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LANCELOT DAVENPORT

Considering Lancelot Davenport, the first of that surname in America -- who emigrated to the James River Colony of Virginia from England before the Indian Massacre of 1622: Were Davis Davenport and Martin Davenport listed on the Virginia Quit Rolls of 1704 in King William County -- and/or the West Davenport listed concurrently in New Kent County -- his descendants?  If so, how did they connect?  How about Edward Davenport, Hannah Davenport, Anne Davenport, John Davenport, Richard Davenport, Edward Davenport, (different time, same place), Susannah Davenport, and George Davenport, all of whom appeared in Pamunkey Neck or adjacent land records before Davis Davenport and Martin Davenport came on the scene in 1704?

We attempt to unravel the Gordian Knot by beginning at the beginning:


JAMES RIVER COLONY

Lancelot Davenport (1620)

1607 - Establishment: Virginia began with the arrival of the English and settlement of Jamestown.

Jan 1620 - Sailing Date: The Ship Duty was dispatched to Virginia by the Virginia Company with 51 persons [including Lancelot Davenport (as Damport) see below 1625]. [Peter Wilson Coldham, The Complete Book of Emigrants 1607-1660 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1987), 22]

1622 - Massacre: Indians in tribal confederation attack all English settlements in attempt to drive English away.

    "The Pamunkeys were the most powerful tribe over whom Powhatan ruled ... When Powhatan died in 1618 his half brother Opechancanough, who was already chief of the Pamunkeys, became grand sachem of the whole realm.  Powhatan had tried appeasement with the English but Opechancanough had different ideas ... in 1622 [he] led his braves in the bloodiest uprising in the history of the colony.  His followers sacked James Town and to get rid of the savages the [Colonial Government] signed an agreement that no white man was to settle on the north side of the Pamunkey River.  To put this agreement into effect the House of Burgesses passed an act which imposed the death penalty on any white man who [settled there] ..." (T. E. Campbell, Op. Cit., 8)

16 Feb 1624 - List of Names: The Living in Virginia [following Indian Massacre of 1622]. Among those listed:

At James City & within the Corporation thereof

Lanslott Damport

At the Plantation over against James City

Lanslott Damportt

[Coldham, Op. Cit., 38, 40. Also Colonial Records of Virginia (Richmond: Senate Document -- Extra, 1874), 42, 46]

This appears to be a double enumeration.  Lancelot was listed as being within the James City limits (corporation) and also across the James River.

20 Jan - 7 Feb 1625 - Musters of the Inhabitants of Virginia.  (Ages are shown after the name, followed by the ship and the date of arrival -- where given.]

Mr. Blaney's Plantation, James City

Among Mr. Edward Blaney's men over the water:

Lawley Damport, 29 by [ship] Duty

Coldham, Op. Cit., 59.

Lawley was Lancelot Davenport, born in 1594, and a servant of Edward Blaney, gentleman, who emigrated to Virginia on the Ship Francis Bonaventure, 153 persons, in April 1620.  Blaney was a member of the Governor's Council and lived in Jamestown.  He and two servants were listed in James City during the Muster of 1625 -- with the notation that the rest of his servants were at his plantation "over the water", i. e., on the south side of James River. Three of Blaney's servants, including Davenport, emigrated to Virginia on the Ship Duty in January 1620.  Lancelot's relation to Blaney may explain his double listing in 1623, for his Master (Blaney) had both a household in James City and a plantation across the river -- and Davenport could well have been at each place when the count was made, possibly paddled the canoe carrying the Muster Master.  The distance across the James River at Jamestown was (is?) no more than two and an half miles.

20 Jul 1639 - Land Patent: Lancellot Dampert, 50a. in James City County, bounding west upon land now platted upon by Thomas Grey.  Due for his personal adventure (Virginia Patents 1:669)

This was Lancelot's headright, i. e., fifty acres of land given him by the King for settling in Virginia.  The fact he was issued the headright documents a change in his status since the Muster of 1625, for servants were not eligible for headrights, but apprentices who had completed their indentures were.  Hence, Lancelot had become a journeyman in some craft or guild between 1625 and 1639.  If he had been an indentured servant to Edward Blaney, he had completed his contract and had further pursued a craft as an entered apprentice, upon completion of which he was recognized as a journeyman -- freeman, eligible to be a freeholder (landowner) -- nineteen years after he had landed in Virginia. His age when he became a freeholder was 43.  Whether he was married and had children by this time is enigmatic, for he would have been barred from having either if he had been under indenture either as a servant or as an apprentice.  Whatever, at age 43 he had ample time to marry and have a family.

