woman Susannah "Susannah Beverley, Susannah Beverly" Beverley, Lady‏‎, daughter of Peter "Col" Beverly and Elizabeth Peyton‏.
Born ‎ 1693 at Turkey Island, Henrico, Virginia, USA, died ‎after 1754 at Williamsburg, James City, Virginia, USA‎, at least 61 years
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Lady Susannah Beverley Randolph
Born ca. 1692
Member of prestigious Virginia family
Wife of only knight in the colony
Managed large household
Mother of accomplished offspring
Died sometime after 1754
Early years

Susannah Beverley Randolph was born about 1692 and became a wife about 1718 – there are no records of the exact dates. If truly 26 at the time of her marriage, she was rather mature for a colonial bride – but certainly not alone in taking her vows at that age. Her eldest sister was the wife of her husband's eldest brother, which may suggest how they met. Whatever the uncertainties, there is no doubt that Sir John found her to be an excellent mate, or that she reared children of unusual ability.

Truly a lady

In almost two centuries of colonial Virginia history, there was only one woman who had a certifiable claim to the title of “Lady” – Susannah Beverley Randolph. Courtesy, of course, bestowed the honor of "lady" on every woman of "the better sort," and certainly most of "the middling class." But she was the wife of Sir John Randolph, the only Virginian knighted from the day Roanoke Island was settled in 1585 until independence was declared in 1776.

Prestigious Virginia family

To be a Randolph was to be a member of the most powerful clan in 18th-century Virginia. Sir John was the most accomplished lawyer in the colony, and a public servant of the first rank. But Susannah Beverley brought to her marriage a connection to a family nearly as distinguished. Her kinsmen had been high government officials and prominent planters. One had written a history of the colony in 1705 that was still in print 242 years later.

It appears – again the records are silent – that she bore her first child, a son named Beverley, about 1720. Peyton, named for his maternal grandmother's family, was born in 1721. John, known to historians as "The Tory," but sincerely respected by his contemporaries, was born in 1727 or 1728. Her only daughter, Mary, followed, but the year of her birth is uncertain.

Considerable domestic responsibilities

Apart from her children, Susannah Randolph had charge of a domestic establishment that was among Williamsburg's largest and best. Moreover, there were three plantations, at least one of which had houses of some sort that may have required her management. Her husband's position required frequent and fine entertaining of clients and associates, an activity that also required her attention.

Sir John's obituary in the Virginia Gazette stated: "As he received a noble Income, for Services in his Profession and Emploiments, so he, in some Measure, made a Return, by a most generous, open and elegant Table . . . But the Plenty, Conduct, and Hospitality, which appeared there, reflect an equal Praise on himself and his Lady."

Young widow

Widowed in 1737, she was entrusted with a share in the supervision of her husband's estate for the benefit of their children and for herself. When Sir John penned the portion of his will specifying his bequests, he began with "my dear and most beloved wife who for her faithfulness affection and prudence deserves to be remembered in the first place." She was given the use of his property in Williamsburg for her life, after which it became Peyton Randolph's.

In the care of the estate, she had the assistance of her two brothers-in-law, but she seems to have been quite capable of acting for herself. In 1740, after the family's tobacco inspection and warehousing facilities on nearby College Creek expanded, she petitioned the General Assembly for an increase in the rents. Her petition was granted.

Life in Williamsburg society

After Sir John’s death, Susannah Randolph still moved in Williamsburg's social circle and remained the object of the considerate attention of the friends she and her husband had shared. Among them was William Byrd II, who was a member of the colony's Council and General Court, the scion of another first family, and the master of Westover plantation on the James River.

Byrd and his wife were old and particular friends, and his diaries record visits to the Widow Randolph many evenings when business carried him to the city. Sometimes she sent a carriage to meet him at the ferry. They played cards, drank tea, or merely visited. In the words of a Colonial Williamsburg historian, Byrd had "special ties of affectionate concern for her welfare, and pleasure in her company."

By 1751, and perhaps earlier, Susannah had the company of son Peyton and his wife as well. In 1745, when he was entitled to his share in the income of his father's estate, he married Betty Harrison. Peyton may have lived with his mother all along, but by 1751 the house was referred to as if it were already his, suggesting that he was in residence and in charge.

Burial site unknown

The records of Bruton Parish Church show that Susannah Randolph had two slaves baptized in 1754. It is her last appearance in the historical record. Neither the date of her death nor the place of her burial is known.

Married ‎ 1718 at Turkey Island, Henrico, VA (at least 36 years married) to:

man John Randolph, Sir John Randolph‏‎, son of William Randolph, Col and Mary "Mary Royall Isham" Isham‏.
Born ‎ Jul 20, 1693 at Turkey Island, Henrico, Virginia, USA, died ‎ Mar 7, 1736/37 at Tazwell Hall, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA‎, approximately 42 years, buried ‎ 1737 at Wren Chapel at William & Mary College
Virginia Prominent Families Vol 1-4
6. Sir John Randolph, Knight, b. at Turkey Island, April, 1689; settled in Williamsburg, Va. Married (1718) Susanna Beverly, sister of his brother William's wife.
Sir John Randolph (1693-1737) of “Tazewell Hall” [RA.4]

John Randolph, son of William Randolph and Mary Isham, was born in April 1693. He married Susanna Beverley, daughter of Peter Beverley and Elizabeth Peyton. Sir John Randolph was clerk of the Virginia House of Burgesses (1718-1733) and its speaker representing the College of William and Mary until his death (1736-7).
John died 5 March 1737/8 at age 44 and is buried in the chapel of the College of William and Mary, leaving four children.

