Colonial Williamsburg Research Division Web Site

The White Loyalists of Williamsburg

The White Loyalists of Williamsburg

by Kevin P. Kelly

The climactic moment in Williamsburg The Story of a Patriot comes when John Fry answers John Randolph’s question whether he, too, is going home: “I am home.” The movie quickly moves to resolution with John Fry bidding his son farewell as he marches off to war and the old flag is replaced by the flag of a new state. John Randolph’s leave-taking is portrayed as cordial; Fry and Randolph shake hands as respected friends. But the actual departures of several other loyalist residents of Williamsburg were far from cordial. The first tories fled from what Robert Beverley labeled “the Terrors of Torture or the Spirit of Persecution” during 1775 and 1776.

The tension of those years had been building since at least the spring of 1774 as news of the closing of the port of Boston became widespread in Virginia. Shortly after his arrival in Virginia, Nicholas Cresswell, an English traveler, noted that on Monday, May 30, 1774, “Nothing talked of but the Blockade of Boston Harbour.” Cresswell also caught the tone of the conversations, “[The people] talk as if they were determined to dispute the matter with the Sword.” During the next several months the debate about how Virginians should respond to Boston’s plight remained genuinely open. For example, in mid June James Parker, a Norfolk merchant, wrote that the colony’s political leaders were split. Even in September he felt “the honest 6 hhb [hogshead] planters” were still unsure of the proper course of action. Yet by autumn of 1774, as the Continental Association was put into effect, rebel rhetoric hardened and real open debate ceased. Again Cresswell, who had returned to Virginia after spending the summer in the West Indies, observed this new state of affairs: “October 24th 1774. Everything here [Alexandria] is in the utmost confusion. Committees are appointed to inspect into the Character and Conduct of every tradesmen… Independent Companies are raising in every County.” Rumors of intimidation against those who did not conform circulated widely. In late November James Parker reported that a liberty pole had been erected opposite the Raleigh Tavern, “upon which was hung a large map & a bag of feathers, [and] under it a bbl [barrel] of tar.” At nearly the same time, Cresswell confided in his diary that he must be careful what he wrote in letters because he believed they would be opened before they got to England.

The climate of fear did not improve during the spring of 1775. County committees of safety continued to ferret out those not complying with the association. They seized and inspected merchants’ account books, intercepted and read letters, and closely monitored public conversations. Individuals that the committees judged to be “inimical to the liberties of America” might find their names and sins published in the Virginia Gazettes. Or they might be forced to sign a public confession acknowledging their wrongs and promising to reform. Parker declared it was by such “bullering conduct” that the rebels expected to bring the British government around to their terms.


Nicholas Cresswell, by an unidentified artist, ca. 1780,
in the Colonial Williamsburg collection.

Governor Dunmore’s removal of the gunpowder from the Magazine, coupled with news from Lexington and Concord, only compounded a tense situation. Nor was the situation helped in and around Williamsburg when several independent companies—at least 200 armed men in all—encamped in the capital city in June and July 1775. In July, Robert Beverley wrote his good friend William Fitzhugh decrying the changes in public life as he had known it. Men once could hold different opinions free from “inflamed passions,” he declared. Now, he said, the person in the minority must withdraw his opinion or face the “Vengeance or Persecution of the Majority.” If that were not bad enough, Beverley wrote, during these “tumultuous Times” even formerly close friends would mistreat those thought to be tories. Neutrality was quickly becoming impossible. The steady number of suspected tories carted through town toward the Public Gaol in late 1775 and throughout 1776 was a reminder, if any was needed, of the price of loyalty.

Given the oppressive climate in Virginia, it is not surprising that most of the Williamsburg loyalists who left town in 1775 and 1776 reported the verbal and physical abuse they received as a principal reason for their choice. Richard Pitt testified that because his father, Dr. George Pitt, the keeper of the Magazine, refused to turn its key over to the rebels, he was the target of angry abuse in June and July. Robert Miller noted his outspoken contempt for the acts of some Bostonians, and in his position as a revenue officer he was subjected daily to threats and insults before he joined Dunmore in June 1775. The Reverend Mr. Thomas Gwatkin testified that after he refused Richard Henry Lee’s and Thomas Jefferson’s invitation to write a defense of the Continental Congress, a gang of armed men came to the college intent on forcing him to change his mind. On September 5, 1775, Joshua Hardcastle was dragged from his lodging to Benjamin Waller’s woods. There he underwent a mock court martial that threatened to give him a “coat of thickset.” On September 9, he published his intent to leave Virginia “soon.” Richard Corbin, Jr., reported that he, too, was nearly tarred and feathered. In Adam Allan’s case it was more than a threat. Allan, the proprietor of the Stocking Manufactory, moved to Fredericksburg in February 1776 after making himself very unpopular in Williamsburg by capturing and returning the colony’s seal to Dunmore. But Allan was even less popular in Fredericksburg. He reported that on June 6, 1776, he was “stript naked to the waist tarr’d & feather’d” and in that situation, “carted through Fredericksburg upwards of two hours.”

