Sunday, April 22, 2012

Line 15.2, Matilda Scarborough West; A Daughter's Holy Rebellion

Sometimes poetic justice is visited in odd ways. Edmund Scarborough Sr., the Indian and Quaker Fighter, was blessed (or maybe cursed) with a daughter that practiced the Quaker faith. She obviously inherited her father’s streak of independence as she fearlessly joined the Friends and worshiped as she found fit.

Matilda Scarborough was born about 1643 in Accomac, Accomack Co., Virginia the daughter of Edmund Henry Scarborough and his wife Mary Littleton.
She married John West born 08 April 1638 and baptized at St. Dunstan, Stepney, London, England. He died 27 May 1703 in Accomac, Accomack Co., Virginia
Their children were:
1.      Mathilda West born 31 August 1658 Clifton, Accomack, VA. She married John Wise or West born 1655. They both died in Accomac, Accomack Co., Virginia.
2.      John West born 1661 in Accomac, Accomack  Co., Virginia and died there 1701. He married France Yardley.
3.      Anthony West born 1662 in Accomac, Accomack Co., Virginia and died there 06 August 1717.
4.      Sarah West born 1665 in Accomac, Accomack Co., Virginia and died there 30 January 1760. She married Tully Robinson born 31 August 1658.
5.      Alexander West born 1673 in Liberty Hall, Marionville. He married Mary Robins. He died 03 January 1727/28 VA. Accomac, Accomack Co., Virginia
6.      Benoni West born 1672 Accomac, Accomack Co., Virginia and died there January 1707/08. He married Sarah Snead.
7.      Frances West  born 1672 in Accomac, Accomack Co., Virginia and died 06 April 1731. She married a Mr. Kellam
8.      Jonathan born 27 March 1674 in Accomac, Accomack Co., VA and died there 04 October 1727. He married Rachel Spooner.
9.      Catherine West born 06 May 1677 Accomac, Accomack Co., VA and died there 07 January 1710/11.
10.  John born about 1680 at Liberty Hall, Marionville, VA and died there 16 September 1718. He married Josepha Maria Godwin.
11.  Mary Scarborough West about 1684 at Accomac, Accomack Co., VA and died there 27 January 1767. She married Robert Snead.
12.  Anne  born 12 February 1685/86 in Accomac, Accomack Co., VA. She married William Sellman. They relocated to Maryland where Anne died 01 May 1749 in Anne Arundel County.
Died Accomac, Accomack Co., Virginia on died 03 January 1720/21.

Matilda Scarborough born about 1644 in Accomack County, Virginia. While Virginia was still a “wild” land, she was born into a family of wealth and influence and probably enjoyed the finest life available in the New World. Her father was the son of a very influential man and he most certainly inherited a bit of that influence himself. She married Lt.Col. John West the son of Anthony West and his wife Anne, who had been the widow Huffe at her marriage to Mr. West. There are some genealogies pointing to Anthony West being the son of Thomas West, the Third Baron De La Ware but I haven’t been able to make a solid connection. I feel from the evidence found that he was probably a middle class adventurer, looking for the land of milk and honey and gold. Whatever his state before coming to the New World, Anthony prospered and his son did too. John was a shipbuilder. He served as county commissioner of Accomack County, as well as justice and sheriff. He was a captain and then major and the lieutenant colonel in the local militia. He eventually owned over 5000 acres in Accomack County and 250 more in Northampton County. He was also staunchly adhered to the Church of England.

What possessed Matilda to join the Quaker church cannot be learned now but it was a brace act considering her parents and husband stuck tightly to the Church of England. Her own father led a vicious attack again the Quakers who tried to settle along the Great Annamessex River in 1663 only two years after she married John West. I haven’t been able to find out when Matilda joined the Quakers but her father’s aggression against the Quakers may have made her sympathetic to their cause. Her father died ten years after her marriage. Whether her conversion estranged her from her father is not known. Since she and John West had twelve children born throughout nearly the whole of their marriage, I doubt that and despite the differences in practicing their faith, there must have still been a somewhat warm relationship. She was named in her mother’s 14 June 1691 will as well as her husband’s 6 February 1702/3 will for which she refused to take the usual oath, as was the Quaker way.

We often think of our foremothers as having been weak and timid. I sincerely doubt that Mathilda was either of these. She must have been full of conviction and activity. She ran a large household and was strong in her faith and loyal to her church. I can’t say for sure, but I see her as having been a woman who stood up and spoke her mind and God’s revelations with the passion equal to any Bible thumping male minister. Women were equal to men in the Quaker denomination and following my Quaker Martyr Great-something Grandmother, Mary Dyer, Mathilda may very well have been willing to give up all for her faith. On the other hand, she must also been a very loveable woman who was able to keep her faith and her Church of England family as well.

