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 [Governor William Gooch,] May 21, 1728

     Robert Carter writes to [Governor William Gooch,] May 21, 1728, to send by his son Charles a commission for the governor's signature that will renew Carter's post as escheator of the Northern Neck. He alerts the governor that the county courts of Stafford and Northumberland will not sit until they receive new commissions as more than six months have passed since the death of the king. He encloses a list (not present) in which he has listed the members of each court, their "abilitys," "Characters," and where they live, and offers to send new commissions to these courts should they be ready before Charles leaves town.

Letter from Robert Carter to [Governor William Gooch, ] May 21, 1728

-1 -

Coro [toman, Lancaster County, Virginia]

May the 21st: 1728

May it Please your Honr. --

     This waits upon your honor with my Son
Charles who brings the Commission I had from Colonel Drysdale for be=
ing Escheator, of the Northern Neck which you were pleased to prom
ise to renew to me I have Sent another ready drawn for your Honor's
Signature and the Seal of the Colony. if you Shall please to give
your Sanction to I think it,

     I think it my Duty to acquaint your honor
with the Semple that Some of our County Courts have taken up
that the Six months from the demise of the King being Expired they
have no longer Power to hold Courts till they receive new Com
missions from your honor Stafford Court has declined Sitting so
has Northumberland. Our Court has Sit in Course hitherto
what the other three Courts intend to do have not yet heard; Three
of these Commissions Mr. Robertson had Orders from your honor
to make out when I was at the Council Board for Stafford & Northumberland
at the rising of Assembly for Richmond at the last Council in the General
Court, In respect to the other Commissions I give to your honr. my
Opinion in the Enclosed list In which I have had regard to the
abilities of the men their Characters and Places of abode, If your honor
Shall think fit to order these Commissions to be made ready while
my Son is in Town I Shall take care to have them Transmitted to
the several Countys with all the dispatch I can so t that Justice may
be no longer meet with no Delay I pray for the Continuance of your honor's health
and happiness As it is my Duty and am

Sir --
Your Honours
Most obedient most
Obliged & most
humble Servt: --


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter Letter Book, 1727 April 13-1728 July 23, Carter Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond. There is a 19th-century transcript of the letter in the Minor-Blackford Papers, James Monroe Law Office and Museum, Fredericksburg, Virginia.

The county and colony have been added for clarity to the heading on this draft.

[1] Charles Carter (1707-1764) was Robert Carter's tenth child; his mother was Carter's second wife, Elizabeth (Landon) Willis Carter. Charles would live at "Cleve," King George County, and inherit a number of properties in that area from his father. (Carleton. A Genealogy. . . of Robert Carter. . . . p. 340; and Morton. Robert Robert Carter of Nomini Hall. Numerous references.)

[2] An escheat is the reversion of land to the lord of the manor, or in this case,to the proprietors of the Northern Neck, because of the death without heirs of the holder of the lands.Anyone wishing to patent escheated lands had to pay a fee to Carter as the agent of the proprietors.

[3] According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "semple" is an "obsolete form of sampler," as "to give a Semplar or Specimen of what may be done."

[4] Williamsburg