Sixteen Williamsburg individuals or families have been identified who felt compelled to leave the city in 1775 and 1776 because of their loyalty to the king. Lord Dunmore and Attorney General John Randolph and their families were the most socially important. John Randolph Grymes and Richard Corbin, Jr., both Virginia-born, were younger sons in two of the more prominent gentry families. Not all were as prominent as these men. Although Joshua Hardcastle was first noted in the York County court records in 1770, few other circumstances of his life are known. Irish-born Bernard Carey, a linen draper, was described as a “Middle Trader, not one of the first rate.” The social distance between Carey and Randolph, fellow residents and loyalists, was great; Randolph testified that all he knew about Carey was that he kept a shop in Williamsburg.

Despite the lowly status of Hardcastle and Carey, most of the first wave of Williamsburg loyalists were either merchants like William Maitland, professionals like Dr. Alexander Middleton and the Reverends Gwatkin and Henley of the College of William and Mary, or placemen like Robert Miller, treasurer of the college, and James Menzies, private secretary to the governor. Other defining characteristics of these early tories were that most were born in Great Britain, were unmarried, and had lived in Virginia less than ten years. Most, like William Maitland, who said he came to Virginia in 1771 as an “adventurer,” migrated to the colony hoping to establish themselves in the New World. But the “troubles” of 1775 and 1776 occurred before they could develop the ties that would make Virginia their “home.”

But even an immigrant as well rooted as George Pitt chose to leave. Born in Worcester, England, in June 1724, he studied to be a surgeon and an apothecary with his father and at age twenty sailed to Virginia. In 1753 he married Sarah Packe Garland, the wealthy widow of Mr. John Garland. His medical business prospered, gaining him wealth independent of his wife’s, and he also held several important public offices. In the summer of 1775, Dr. Pitt was a widower with seven children, the eldest not yet twenty-one. In possessions and experience, he was as much a Virginian as any of his neighbors. Yet his refusal to become a rebel and the insults that decision earned him forced his departure. It was a costly choice. His son reported that once in England the thought of all his father had abandoned preyed on Dr. Pitt’s mind and health. Broken, George Pitt died four months after his arrival.

By the end of 1776, loyalist departures from Williamsburg had subsided. For the next four years only three individuals with a link to Williamsburg are known to have left Virginia. William Francis Bickerton, a British merchant, moved to Williamsburg in 1773 to oversee his company’s affairs. When he was confronted to take the oath of allegiance to Virginia in 1777, he refused and was made a prisoner on parole and “sent up the country.” He escaped to New York in 1779. Edith Robinson, the elderly widow of the Reverend Thomas Robinson, a former professor at the college, left Williamsburg sometime before 1778. A teenaged William Tarpley joined the British army in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1780. The grandson of Elizabeth Ripping Tarpley and a nephew of Williamsburg merchant James Tarpley, he had been a grammar school student at the college from 1772 to 1775.

Why so few Williamsburg residents who still harbored loyalist sentiments chose not to leave in those four years is unclear. The establishment of a stable government on June 29, 1776, and the final departure of Lord Dunmore from the Chesapeake Bay on August 5 may have eased rebel fears of tories as a subversive element. Furthermore the most vocal early loyalists were either in exile, in jail, or on parole in the backcountry out of harm’s way. Although the newspapers stopped mentioning tories being imprisoned in the Public Gaol after 1777, it is likely that some of the 300-plus prisoners housed in the Williamsburg jail between December 1777 and March 1780 were there for committing political crimes. If so, any political prisoners jailed in town would serve as a reminder to Williamsburg’s “closet loyalists” that discretion was the better part of valor. This may also explain why some of those later loyalists served in the rebel militia or took the oath of allegience to Virginia in 1777.

