botetourt is referred to as "his Excellency" and "his Lordship".

FROM: Letter. William Marshman to his brother. Novr. 8th, 1770.

Botetourt is referred to as "His Lordship" and "His Excellency".

A3 FROM: Benjamin J. Hillman, Editor. EXECUTIVE JOURNALS OF THE COUNCIL OF COLONIAL VIRGINIA, June 20, 1754--May 3, 1773, Vol. VI. Richmond : Virginia Historical Society, 1966.

Robert Dinwiddie (November 21, 1751--January 1758) and Francis Fauquier (June 7, 1758--March 3, 1768) were both commoners. They addressed themselves in Proclamations as "the Honorable." (p. 585)

John Blair and William Nelson, Presidents of his Majesty's Council, were both Virginian gentlemen. They addressed themselves as "the Honourable." (pp. 598, 626)

Norborne Berkeley, Baron de Botetourt (October 26, 1768--October 15, 1770) and John Murray, Earl of Dunmore (September 25, 1771--June 1775) were both noblemen. They addressed themselves in Proclamations:
Botetourt as, "his Excellency the Right Honourable," and Dunmore as, "his Excellency." (pp. 614, 134)


January 12, 1981

To: Research Staff
Barbara Carson
Graham Hood
Dennis O'Toole
From: Pat Gibbs
Subject: Balls and Other Festivities at the Palace, as indicated in Account Books at Badminton

Note: The accounts in the Badminton Collection are incomplete, so there may have been more balls, etc. than the accounts suggest. For instance, the accounts give no indication that Botetourt entertain fifty-two burgesses for dinner on 9 May 1769 and about as many the following day. (See Botetourt's 10 May 1769 letter to the Earl of Hillsborough.) Also apparently no special events occurred at the Palace from early June through early July 1769 when Governor Tryon (visiting here to recover his health), his wife and daughter, and his private secretary, stayed at the Palace nor in early September 1770 when Governor Eden and his wife visited.

Bracketed payments may not apply to noted events.

Date and type of event:Payments made (paraphrased):
22 Nov 1768 - ball?23 Nov '68to 6 packs of cards 7/6
to 6 musicians £6.9. 3
[to Skinner & wife £2.12, possibly payment for work performed)
25 Nov '68to Attorney's servant man £1.6
to Attorney's cook £1. 6
to Attorney's girl 13/
c. 29 Dec 1768 ball30 Dec '68To 4 packs cards 5/
To 6 musicians £6.9
[To black woman helping in the house 1/3]
2 Jan '69[To Skinner & wife £2]
12 Jan '69To Attorney's cook for ball night 11 /6-¾
To Attorney's under cook 5/9
To Attorney's man 5/9
c. 17 Mar 1769 - ball18 Mar '69to 3 packs cards 3/9
to 6 musicians at ball @ 21/6 £6.9
13 May '69to hairdresser for 10 servants @ 15d. 12/6
19 May 1769 -ball honoring Queen's birthday [BG (PD) 26 May 59, p. 3]20 May '69to 7 musicians @ 21/6 £7.10.6
25 May '69to hairdress for dressing 10 servants the 19th 12/6
27 May '69to Attorney's cook 13/
to Attorney's undercook 5/9
to Attorney's pastrymaid 5/9
to Attorney's footman 5/9
5 June '69to porters for ball night 19th past £1.5
21 June '69to Brammer for bumbo given to the populace May 19th £10
25 Oct 1769 - ball honoring King's birthday [VG (R) 26 Oct 69, p.2]26 Oct '69to 8 musicians @ 21/6 £8.12
30 Oct '69to Brammer's bill for bumbo the 25th £10
1 Nov '65to barber for dressing 10 servants the 25th 12/6
14 Nov '69to Draper for waiting on the ball night 2/6
[to 2 servants waiting at dinner 5/]
8 Nov 1769 - dinner? 24 May 1770to barber for dressing 6 servants' hair 8 Nov past (and 21 May '70) 13/9
26 Dec 1769 - ball for ladies and gentlemen of Wmsbg. [VG (PD) 28 Dec 69, p. 2] 27 Dec '69to 8 musicians £8.12
to 2 sentinels £1
to Kidd for waiting 5/9
to Kendall for waiting 5/9
to Draper for waiting 5/9
to Rogers for waiting 5/9
to Attorney's man 5/9
to Horrock's man 5/9
28 Dec '69to 2 sentinels for Great Door 10/
10 Jan '70to barber for dressing 7 servants 26th 8/9
c. mid-April 1770 - several dinners?16 Ap '70to Kendall 1 day waiting 5/9
to Draper 1 day waiting 5/9
to Attorney's servant 2 days waiting 5/
to Horrock's servant 2 days waiting 5/
to Carter's servant 1 day waiting 5/
to Everard's servant 1 day waiting 5/
17 Ap 17to Kidd 1 day waiting 5/9
to Kendall 1 day waiting 5/9
to Draper 1 day waiting 5/9
to Carter's servant 1 day waiting 2/6
to Everard's servant 1 day
18 Ap '70[to Negro woman 3 days work 3/9]
[to Negro man 2 days work 2/6]
22 Ap '70to Horrocks servant 2 days waiting 5/
25 Ap '70to Carter's servant 1 day waiting 2/6
26 Ap '70to Attorney's servant 2 days waiting 5/
c. early May 1770 - several dinners?7 May '70to Attorney's servant 3 days waiting 7/6
to Horrock's servant 2 days waiting 5/
to Carter's servant 2 days waiting 5/
15 May '70[to 4 packs cards 5/]
21 May 1770 - ball followed by several dinners at later dates24 May '70to barber for dressing 5 servants hair 21st (and 6 servants 8 Nov past) 13/9
to 8 musicians 21st @ 21/6 £8.12
to 2 sentinels at the great door £1
to 2 sentinels at the kitchen door 10/
to Negros Jack & Ben for lighting candles 2/6
to Brammer for bumbo for populace £10
25 May '70to Draper 4 times waiting @ 5/9 £1.3
to Attorney's servant Tom 4 times waiting @ 2/6 10/
to Horrock's servant 10/
to Attorney's servant Harry once 2/6
to Kidd once waiting 5/9
to Kidd once waiting 5/9
30 May '70to Mrs. Carter's servant once waiting 2/6
to Attorney's servant once waiting 2/6
6 June '70to Draper once waiting 5/9
21 June '70to Rogers waiting the ball night 5/9
22 June '70to Attorney's servant 6 times waiting 15/
27 June '70to Horrock's servant 3 times waiting 7
25 July '70to Draper once waiting 5/9
31 July '70to Carter's servant once waiting 2/6
1 Aug '70to Pelham-attendance last ball