Children of John and Susanna (Beverley) Randolph
3› Beverley Randolph [RA.4.1] married Sarah Wormeley, daughter of John Wormeley and Elizabeth. They were the parents of two daughters of unknown name.
3› Peyton Randolph [RA.4.2] (Sept. 1721 - 23 Oct. 1775 ) married Elizabeth Harrison. See their family
3› John Randolph [RA.4.3] (1728- 31 June 1784 {sic}) married Arianna Jennings, daughter of Edmund Jennings and Arianna Vanderhuyden.
4› Edmund Jennings Randolph [RA.4.3.1] (10 Aug. 1753 - 12 Sept. 1813) was the first attorney general of the United States, a member of the Continental Congress (1779-82) and governor of Virginia (1786-1788). He attended the Fifth Revolutionary Convention (1776), was in the Virginia House of Delegates (1778-79, 1788-89), and was a representative at the Convention of 1788 that ratified the Constitution.
To learn more about Edmund Jennings Randolph, read his biography at Congress.gov
He married Elizabeth Nicholas in August 1776.
5› Susan Beverley Randolph [RA.] married J. Bennett Taylor of Albemarle County.
5› Peyton Randolph [RA.] (- 26 Dec. 1828 ) married Maria Ward in Amelia County 15 March (bond) 1806. See their family
5› Edmonia Madison Randolph [RA.] married Thomas Lewis Preston in Henrico County 12 June (bond) 1806.
5› Lucy Nelson Randolph [RA.] (1790-1847) married Peter Vivian Daniel, a member of Virginia House of Delegates from Stafford (1808-10
4› Susan Beverley Randolph [RA.4.3.2] married John Randolph Gryme
4› Arianna Randolph [RA.4.3.3] married Capt. James Wormeley.
3› Mary Randolph [RA.4.4] married Philip Grymes, son of John Grymes and Lucy Ludwell, in 1742. Their children were the following. Both were members of the Council of State, John 1726-48, and Philip 1749-61, and each represented Middlesex County in the Virginia House of Delegates, John 1718-22, and Philip 1748-49.
Philip’s will in Middlesex County mentioned his plantation, “Brandon,” and named children Lucy, Susanna, Mary, John Randolph, Charles, Benjamin, and Philip Ludwell (will dated 18 Dec. 1756, recorded 2 Feb. 1762
4› John Grymes [RA.4.4.1] died young.
4› Lucy Grymes [RA.4.4.2] (24 Aug. 1743 ) married Thomas Nelson Jr. (26 Dec. 1738 - 4 Jan. 1789), of Yorktown, burgess and delegate from York County (1761-83, 1786-8), militia general during the Revolution, member of the Continental Congress, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and Virginia governor six months (1781).
To learn more about Thomas Nelson Jr., read his biography at Congress.gov
Among their sons was Hugh Nelson (30 Sept. 1768 - 18 Mar. 1836), a delegate from Albemarle County (1805-9, 1828-9), and member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1811-1823).
To learn more about Hugh Nelson, read his biography at Congress.g
4› Philip Ludwell Grymes [RA.4.4.3] (- 18 May 1805 ) of “Brandon,” married Elizabeth Randolph in 1762, and Judith Wormeley 30 May 1773, a daughter of Ralph Wormeley whose 1787-will named daughter Judith Grymes. Grymes owned 143 slaves in 1783.
Grymes represented Middlesex County in the Virginia House of Burgesses (1769-71) until resigning to take the office of sheriff. Judith was still living when he made his will in Middlesex County mentioning a departed son and Jane Sayre wife of Samuel William Sayre (will dated 23 April 1805, recorded 24 June 1805). In 1808 the court divided his estate between Mrs. Judith Grymes and Sayre.
5› son Grymes [RA.].
5› Jane Grymes [RA.] (- 1 Jan. 1806 ) married 23 July 1804 Samuel William Sayre, who married second Virginia Bassett 20 September 1806.
6› Mary Grymes Sayre [RA.] married Carter Braxton in Middlesex County 21 May (bond) 1823.
4› John Randolph Grymes [RA.4.4.4].
4› Charles Grymes [RA.4.4.5] married Mary Hubbard in Middlesex County 20 December 1777. He was head of a household of two whites and seven blacks in Middlesex in 1783, indicating they had no children. This accounts for why Grymes’ will left money to “the natural children of Elizabeth Manhart.”
4› Benjamin Grymes [RA.4.4.6] married Sarah Robinson, a daughter of Peter Robinson, deceased, in Middlesex County 9 October 1773.
4› Susanna Grymes [RA.4.4.7] (1751- 7 July 1788 ) married Nathaniel Burwell (15 April 1750 - 29 Mar. 1814) 28 November 1772. Their children were the following.
5› Carter Burwell [RA.] (16 Oct. 1773 - 2 Feb. 1819).
5› Philip Burwell [RA.] (15 Jan. 1776 - 11 Feb. 1849) died in Clarke County, Virginia.
5› Lucy Burwell [RA.] (20 Nov. 1777 - 22 Mar. 1810) married Archibald Cary Randolph 6 April 1797. See their family
5› Nathaniel Burwell [RA.] (18 Feb. 1779 - 11 Jan. 1849).
5› Lewis Burwell [RA.] (24 Jan. 1781 - 28 Sept. 1782) died in infancy.
5› William Burwell [RA.] (24 July 1782 - Oct. 1782) died in infancy.
5› Lewis Burwell [RA.] (24 Jan. 1783 - 24 Feb. 1826).
5› Robert Carter Burwell [RA.] (24 July 1785 - 22 Aug. 1813
4› Mary Grymes [RA.4.4.8] (12 Feb. 1754 ) married Robert Nelson of “Malvern Hill.”
4› Peyton Grymes [RA.4.4.9] died young.
4› Betty Grymes [RA.4.4.10], named in a codicil her father made in 1761, married Dr. Pope.
Obit in the Virginian Gazette Mar 11, 1737
Sir John Randolph
Born 1693
Youngest of six sons
Early student at the College of William & Mary
Simple, ethical, kindhearted man
Member of Virginia House of Burgesses
Lifelong interest in Native American Indians
Died 1737
Buried at Wren Chapel at William & Mary
A man of quality

It was written of Sir John Randolph that "his Parts were bright and strong; his Learning extensive and useful." He was, it was said, "An Assertor of the just Rights and natural Liberties of Mankind; an Enemy of Oppression; a Support to the Distressed." He had, in short, "the Air of a man of quality."