Tuesday, 14 November 1775
Royal Chief Magistracy


An Oath of Allegiance

Whereas a Set of factious men, under the Names of Committees Conventions and Congresses have violently under various false pretences usurped the legislative and executive powers of Government and are thereby endeavouring to overturn our happy Constitution and have incurred the Guilt of actual Rebellion against our Gracious Sovereign. I A.B. do therefore adjure all their Authority and solemnly promise in the presence of Almighty God to bear faith and true Allegiance to his sacred Majesty George 3d. and will to the utmost of my Power and Ability, support maintain and defend his Crown and dignity against all traiterous Attempts and Conspiracies whatsoever. So help me God


Doc., MS trans., in unidentified clerical hand (Loose Papers of the Fourth Virginia Convention, VSL)

Furthermore, public officials may have tolerated a rising level of discontent. By 1779 and 1780, war weariness had settled on Virginians. Rampant price inflation caused real hardships. In July 1779, a number of Williamsburg’s private citizens took the unprecedented action of calling a town meeting of all the free inhabitants; the meeting decided to fix the price of food items and also appointed a committee of overseers to enforce compliance. The failure to recapture Savannah, Georgia, in October 1779, the fall of Charleston, South Carolina, in May 1780, and the defeat of General Gates at Camden, South Carolina, in August 1780 were generally seen as military disasters. Even as steadfast a Virginia patriot as George Washington was troubled.

The lack of an easy opportunity to escape may have been another reason why so few of Williamsburg’s remaining loyalists left before 1780. After Dunmore’s departure in August 1776, there was no sustained British military presence in Virginia until late 1780. In August 1777, a British fleet entered the Chesapeake Bay to ferry British troops to Head of Elk, bypassing Virginia. On May 8, 1779, a British expeditionary force captured Portsmouth, burned Suffolk, then sailed off on May 24. On October 20, 1780, British General Leslie led an invasion force into Hampton Roads but was recalled to South Carolina on November 22, 1780. With no British lines to cross or garrisons to flee to, any Williamsburg loyalist wishing to go over to the British faced the prospect of along and dangerous trip to New York City. Furthermore, such an escape exposed a loyalist’s property to seizure. Better to let events work themselves out and hope for a change in military fortunes.

That change came in late December 1780 when the newly commissioned British general Benedict Arnold led another expeditionary force into Virginia waters. Unlike earlier intrusions, this force meant to stay. To make his intentions clear, Arnold led a lightning strike up the James River, capturing Richmond before settling into winter quarters at Portsmouth on January 19, 1781. His presence began to draw the attention of Virginia’s remaining loyalists. For example, James Tait of Cabin Point, a former engineer and land surveyor, offered his services as a guide and scout. Knowing Tait’s knowledge of the region’s geography would prove useful, Arnold accepted his offer. After Major General William Phillips arrived with 2,800 reinforcements in March 1781, William Peter Matthews, a Hampton merchant who briefly operated a store in Williamsburg after he married Williamsburg milliner Margaret Brodie, joined the British. He, too, provided Phillips and Arnold with maps of the area and helped secure supplies for the army.

The presence of the British army also heartened the spirits of some Williamsburg loyalists. In March, William Hunter, a former printer, was able to slip into Portsmouth to provide the British with important intelligence. On April 20, Phillips and Arnold passed through Williamsburg on their way to burn the shipyard on the Chickahominy River. John Jarret Carter, who had served under Washington at the battle of Trenton, volunteered to guide them. Loyalists such as Carter, Matthews, and Tait continued to provide essential aid to the British after Lord Cornwallis joined Arnold on May 20, 1781. With the arrival of 1,500 reinforcements from New York on May 21, Cornwallis commanded an army of approximately 7,000 soldiers.

Arnold’s arrival caught Virginia off guard, and state officials reacted little better when Phillips and Arnold took the offensive in late April. The arrival of Cornwallis only compounded the problem for Virginians. A widespread panic set in across the Commonwealth in the spring of 1781. It reached its peak in earlyJune, when Lieutenant Colonel Simcoe and his Quueen’s Rangers captured Point of Fork, Virginia’s main military supply depot, and Lieutenant Colonel Tarleton and his dragoons nearly caught the entire General Assembly napping at Charlottesville. Consequently, when the scattered legislators reassembled, they granted the new governor, General Thomas Nelson, nearly dictatorial powers. With the advice of the Council, he could marshal the militia at will, commandeer necessary equipment, property (signalling a renewed hostility to those not fully committed to the American cause), jail any person suspected of “disaffection” without bail, and banish suspected tories upon pain of death. As in 1775 and 1776, the time to choose had come; neutrality was no option.

After the raids on Charlottesville and Point of Fork, Cornwallis pulled his army back toward the Tidewater, where he hoped to receive new orders from General Clinton in New York. On June 25 he reached Williamsburg, where he encamped until July 4th. Cornwallis’s army included not only 7,000 soldiers but also some several hundred slaves who had taken refuge with him and a smaller number of loyalists and their families. Supported by civilians like Matthews and Tait, who were commended for procuring provisions in Williamsburg “by consent of the inhabitants without using force,” the army’s company of cattle drivers was soon herding cattle and sheep into town, and its carters brought in wagonloads of shelled corn, bacon, and other foodstuffs.