When a state ceremony, like a dinner or ball occurred, there were rules of precedency for seating the guests and placing dancing couples in the lines for country dances and reels. In order to insure that such rules were adhered to and efficiently carried out, a member of the Governor's household staff or a member of the community might have filled the role of Master of Ceremonies. Early in the eighteenth century at Bath, England, Beau Nash was credited with establishing order and defining the role called Master of Ceremonies at balls. Evidence for such a figure at balls in Williamsburg occurs in the two following accounts: In a letter from Mary Spotswood to her mother in May 1769 or 1770, she mentions the confusion that was apt to insue when a ball did not have a Master of Ceremonies. Robert Wormeley Carter, in 1770, noted in a letter to his father that Mr. Richard Starke [an English lawyer and friend of Lord Botetourt] was the "Beau Nash" at the birthnight ball.

"RULES of PRECEDENCY, compared and adjusted from the several Acts and Statutes made and provided in England, for the Settlement of the Precedency of MEN and WOMEN in AMERICA, by JOSEPH EDMONSON, Mowbray Herald.

GOVERNOUR of the Colony, or Province,Governour's Wife.
President of the Council,his Wife.
Counsellors,their Wives.
Speaker of the Commons House of Assemblyhis Wife.
Chief Justice,his Wife.
Treasurer,his Wife.
Associate Judges,their Wives.
Baronets,their Wives.
Attorney Generalhis Wife.
Judge of the Admiralty, his Wife.
Secretary of the Colony, or Provincehis Wife.
Gentlemen of the Assembly,their Wives.
Mayor,his Wife.
Aldermen,their Wives.
Members of the Corporation,their Wives.

The Gentlemen of the Assembly, Crown Officers, &c. of any particular Colony, or Province, have no other Rank out of their Colony, or Province, than what belongs to them in their private Capacity as Men.

The Widow of a late Governour has not any Precedence, as such.

A Governour of one Colony, or Province, or his Wife, coming into another Colony, hath not in that Colony where they visit any Precedency above their Rank in private life.

All Captains in the Navy, or Army, only rank as Esquires."

Virginia Gazette (Purdie & Dixon), 26 May 1774, p. 2]

The best single description which we have of any Williamsburg ball is that of the "Grand Entertainment" held on July 15, 1746, to celebrate the defeat of Prince Charles by the Duke of Cumberland at Culloden:

On receiving the News, in this City, of the Glorious Victory gain'd over the Rebels, by his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, an universal Joy seem'd diffus'd among all Ranks of Persons; the General Assembly being met, and much Company in Town, a Grand Entertainment was made at the Capitol, on Tuesday Night, suitable to the extraordinary Occasion, by the Honourable the President and Council, Mr. Speaker, and the rest of the House of Burgesses; to which his Honour the Governor, who continues indispos'd, was pleas'd to contribute very largely. In the Evening, a very numerous Company of Gentlemen and Ladies appear'd at the Capitol, where a Ball was open'd and after dancing some Time, withdrew to Supper, there being a very handsome Collation spread on three Tables, in three different Rooms, consisting of near 100 Dishes, after the most delicate Taste. There was also provided a great Variety of the choicest and best Liquors, in which the Healths of the King, the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke, and the rest of the Royal Family, the Governor, Success to His Majesty's Arms, Prosperity to this Colony, and many other Loyal Healths were chearfully drank, and a Round of the Cannon, which were remov'd to the Capitol for this Purpose, was discharg'd at each Health, to the Number of 18 or 20 Rounds, which lasted 'til near 2 o'Clock. The whole Affair was conducted with great Decency and good Order, and an unaffected Chearfulness appeared in the Countenances of the Company All the Houses in the City were illuminated, and a very large Bonfire was made in the Market-Place, 3 Hogsheads of Punch given to the Populace; and the whole concluded with the greatest Demonstrations of Joy and Loyalty.[The Virginia Gazette (Parks) 28 July 1746, p. 4].