The phrases are lifted from Randolph's obituary in the March 11, 1737 edition of Williamsburg's Virginia Gazette. Had they been written about another man, they might be discounted as the sort of overgenerous flattery that characterized the death notices of prominent men. But such things were said of Sir John Randolph while he lived, and modern biographers fill their columns with his praise.

According to these reports, Sir John was modest and sincere, a man of integrity and patience who had great concern for impartiality and the rule of law. He was tactful, warm, and good-humored. He was the only colonial-born Virginian to be distinguished with knighthood and the best-regarded lawyer in the colony. A legal scholar, he had an interest in literature and history and a remarkable library.

Early years

Born in 1693 to William and Mary Isham Randolph of Turkey Island in Charles City County, Va., Sir John was the youngest of six brothers who, with their two sisters, led Virginia's most powerful family into the 18th century.

An early student of the college of William & Mary, Randolph finished his studies in the fall of 1711 as "first scholar" and took up the study of the law. Governor Alexander Spotswood made him a deputy attorney general of Charles City, Prince George, and Henrico Counties the following year.

Appointed to Virginia’s House of Burgesses

Randolph prosecuted cases for the Crown until he followed his legal studies to London to be admitted to Grays Inn at the Inns of Court on May 17, 1715. He made short work of his courses, being called to the bar November 25, 1717, and leaving for Virginia the following spring. Spotswood appointed him clerk of the House of Burgesses as soon as he returned.

Randolph married Susannah Beverly, whose elder sister had married his eldest brother. Their first child, a boy named Beverley, was born about 1720, and their second son, Peyton, in 1721.

Early interest in American Indians

Randolph took leave of his young family in 1722 to act as secretary to the Virginia delegation that traveled to Albany, New York, for a meeting of Iroquois chiefs organized by Governor William Burnet of that stat

Property Owner

John Randolph was among the original aldermen of the newly incorporated town of Williamsburg. We do not know where the family first lived in Williamsburg, but in 1724, Randolph did acquire two wooden houses thirty-six feet apart on Market Square. Joining them with a center section, he fashioned what today is called the Peyton Randolph House.

His most valuable property was a plantation across the York River in Gloucester County, and at the end of his life he also owned other lots in Williamsburg, lots with a tobacco warehouse at College Creek, a 100-acre plantation at Archer's Hope Creek, land in Martin's Hundred near Carter's Grove, and land on the Chickahominy River.

Attorney General for Virginia Colony

In April 1726, the governor appointed Randolph the colony's acting attorney general and acting clerk of its Council. Perhaps the year after, Susannah gave birth to their son John. The date of birth of their only daughter, Mary, is unknown.

Prominent Attorney

Apart from his official duties, Randolph had a valuable private law practice. He represented prominent men, but accepted the cases of the less fortunate for "Fees he constantly remitted, when he thought the Paiment of them would be grievous to themselves or Families."

In 1728, John Randolph took the House of Burgesses for a client. The house sent Randolph to London as its special agent to secure repeal of a law that prohibited the export of tobacco leaf that had been removed from the stalk. The stems added to the bulk of shipments, and thus to the number of hogsheads the Crown might tax, but impaired the quality of the product and cheapened market prices.

In addition, Randolph represented the College of William and Mary in the transfer of its property from its trustees to its president and faculty. His service was memorialized in an illuminated and handsomely penned parchment.

Colonial Virginian Knighted

Randolph returned to Virginia to report success in both endeavors and was dispatched again to England in 1732 to try to persuade Parliament to adopt an excise on tobacco imported to England. The intent was to improve the economics of the trade, but in this he failed, despite enlisting the help of the prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole.
In any case, Randolph distinguished himself by his industry and skill and, perhaps because of them, was knighted. The date and the circumstances of the honor are not known, but he was listed on the rolls of the Imperial Society of the Knights Bachelor by September 1732.

Patron of Indian school library

Before returning to Virginia in the summer of 1733, Randolph asked the bishop of London and the archbishop of Canterbury for advice on books for the library of the Brafferton, the Indian school at the College of William and Mary, and he attempted to secure a long-promised donation of volumes.

Multiple civic responsibilities

On August 22, 1734, Sir John Randolph resigned the clerkship of the House of Burgesses. The next day, the college administration elected him its burgess, and on Saturday the burgesses elected him Speaker of the House. In September he became a justice of Gloucester County, and in October he became treasurer of the colony. When Norfolk was incorporated in 1736, it made Randolph its recorder. Although a deputy would perform the actual work of the office, the city marked his swearing in with an elaborate celebration.

Despite the accumulation of wealth, honors, and offices – perhaps because of it –Randolph did not escape criticism or controversy. Spotswood, now a private citizen embittered by political battles of the past, attacked Randolph in the public prints, describing him as "a fawning creature . . . whose Pride and Spell has made him turn against his Benefactor, who first promoted him in the World." Randolph answered the assault in the Virginia Gazette with an angry rejoinder.

An ethical man and a simple Christian

John Randolph preferred simplicity in religion, which offended the dogmatism of the established clergy. In some quarters he was regarded as a deist, a heretic, and a schismatic. These charges he answered in his will, writing a long profession of Christian faith based on the unembellished precepts of the Bible.

