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CAPTAIN SAMUEL MATHEWS and FRANCES GREVILLE

Samuel MATHEWS was born in about 1600 probably in England. He came to Virginia before 1618 as a servant to Sheriff Johnson of London. He was first in James Towne but went to live in Sherley hundred.

Samuel was first married to Frances GREVILLE after 24 Mar 1627. Frances was born in England and came to Virginia in the Supply when she was less than 20 years old in 1620. She was first married to Nathaniel WEST by whom she had a son named Nathaniel and later to Abraham PIERSEY.

Samuel and Frances had two sons:

  • 1. Samuel, Jr, born about 1629, VA; died Jan 1659/60, VA
  • 2. Francis, died 16 Feb 1674/5, VA; married ____BALDWIN

Frances died by 1633 when Mary Hll was appointed administratrix of the estate of her father Abraham PEIRSEY, the executrix, his late wife, having died. Thomas Hill and his wife Mary charged Samuel Mathews with having altered the estate of Peirsey after his marriage to the widow. The case was dismissed.

Samuel was married in about 1634 to S HINTON, daughter of Sir Thomas HINTON (1575-1635).

Samuel received land at the mouth of the Warwick River where he built his plantation first called "Mathews Manor" and later called "Denbigh". This is an account of the plantation in 1649:

"Worthy Captaine Mathews, an old Planter of above thirty years standing, one of the Counsell, and a most deserving Common-wealths-man. I may not omit to let you know this gentlemans industry. He hath a fine house, and all things answerable to it, he sowes yearly store of Hempe and Flax, and causes it to be spun: he keeps Weavers and hath a Tan-house, causes Leather to be dressed, hath eight shoemakers employed in their trade, hath forty Negroe servants, brings them up to Trades in his house. He veerly sowes abundance of Wheat, Barley, &c. The Wheat he selleth at four shillings the bushell: kills store of Beeves, and sells them to victuall the ships when they come thither: hath abundance of Kine, a brave Dairy, Swine great store, and Poltery, he married the Daugher of Sir Tho. Hinton, and in word, keeps a good house, lives bravely, and a true lover of Virginia, he is worthy of much honour." (Anonymous, A Perfect Description of Virginia . . . ., London, 1649.)

There are several pages about the excuavation of Mathews Manor, the home Samuel Mathews, the first Mathews immigrant in this line. I have copied excerpts from the articles in The Daily Press, Newport News-Hampton, VA, and Mathews Manor by Ivor Noel Hume, Antiques, December, 1966.

Although the tract had been known as Denbigh Plantation as early as the beginning of the eighteenth century, its period of historical importance had ended nearly fifty years before. At that time it seems to have been named Mathews Manor, it was owned by Samuel Mathews (c 1600-c 1657), who settled in Virginia before 1622 and eventually became one of the most prominent men in the colony. He was a long-time member of the council, and in 1635 was one of the leaders of the popular mutiny that ousted Governor Sir John Harvey. In the spring of 1637 Mathews and three others were sent home to England to stand trial for Treason in the Court of Star Chamber, but the charges were eventually dropped and Mathews returned to Virginia in 1639. Meanwhile, Harvey had been reinstated as governor by Charles I and had seized and dispersed much of Mathews' property, and also sanctioned the ransacking of his house. But when Mathews returned, his property was restored to him by order of the King, and Harvey was evicted.

In the late fall of 1652 Samuel Mathews was sent to England by the council to serve as agent for the colony, with instructions to lobby on its behalf against the territorial claims of Lord Baltimore. Mathews was still about this business when last heard from in London on the last day of November 1657.

The archealogical finds at Mathews Manor are some of the best that have been found. . . a silver saucepan whose lid was engraved with the initials of Mathews and his second wife, M/SS, and stamped with the London date letter for 1638. This last find was of considerable importance since it identified the "Daughter of Sir Thomas Hinton," mentioned earlier, as S Hinton rather than Frances Hinton, as genealogists had mistakenly supposed, having confused her with Mathews' first wife, Frances Grevill West Peirsev. It is possible the saucepan was a wedding present and if so, it would follow that Samuel Matthews married S Hinton in 1638 after he was acquitted of the treason charge and before he returned to Virginia in the spring of the following year. This would explain the absence of any record of the marriage in Virginia. Be that as it may, the initials helped to confirm the view that the excavated site was certainly that of Samuel Mathews' "fine house," and not one belonging to a tenant or employee.