The minuet was a particularly popular "court dance" or "art dance" during the time that Lord Botetourt was Governor. The minuet was characterized by the need for technical skills (strength, endurance, and flexibility of the body), for memory skills in order to recreate often elaborate step and floor patterns that had been practiced very carefully with a dancing master, for dramatic caprice in order to bring alive the sexual flirtation and coyness in eye contact and body facings of partners, and, most of all, for complaissance, or "cool" in keeping all prowess within the form of the dance. The following recollection, written about forty years after the event, gives us a good impression of the competitive drama between the sexes as they went through the figures of the dance. It is striking that Col. Moseley "the finest gentleman we had," was necessary because the skills of the dance upon one unaccustomed to its rigors were too great on the Norfolk gentry:

It so happened, then, you must know, that my Lord and Lady Dunmore, and their family, came to pay a visit to Norfolk; (some time in the year 1774, I think, tho' I won't be sure) and our people turned out to receive 'em in style. Indeed you never saw such a fuss as we made. Our parade on the visit of our good President (Monroe), was nothing to it. For then, you know,we were all royalists, all the King's subjects, (tho' we were beginning to feel a little mannish about our rights) and we thought we couldn't do too much to honor our guests. So among other things, we made 'em a grand ball at the old Masons Hall, … and all the gentry of our town were there of course. And besides, we had sent off an express to Princess Anne for Col. Moseley, who was reckoned the finest gentleman we had, to come to town with his famous wig and shining buckles, to dance the minuet with my lady——for our poor Mayor, Captain Abyvon, was afraid to venture upon such a thing. And there too we had all the British navy Capt. Montague, and the rest, with their heads powdered as white as they be. What was best of all, all our pretty girls, far and near, came out the scene … So, by and by, the fiddles struck up; and there went my Lady Dunmore in the minuet, sailing about the room in her great, fine, hoop-petticoat, (her new fashioned air balloon as I called it) and Col Moseley after her, wig and all. Indeed he did his best to overtake her I believe; but little puss was too cunning for him this time and kept turning and doubling upon him so often, that she flung him out several times, (at least by his looks, he was on a wrong scent more than once) and he couldn't come near her to save him. Bless her heart, her cleverly she managed her hoop——now this way, now that——every body was delighted. Indeed, we all agreed that she was a lady sure enough, and that we had never seen dancing before——After this one Lord Mayor was obliged to take out Lady Catherine for another minuet. But the poor Captain was laboring hard in a heavy sea all the time, and, I dare say, was glad enough when he got safe moored in his seat. Then Capt Montague took out Lady Susan——and I remember the little jade made a might pretty cheese with her hoop. Then came the reels; and here our Norfolk lads and lasses turned in with all their hearts and heels. [Lower Norfolk Antiquary V (1906), pp. 33-35.]


After about 1753-1754, when the north wing was added to the Palace, the governors had more appropriate accommodations for entertaining large numbers of Jones guests. Hugh Jones included this reference to the Palace in the 1724 edition of his history of Virginia:

"…And at the Governor's House upon birth-nights, and at balls and assemblies, I have seen as fine an appearance, as good diversion, and as splendid entertainments in Governor Spotswood's time as I have seen any where else."[The Present State of Virginia, ed. by Richard L. Morton (Chapel Hill, 1956), p. 70].

Hugh Jones served as a professor at the college in the early 1720's. Professors and masters of the grammar school continued to be invited to birthnight balls. These words of advice to a young man considering applying for a position at the college indicate the kind of clothing worn by the male guests:

"…you must have on Suit of handsome full-dressed Silk cloaths to wear on the King's birthday at the Governor's, the only time you will have to appear fine in the whole year, but then it is expected that all English Gentlemen attend and pay their respects."[Stephen Hawtrey to his brother Edward Hawtrey, 26 March 1765 printed in Florence M. Hawtrey, The Hawtrey Family I (London, 1903), p. 146].

These diary comments by Philip Fithian, plantation tutor at Nomini Hall, describe a ball attended by members of the gentry in the small community of Hobb's Hole:

[2 Aug. 1774] "… About Sunset we left the Ship, & went all to Hobbs's Hole, where a Ball was agreed on——This is a small Village, with only a few Stores, & Shops, it is on a beautiful River, & has I am told commonly six, eight, & ten Ships loading before it the Crews of which enliven the Town——Mr Ritche Merchant; he has great influence over the People, he has great Wealth; which in these scurvy Times gives Sanction to Power; nay it seems to give countenance to Tyranny——The Ball Room——25 Ladies——40 Gentlemen——The Room very long, well-finished, airy & cool, & well-seated——two Fidlers——Mr Ritche stalk'd about the Room——He was Director, & appointed a sturdy two fisted Gentleman to open the Ball with Mrs Tayloe——He danced midling tho'. There were about six or eight married Ladies——At last Miss Ritche danced a Minuet with———She is a tall slim Girl, dances nimble & graceful——She was Ben Carters partner——Poor Girl She has had the third Day Ague for twelve months past, and has it yet She appeared in a blue Silk Gown; her Hair was done up neat, without powder, it is very Black & Set her to good Advantage——Soon after he danced Miss Dolly Edmundson——A Short pretty Stump of a Girl; She D4 danced well, sung a Song with great applause, seemed to enter into the Spirit of the entertainment——A young Spark seemed to be fond of her; She seemed to be fond of him; they were both fond, & the Company saw it——He was Mr. Ritche's Clerk, a limber, well dress'd, pretty-handsome Chap he was——The insinuating Rogue waited on her home, in close Hugg too, the Moment he left the Ball-Room——Miss Aphia Fantleroy danced next, the best Dancer of the whole absolutely——And the finest Girl——Her head tho' was powdered white as Snow, & crap'd in the newest Taste——She is the Copy of the goddess of Modesty——Very handsome; she seemed to be loved by all her Acquaintancs, and admir'd by every Stranger, Miss McCall——Miss Ford——Miss Brokenberry——Ball——Two of the younger Miss Ritche's——Miss Wade——They danced till half after two. Captain Ritche invited Ben & I, Colonel Tayloe & his Family with him——We got to Bed by three after a Day spent in constant Violent exercise, & drinking an unusual Quantity of Liquor; for my part with Fatigue, Heat, Liquor, Noise, Want of sleep, And the exertion of my Animal spirits, I was almost brought to believe several times that I felt a Fever fixing upon me, attended with every Symptom of the Fall Disorders——

Wednesday 3.

We were call'd up to Breakfast at half after eight——We all look'd dull, pale, & haggard!——From our Beds to Breakfast——Here we must drink hot Coffee on our parching Stomachs!——But the Company was enlivening——Three of the Miss Tayloe's——Three Miss Ritche's——And Miss Fantleroy——This loveliest of all the Ring is yet far below——

[Journal and Letters of Philip Vickers Fithian, 1773-1774: A Plantation Tutor of the Old Dominion, ed. by Hunter D. Farish (Charlottesville, 1957), pp. 154-156].

Gretchen Schneider
17 March 1981

Greetings in the Front Building:

Welcome, [Ladies and Gentlemen], very welcome.

How do you [Ladies and Gentlemen],…

Your servant, [Gentlemen and Ladies], …

How do you [Ladies and Gentlemen]? I hope you are well this [morning, afternoon, evening]?

I am glad to see you.

Good morning [afternoon, evening], to you, [Ladies and Gentlemen], …

[Ladies and Gentlemen], I wish you good day.

Pray walk in, [Gentlemen and Ladies, Sir, Madam, Honourable Guests, etc.]

Address in the Manner: [FROM: Mathew Towle, YOUNG GENTLEMEN AND LADIES PRIVATE TUTOR; London: 1770, "Chapt. Vii: "Of Behavior to Superiors"]

DUKE: my Lord Duke, may it please your grace … your grace

MARQUIS: my Lord Marquis, your Lordship





DAUGHTERS: Honourable


page 2

To an Archbishop: My Lord
Your Grace
To a Bishop: my Lord

Reverend Doctor, Mr. Dean,
Reverend Sir, &c.

Sir, your Excellency,
The Secretary from the Republick of Venice, Sir.
To his Majesty's Consul at Smyrna, S1r.

Every Barrister is entitled Esquire, and is addressed thus, Sir.
Judges, if Privy Counsellors, are Right Honourable, ——
my Lord, your Lordship

Gentlemen in the Commission of the "Peace}
Sheriffs } Esquire
Recorders } Worshipful
Governors of Hospitals, Colleges, &c. which consist of Magistrates, or have any such among them, are titled:
Right Worshipful, or Worshipful

my Lord, your Excellency
my Lord, your Lordship


Gretchen Schneider
17 March 1981

Brief and very general statements on concepts of gentility.


Those actions which a man performed because they were "universally pleasing." Civilities were prudence and charity, for example. Civilities were immutable qualities which every person no matter what his sex or class possessed. Civilities had to develop this "natural inheritance." Addison, in the Spectator No. 169 (September 13, 1711), called civility "nothing else but affability, complaisance, and easiness of temper reduced into an art." Development of this "natural inheritance" and the process of reducing good character into an art was learned through moral instruction, reaction to pleasure or displeasure, reliance on common sense, and mixing with good company. The Golden Rule applies to all these situations for learning: As Chesterfield advised his son: "Do as you would be done by is the surest method that I know of pleasing. Observe carefully what pleases you in others, and probably the same things in you will please others.". P.S. Honors - vows and courtesies were civil actions.


These were the externals of politeness, such as table manners, forms of address, and the modes of conduct observed in particular fashionable society. The acts of ceremony were arbitrarily established. "They exist in form only," as Fiedling declared, "and have in them no substance at all … being imposed by the laws of custom." page two Ceremony related to formality. Ceremony was modish, following fashion. Ceremonies changed and reflected class barriers, but civilities remained immutable. Relating to clothes, gestures, speech, discourses, words, phrases, opinions, and so forth, ceremonies were particular. Non-attention to ceremony was just ill-manners; non-attention to civilities was considered a character flaw, a mark of incivility and immorality.