He also recorded in his will that he had earned his estate honestly, "tho' by a profession much exposed to temptations of deceit and extortion."

Randolph died on March 7, 1737, and "was (according to his own Directions) carried from his House to the Place of Interment, by Six honest, industrious, poor-House-keepers of Breton Parish " who divided £20 for their services. The place of interment was the chapel of the Wren Building at the College of William & Mary.

Fire gutted the Wren in 1859 and the burial vaults were disturbed. A physician who examined the contents of Sir John Randolph's tomb discovered the bones of two men. The identity of the second is a mystery.
Sir John Randolph
was son of Colonel William Randolph of "Turkey Island," Henrico county; born 1693, died March 9, 1737. He was educated at William and Mary College, Gray's Inn, and the Temple in London and on his return engaged in the practice of law in Virginia; was clerk of the council, treasurer, agent of the assembly in England, president of the county court of Gloucester, lieutenant-colonel of the militia for that county; burgess and speaker. He was the only native resident, who ever received the honors of knighthood. He was also first recorder, in 1736, of the borough of Norfolk. He seems to have been considered as head of the Virginia bar in his day. He was interred in the chapel of William and Mary College, which he represented in the legislature. He was a great nephew of Thomas Randolph, the poet. He was father of John Randolph, attorney general of Virginia, and of Peyton Randolph, first president of the continental congress. In his latter years he resided in Williamsburg.


woman Mary Randolph‏
Born ‎ 1729 at Gloucester, Gloucester, VA, died ‎ Jan 10, 1768 at Williamsburg, Jefferson City, VA‎, 38 or 39 years
man Beverly "Beverley Randolph" Randolph‏
Born ‎ 1720 at VA, died ‎ 1784 at Gloucester, Virginia, USA‎, 63 or 64 years
Sir John Randolph, the only colonial born in Virginia to be knighted, died in 1737. He left the house to his wife, Susannah Beverley Randolph, until their second son, Peyton, reached the age of 24. Their first son, Beverley, inherited property in Gloucester County; their third son, John, inherited acreage on the city's southern edge; and their daughter, Mary, received a dowry of £1,000. Susannah Beverley Randolph remained in the home until her death sometime after 1754.
man Peyton Randolph‏
Born ‎ Sep 1721 at Williamsburg, Virginia, USA, died ‎ Oct 22, 1775 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA‎, 54 years, buried ‎ 1775 at Christ's Church, re-interred 26 Nov1776 at the College of William and Mary
Sir John Randolph, the only colonial born in Virginia to be knighted, died in 1737. He left the house to his wife, Susannah Beverley Randolph, until their second son, Peyton, reached the age of 24. Their first son, Beverley, inherited property in Gloucester County; their third son, John, inherited acreage on the city's southern edge; and their daughter, Mary, received a dowry of £1,000. Susannah Beverley Randolph remained in the home until her death sometime after 1754.
Randolph, Peyton,R.W.P.G.M.; August '73 - August, '75.

Peyton Randolph
Born ca. 1721
Revolutionary leader
Cousin of Thomas Jefferson
Attorney General of Virginia Colony
Chaired first and second Continental Congress
Died 1775
First to be called “Father of country”

Peyton Randolph was on the black list of patriots the British proposed to arrest and hang after he presided over the Continental Congress in 1775. Upon his return to Williamsburg, the volunteer company of militia of
the city offered him its protection in an address that concluded:
"May heaven grant you long to live the father of your country –
and the friend to freedom and humanity!"

True revolutionary
If his friend George Washington succeeded him as America’s patriarch, Randolph nevertheless did as much as any Virginian to bring the new nation into the world. He presided over every important Virginia assembly in the years leading to the Revolution, was among the first of the colony's great men to oppose the Stamp Act, chaired the first meeting of the delegates of 13 colonies at Philadelphia in 1774, and chaired the second in 1775.
Early years
Randolph was born 54 years before the Second Continental Congress – probably in Williamsburg in 1721 – the second son of Sir John and Lady Susannah Randolph. His first name was his maternal grandmother's maiden name, just as his older brother Beverley's was their mother's. The surname Randolph identified him as a scion of 18th-century Virginia's most powerful clan.
When Peyton Randolph was three or four years old, the family moved into the imposing wooden home on Market Square now known as the Peyton Randolph House. His father, among Virginia's most distinguished
attorneys, Speaker of the House of Burgesses, and a wealthy man, died when Peyton was 16, leaving the house and other property for him in trust with his mother. The will also gave Peyton his father's extensive library in the hope he would "betake himself to the study of law." By then, he had a brother John and a sister Mary.

Study of law
Attentive to his father's wishes, Peyton Randolph attended the College of William & Mary, then learned the law in London's Inns of Court. He entered the Middle Temple on October 13, 1739, and took a place at the bar February 10, 1743. Returning to Williamsburg, he was appointed the colony's attorney general by Governor William Gooch on May 7, 1744. His father had filled the office before him, and his brother would assume the role after.
At the age of 24, Randolph was eligible for his inheritance. On March 8, 1746, he married Betty Harrison, and on July 21 (more than two years after his return from London), he qualified himself for the private practice of law in York County.
His cousin Thomas Jefferson may have shed some light on the delay in a character sketch he wrote of Randolph years later. "He was indeed a most excellent man," Jefferson said, but "heavy and inert in body, he was rather too indolent and careless for business."

Public duties
He was, as well, occupied with myriad public duties. In 1747, he became a vestryman of Bruton Parish Church, and in 1748, he became Williamsburg's representative in the House of Burgesses, and in 1749, a justice of the peace.
Randolph returned to the house in 1752 as the burgess for the college of William & Mary and on December 15, 1753, the house hired him as its special agent for some “ticklish business” in London.
Soon after he arrived in Virginia in 1751, Governor Robert Dinwiddie had begun to exercise a right no governor before him had tried: the imposition of a fee for certifying land patents. For his signature, Dinwiddie demanded a pistole, a Spanish coin worth about 20 shillings. Regarding the fee as an unauthorized tax, Virginians objected, though to no avail.

