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


Letter from Robert Carter to William Robertson, July 15, 1727

     Robert Carter writes to William Robertson, clerk of the Council, July 15, 1727, directing him to send the militia commissions for Brunswick and Northumberland counties. He reports news of the raising of the siege of Gibralter, and the arrival of a slave ship. He asks for information about a minister named Thomas Bayley from North Carolina who has applied for a post in Northumberland County, but Carter has been alerted that he is the Bayley who was forced to leave Virginia several years earlier because of misconduct.

Letter from Robert Carter to William Robertson, July 15, 1727

-1 -

Mr: Wm: Robertson     [Corotoman, Lancaster County, Virginia]     
July the 15th. 1727

Sir --

     Having this Opportunity by the Doctor
think it not amiss to put you in mind of the Military Commissn.
Colonel Harrison gave you directions about for Brunswick
Which you were to Send to me with the Public Papers he gave
you the names of the men he appointed for Captains and desird
Blanks for the Subal-Ternnes .

     In Northumberland county in the uper parts
the name of the Canton I do not at Present call to mind there is a
Captain of a foot company Dead and I want blank Commis:
to put another in his room I desire you will take care that this
Commissions are Sent me, It is but dry work however Mr. Crew
desired the Office If he be out of the way or declines the work Mr.
Frances must do it,

      Wee have the news of the Seige of Gibralter
being raised brought by Dr. McKensys Sloop from Barbadoes wch:
to be Sure you have more at large. on Sunday night last Arrivd
a Negroe Ship to Colonel Tayloe with one hundred and Thirty odd

     A Clergy man named Thomas Bayley came
to me this week for a reccommendation to a parsh in Northumd.
he is gone to apply himself to the Vestry he came from North Carolina
hath his wife with him he hath left his orders behind hime other
wise had gon near to have Surprized me into a Letter talking
with Dr. Nicholas Yesterday about him very-ly beleive tis the Bayley
that Colonel Drysdale Sent out of the Governmt. for his gross misde=
meanors when you write this way I desire you will Send a detail
of the Crimes he was charged with he brought me a Paper of long
Inconiums with abundance of Subscriptions and had the Cunning to
personate a very meek humble behaviour

     Mr. Hickman is very dilatory with his probatted
Administrations I wish I had them to sign at my Leizure I am

Yor. most humble Servt:


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter letter book, 1727 May-1728 July, Robert Carter Papers (acc. no. 3807), Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.

The name of Carter's home, the county, and colony have been added for clarity to this unheaded draft.

[1] Carter refers to his son-in-law, Dr. George Nicholas, who was traveling to Williamsburg where Robertson lived.


[] H. R. McIlwaine wrote in 1910, "It is true that in 1727 . . . England was at war with Spain, but the war was one in which not much blood was shed and which was soon over." As Carter was writing in 1727, the Spanish had not been successful in their seige of Gibralter, and had given up. The conflict would end in 1729 with the treaty of Seville by which Britain obtained Gibraltar. ( H.R. McIlwaine, ed. Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 1727-1734, 1736-1740. [Richmond: Virginia. General Assembly. House of Burgesses, Virginia State Library, 1910], xiii; and J. H. Plumb. England in the Eighteenth Century (1714-1815). [Hammersmith, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1953] pp. 64-65. )

[3] John Tayloe (1687-1747) of Mt. Airy, Richmond County, who served as justice, burgess, colonel of militia, and as a member of the Council after 1732. (Ryland. Richmond County Virginia. . . . pp. 115-16. )

[4] Thomas Baylie (Bayley, Bailey, b. 1683?) was one of the most notorious colonial Virginia clergymen. Commissary Blair had written to the bishop of London in 1724, "We have at present two Ministers (Mr. Thomas Baylie and . . . ) so very scandalous for drunkenness and fighting and Quarreling in their drink that many grevious complaints are brought to me against them, and indeed the Country rings of the scandal given by them." Baylie was the minister at that time of Newport Parish, Isle of Wight County. The parish determined to get rid of Baylie, and in 1725, brought an agreement to the Governor and Council by which Baylie agreed to relinquish his ministry and leave the colony; he disputed the amount of salary he was to receive and was awarded the full year. ( John K. Nelson. A Blessed Company: Parishes, Parsons, and Parishoners in Anglican Virginia, 1690-1776. [Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 2001]. pp. 153, 304, 401; and, McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 4[1721-1739]:89-90. )

[5] Richard Hickman (d. 1732) had been deputy clerk of Middlesex County in 1709. After Governor Hugh Drysdale's death, the Council appointed him to manage the Governor's house and its gardens. His name appears a number of times in the Council minutes as he was the doorkeeper, and as he took out land patents. This letter shows that Hickman must have done other work for the colonial government. (Edward W. James. "Libraries in Colonial Virginia." William and Mary Quarterly. 3[1,#4, Apr. 1895]:248-51 for Hickman's inventory recorded May 15, 1732, listing many books; "Notes from the Journal of the House of Burgesses, 1712-1726." William and Mary Quarterly. 21[1,#4, April 1913]:257 mentions his being Council doorkeeper; "Notes from the Journal of the House of Burgesses, 1727-1734, William and Mary Quarterly. 22[1, #1, July 1913]:54,56-58, mentions his being clerk of the Committee of Propositions and Grievances; and McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 4[1721-1739]:114. )

This text, originally posted in 2003, was revised April 12, 2013, to strengthen the footnotes and modern language version text.