Davis Davenport (King William County Quit Rents of 1704, and acknowledged father of Martin Davenport also listed in same King William Quit Rents) could have been a son of Lancelot Davenport, but would have been born c1640-1661 (ages 44 to 61 for Lancelot). There is no evidence -- hard, circumstantial, or inferential -- supporting such a claim.  To the contrary the historical rationale is contrary to attributing the Pamunkey Neck Davenports -- of which Davis Davenport was the ninth in order of appearance there -- to Lancelot. The First Davenport's last appearance in records examined to date was the above, located on the south side of the James River in what later became Surry County. The distance from Lancelot's 1639 patent land to where Davis and Martin Davenport appeared in King William in 1704 was approximately 50 miles to the northwest as the crow flew, but more than 160 miles by water, the preferred (safety and ease of travel) form of transportation in those days. With all of the new land available in Southside Virginia, credulity is challenged by the supposition that Lancelot or his heirs, if any, would settle lands difficult to reach, within a reserve for the Pamunkey Indians that was not legally available for English settlement until 1701. No evidence has yet been found that Lancelot remained in Virginia for long after he obtained his headright.

We examine the land activities of Thomas Gray, Gentleman, whose lands adjoined Lancelot's on the east in 1639 -- with Lancelot's patent inserted in chronological order to establish context:

Thomas Gray, wife, son and daughter are listed among the James City Corporation Massacre survivors of 1622, and again in the enumeration of James City in 1625, but neither Gray's nor his wife's ages nor their ship to Virginia was given in the listing of 1625. There is a sixty-four (64) year gap between the last appearance of Lancelot and the appearance of Davis, Martin, and West Davenport in Virginia records.  An examination of the latter three (see below) within a rigorous land records analysis provides at least two candidates more likely to have been the Immigrant Ancestor of the Pamunkey Davenport than Lancelot of the Southside.

Lancelot's land was located by tracing the land activities of Thomas Gray and his neighbors. While there were at least a half dozen Thomas Grays who emigrated or were transported to Virginia through 1666, only one was a landowner. The chronology of Gray's land activities below documents that Lancelot's land was on the south side of James River, six-to-seven miles back, originally in James City County, but located in Surry County after 1653.

27 Aug 1635 - Land Patent:  Thomas Gray, 550a. in James City County, on the south side of the Main River over against James City, adjoining on the East to the plantation now in his possession and to the land of Captain Perry, running along by Rolfe's Creek and South into the woods upon Cross Creek. 100a. due as an Ancient Planter at or before the time of Sir Francis Dale; 50a. due for first wife Annis Gray; 50a. for now wife Rebecca Gray; and 350a. due for transportation of his two sons, William Gray and Thomas Gray, and five servants: Jonathan Bishop, Robert Brown, Robert Welsh, Luke Mizell (Misle), and Jonathan Banks. (Virginia Patents 1:283)

26 May 1638 - Land Patent:  Thomas Gray, 550a. [Same tract as patented on 27 Aug 1635, slight variations in names only, i.e., John Banks instead of Jonathan Banks.] (Virginia Patents 1:631)

20 Jul 1639 - Land Patent:  Thomas Gray, 400a. in James City County, on the head of Gray's Creek, for the transportation of 8 persons: Richard Dean, Francis Fincash, Allen Sadome, William Short, John Hancock, and three Negroes. (Virginia Patents 1:669)

20 Jul 1639 - Land Patent: Lancellot Dampert, 50a. in James City County, bounding west upon land now platted upon by Thomas Gray. Due for his personal adventure. (Virginia Patents 1:669)

The fact that Thomas Gray and Lancelot Davenport obtained patents on the same day suggests that the two tracts had been surveyed in tandem, and documents that Davenport's land was inland, for the head (beginning) of Gray's Creek was six to seven miles SSW of its mouth on the James River.