Courageous action
Peyton Randolph was dispatched to England as the house's agent, with directions to go over the governor's head. But as attorney general, it was his duty to represent the interests of the Crown, of which
Dinwiddie was the principal representative in Virginia. Randolph was attacking the right of the governor he was appointed to defend!
The governor refused to give Peyton Randolph permission to leave the colony, but he left anyway. In London, he had to answer for his action, and he was ousted from the attorney general's office. Dinwiddie had already named George Wythe as acting attorney general in Randolph's place.
Nevertheless, the London officials pointedly suggested that Dinwiddie reconsider his fee and said that they would have no objection to Peyton Randolph's reinstatement if he apologized. So he did, and subsequently resumed office soon after his return to Williamsburg.

French and Indian War
Reelected burgess for the College of William & Mary in 1755, he involved himself the next year in a somewhat ludicrous, though harmless, attempt to promote morale during the French and Indian War. With other prominent men, he formed the Associators, a group to raise and pay bounties for private troops to join the regular force at Winchester. George Washington, in charge of the fort there, wasn't sure what he would do with the untrained men if they arrived. Not enough came, however, to cause any inconvenience.

Revolutionary leadership
In 1757, Randolph joined the college's board, and he served as a rector for one year. He was reelected
for Williamsburg in 1761, and thus entered the phase of his life that thrust him into a leadership role in the Revolution.
Word of Parliament's intended Stamp Act brought Virginians and their burgesses into conflict with the Crown itself in 1764. Peyton Randolph was appointed chairman of a committee to draft protests to the king, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons maintaining the colony's exclusive right of self-taxation.

Disagreement with Patrick Henry
This responsibility put Peyton Randolph at odds with Patrick Henry, the Virginian most noted for opposition to the tax. At the end of the legislative session in 1765, Henry, a freshman, introduced seven resolutions against the act. Peyton Randolph, George Wythe, and others thought that Henry's resolutions added nothing to the colony's case and that their consideration was improper until the colony had a reply to its earlier protests.
In the final days of the session, after many opponents had left the city, Patrick Henry introduced his measures and made the famous speech in which he said “Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First had his Cromwell, and George the Third . . .” prompting cries of treason from the remaining burgesses present. Peyton Randolph, though not yet Speaker, was presiding. When Speaker John Robinson resumed the chair
the following day (May 30), Henry carried five of his resolves by a single ballot. A tie would have allowed Robinson to cast the deciding "nay." Jefferson, standing at the chamber door, said Peyton Randolph emerged saying, "By God, I would have given one hundred guineas for a single vote."
Patrick Henry left town, and the next day his fifth (and most radical) resolution was expunged by the burgesses who remained. Nevertheless, it was reprinted with the others in newspapers across the colonies as if it stood.

Speaker of the House of Burgesses
Peyton Randolph was elected Speaker on November 6, 1766, succeeding the deceased Robinson and defeating Richard Henry Lee. Peyton's brother John succeeded him as attorney general the following June. By now the brothers had begun to disagree politically; John's conservatism would take him to England in 1775 while Peyton joined the rebellion.

Leads rebel meeting at Raleigh Tavern
Another set of Patrick Henry's resolves, against the Townshend Duties, came before the House in May 1769. This time Peyton Randolph approved their passage, but Governor Botetourt did not. He dissolved the assembly. The "former representatives of the people," as they called themselves, met the next day at the Raleigh Tavern with Speaker Peyton Randolph in the chair. They adopted a compact drafted by George Mason and introduced by George Washington against the importation of British goods. Speaker Randolph was the first to sign.
When the new legislature met in the winter, the governor was pleased to announce the repeal of all of the Townshend Duties, except the small one on tea. Legislative attention turned to other, calmer affairs. The next summer Peyton Randolph became chairman of the building committee for the Public Hospital.

Closing of Boston Harbor troubles Virginia burgesses
Tempers flared again in 1773, when Great Britain proposed to transport a band of Rhode Island smugglers to England for trial. The implications for Virginia were troublesome, and the burgesses appointed a standing Committee of Correspondence and Inquiry with Speaker Peyton Randolph as chairman. The following May brought word of the closing of the port of Boston in retaliation for its Tea Party.

On May 24, 1774, Robert Carter Nicholas introduced a resolution drafted by Thomas Jefferson that read:
"This House, being deeply impressed with apprehension of the great dangers, to be derived to British America, from the hostile Invasion of the City of Boston, in our Sister Colony of Massachusetts bay, whose commerce and harbour are, on the first Day of June next, to be stopped by an Armed force, deem it highly necessary that the said first day of June be set apart, by the Members of this House, as a day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, devoutly to implore the divine interposition for averting the heavy Calamity which threatens destruction to our Civil Rights, and the Evils of civil War; to give us one heart and one Mind to firmly oppose, by all just and proper means, every injury to American Rights; and that the Minds of his Majesty and his parliament, may be inspired from above with Wisdom, Moderation, and Justice, to remove from the loyal People of America, all cause of danger, from a continued pursuit of Measure, pregnant with their ruin."
The resolution was adopted.
House of Burgesses dissolved
Governor Dunmore summoned the house on May 26, 1774 and told Peyton Randolph: "Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the House of Burgesses, I have in my hand a paper published by order of your House, conceived in such terms as reflect highly upon His Majesty and the Parliament of Great Britain, which makes it necessary for me to dissolve you; and you are accordingly dissolved."