While the British army rested and replenished its supplies, a number of the town’s residents decided the time had come to make their loyalty known. William Hunter did so happily. He had made an overture in March, but the British chances of winning were poor then, so he returned to Williamsburg. With Cornwallis looking unbeatable, however, Hunter saw little to risk and much to gain by joining the winners. James Hubard may have joined the British as a way out of what was an intolerable situation. A prominent attorney before the war, Hubard had been an early supporter of the colony’s protests against the closing of Boston’s harbor. He was elected to the Williamsburg Committee of Safety in 1774 and 1775. He was also appointed a judge of the Admiralty Court on July 4, 1776. But he must have harbored doubts about the direction the protest was taking, because he declined to serve on July 5 and he refused to take the oath of allegiance to Virginia in 1777. As a result, he was imprisoned briefly, and his law practice was destroyed. By 1780, Hubard, his wife, and eight children were living in greatly reduced circumstances. Furthermore his steadfast refusal to abandon his loyalty caused dissension within his family; his oldest son, James, joined the American side, while his second son, Matthew, strongly supported his father. Hubard may have attempted to return to Williamsburg after the siege of Yorktown, only to have to flee back to the protection of the British fleet. He sailed on the Bonetta with other loyalists to New York. In spring 1782, Matthew Hubard traveled with his mother to New York to visit his ill father. They arrived shortly after James, Sr.’s, death. The fifteen-year-old Matthew refused to return to Virginia, placing himself instead under the care of Lord Dunmore, who sent him to England with James Menzies.

Two other residents joined Cornwallis’s army while it was in Williamsburg, and, like Hunter and Hubard, they escaped to New York after Cornwallis’s surrender at Yorktown. Of the four, William Parker was the only one actually to enlist; he joined the American legion. The other three served as citizen volunteers. Except for the fact that he was married, little else is known about Parker. Theodorick Bland, who had married into the prominent Fitzhugh family, was the other individual who joined in June. The only reason he gave for doing so was that he found it “prudent to place himself under the protection of Lord Cornwallis.”

The Common Hall of Williamsburg also accused six additional townsmen (Jacob Williams, Joseph Thompson, Henry Drake Watson, William Hill, James Ross, and Benjamin Bucktrout) of joining Cornwallis’s army. The Common Hall felt they warranted extra condemnation because they had returned to Williamsburg after the siege of Yorktown to resume their lives as if their betrayal was of little consequence. Except for Bucktrout, the historical record offers no evidence on why these men may have joined. In August 1779 Benjamin Bucktrout put his house and personal property, including his cabinetmaking tools, up for sale. He also announced he was leaving Virginia in October. Again no reason was given, but the advertisement suggests he was willing to cut all ties to Williamsburg. Interestingly, only Bucktrout stayed in Williamsburg after 1781 for any length of time; he died in Williamsburg about 1813. All the others disappeared from town by 1784 at the very latest.

These six men may not have actually joined the British Army the way Hunter, Hubard, and the others had. They may have simply sought out Lord Cornwallis’s protection. This could have meant they were paroled by Cornwallis, which would have freed them from imprisonment as prisoners of war on their oaths not to take up arms against the British. They then could use these paroles as an excuse not to join the Virginia militia. Needless to say, Virginia authorities viewed such actions as a sure sign of “disaffection to the state.” Francis, John, and Thomas Jaram, father and two sons, asked for Cornwallis’s protection. Sometime after Cornwallis left Williamsburg to move on to Portsmouth, the Jarams were ordered arrested for “disaffection.” Thomas, one of the sons, went into hiding, however, and eventually made his escape to Portsmouth and the safety of the British army. But Francis and John Jaram were not so lucky. They were taken to the public jail in Richmond, where they remained imprisoned until at least late 1781.

The social profile of the second wave of Williamsburg loyalists was similar in some ways to that of the 1775-1776 loyalists. The majority of both groups were born in Great Britain and, like the earlier loyalists, the later ones had lived in Virginia only a short time (seven years on average) before openly declaring their loyalty. The Virginia-born loyalists of the second wave were a little younger on average than their 1775-1776 colleagues. More of the later loyalists were or had been married (40 percent versus 20 percent.) But the biggest difference between the two groups can be seen in their occupations. The occupations for far more of the second group cannot be determined; they left too few clues in the surviving records. For those whose occupations are known, more who became or were suspected of being loyalists were artisans than was true in 1775 and 1776. Whereas the commercial and professional ranks dominated in 1775 and 1776, few of their kind can be found among the later loyalists. This is not surprising, since few British-born merchants should still have been in Virginia because they had been banished from the state in 1777.