Demeanor was an esthetic way of doing everything, a graceful air, a comeliness of execution——the "graces" or the "je ne sais quoi" (that little undefinable something) of which conduct writers so often spoke. It was to be part of every action of gentle persons and was to be observed even when they were in states of inaction, simply standing in a room or sitting in a chair. It was a decorative quality, rendering more attractive the solid merit which it adorned. The Beauty of the eighteenth-century gentle person was in his control——made visible; and this control and beauty was identified with virtue.


Deportment was structural science of the body that allowed the eighteenth-century person to make, control and grace (qualities and airs) visible and tangible. Deportment was a physical practice that helped one appear easy and amiable, genteel and free in person, Mien, Air, and Motions, rather than stiff, awkward, deform'd and consequently disagreeable. Ungainly air was a fatal sign of ill-breeding. Deportment was taught by the dancing master and practiced in the art of dancing.

page three


Decorum encompassed both demeanor and deportment. Decorum is the philosophy that makes religious belief fit with visible display of the inward qualities of persons in the eighteenth century. Decorum contains two important ideas: 1) "Perform no action that is not stamped with the characteristics of rectitude and virtue," and 2) "Do not perform even those actions which the law of nature permits or requires, otherwise than in the manner, and under the limitation prescribed." From the first of these points arises good example, and from the second, public decency. Virginians who read Francois Toussaint's Manners learned that if God alone was witness to their actions their hearts being irreproachable, that their conduct was blameless; for this, God alone judged by intention. Mankind, on the contrary, sees only on externals, and judged of the intention by the conduct. By testimony of their outward behavior then, Virginians examined and estimated each other. It was therefore in the interest of a Virginian's duty, not to excite any suspicion by which their reputation would suffer. It was not sufficient, therefore, that virtue lay hidden in the heart; it must be rendered visible, it must diffuse a lustre round a person's actions, in order to dissipate suspicion and set the person's intention in the best light. Public Behavior then was meant to follow a set of rules. These rules one learned through the science of deportment and the expression of demeanor.


When I lectured earlier, I spoke of the three roles of the royal governor as the key to his political significance: as the King's representative in Virginia, as the chief official link between the colony and the mother country, and as the chief executive authority in Virginia, bearing in mind that the resident governor in Virginia, even when like Botetourt he was the Governor in Chief, was subject to being overruled in England on most important decisions or appointments that he had the power to make. I also indicated, although I did not elaborate upon it, that the Governor was at the apex of the social pyramid in the colony as well as a leader in the transmission of English culture to Virginia because of his political and social preeminence. What I want to do today, station by station through the Palace, is to indicate how the Governor, specifically Lord Botetourt, and to a slight extent Lord Dunmore, through their occupancy and activities in the Palace, exemplified the contrast between the power and sovereignty of Great Britain as revealed in the manifold responsibilities and multiple roles of the royal Governor in Virginia and the actual lack of power, both military and political, that forced the Governors to rely upon the arts of the politician and the diplomat to gain whatever success he achieved in his vice-regal but almost powerless office as Lieutenant and Governor General. In a phrase, the Governor had many powers but little power; in a sentence, Botetourt and Dunmore after him enjoyed only the illusion of power. Their greatest force, as Botetourt knew from his years of apprenticeship in English politics, was the force of their example in Virginia and the extent of their influence in England. What I think you have an opportunity to convey in the Palace in a number of different places is the fine example Botetourt set in the colony as well as his success in using his influence in England for the benefit of the Virginians. But above all, your tour of the Palace must convey to the visitors that they are seeing the illusion of power rather than the reality of power. This theme I have arrived at after more than a year of study of the Governors of Virginia from the 1690s to the 1775 flight of Dunmore because he knew, even after fortifying the Palace to overawe the Virginia patriot committeemen and the shirtmen of the Virginia militia, that British power in America extended no further than the range of the guns on the nearest ship of his Majesty's navy.

Palace Tour —— The Roles of the Governor and the Illusion of Power —— Outline

A. Orientation: Advance Building

Here there is an opportunity to speak of the (1) vastness not only of the British Empire but also of the extent of colonial Virginia. Here there is a place to refer to the (2) wealth of England's commercial empire and the insistence of the mother country that the colonies pay their own costs of administration: Virginians paid for the construction and upkeep of the Palace, for its enlargement in the 1750s. Here also is an opportunity to speak of the problem of meeting complex local needs within the rigid framework of prerogative government whose final decisions were made in England. Stress the governor's responsibilities, underline his limited final authority.

B. The Hall, Pantry, and Front Parlor

The Visitors will note at once the arms and the royal arms; they might be reminded that Spotswood, a military man and a veteran of Marlborough's staff, noted that he had not even a sentinel to place before his door and that when Botetourt needed a sentinel on ball nights to keep the hoi poloi out of the Palace, he had to hire them from neighbors in the town.

C. The Passage Up Stairs

The Library offers an opportunity to say that the Governor might receive visitors not only formally and openly in the Middle Room but also secretly and confidentially in one of the private rooms, to which access could be gained by way of the private or concealed stairs.