Continental Congress proposed
On May 27, 1774, a group of 89 burgesses gathered again at the Raleigh Tavern to form another “non-importation association,” and the following day the Committee of Correspondence proposed a Continental Congress. Twenty-five burgesses met at Peyton Randolph's house on May 30 and scheduled a state convention to be held on August 1 to consider a proposal from Boston for a ban on exports to England.
Peyton Randolph led the community to Bruton Parish Church on June 1 to pray for Boston, and soon he was organizing a Williamsburg drive to send provisions and cash for its relief. The First Virginia Convention approved the export ban and elected as delegates to the Congress Peyton Randolph, Richard Henry Lee, George Washington, Patrick Henry, Richard Bland, Benjamin Harrison, and Edmund Pendleton.

Signs will before departure for the First Continental Congress
Before he left Williamsburg on August 18, 1774, Peyton Randolph wrote his will, leaving his property to the use of his wife for life. They had no children. The property was to be auctioned after her death and the proceeds divided among Randolph's heirs.
Unanimously elected chairman of Continental Congress
When Congress convened in Philadelphia on September 5, Thomas Lynch of South Carolina nominated Peyton Randolph to be chairman. He was elected by unanimous vote. Delegate Silas Deane wrote his wife, "Designed by nature for the business, of an affable, open and majestic deportment, large in size, though not out of proportion, he commands respect and esteem by his very aspect, independent of the high character he sustains."

500 merchants sign trade ban against England
In October 1774, Peyton Randolph returned to Williamsburg to preside at an impending meeting of the house. Repeatedly postponed, it did not meet until the following June. Nonetheless, on November 9 Peyton Randolph accepted a copy of the Continental Association banning trade with England signed by nearly 500 merchants gathered in Williamsburg.
Disperses angry crowd gathered at courthouse in Williamsburg
Peyton Randolph was in the chair again at the Second Virginia Convention in Richmond on March 23 when Patrick Henry rose and made his "Liberty or Death" speech in favor of the formation of a statewide militia. In reaction, Governor Dunmore removed the gunpowder from Williamsburg's Magazine on April 21. Alerted to the theft, a mob gathered at the courthouse. Peyton Randolph was one of the leaders who persuaded the crowd to disperse and averted violence.

British put Randolph on rebel execution list
Peyton Randolph led the Virginia delegation to the Second Continental Congress in May 1775, and he again took the chair. General Thomas Gage, commander of British forces in America, had been issued blank warrants for the execution of rebel leaders and a list of names with which to fill them. Peyton Randolph's name was on the list. He returned to Williamsburg under guard, and the town bells pealed to announce his safe arrival. The militia escorted him to his house and pledged to guarantee his safety.
The Third Virginia Convention reelected its speaker to Congress in July 1775, and Randolph left for Philadelphia in late August or early September. By this time, John Hancock had succeeded him to its chair.

Died before Independence
About 8 p.m. on Sunday, October 23, Peyton Randolph began to choke, a side of his face contorted, and he died of an "apoplectic stroke." He was buried that Tuesday at Christ's Church in Philadelphia. His nephew, Edmund Randolph, brought his remains to Williamsburg in 1776, and he was interred in the family crypt in the Chapel at the College of William and Mary on November 26.
Last Will and Testament of Peyton Randolph

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN. I Peyton Randolph do make this my last will & testament. I give & devise to my beloved wife my dwelling house, lots & all the outhouses thereto belonging in the city of Williamsburg, with the furniture of the same, & also my chariot & horses & all her wearing apparel rings & jewels, all which estates real & personal I give to her heirs, exrs, & adrs. I give to my sd wife also Little Aggy & her children, Great Aggy & her children, Eve & her children Lucy & her children to her & her heirs forever. I give to my wife also the use & enjoyment of my whole estate real & personal, not hereafter given away during her natural life. I give to Harrison Randolph a negro boy called Caesar, the son of Sue to him & his heirs forever. I give to my brother John Randolph the two negro boys such as he shall choose out of my estate which have not been particularly disposed of to him & his heirs, after the death of my wife I give to my sd brother all my estate both real & personal to hold the same during his life except my man Johnny whom in that case I give to my nephew Edmund Randolph to him & his heirs & after the death of my brother John I give all the estate devised to him for life to the sd Edmund Randolph his heirs exrs & admrs, subject nevertheless to the payment of £500 each to his sisters Susanna & Arrianna Randolph for the payment of which sums I allow him four years after the estate shall come into his hands, he paying them interest yearly for such sums as remain unpaid. I do hereby empower my exrs. to sell my books & presses to pay my debts & if that is not sufficient to sell so many of the negroes as they think can be best shared from the use of the plantations to answer that purpose. I do appoint my wife, my brother John Randolph & Mr. James Cocke exrs. of this my will. IN WITNESS whereof I have set my hand & seal this 18th day of August in the year of our Lord 1774

Peyton Randolph L.S.

Signed sealed published & declared by the sd Peyton Randolph as & for his last will (he being present at the [signing ?] of this attestation in presence of

Thomas Mason
Samuel Henley
John Pope

3 Jan. 1776 All persons who have any Demands against the Estate of Peyton Randolph, Esq.; deceased, are desired to bring their Accounts properly proved. Those indebted to the said estate are requested to make immediate Payment.

Betty Randolph
James Cocke

Those Gentlemen who have borrowed any Books of the late speaker are desired to return them immediately

21 August 1780 Ordered that . . . Betty Randolphs Nineteen Tiths be added to Bruton list
1782 Wmsbg Land Tax: Betty Randolph 3 lots
17 Feb. 1783 Estate auction

Peyton Randolph's estate was auctioned on February 19, 1783, following the death of his widow Betty Randolph. Thomas Jefferson bought his books. Among them were bound records dating to Virginia's earliest days that still are consulted by historians. Added to the collection at Monticello that Jefferson sold to the federal government years later, they became part of the core of the Library of Congress.