As HMS Bonetta, a sloop of war, cleared the capes in late October 1781 on its way to New York City, its five Williamsburg passengers(Hunter, Hubard, Bland, Jaram, and Carter) faced an uncertain future. Already ill, James Hubard would die in New York. John Jarret Carter sailed in July 1782 to England, where he found part time work driving a hackney coach. He dropped from view in 1783. Thomas Jaram disappeared in early 1782. After the peace treaty was signed in 1783, Theodorick Bland made repeated efforts to return to Virginia, but he had not been permitted to land. Nor had he received any messages from his wife and family at the time his memorial was written in March 1784. William Hunter also attempted to return to Virginia from Nova Scotia in 1783, only to be unceremoniously “banished from his Native Country.” He moved to England, where he found work as a journeyman printer. Although he was recommended for an allowance of £30 a year, he was judged a person who “betrays a total Want of principles.”


The Bostonians Paying the Excise-Man, or Tarring and Feathering,
attributed to Philip Dawe, 1774, in the Colonial Williamsburg collection.

The fates of the other Williamsburg loyalists who went to England were equally mixed. Because of their former social standing, John and Ariana Randolph, Richard Corbin, Jr., and John Randolph Grymes received some of the largest annual allowances and awards granted the Williamsburg loyalists. Still, they would remain exiled in England living in genteel poverty. Yet their fate was better than Richard Floyd Pitt’s. Soon after landing in England he took up the upholstery trade and got married. But by 1783 he was bankrupted. In October 1786, Pitt, along with his wife and child, was thrown into Fleet Prison as an insolvent debtor. When last heard from in February 1788, he and his family were still there. Adam Allan settled in New Brunswick, and William Tarpley was given £20 to pay for his passage to Halifax. In 1783, Dr. Alexander Middleton petitioned the state to become a Virginia citizen. There is no evidence that his request was granted. He was living in Calais in 1788. William Parker and Edith Robinson reached England and petitioned for assistance. Edith Robinson moved to Warcop, Yorkshire, to live with her sister Mary Preston. She was still living at Warcop in 1786. Nothing more is known about what happened to Parker. It is not even known if Joshua Hardcastle actually left Virginia, despite his published intent.

Although experiencing varying hardships upon arriving in England, many of Williamsburg’s British-born loyalists seem to have been successfully reabsorbed into British society. Bernard Carey had been settled in Ireland for two years by the time he submitted a claim. His story was deemed preposterous. When no award was granted, it was likely he went back to Ireland. After living with relatives until 1779, William Maitland also settled in Ireland. Because William Francis Bickerton and Robert Miller maintained commercial ties to Virginia during and after the war, they both seem to have avoided the economic distress other loyalists encountered. Although short of funds when he presented his claim, James Menzies had maintained close ties to Lord Dunmore. It was likely that Dunmore secured employment for him; Dunmore had done so for the Reverend Gwatkin. Because Dunmore felt obliged to his son’s tutor, he had Gwatkin appointed vicar in Chousley, Berkshire, worth £80 a year. The Reverend Samuel Henley also easily reestablished himself in England. In 1776 he married and became assistant master of Harrow School. Later he was appointed curate in a parish in Northall, Middlesex.


Dunmore china plate excavated at Palace site.

As a peer of the realm, John Murray, the Fourth Earl of Dunmore, never doubted he would resume a life of privilege when the war in America was over. He had hoped to return in triumph to his government in Virginia. In anticipation of a British victory, he and many Virginia loyalists set sail for Virginia in early October 1781. The news of Cornwallis’s surrender dashed their hopes. Upon return to England in 1782, Lord Dunmore had to settle for an award of £32,723 sterling (minus the £15,000 he had already received) for his lost property and an appointment as governor of Bahamas worth £1,000 sterling per annum.

Only thirty-two individuals stand out in the record as confirmed or suspected loyalists. By at least one measure their number was not impressive. Male loyalists accounted for only 14 percent of the military-aged men living in Williamsburg in 1776. Despite all the anxiety they may have generated, they posed no real threat to the rebellion. Yet their choices did ripple through the Williamsburg community. William Parker’s wife joined Arianna Randolph in following her husband into exile. Children, like Dr. Pitt’s seven youngsters, were uprooted and carried into a strange country. Families were split as fathers and sons disagreed about revolutionary politics. But families were split in other ways too. Sarah Bland would not see the father of her infant son, John, for three years at least. William and Joseph Hunter, neither one four years old in 1781, were twice orphaned, by the death of their mother and the desertion of their father. The ripples need not have had such tragic consequences, however. The Reverend Gwatkin worried that his departure would disrupt the education of his private students and asked Reverend Bracken to take care of them. The Revolution in Virginia and Williamsburg was a multilayered phenomenon. It was a story of triumph and promise, but it was also a story of deadends and disappointments. No matter how dissonant a note the loyalists struck, they are a part of the texture of the piece. Their story deserves to be told.