D. The Middle Room

Of all the rooms, the most likely to have been used most often for formal political business. Council Meetings. Receiving Petitions. Something could be said here of Botetourt's business-like habits and example: that the General Court and even the General Assembly kept longer hours in his [cut-off]

p. 2

E. Chamber Over the Room

I do not see this as a room to discuss the Governor's political role, but since the Governor had clothes stored even here, somewhere in the discussion of his Lordship's profusion of clothes mention should be made that Botetourt intentionally left his English regimentals from his days as a Colonel of the Gloucestershire militia at his home, Stoke Gifford. That omission says a lot about Botetourt's attitude toward his role as Governor.

F. The Dining Room

Although at present the interpretation of this room rightly centers on the servants' role, it should not be forgotten that the meals served often served a political as well as a purely social purpose. The presence of a desk in the room may be used as a reminder of this; so might a mention of Botetourt's policy of inviting local political leaders to meals, sometimes en masse, necessitating in that case the use of the Ball Room for dinner.

G. The Ball Room

Public entertainment of the elite was a part of the Governor's role as a political and social highest official in the colony. It also marked with the exception of funerals, the most ceremonial of the social occasions in which the Governor figured at the Palace. This might be a place to note that, while the quality danced within, the populace without were being swi[lled] with Bumbo, at least by Botetourt.

F. The Supper Room

Here the ceremonial continues, as does the social and cultural; but [to] Dunmore chairs afford an opportunity to ring down the curtain on royal government at the Palace. See Documentary handout.

Dunmore Leaves the Palace under Cover of Darkness, June 8, 1775

Between early Spring, 1775 and 8 June, when Dunmore abandoned the Palace under cover of darkness and fled to H.M.S. Fowey in York River, the Palace ceased to be the residence of Lord Dunmore and his family and became a garrison. The Supper Room, which is partially furnished with chairs modelled on one with a history of having been bought at the auction of Dunmore's effects, seems a logical place to tell briefly of the end of the Palace as the seat of royal government in Virginia. Two documents do this in ways which emphasize Dunmore's desire to use military force to overawe the Virginians and his utter incapacity to do so in the hostile environment of Williamsburg: 1) a letter of James Parker, a Loyalist merchant of Norfolk, to his friend Charles Steuart in London, 6 May 1775; and 2) a letter from Dunmore to the Admiral on the North American station from H.M.S. Fowey in York River, June 17, 1775, a week after the Governor's evacuation of the Palace at 2:00 a.m. on June 8, 1775.

1) Williamsburg did well enough for the seat of Government during the golden Age, it will not do now, it should be here /Norfolk/, or some place where a Ship can go. What can a Governor do without a little force. No Man can, I believe, make a better Shift than ours, on such an Occasion, Like Charles 12th he has fortified his House, with Swivel guns at the Windows, cut loop holes in the Palace, & has planty of Small Arms, his Lady and famillee are on board the Fowey at York he heard, Wednesday evening, that Patrick Henry had got 60 men together (all he could raise of the boasted thousands) and was on his way down to demand the pouder they were seen by a Merchants Clerk of this place at New Kent Court House, on thursday his Lordship got 40 Marines out of the Fowey, which with 30 of his household, is all his force & such is the Situation of matters at present.



Admiralty 1/485 ff. 286-287.

(Copy) Fowey in York River, 17th of June 1775

Sir, I have received the Letter with which you have favoured me by Capt [Matthew] Squires, and I thank you was well for that as the assistance which by the Otter Sloop you have sent to His Majesty's Government in the Colony.

After having seen the greatest part of the Colony in Arms, and suffered continual insults accompanied by threats of the utmost violence against my Person, upon so slight a pretence as my having removed Gun Powder afforded them; and finding that the meeting of the Assembly, which I have called together for the purpose of taking into Consideration the Plan of reconciliation held out by the Parliament, has served only to increase the Tumults in and the disorders of the Country, I have thought it most Conducive to the good of His Majesty's Service to fix my residence on board the Fowey.

I have found by experience that I could rely on no protection but such as was furnished me, by the Zeal of Captain [George] Montague, from His Majesty's Ships under his Command; and as the marching the few Men he could be able to spare me, through a covered Country the distance of several Miles, exposes them to very great risk from the Superior number of the People who have made no hesitation at declaring their intention of attacking them, I thought it most prudent to avoid such unequal contests, and for the preventing of the shedding of Blood I have resolved to quit the Place where the Governors usually reside, which is at the distance of some Miles from any Place where the Men of War can approach, and consequently lies at the mercy of the People, and to retire to the only safe retreat at present in the Colony for any Officer of the Crown; and my Intention is to remain in this Situation until I receive Instructions from His Majesty, for the procuring of which, and for the conveying of the most speedy Intelligence of these transactions to His Majesty, I have applied to Captain Montagu to dispatch Mr [Henry] Collins with the Magdalen to England; in conformity to which she is to sail immediately.

If the Circumstances of the Service at Boston, and His Majesty's orders to you permit, I am still in hopes that you will augment the Sea Force in this part of America as much as will be possible, as the keeping of these considerable Countries lying upon the great Rivers which empty into the Bay of Chesapeak in awe cannot but contribute much to the Success of the General Plan for the enforcing the Authority of Government in the Colonies.