Peyton Randolph
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For a later governor of Virginia see Peyton Randolph (governor).
Peyton Randolph
Born September 1721
Williamsburg, Virginia
Term September 5, 1774-October 22, 1774 and May, 1775-October 22, 1774
Died October 22, 1775
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Peyton Randolph (September, 1721 – October 21, 1775) was the first President of the Continental Congress. He presided from September 5 to October 21, 1774, and then again for a few days in 1775 from May 10 to May 23. He was succeeded in office by Henry Middleton.
Randolph was born in Virginia, at Tazewell Hall in Williamsburg. His parents were Sir John Randolph and Susannah Beverley. He was also the grandson of William Randolph. He attended the College of William and Mary, and later studied law at the Inns of Court in London, becoming a member of the bar in 1743. He then returned to Williamsburg and was appointed Attorney General of the Virginia colony the next year.
He served several terms in the Virginia House of Burgesses, beginning in 1748. It was his dual roles as attorney general and as burgess that would lead to an extraordinary conflict of interest in 1751.

The new governor, Robert Dinwiddie, had imposed a fee for the certification of land patents, which the House of Burgesses strongly objected to. The House selected Peyton Randolph to represent their cause to Crown authorities in London. In his role as attorney general, though, he was responsible for defending actions taken by the governor. Randolph left for London, over the objections of Governor Dinwiddie, and was replaced for a short time as attorney general. He was reinstated on his return at the behest of officials in London, who also recommended the Governor drop the new fee.

In 1765 Randolph found himself at odds with a freshman burgess, Patrick Henry, over the matter of a response to the Stamp Act. The House appointed Randolph to draft objections to the act, but his more conservative plan was trumped when Henry obtained passage of five of his seven Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions. This was accomplished at a meeting of the House in which most of the members were absent, and over which Randolph was presiding in the absence of the Speaker.

Randolph resigned as attorney general in 1766. As friction between Britain and the colonies progressed, he became more in favor of independence. In 1769 the House of Burgesses was dissolved by the Governor in response to its actions against the Townshend Act. Randolph had been Speaker at the time. Afterwards, he chaired meetings of a group of former House members at a Williamsburg tavern, which worked toward responses to the unwelcome tax measures imposed by the British government.

Randolph was selected to chair in both the First and Second Continental Congresses, in large part due to his reputation for leadership while in the House of Burgesses. He did not, however, live to see independence for the nation he led; Randolph died in Philadelphia, and was buried at Christ's Church. He was later re-interred at the College of William and Mary chapel. His nephew, Edmund Randolph, became the first United States Attorney General. Randolph County, North Carolina, formed in 1779, and two US Navy ships called USS Randolph were named in his honor. His wife was the sister of Benjamin Harrison V. His first cousin once removed was President Thomas Jefferson. His first cousin twice removed was Supreme Court JusticeJohn Marshall.

RANDOLPH, Peyton, (uncle of Edmund Jenings Randolph), a Delegate from Virginia; born at Tazewell Hall, Williamsburg, Va., in September 1721; received his early education under private tutors; was graduated from the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.; studied law at the Inner Temple, London, England, and was appointed King’s attorney for Virginia in 1748; member of the Virginia House of Burgesses 1764-1774 and served as speaker in 1766; chairman of the committee of correspondence in 1773; president of the Virginia conventions of 1774 and 1775; Member of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pa., September 5, 1774, and elected its President but resigned October 22, 1774, to attend the Virginia House of Burgesses; reelected to the Continental Congress, which met in Philadelphia in May 1775 and again served as President; died in Philadelphia, Pa., October 22, 1775; interment beneath the chapel of the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.
BibliographyReardon, John J. Peyton Randolph, 1721-1775: One Who Presided. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 1982. Richmond Whig & public advertiser (Richmond, Va. : 1833 : Semiweekly)
Title Died- On Jan. 4, in his 70th year, Peyton Randolph, formerly of Virginia, but for the last 12 years a resident of Washington, living with the family of his son, Col. James Innes Randolph, leaving a widow, son and dau. (p. 4, c. 5)
Publication Friday, January 4, 1853.
Gen. note From the marriage and obituary citations compiled by Bernard J. Henley from Virginia newspapers on microfilm at the Library of Virginia.
Other Format Available on microfilm (Library of Virginia Film 144).
RANDOLPH, Peyton, (1721 - 1775)
WILLIAMSBURG, VA - COURT - Williamsburg Lodge of Masons, 1717-1774
William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Papers, Vol. 1, No. 1,(Jul., 1892), pp. 1-33.
Peyton Randolph lies buried(2) under the chapel floor of the College of
William and Mary, but while Congress has erected monuments all over the land
to second class generals and statesmen, no monument honors the resting place of
the first of its presiding officers. The Virginia Gazette however, contains a
memorial column to his memory, which is worth reproducing here.

From the Virginia Gazette, 1775:

To the memory of
Whose distinguished virtues in every station of life

The Applause and Confidence of his Country.
Descended from an ancient and respectable family,
He received a liberal and polite Education,
In William and Mary College.
Removing from thence to the Inner Temple,
He was advanced to the degree of Barrister at Law,
And appointed Attorney General of Virginia.
(1) Wynne's "Memoirs of the Bolling Family', p. 63.
(2) Peyton Randolph's Will, proved in York County Court, Nov. 20, 1775,
mentions his brother, John Randolph, the Attorney General, and his nephew,
Edmund Randolph, and Edmund Randolph's sisters, Susanna and Arriana Randolph.
Executors, John Randolph and Mr. James Cocke.
Page 8.

