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


Robert Carter's obituaries and , 1732 and later

     Robert Carter's obituaries and Other Records of his Death, 1732 and later

Robert Carter's Obituaries and Other Records of his Death, 1732 and Later

-1 -

Lancaster County, Virginia, Philadelphia, and London,



      On the motion of John Carter Esq one of the executors of the Honble Robert Carter Esq dec [ease] d
four amounts of sales of tobacco and one account current from Mr. James Bradley of London merchant
to the s [ai] d dec [ease] d were admitted to record.
(Lancaster, Virginia, August 9, 1732)


     We hear from Virginia that Col. Carter of that place
died on Monday the 7th Instant, after a short Indisposition
of three Days. He died of the Flux, which 'tis supposed
he caught on board a Vessel from which he bought several
( The American Weekly Mercury, Philadelphia, August 10-17, 1732)

     Virginia, Aug. 24. We have the following Account from
Virginia, of the Death of the Honourable Robert Carter, Esqr;
late President of the Council in Virginia, who departed this
life on the 4th of August, 1732, in the 69th Year of his Age,
he died immensely Rich, he has left among his Children
above 300,000 Acres of Land, and above 1000 Negroes,
beside 10000 Pounds in Cash, Etc. He was building a
very handsome Brick Church in his own Parish, at his own
Expense, which will be finished by his sons; and 'tis
said he has by his Will, ordered all his Debtors to be
forgiven their Debts, and many other generous Acts he
has done, being too tedious here to insert.
( The American Weekly Mercury, Philadelphia, August 31-September 7, 1732.)

     Robert Carter Esq; Aug. 4, in Virginia.
He was President of the Council, and left
among his Children above 300,000 Acres
of Land, about 1000 Negroes, and 10,000£.
( The Gentleman's Magzzine or Monthly Intelligencer. London, November 1732)


     H [ic] . S [epultus] . E [st] .

     Vir honorabilis ROBERTUS, ARMIGER,
qui genus bonestum dotibus eximiis et moribus
antiquis illustravit. COLLEGIUM GULIEMI et MARIAE
temporibus difficillimis propugnavit, GUBERNATOR.

     S ENATUS ROGATUR et QUAESTOR sub seren-

     Original Latin Text

     A publicis concilliis concillii per sexennium;
praeses; plus anno COLONIAE PRAEFECTUS, cum
regiam dignitatem et publicam libertatem aequali
jure asseruit.

Photograph of the Robert Carter Tomb

     Opibus amplissimis bene partis instructus,
aedem hanc sacram, in Deum pietatis grande
monumentum propriis sumtibus extruit.

     In omnes quos humaniter excepit nec
prodigus nec parcus hospes. Liberalitatem
insignem testantur debita munifice remissa.

ARMAGERI, filiam; deinde Betty generosa
LANDONORUM stirpe oriundam, sibi connubio
junctas habuit: e quibus prolem numerosam
suscepit, in quia erudienda pecuniae vim
maximam insumpsit.

     Tandem honorum et dierum satur, cum
omnia vitae munera egregiae praetitisset,
obit Pri. Non. Aug. An. Dom. 1732, aet. 69.

     Miseri solamen, viduae praesidium,
orbi patrem, ademptum lugent.
(Christ Church, yard, Lancaster County, Virginia, post 1732.)                                                                                             Photograph of the Robert Carter Tomb, Christ Church yard

      English Translation

     Here Lies Buried
Robert Carter, Esq., an honorable man, who
exalted his high birth by noble endow-
ments and pure morals. He sustained the
College of William and Mary in the most
trying times,

     He was Governor
Speaker of the House, and Treasurer, under
the most serene Princes, William, Anne,
George the 1st and 2nd. Elected Speaker
by the Public Assembly for six years, and
Governor for more than a year, he equally
upheld the regal dignity and public freedom.
Possessed of ample wealth, honorably ac-
quired, he built and endowed, at his own
expense, this sacred edifice, a lasting
monument of his piety to God. Entertaining-
his friends with kindness, he was
neither a prodigal nor a thrifty host.

     His first wife was Judith, daughter of John
Armistead, Esq.; his second, Betty, a
descendant of the noble family of the
Landons, by whom he had many children,
on whose education he expended a consider-
able portion of his property.

     At length, full of honors and years, having
discharged all duties of an exemplary
he departed from this world on the
4th day of August, 1732, in the 69th year
of his age. The wretched, the widowed,
and the orphans, bereaved of their comfort,
protector, and father, alike lament his


[1] James Bradley was a London merchant with whom Carter dealt from at least 1723 until his death. As noted in his letter to Bradley of 1727 May 17, Bradley owned the Welcome, but little information about Bradley has been located. (There is a listing of the firm of Bradly & Griffin, Merchants, Fenchurch-street, opposite the Mitre Tavern, on page 13 of Kent's Directory For the Year 1740 Containing An Alphabetical List of the Names and Places of Abode of the Directors of Companies, Persons in Publick Business, Merchants, and other Eminent Traders in the Cities of London and Westminster, and the Borough of Southwark. [London: Printed and Sold by Henry Kent in Finch-Lane, near the Royal Exchange: and by the Booksellers and Pamphlets Shops of London and Westminster, 1740.] 8/12/2005. )

[2] "Orders Book Entries at Lancaster County Court House, Lancaster Virginia referring to 'Robert Carter of Corotoman (1663-1732).'" Transcribed by Christine Adams Jones, 1978. Copy furnished to Francis L. Berkeley, Jr., by the transcriber. (This entry was transcribed from Lancaster County Orders Book 8, 1729-1743, p. 65. )

[3] The term "flux" was applied to a number of diseases in Carter's time, but this was most likely dysentery.

[4] The American Weekly Mercury, No. 659, Philadelphia, Thursday, August 10 to Thursday, August 17, 1732.

[5] The American Weekly Mercury, No. 662, Philadelphia, Thursday, August 31 to Thursday, September 7, 1732.

[6] The Gentleman's Magzzine or Monthly Intelligencer. London. 2[1732 Nov. 2]:1082. Available online at a Bodley Library site.

[7] The original Latin inscription on Carter's tomb was recorded after 1854 by Bishop William Meade, and published in his Old Churches, Ministers, and Families of Virginia (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1857), but this text is taken from Katherine L. Brown. Robert "King" Carter: Builder of Christ Church. [Irvington, VA: Foundation for Historic Christ Church, 2001]. p. 82. Because the Foundation has custody of the original tomb top, this text is felt to be the most accurate.)

[8] The English translation of Carter's tomb inscription is from Thomas Allen Glenn. Some Colonial Mansions and Those that Lived in Them. [Philadelphia, 1899), p. 232].