Robert King Carter's Correspondence and Diary

   A Collection Transcribed
        and Digitized
   by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.

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Electronic Text Center , University of Virginia Library


March 26, 1702
Letter from Edmund Jenings to the trustees of Ralph Wormeley's estate, March 26, 1702

     Edmund Jenings states his positions concerning the interpretation of the will of Ralph Wormeley, proposes certain actions be taken, and signifies his willingness to meet the other trustees..

Letter from Edmund Jenings to the Trustees
of Ralph Wormeley's Estate, March 26, 1702

-1 -

[Williamsburg, Virginia]

March 26, 1702

In Order to Divide & Settle the Estate of Ralph Wormeley
late Secretary of Virga. pursuant to his Will I Conceive it necessary
and propose.

     That Madam Wormeley forthwth. make Choice of soe much of the Good [s ap]
-- prais'd as Amount [ing] to £100 to furnish Her Room &c.

     That One or more be Appointed to divide the Estate According to the Appr [aisal]
in 5 Equall parts, that Madm. Wormeley may make Choice of One fifth part [to]
be Deliver'd her prorniseing or Giveing Caution to be answerable for a pro
-portionable part of Debts if any, And also the Trustees to answer her [for ] part
of Money in England or Debts here.

     That the Reall Estate be Divided into 3 parts, but soe as not to Divide plan
-tations if to be Avoided of Madm. Wormeley to make Choice of On [e]
or (if shee thinks fitt ) to have her Dower laid out as the Law Directs with
-out Charge.

-- -- --

     That after the Division and Madm.Wormeleys part [is] taken out t?l[ . . . ]
Eliza. Wormeley to make Choice of a Negro Man or Woman [ . . . ]
of wch. hitherto has and is an apparent Prejudice to her [ . . . ]
other Things bequeathd her be Deliver'd & paynent made [ . . . ]
and Consideration for Accomedation and provision.

-- -- --

     That Madam Catherine Corbin be paid her tegacy of 5 [0 £]

     That for the present Managemt. & Improvement of the Estate [s]
be Appointed and Impowered to Draw Bills of Exchange for [all]
Debts, Legacys, Quitt Rents & c. and sending for Close & Necessarys concer [n]
-ing the severall plantations, & to whom the Overseers and [ . . . ]
-- on may apply themselves, for what they want, of wch. those so [ . . . ]
to keep & give an Account to a full meeting of the Trustees annually the Sd.
Trustees being Distant from One another tis almost lrnpossib [le]
to have frequent Meetings or on Suddain Occasions.

     That it be Agreed to whom the Tobo. be Consignd and a Joint [letter be]
Writt to Such person or persons, Signifyeing the persons Impo [wered]
to send for Goods Bills of Excha. &c. That Credence may be g [iven]
and thereby securd in Answering & paying what [was] Writt for

     That the Books of Accounts, Papers, Debts &c be Deliverd [to?]
of the Trustees & Desired to Overlook them and take the Pai [ns to]
putt them in a Method and make Debts. and Creds, & that th [ey be]
laid before the Trustees as soon as may be and also what has [al]
-ready lransacted by any person & c.

     I think it absolutely Necessary this or something of the Like Nature be
forthwith Agreed on and Ordered by the Major part of all the [ . . . ]
Trustees to Avoide future Inconveniences wch. [I] am Apprehensive [will]
attend if longer delayd also that if anything has bin alread [y done]
wth.out Direction or Power it be amended.

-2 -

     I have frequently urged to have the Estate Divided & Methodsagreed
on for the Management & Improvemt. of it, but mett wth. Little En=
-couragemt. or forwardness for a Meeting of the Trustees, yett the great
Obligations to my Deceas'd and Dr. Friend and the Esteem for his
Remains still Oblidges me t,o Endeavour a Just performance of his
Will, he was pleased to Name & Intrust me in, Therefore to Expedi
-te itt what in me Lyes, take this Method of putting my thoughts
in Writing wch. the Trustees that Lyes on Rappa. [River] & near together may
if they please Consider wch. if they Approve of my Consent goes wth.
them, and since I have not bin wanting in my Endeavours Hope
I am in great part blameless and shall be Ready on all Occasions
to give my Advice, and Execute any part thought proper and the
place of my Abode will be suitable for.