It were to be wished that small Vessels could be kept constantly passing from Station to Station along the Coast for the purpose of regular and uninterrupted intelligence between all the ports where any of His Majesty's Servants are employed; who by these means may mutually aid each other. The land Conveyance is no longer to be depended upon. I am Sir, [&c]Your most obedient & humble servant

Enclosed within Admiral George's Letter dated 16 July 1775.

March 27, 1981

To: Palace Interpreters
From: John Hemphill
Subject: The Inspector General John Williams Affair

It may be helpful for all hands to have the chronology and the story of Inspector General John Williams' visit to Virginia and his recommendation for the removal of the customs house for the Upper James River Naval District set down in one place.

The chronology is simple:

  • Mid-December, 1769 - Williams arrived in Virginia, at Norfolk.
  • Early January 1770 - Williams completed his survey of James River.
  • Mid-January - 1770 Williams' encounter with Lord Botetourt here.
  • Late January - 1770-Lord Botetourt's letters against the removal.
  • Early February 1770 - Williams departed for York District and other districts to the northward.
  • March, 1770 - Lord Hillsborough learns that the customs house will not be moved.
  • Late June, 1770 - Lord Botetourt thanked Lord Hillsborough for the news that the customs house will not be removed.

When Williams visited Lord Botetourt in January, the Governor not only put a flea in his ear about the recommendation for the removal of the customs house from Williamsburg, but also wrote official protests against Williams' recommendation to the American Board of Customs Commissioners, to the Secretary of State for the American Colonies, Lord Hillsborough, and to the Duke of Grafton, head of the ministry in England and Botetourt's own political patron.

Botetourt's influence in England was sufficient to gratify the wishes of his neighbors that the customs house remain at Williamsburg. The incident shows, therefore, both Botetourt's force of character, as in his personal rebuke of Williams, and his ability to use his Interest (we would say influence) on behalf of his constituents in Virginia. Although the Governor had relatively little political power in Virginia and was usually being overruled on important decisions at home, he did possess in the colony and, in the case of Lord Botetourt, considerable influence with the ministry at home. His own letter introducing the Williamsburg petition says it all, and is indeed a worthy effusion from the pen of the professor of the laconic.

Appendix of documents follows.


No. 27

Williamsburg, 24 January 1770

I have the honour to inclose an Address and Memorial from the Mayor Recorder, Aldermen and Common Council of the City of Williamsburg, who are extremely alarmed at an avowed intention of Mr. Williams, one of the Inspectors General of America to propose to the Board of Commissioners at Boston to move the Custom House for the Upper District of James River from this city to Bermuda-Hundred--about sixty Miles higher up the said River.

Their reasons against his proposal are fully set forth in their Memorial, and I must beg leave to add to those Reasons that I shall for the future have very little Weight in this Country if in consequence of a Report from an Officer of the Customs and against my Representation, the Seat of Government of this Dominion is to be distressed and made subservient to the Convenience of certain Interested Individuals.

I must intreat your Lordships answer by the very first opportunity as I am truly anxious to be enabled to convey ample satisfaction to his Majesty's Loyal Capital of Virginia, the very first possible minute.

Enclosure 1: Lord Botetourt to the Custom Commissioners at 28 1770.

Williamsburg, 28 January 1770

I have the honor to inclose Reasons from the City of Williamsburg against a proposal of your Officer, Mr. Williams for moving the Custom house for the Upper District of James River to Bermuda Hundred and must intreat that no step may be taken in that measure until You shall have heard from England upon that Subject, as I have represented against it in the strongest manner I am able both to the Duke of Grafton and the Earl of Hillsborough.

Enclosure 2: Address & Memorial of the City of Williamsburg, Undated.

To his Excellency the Right Honourable Norborne Baron de Botetourt, his Majesty's Lieutenant and Governor General of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia, and Vice Admiral of the same, The humble address of the City of Williamsburg.

May it please your Excellency

We his Majesty's most dutiful Subjects, the Mayor, Recorder, Aldermen and common Council-Men of the City of Williamsburg, beg Leave with great deference and Humility, but at the same time with that Confidence, the Experience we have had of your Lordship's Goodness and unwearied Attention to the Interests of this Colony naturally fills us with, to sollicit your kind Patronage, on a Crisis of the greatest Importance.


A Scheeme, my Lord, is now meditated, to prevail with the Commissioners of his Majesty's Customs in America, to give orders for removing from this Place the Custom-House for the upper district of James River, about sixty miles higher up the said River, to a Place called Bermuda Hundred.

The Bad Consequences of that Measure, should it be adopted, we beg leave to represent to your Lordship, in a Memorial subjoined to this Address; humbly bespeaking your kind Attention thereto, and Favour in laying the same before his Majesty, in such Departments of his Administration, as you may think proper, and in using your Interest for it's receiving a favourable Hearing and Redress.

The Memorial of the City of Williamsburg on the Subject of the above Address.