SAMUEL MATHEWS, Jr, GOVERNOR

Samuel MATHEWS, Jr, Governor of Virginia, was born in Virginia about 1630 to Samuel MATHEWS and Frances GREVILLE. He attained the military rank of Lieutenant Colonel by 1652 and was appointed to the Council in 1655, a position he held until 1657.

He was married and had one child:

  • 1. John, died before 1 May 1706, VA; married Elizabeth TAVERNOR, 24 Mar 1684

It is believed that his wife was of the Cole-Digges family.

He attained the military rank of Lieutenant Colonel by 1652 and was appointed to the Council in 1655, a position he held until 1657. He was elected to succeed Edward Digges as Governor of Virginia in December 1656, but did not assume office until early 1657.

Mathews' tenure as governor was marked by periodic clashes between the young chief executive and the Virginia House of Burgesses. When in 1658 Mathews and his Council attempted to dissolve the Assembly, the Burgesses, claiming that the governor did not possess that authority, decided to ignore the dissolution order. Mathews and the Council were unable to resist this show of strength, and they eventually yielded when the Assembly called for a new election. Despite his attempt to test the Assembly's power. Mathews was re-elected, probably because he indicated his willingness to co-operate with the effort of the Lower house to seek "confirmation of their present priviledges." Shortly before Mathews' death in January 1660, however, Richard Cromwell resigned as Lord Protector of England, a development which cast into confusion the political status of the Assembly in particular and the colony of Virginia in general.

Captain John MATHEWS and Elizabeth TAVERNOR

John MATHEWS lived at Blunt Point at the mouth of Deep Creek, Warwick County. While under age he received a patent, 29 March 1678, for 2944 acres on Deep Creek as grandson and heir of Samuel Mathews, Exq. He was still under age, 24 Jun 1679 when William Cole, Esq was "Guardian to Mr John Mathews, but had reached his majority by April 1682 when he served as a member of the House of Burgesses.

The reference in Hening (II, p 14) to the "orphan heir of Col Mathews" must have been to him (John) whose guardian till 1671, when she died, was Mrs. Anna Bernard. Then Peter Jenings was guardian, and in 1679 William Cole, Esq, was guardian. He had arrived at age before 1682

He married by 24 Mar 1684/5, Elizabeth TAVENOR, daughter and heiress of Michael TAVENOR.

  • 1. Samuel, died 1718, Richmond, VA, married 1. PAULIN, 2. Katherine TUNSTALL, 10 Aug 1706, 3. Margaret

He was living 19 Sep 1686 and was dead before 1 May 1706.

Captain Samuel MATHEWS and Miss PAULLIN

Samuel MATHEWS was the son of John MATHEWS and Elizabeth TAVENOR. He married Miss Paullin, the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth PAULLIN.

Children of this marriage were:

  • 1. Elizabeth MATHEWS, died before 1757; married 1. Robert TALIAFERRO (1687-1728), son of John TALIAFERRO and Sara SMITH; 2. Moseley BATTALEY
  • 2. Mary MATHEWS

Captain Samuel Mathews married Katherine TUNSTALL, 10 Aug 1706, daughter of Edmund and Katherine TUNSTALL. Children of this marriage:

  • 1. John MATHEWS, died 1728.29
  • 2. Baldwin MATHEWS, died 1731

Later he married Margaret who was married later to William SKRINE and Robert RICHARDS and left will 14 Nov 1748-6 Jan 1748/9.

Captain Mathews died 1718/1719 in Richmond County, Virginia where his will can be found.

SOURCES OF INFORMATION

ANTIQUES, Dec 1966, Mathews Manor, Ivor Noel Hume, p 832.

Adventures of Purse and Person, 1607-1624/5, Revised and Edited by Virginia M Meyer (1974-1981), John Frederick Dorman, F.A.S.G. 1981-1987, Pub by Order of First Families of Virginia, 1607-1624/5, 3rd Edition, 1987, Dietz Press, Inc, Richmond, VA.

Brochure advertising Denbigh Plantation, a housing development by L B Weber of Newport News, VA. Found in the Public Library, Williamsburg, VA.

Genealogies of Virginia Families For the William & Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, Vol III, Gen Pub Co, Baltimore.

Biographical Directory of American Colonial and Revolutionary Governors 1607-1789, John W Raimo, Meckler Books, A Division of Microform Review, 520 Riverside Ave., Westport, CT 06880

Gone to Texas, W Wayne Rogers, Bloomington, Ill, 1978.

Newspaper Article from The Daily Press, Newport News-Hampton, VA, Sunday, 10 Apr 1966.

Correspondence with
Marvin Berryman, Denver, CO
Ann Langford, Houston, TX
Richie May Jarrett, Richmond, VA.

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