White Loyalists of Williamsburg


Name:

Adam Allan
Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Great Britain
Date of Birth: By 1751
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: 1772
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: 2/1776; late 1776
Occupation: Proprietor, Stocking Manufactory
Offices: None known
Family: Appears to be unmarried
Remarks: Tarred and feathered in Fredericksburg, June 1776; in New Brunswick, 1786

Name:

Richard Corbin, Jr
Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Virginia
Date of Birth: 1751
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.:
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: August 1775
Occupation: Private secretary to father, Richard Corbin, Sr, Receiver General
Offices: None
Family: Second son of Richard Corbin, Sr; unmarried
Remarks: Nearly tarred and feathered before leaving Virginia

Name:

John Randolph Grymes
Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Virginia
Date of Birth: 1747
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.:
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: March 1776
Occupation: Private gentleman unconcerned with profession or trade
Offices: None
Family: A younger son Philip Grymes, Esq; unmarried in Virginia; married Susannah Randolph, daughter of John and Ariana Randolph by 1780
Remarks: A leading Virginia loyalist in England; probably died in England by 1797

Name:

Bernard Carey

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: North of Ireland
Date of Birth: ?By 1748
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: 1766
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: Fall 1776
Occupation: Linen drapery trader
Offices: None known
Family: Not married in Virginia
Remarks: Imprisoned four days as “inimical to liberty”; in Ireland, 1781 1783

Name:

John Murray, Fourth Earl of Dunmore

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Scotland
Date of Birth: 1732
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: September 1771
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: June 1775; August 1776
Occupation: Royal Governor
Offices: Same
Family: Married Charlotte, daughter of the Earl of Galloway, 1759; seven children
Remarks: Governor of Bahamas, 1786 1798; died 1809

Name:

Thomas Gwatkin

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Hereford Co, England
Date of Birth: 1741
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: January 1770
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: June 1775
Occupation: Professor of Natural Philosophy (1770) and Language (1775), College of William and Mary; private tutor
Offices: None
Family: Not married in Virginia
Remarks: Tutor to Lord Fincastle; accosted by armed men at College; awarded a small living in Berkshire

Name:

Joshua Hardcastle

Loyalist Evidence: Named in the Virginia Gazette
Place of Birth: Unknown
Date of Birth: Unknown
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: By 1770
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: After Sept 9, 1775
Occupation: Unknown
Offices: None
Family: Unknown
Remarks: Subjected to a mock court martial by the Independent Companies encamped around Williamsburg, early September 1775

Name:

William Maitland

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Great Britain
Date of Birth: ?By 1755
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: 1771 as an "adventurer
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: January 1776; April 1776
Occupation: Merchant; partner with Robert Miller
Offices: Assistant treasurer at the College in Robt Miller’s absence, June 1775
Family: Not married in Va; was a dependent in Robt Miller’s household in 1774
Remarks: Treated with violence and malice; settled in Ireland by 1779

Name:

Samuel Henley

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: England
Date of Birth: ca 1740
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: 1770
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: May 24, 1775
Occupation: Professor of Moral Philosophy and College Chaplain, College of Wm & Mary
Offices: None
Family: Not married in Virginia; married by Dec 1776 in England
Remarks: Planned to leave before 1775 but stayed to ensure John Randolph was elected the College Burgess

Name:

Alexander Middleton

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Unknown
Date of Birth: Unknown
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: 1776
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: After spring 1776
Occupation: Physician
Offices: None
Family: No evidence married in Virginia; married by 1778
Remarks: Kind treatment of political prisoners in Public Gaol earned rebel displeasure; Captain of Maryland loyalists; petitioned to be a Virginia citizen 1783; living at Calais 1788

Name:

Robert Miller

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Scotland
Date of Birth: Ca 1730
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: 1749
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: June 1775
Occupation: Merchant
Offices: Treasurer of the College (1770); Comptroller of the port of Williamsburg (1773); Member Williamsburg Common Council (1773)
Family: Single; no evidence ever married
Remarks: Received daily threats and insult for being outspoken and a revenue officer

Name:

James Menzies

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Scotland
Date of Birth: Ca 1745
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: 1763
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: June 1775; Aug 1776
Occupation: Private secretary to Lord Dunmore 1772+ Deputy Auditor in Auditor General’s Office 1763-1772; superintendent of Auditor General’s Office, 1772-1775; Clerk to Committee to Encouragement of Arts & Manufactureres
Family: Unmarried in Va; Lived in Dunmores’s family after March 1772
Remarks: Appointed Receiver General, Bahamas, 1795

Name:

George Pitt
Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Worcester, England
Date of Birth: 1724
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: 1744
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: August/September 1775
Occupation: Surgeon and Apothecary
Offices: Keeper of the Public Magazine 1755 1775; Muster Master General
Family: Widower (Sarah Packe Garland Pitt died 1772) with 7 children, none over 21 in 1775
Remarks: Refused to give key to the Magazine to the rebels; thought to have helped Dunmore remove the gunpowder; granted a royal patent for a process to make gunpowder; died at Stratford on Avon early 1776

Name:

John Randolph

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Virginia
Date of Birth: ca 1727
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.:
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: September 1775
Occupation: Barrister
Offices: Attorney General and Judge ViceAdmiralty Court
Family: Married with two daughters and one son; son Edmund stayed in Virginia as a rebel
Remarks: Leading Virginia loyalist; died in England 1784; daughter Ariana married loyalist James Wormley; daughter Susannah married loyalist John Randolph Grymes; widow Ariana died in England 1801


John Randolph’s home, Tazewell Hall
Drawing by Lucy Smith


Name:

Richard Floyd Pitt

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Virginia
Date of Birth: Nov 15, 1754
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.:
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: August/September 1775
Occupation: None in Virginia; Upholsterer in England
Offices: None
Family: Not married in Virginia; in England, married with one child by 1788
Remarks: Bankrupted 1783; imprisoned for debt at Fleet Prison October 1786 February 1788+

Name:

William Francis Bickerton

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Great Britain
Date of Birth: Unknown
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: 1773
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: 1777/1779
Occupation: Merchant
Offices: None
Family: No evidence married while in Va
Remarks: Made prisoner on parole 1777 and sent to backcountry; escaped to New York 1779

Name:

William Tarpley

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Virginia
Date of Birth: ca 1762 (father, John died 1762/63)
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.:
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: By 1780
Occupation: Unknown
Offices: Unknown
Family: Not married; grand son of Elizabeth Ripping Tarpley, son of John Tarpley, and nephew of Jamses Tarpley; grandsmother left William one-half of some lots in town and a plantation near Williamsburg
Remarks: William and brother Thomas students at William and Marey 1772-1775; enlisted in the 84th Foot in Charleston, SC, 1780; provided passage to Halifax

Name:

Edith Robinson

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: James City Co, Virginia
Date of Birth: 1726 1731
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.:
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: By 1778
Occupation:
Offices:
Family: Since 1765 widow of the Reverend Thomas Robinson; daughter Mary and son-in-law Thomas Jameson died in 1771; grandchildren underage in 1778
Remarks: Forded to leave Virginia by the violence of the rebels; joined widowed sister, Mary Preston in Warcop, Yorkshire; still there in May 1786

Name:

Joseph Thompson

Loyalist Evidence: Accusation
Place of Birth: Unknown
Date of Birth: Unknown
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: By 1777
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: Between 1782 1784
Occupation: Gardener
Offices: None
Family: Probably not married
Remarks: Accused of joining Cornwallis, 1781; advertised lot for sale September 1782

Name:

Jacob Williams
Loyalist Evidence: Accusation
Place of Birth: Unknown
Date of Birth: Unknown
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: Unknown
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: 1781
Occupation: Unknown
Offices: None
Family: Unknown
Remarks: Accused of joining Cornwallis 1781; jailed for “disaffection” late 1781 (There was a Jacob Williams living in the Norfolk area, 1774 1782)


Name:

William Hunter

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Virginia
Date of Birth: 1754
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.:
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: June 1781; Oct
Occupation: 1781 Printer
Offices: None
Family: Married (widowed by 1784) with two young children
Remarks: Took oath of allegiance; served in Virginia militia; joined Cornwallis out of loyalty and belief British would win; unable to return to Virginia; journeyman printer in England in 1787

Name:

James Hubard

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Virginia
Date of Birth: By 1738
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.:
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: June 1781; October 1781
Occupation: Attorney
Offices: Williamsburg Committee of Safety, 1774 and 1776
Family: Married with 8 children
Remarks: Refused to take oath of allegiance; imprisoned briefly; law practice collapsed; joined Cornwallis as volunteer; died in New York City, May 1782

Name:

Thomas Jaram

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Great Britain
Date of Birth: ca 1754 1758
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: 1774
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: July 1781; October 1781
Occupation: Unknown (father or brother was a carpenter)
Offices: None
Family: Unmarried (father and brother lived in Williamsburg)
Remarks: Escaped imprisonment for disaffection; joined Cornwallis in Portsmouth, in New York City spring 1782

Name:

William Parker

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Unknown
Date of Birth: Unknown
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: By 1774
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: June 1781; October 1781
Occupation: Unknown
Offices: None
Family: Married, probably had children
Remarks: Enlisted in the “American Legion”; moved family to New York upon his discharge; in England June 1783

Name:

Theodorick Bland

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: England
Date of Birth: ca 1752
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: by 1772
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: June 1781; October 1781
Occupation: Planter
Offices: None known
Family: Married with at least one son
Remarks: Found it "prudent" to seek Cornwallis’s protection; not permitted to return to Virginia after 1783; still in England 1784

Name:

Matthew Hubard

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Virginia
Date of Birth: 1767
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.:
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: April/May 1782
Occupation: None
Offices: None
Family: Unmarried; second son of James Hubard
Remarks: Traveled to New York to join dying father; refused to return to Virginia; sent to England under care of Lord Dunmore; planned to go to East Indies with Cornwallis spring 1783

Name:

John Jarret Carter

Loyalist Evidence: Claim
Place of Birth: Unknown
Date of Birth: Unknown
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: Unknown
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: April 1781; October 1781
Occupation: Publican/tavernkeeper
Offices: None
Family: Married, probably with children
Remarks: Served in the American army 8 months; refused to take oath of allegiance; joined Cornwallis in April 1781; drove a hackney coach in England 1783

Name:

Benjamin Bucktrout

Loyalist Evidence: Accusation
Place of Birth: Great Britain
Date of Birth: By 1745
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: 1766
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: 1788 to 1793?
Occupation: Cabinetmaker
Offices: Petit juror, York Co, 1768, 1772; purveyor for the Public Hospital, 1777-1779; Williamsburg road surveyor, 1804
Family: Married or widowed in 1781
Remarks: Advertised property for sale and intent to leave Virginia, August 1779; accused of joining Cornwallis 1781; died in Williamsburg, ca. 1813

Name:

James Ross

Loyalist Evidence: Accusation
Place of Birth: Virginia
Date of Birth: ca 1758
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.:
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: After 1781
Occupation: Carpenter
Offices: None
Family: Probably unmarried
Remarks: Convicted of breaking the peace in July 1780 and September 1780; accused of joining Cornwallis 1781

Name:

Francis Jaram

Loyalist Evidence: Imprisonment
Place of Birth: Probably Great Britain
Date of Birth: Unknown
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: 1774
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: After 1783
Occupation: Carpenter/builder
Offices: None
Family: Unmarried/ widower? (It is not clear which Jaram, Francis or John, was the father, which was the son)
Remarks: Took the oath of allegiance 1777; jailed for “disaffection” in late 1781

Name:

John Jaram

Loyalist Evidence: Imprisonment
Place of Birth: Probably Great Britain
Date of Birth: Unknown
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: 1774
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: By 1782
Occupation: Unknown (Owned cattle and sheep in 1777)
Offices: None
Family: Unmarried/widower? (It is not clear which Jaram, John or Francis, was the father, which was the son)
Remarks: Took oath of allegiance 1777; put on parole by Virginia June 1781; jailed for “Disaffection” in late 1781

Name:

William Hill

Loyalist Evidence: Accusation
Place of Birth: Unknown
Date of Birth: Unknown
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: By 1773
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: By 1782
Occupation: Carter
Offices: None
Family: Unknown
Remarks: Took oath of allegiance 1777; accused of joining Cornwallis 1781; lot owner until 1784 (not on personal property tax lists)

Name:

Henry Drake Watson

Loyalist Evidence: Accusation
Place of Birth: Unknown
Date of Birth: Unknown
Arrived in Va./Wmsbg.: By 1780
Departed Wmsbg. /Va.: By 1782
Occupation: Unknown
Offices: None
Family: Unknown
Remarks: Accused of joining Cornwallis 1781

A Short Bibliography on Loyalists

Wallace Brown. The Good Americans: The Loyalists in the American Revolution. New York, 1969.

Robert McCluer Calhoon. The Loyalists in Revolutionary America, 1760-1781. New York, 1973.

Emory G. Evans. “Trouble in the Backcountry: Disaffection in Southwest Virginia during the American Revolution.” In Ronald Hoffman, et al., An Uncivil War: The Southern Backcountry during the American Revolution. Charlottesville, VA, 1985.

Adele Hast. Loyalism in Revolutionary Virginia: The Norfolk Area and the Eastern Shore. Ann Arbor, MI, 1982.

William H. Nelson. The American Tory. New York, 1961.

Mary Beth Norton. The British Americans: The Loyalist Exiles in England, 1774-1789. Boston, MA, 1972.

Gregory Palmer. Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution. Westport, CT, 1984.

John E. Selby. The Revolution in Virginia, 1775-1783. Williamsburg, VA, 1988.

Paul H. Smith. “The American Loyalists: Notes on Their Organization and Numerical Strength.” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Series, XXV (1968), 269-277.

Paul H. Smith. Loyalists and Redcoats: A Study in British Revolutionary Policy. Chapel Hill, NC, 1964.