24 Oct 1639 - Land Patent:   John Kempe, 500a. in James City County, on Gray's Creek, over against James City, bounding northeast on Henry Hart and southwest on Thomas Gray... (Virginia Patents 1:677)

7 Jun 1642 - Land Patent:  Thomas Gray, 100a. in James City County, on east side of Gray's Creek, adjoining his own land. Transportation of 2 persons: George Graves, William Brown (Virginia Patents 1:787)

10 Apr 1644 - Land Patent:  Samuel Abbott, Gentleman, 400a. in James City County, near the head of Gray's Creek, adjoining the land of Mr. John Corker, southeast upon Smith's Fort Creek. Formerly granted to Thomas Gray and made void for not planting or seeding same ... (Virginia Patents 1:950)

This land was the tract that Thomas Gray had patented on the same day as Lancelot Davenport, which Davenport's 50 acres adjoined.  Now, five years later, Gray having failed to seat (improve or settle) and plant, the land had reverted to the Crown -- and was repatented to Abbott.  there was no mention of Lancelot Davenport as an adjoining landowner, instead john Corker is cited where Davenport had been in 1639.  Corker's first patent was six (6) acres on James Island in the middle of James River in 1637.  There being no indications of escheat or reversion of Lancelot's tract in the Virginia patents records, the conclusion must be drawn that Corker had obtained the land by conveyance from Davenport.  Hence, lacking the James City County deeds (long destroyed), best evidence suggests that Davenport had sold or otherwise conveyed his 50-acre tract to Corker -- and had gone elsewhere, possible back to England.   We have no further evidence of his presence in Virginia.

3 Jul 1648 - Land Patent: John Watkins, 850a. in James City County, lying above the head of Grey's Creek, adjoining Christopher Lawson.  350a. by a former patent and 500a. for transportation of 10 persons....(Virginia Patents 2:144)

8 Jul 1648 - Land Patent:  James Mason, 250a. in James City County, at the head of Gray's Creek, adjoining Thomas Gray.   Transportation of 5 persons ... (Virginia Patents 2:152)

11 Apr 1649 - Land Patent:  Mr. John Jennings, 211a. in James City County, upon the two northernmost branches of Gray's Creek, bounding northeast and southwest on the land of Thomas Woodhouse, northeast and southeast on John Watkins, and southeast on James Mason.  Transportation of 5 persons ... (Virginia Patents 2:161)

14 Mar 1652 - Land Patent:  Thomas Gray, 800a. in Surry County, on the south side of James River at the head of Smiths Fort Creek, adjoining land of John Kemp, being 400a. granted said Gray 20 Jul 1639 and 400a. formerly granted Samuel Abbott on 10 Apr 1644 and purchased by said Gray. (Virginia Patents 3:158)

Here Gray obtained 800 acres, based on his 400-acre patent of 1639, and the purchase of the same 400-acre tract (after reversion and re-patenting) to Samuel Abbott.  By these shenanigans, typical of the fiddling with land procedures by the aristocrats of Colonial Virginia, Gray was able to avoid having to provide the additional eight headrights required for the second 400 acres.

20 Apr 1653 - Land Patent:  James Mason, 250a. in James City County, lying above the head of Gray's Creek upon the southerly side of the main branch, northerly upon the land of Thomas Gray.  The said land being formerly granted to said Mason by patent dated 8 Jul 1648 and now taken up by new rights and transportation of 5 persons ... (Virginia Patents 3:14)

20 Mar 1657 - Land Patent:  John Corker, 1150a. in Surry County, on the south side of James River and on the south side of the head of Gray's Creek called Wayer Neck, beginning on the north side of the Creek opposite the mill, over the swamp to Mr. Rolfe's line, to the cart path, to the path leading from Mr. Corker's to Splitimber's being 500 acres purchased of John Kempe, patented 24 Oct 1639, and 650 acres patented to said Corker 2 Dec 1640. (Virginia Patents 4:206)

Kempe's patent of 1639 agrees with the records, but there was no patent for 650 acres for Corker in 1640.  His only 1640 land acquisition was 18 poles of land (roughly one-tenth of an acre) for housing and a garden plot on James City Island, to be forfeited if not seated within six months, and with an annual rent of "One Capon on the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle yearly."  Whatever, Lancelot Davenport's patent of 1639 appears to have been within this grant of Corker's.


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