1. "Anthony West, James city, Virginia" from Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia 1607-1625
2. "Descendants of Edmund Scarborough" from Cynthia McDaniel, Ghote
3., Liberal, KS (Per Diane Powers)
4. The History of Maryland and Virginia Quakers By Jeannette Holland Austin
5. Col. John Wise of England and Virginia (1617-1695); Wise, Jennings Cropper, Virginia Historical Society (Film 0000593)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Line 15.1 Edmund Henry Scarborough; Here Comes Trouble

Edmund Henry Scarborough is one of my ancestors who walked on the wrong side of God. OK, maybe not, but he certainly didn’t practice his Christian compassion. He was quit a character as this short look at his life will prove.

Edmund Henry Scarborough was born 02 October 1617 in North Walsham, Norfolk, England the son of Edmund Scarborough Sr. and his wife Hannah Butler Married Mary Littleton
Their children were
1.      Littleton Scarborough who died in 1672
2.      Tabitha Scarborough born about 1636 and died about 1717 in Accomack, McCormack Co., Virginia. She married 1. Colonel John SMART 2. Devereux BROWN and 3. Major General John CUSTIS II.
3.      Charles Scarborough born 1643. He married Elizabeth Bennett. He was involved in the Bacon Rebellion but acquitted of wrongdoing. He died after 1701 in Accomack, McCormack Co., VA
4.      Matilda Scarborough born 1644 in Accomack, McCormack Co., Virginia and died there 03 January 1720/21.
5.      Edmund Scarborough born 1644 in Accomack, McCormack Co., Virginia and died there 05 February 1711/12. He married Ursula Whittington.
There is also strong evidence that Edmund Scarborough was the father of the Ann Toft’s daughters:
6.      Arcadia Toft who married Thomas Welburn (by whom she had five children.) She died 2 August 1710 in Accomack County, Virginia.
7.      Attalanta Toft married John Osborne (by whom she had at least two children) and William Whittington.
8.      Annabelle Toft married Francis Lee (by whom she had one daughter, Rebecca) and William Marshall (by whom she had six children).
Died 23 May 1671 in Occahannock Creek, Accomack Co., VA

Edmund Henry Scarborough was, if nothing else, a very influential and powerful man in the mid-Seventh Century colony of Virginia. Edmund wasn’t beyond murder, adultery and just plain meanness. He was the complete opposite of his gentle brother, Sir Charles. If Edmund did consider himself a Christian, then he was of the type who was relentless of ridding all who did not practice their Christianity or faith as he did. If he was Christian, he was the type whom atheist historians throw out as a “good” example of the evil of that faith. My guess is that he was strict Church of England and didn’t like anyone’s else’s view of Christianity and God.

Edmund was a wealthy as well as powerful man. Edmund served as Speaker of the House of Burgesses, county sheriff and militia colonel. He was a man of many skills, acting as a lawyer, a surveyor, a planter and cattle rancher, owned a shoe factory and many shipping vessels. When his sea vessel “Sea Horse” was captured by the Dutch in 1651, he turned around and captured several Dutch vessels. The native people of Virginia called him the “Conjurer”. They deserved to be weary of the Conjurer as in 1651, he convinced Accomack County people or English blood that the Pocomoke Indian north of them were a threat and lead a raid of over fifty men against them. Edmund and some of the other white men involved in the raid were called to court to justify their actions. The court found them justified. Later he sold guns to the Indians and then turned around and condemned to the General Assembly for owning firearms. In 1671 he called the Indians to a great feast and then as thy feasted, fired on them and killed many of them.

Edmund’s wrath wasn’t just directed toward the Indians of Virginia but towards those whose “faith” didn’t fit the “correct” mold, whatever that was in his mind. He hated Puritans and Quakers and caused them no end of trouble in Virginia. He even went after the Quakers who fled to Maryland to escape him and claimed parts of Maryland for Virginia. Religious irony would follow him after the grave in that his daughter, Matilda’s grandson married a woman who descended from the very religious groups that Edmund tried so hard to eliminate.

Edmund married a woman named Mary, who may have been the daughter of Nathaniel Littleton. She outlived Edmund by twenty years, a just reward for living with such a man. He is believed to have been the father of Anne Toft’s three illegitimate daughters. Anne Toft, an unmarried woman, profited greatly from her relationship to Edmund as he helped her become a wealthy woman. As influential as Edmund was, it could not have set well with his legitimate wife, that he flaunted his mistresses and three young daughters. Mary suffered after Edmund’s death as well when their son, Charles, “neglected” her. In her will, she revoked a legacy to son Charles Scarburgh because of his neglect, leaving money and items to her other children and grandchildren.

Edmund died of smallpox and was buried near Hedra Cottage. A handsome marble marker was placed there by the State of Virginia many years later and can still be viewed.

“Here abouts lies Col. Edmund Scarborough 1618-1671 Surveyor General of Virginia”

1. "Anthony West, James city, Virginia" from Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia 1607-1625
2. "Descendants of Edmund Scarborough" from Cynthia McDaniel, Ghote
3. Southern Kith and Kin By Jewell Davis Scarborough Copyright ©1957