His regard to the Peace and Security of Society
His Humanity and Benevolence
To the Criminal his Duty obliged him to prosecute,
Were not more Conspicuous
Than his Learning and Integrity in his Profession.
After an extensive Practice in the General Court,
He resigned his Law Employment,
And being elected Speaker of the House of Burgesses
Discharged the duties of that high Office,
With such Ease, Dignity and Impartiality
That he was frequently called to the Chair by the Unanimous
Voice of the Representatives of the People.
When the Measures of the British Ministry
Compelled the American Colonies to unite their Councils
In General Congress
He was chosen First Delegate for this Colony
To that illustrious Assembly,
And was by them unanimously elected their
While he was attending a third Time that Great Council,
A sudden stroke of the Palsy(1) deprived
America of a firm Patriot
His country of a wise and faithful Senator,
His acquaintances of an invaluable Friend,
His Family of the most affectionate Husband
And Kindest Master,
Upon the 22d day of October, 1775,
In the 54th year of his Age.

Thus the existence of a Grand Master in 1773 is established(2), and I now
proceed to the proof of the existence of a Grand Lodge, holding its meetings
by virtue of a similar authority derived from Europe.
man John Randolph‏
Born ‎ 1728 at Peyton Randolph House, Williamsburg, VA, died ‎ Jan 31, 1784 at Brampton, England‎, 55 or 56 years, buried ‎ 1784 at chapel at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg
Sir John Randolph, the only colonial born in Virginia to be knighted, died in 1737. He left the house to his wife, Susannah Beverley Randolph, until their second son, Peyton, reached the age of 24. Their first son, Beverley, inherited property in Gloucester County; their third son, John, inherited acreage on the city's southern edge; and their daughter, Mary, received a dowry of £1,000. Susannah Beverley Randolph remained in the home until her death sometime after 1754.

John Randolph, In 1775, with the start of the American Revolution, his father remained a Loyalist and returned to Britain;
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

John "The Tory" Randolph
Born ca. 1727 in Williamsburg, Virginia
Studied law in England
Member of House of Burgesses
Attorney General for Virginia Colony
Died 1784 in London, England
Buried in Virginia
Early Years

John Randolph was born in 1727 or 1728, probably at what is now called the Peyton Randolph House on Market Square, and his heritage was thoroughly Virginian. Educated at the College of William & Mary, he traveled to London in 1745 to study law at the Middle Temple at the Inns of Court in London, and returned to Williamsburg to practice in 1749.

Civic duties

Among Virginia's best-trained attorneys, John Randolph climbed the rungs of civic responsibility toward authority and power. He had become a member of the city's common council, then a burgess for the College of William & Mary. When his older brother Peyton Randolph was elected speaker of the House of Burgesses, John succeeded him as the colony's attorney general. He could not, however, follow Peyton down the road to rebellion.

At odds with brother’s political views

John Randolph’s brother Peyton Randolph followed the call of duty to the chair of the Continental Congress, but conscience summoned John Randolph "home" to England. As the day approached when he would quit America and its Revolution, he wrote a farewell letter to his cousin Thomas Jefferson. "We both of us seem to be steering opposite courses," he said, "the success of either lies in the womb of Time."

The third child of Sir John and Lady Susannah Randolph, John was convinced British-Americans owed more loyalty to the Crown than to the Massachusetts hotheads or to firebrands like his friend Patrick Henry. Historians have tagged him with the nickname John "The Tory."

If Randolph's associates in Williamsburg disagreed with his views, they nevertheless admired his integrity. Most Virginians referred to England as home; John Randolph meant it.

Returns to England

While Peyton chaired the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia, John sat in Williamsburg, a confidant of the pugnacious Governor Dunmore. As Peyton prepared to leave for the Second Continental Congress, John was closing up his house, Tazewell Hall. Renowned for its hospitality, Tazewell Hall sat at the southern end of South England Street commanding a 99-acre estate. It was a popular literary and social center frequented by the elite of the community. Its master had been a close friend of Governor Fauquier and Lord Botetourt.

John Randolph arranged passage across the Atlantic for himself, his wife, Ariana, and their two daughters, Susannah and Ariana. His son, Edmund, stayed behind; Edmund joined the American army and served as aide-de-camp to General George Washington.

Enjoyed music and gardening

Gardening and music were among John Randolph's avocations. About 1765 he wrote what is believed to be the earliest American book on kitchen gardening, A Treatise on Gardening by A Citizen of Virginia. Cousin Thomas Jefferson thought Randolph's violin was the finest in the colony and John, in turn, admired Tom's library. In 1771, they struck a lighthearted bargain. If Randolph died first, Jefferson was to have the fiddle; if Jefferson died first, Randolph was to have £100 worth of Jefferson's books. George Wythe and Patrick Henry witnessed the agreement.

In August 1775, Jefferson sent their mutual friend Carter Braxton to Williamsburg with £13 pounds and posted a letter saying he meant it for the instrument. The reply was Randolph's farewell, though the men corresponded after Randolph reached England.
The state government confiscated loyalist properties as the Revolution wore on, and an embittered Randolph spent years fruitlessly trying to reclaim his.

Died in England; buried in Virginia

John Randolph died at Brampton, England, in 1784. In death, as he could not in conscience do in life, Randolph returned to Williamsburg. He is interred beside his father and brother in the family vault in the chapel at the College of William and Mary.
John Randolph
son of Sir John Randolph, was born in Williamsburg in 1728; educated at William and Mary College; studied law at the Middle Temple, London, in 1745; returned to Virginia and became eminent as a lawyer; succeeded Peter Randolph as clerk of the house of burgesses, 1752-1766; burgess for Lunenburg county in 1769, and for William and Mary College in 1774 and 1775. He was a Tory in his sympathies, and went to England at the beginning of the American revolution, and died there January 31, 1784. He married Arianna, daughter of Edmund Jenings, attorney general of Maryland. His body was brought back to Virginia and buried in the College Chapel.