     As I have mention'd Persons to be Impower'd to Act soe I will in
the Like plainess lett my thoughts be known That the Estate be
soe farr Divided by Mr. Edwin Thacker as Relates to the Negroes
Cattle & Sheep Express'd in the Appraisemt. wch. he has Promised
to Doe that it may be in Readiness agt. the Trustees Meets at
Madm.. Wormeleys on the Ninth Day of Aprill next, when if any
Thing is a Miss may by them or the Major, part of them be Rec=
-tified & Madm. Wormeley bee then Desired to make her Choice, att
wch. meeting, if I Can bee Dismiss'd from the committee will God
Willing Attend, That Collo. Carter bee Desired to Settle the Books
and Debts & c. and that One or Two be Inpower'd to take Care
of the Plantations pass Bills & on Rappahanock, & if I am
thought Serviceable will take Care of the affair on Yourk River.



Source copy consulted: Christ Church Parish, Lancaster County, Processioners' Returns, 1711-1783,and Wormeley Estate Papers, 1701-1710, 1716, Acc. 30126, Archives Research Services, Library of Virginia, Richmond, 147-149. The letter book contains a copy of Robert Carter's answer to Jenings's proposals, and an account "of the Profitts of the Secretary's Place Accrewing Due from the Public Clerks . . . 1700."

For notes on the early Ralph Wormeleys, especially Ralph Wormeley II, whose will is discussed in this document, see the web site of the Virginia Historical Society .

[1] "The Secretaries business is to keep the public Records of the Country, and to take care that they be regularly and fairly made up; namely all Judgments of the General Court, as likewise all Deeds, and other Writings there proved; and further, to issue all Writs. . . . To make out and record all patents for Land. . . ." The office of the Secretary appointed all the clerks of the county court and received fees from these officials as well as from those conducting business with his office. ( Louis B. Wright, ed. The History and Present State of Virginia By Robert Beverley. [Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press for the Institute for Early American History and Culture, 1947] pp. 245-46. p. 239; and Morton. ed. The Present State of Virginia. . . by Hugh Jones. p. 187, fn. 75. )

[2] Elizabeth (Armistead) Wormeley Churchill was Robert Carter's sister-in-law through her sister, Carter's first wife. Judith Armistead. She married first Ralph Wormeley (1650-1701), by whom she was the mother of of Ralph (ca. 1681-1714) and John (1689-1727). Her second husband was William Churchill (1649/50-1710) of "Bushy Park," Middlesex County. Her daugher Priscilla Churchill married Robert Carter II.

[3] Dower is "the portion of a deceased husband's estate which the law allows to his widow for her life." ( Oxford English Dictionary Online . Oxford University Press. )

[4] Ralph Wormeley had two daughters, Elizabeth (Wormeley) Lomax and Catherine (Wormeley) Corbin. ( Janet and Robert Wolfe. "Notes for John Lomax and Elizabeth Wormeley" and "The Wormeley Family (Continued)." The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 36, no. 1 (1928): 98-101. )

[5] Catherine (Wormeley) Corbin (d. ante 1707), daughter of Ralph Wormeley, was Gawin Corbin 's first (of three) wives. ("The Cor bin Family of Virginia." )

[6] A bill of exchange is a kind of check or promissory note without interest. It is used primarily in international trade, and is a written order by one person to pay another a specific sum on a specific date sometime in the future. If the bill of exchange is drawn on a bank, it is called a bank draft. If it is drawn on another party, it is called a trade draft. Sometimes a bill of exchange will simply be called a draft, but whereas a draft is always negotiable (transferable by endorsement), this is not necessarily true of a bill of exchange. (See "Bill of Exchange" in the online Dictionary of Financial Scam Terms: the Truth vs. the Scam. )

[7] Quit rent was the term used for "a (usually small) rent paid by a freeholder . . . in lieu of services which might otherwise be required; a nominal rent paid (esp. in former British colonial territories to the Crown) as an acknowledgement of tenure," in this case, to the proprietors of the Northern Neck. Carter as the proprietor's agent, collected these payments. ( Oxford English Dictionary Online . Oxford University Press. )

[8] Remains are "the remaining representative of a family or lineage." ( Oxford English Dictionary Online . Oxford University Press. )

[9] Ripon Hall was Edmund Jenings' estate in York County which he had acquired in 1687 from John and Unity West when it was named "Poplar Neck." Jenings's bad financial circumstances forced him to mortgage the property to Carter who eventually acquired title to it. ( "Notes and Queries." William and Mary Quarterly. 2[Apr. 1894]: 270-278, now available through the Internet Archive. See also "Ripon Hall" in the online Encyclopedia Virginia. )

[10] Edwin Thacker (1665-1704) was a resident of Christ Church Parish, Middlesex County, Virginia, where he was a large landowner, burgess, and sheriff. As a neighbor, he would have been quite familiar with Ralph Wormeley's holdings. ( Frances M. Smith. Colonial Families of America . [F. Allaben Genealogical Company, 1909], p. 90. )

This text was created July 16, 2016, with footnotes and a modern language version text.