Your Lordship well knows, that by an Act of Parliament passed in the Reign of King Charles the Second, the breaking Bulk, or unloding any part of a Vessels Cargo, before a regular entry shall have been made with the Proper Officers, incurs the Forfeiture of the Vessel, as well as of all the Goods therein contained, which are of European Growth, Manufacture or Production. Should the Custom House therefore be carried up to Bermuda Hundred, whatever Goods shall thereafter be imported for this City, or any other Place below the said Hundred must pass by the very Doors of their Proprietors, in order to attend the Office; where, after a Permit is obtained for Unloding, they will be deliver'd to the orders of the several Owners, who must of Course be subject to the very great additional Expence of freighting them back again in smaller Vessels, often in open Boats, at the Risque of great Damage, and even of a total Loss thru' bad Weather in the passage down the River.

Your Memorialists are also of Opinion, that the business of smuggling would thrive not a little, to the Prejudice of the fair Trader, and Diminution of his Majesty's Revenue, from an Adoption of the Measure proposed; there being several Creeks in the lower Parts of the District, very inviting to an illicit Trade; a Circumstance which seems to require the utmost Vigilance of the Officers, which yet it will be impossible for them to bestow unless placed on the Spot.

Your Memorialists, my Lord, humbly apprehend that the Offices ought ever to be at the lower Extremity of the District, as well for the Reasons already assigned as, that if the Officers should be informed, or have any other Reason to suspect a contraband Trade in carrying on, either by Importation or Exportation, they may make Search, in the one Case, before the Persons concerned can have an Opportunity of landing the illicit Articles, and in the other, after every thing is laded, that the Vessel can possibly receive from any part of the District.

Your memorialists also conceive that the owners of Vessels, coming here for Freight, will be exposed to no inconsiderable Difficulties -4- and Loss of Time, by the proposed Regulation; for my Lord, there are no less than six Warehouses for Tobacco within the upper District, and below Bermuda Hundred from all of which, Vessels usually take in Tobacco, in their Way down the River and this they can now very conveniently do; because The Custom-House being below, they come of Course, to clear out after they have taken in such Tobacco. But this Advantage they must be totally deprived of, by a Removal of the offices. The Captains will be obliged moreover to call here, to obtain Mediterranean Passes, and Colony Seals to Protests and other Papers, wherever the Custom-House may be fixed; a Circumstance, which strongly points out this as a proper Place, especially, as under the present Establishment, they can so conveniently deliver and receive Letters and other Dispatches to and from the Governors of the Colony; besides he opportunity they have of selling their little Cargoes to the Town's People, after Entry at the present Offices. And tho it may be thought expedient, as has been suggested to your orialists, to continue one of the Offices where they are now, yet the trouble and Expence of entering and clearing out at two Offices, so remote from each other, will be intolerable, nor can an entry in the Lower District, avail to unlade in the Upper District of the same River, they being as distinct from each other as either of them is from that of any of the other Rivers.

These, my Lord, are the very weighty Objections which have occur'd to your Memorialists against the proposed Project.

Nor can they, when they endeavour impartially to view the Matter on the other Side of the Question, discover one single Circumstance of Compensation, for these many and great Inconveniences, unless perhaps, that it may draw a little Trade to a particular Place, and increase it still a little more, by distressing that of an other. For it is evident from the Nature of the first Objection your orialists have submitted to your Lordship's Examination, that the Absence of the Custom-House from the upper Parts of the District, cannot bring on the Trade of those Parts the same Distress, which the Removal of it from the lower, must inevitably throw theirs into.

The only Reason suggested by the Petitioners for this very extraordinary Alteration is "that the Naval Office, or Custom House for the upper District of the said River is inconveniently situated; that the greater part of the Trade are under the Necessity of riding near sixty Miles to clear out their Ships, whereby the said Ships are often delayed in prosecuting Voyages", but your Memorialists are warranted from good Authority to deny the Fact; yet even admitting it to be true, it must be consider'd as a very indifferent Reason for removing an Office from a Place where it has been long held, to a Town without Trade or Inhabitants, and to which the Navigation is extremely difficult for large Ships; and we refer to your Lordships Judgment whether the Removal of that single Mischief, will make amends for the Introduction of so many greater Grievances.

Thus without insisting on such private Views as might possibly influence Individuals to sollicit the above Removal, and that too, in no very Public Manner, We have presumed to submit our Motives for this Address to You, my Lord, the worthy Representative of the best of Kings, our common -5- Sovereign and Father, always ready to hear and believe, when his People apply with Reason, humbly beseeching your Lordship to use your Interest for it's receiving a favourable Hearing and Redress, if upon the whole we have had the Happiness of convincing your Lordship, that it deserves it.

John Blair junior Mayor.


No. 29

Williamsburg, 28 January 1770

I must beg leave to add to what has already been said in my Dispatches of the 24th of this instant January against Mr. Williams' proposal to move the Custom House for the Upper District of James River from this City, that it is my opinion that he has been stimulated to that measure by the Proprietors and Neighbourhood of Bermuda Hundred who wish to move the Seat of Government to that Quarter and imagine that by moving the Custom House to their Hundred a material Step would be taken towards that object of their desires.

The inclosed Advertisement proves to Your Lordship the regard which is paid to his Majesty's interests in this Colony by His Council and Officers of Revenue and I verily believe that every attention of that sort will go on increasing if the Plan I have stated by your Direction be strictly adhered to.