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Full text of "Sir Richard Everard, Baronet, governor of the colony of North Carolina, 1725-1731, and his descendants in Virginia"

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From Publications of Southern History Association. 



SIR RICHARD 5:yERARD, BARONET, GOVERNOR 

OF THE COLONY OF NORTH CAROLINA, 

1725-1731, AND HIS DESCENDANTS 

IN VIRGINIA. 

By Marshali. DeLancdy Haywood. 




Sir Richard Everard, Baronet, of 
Much Waltham, in the county of Essex, England, was the 
last Governor of North Carolina under proprietary rule. 
His administration was brought to a close in 1731, two years 
after the sale of that province to the Crown, by the Lords 
Proprietors, in 1729. He came of ancient lineage in the 
land of his nativity. 

From Betham's Baronetage of England* we learn that the 
family's earliest ancestor, of whom any record is preserved, 
was Ralph Everard, who flourished in the thirteenth century, 
during the reign of Henry III. His descendants lived at 
Much Waltham — or Waltham Magna, as we first find it 

* Vol. I, 368, 369 



written — and were among the landed gentry of the shire. Sir 
Anthony Everard received the honor of knighthood in 1603, 
and was succeeded by his brother, Hugh, who held the office 
of High Sherifif, in 1626. The latter's son, Sir Richard, was 
advanced to the dignity of Baronet, in 1628, and became 
the father of another Richard, who inherited his title and es- 
tate. Sir Hugh Everard, a son of the last named, "signalized 
himself" in the Flemish Wars, and was the father of Gover- 
nor Everard, fourth baronet. 

Wright, in his History of Essex,* says that Governor Ev- 
erard sold the family's ancestral estate, Langleys, to dis- 
charge debts with which it was encumbered, and afterwards 
purchased a much smaller one at Broomfield. 

To avoid confusing the similar surnames, it may be well 
here to observe that there was likewise a family of Everard 
(seated at Ballybay, county of Tipperary, Ireland), which in- 
cluded a line of baronets whose title was created in 1622, and 
finally became extinct. f Several of these also bore the name 
Richard, but no relationship seems traceable between them 
and the Everards of Much Waltham, in Essex. 

In 1725, Governor George Burrington, who had made 
things a trifle too hot for his adversaries in North Carolina, 
was removed from office by the Lords Proprietors. There- 
upon a memorial was presented by Sir Richard Everard, of 
Essex, asking that he might be appointed to the vacancy. 
This request being granted, he set out for America, and on 
the 17th of July was sworn in, before the Provincial Council 
at Edenton, as governor, captain general, admiral, and com- 
mander-in-chief of the colony."J 

On the 1st of November, 1725, the Assembly of the Pro- 
vince met at Edenton, and was prorogued by Governor Ev- 

* Vol. I, 196. 

t Burke's Extinct and Dormant Baronetage (1844 edition), p. 604. 

I Colonial Records of North Carolina, II, 559, 556. 




erard until April, in the following year. Upon inquiry from 
the burgesses, as to his reason for such a course. Sir Richard 
refused to discuss the question; and replied that, since they 
had seen fit to dispute his authority, he would stand by the 
decision. It was thereupon unanimously resolved, by the 
members of the Assembly, that their pretended prorogation 
was illegal, contrary to the laws of the province, and an in- 
fringement upon the liberties of the people. It was further 
resolved that, at its next meeting, the House would proceed 
to no further business until the privileges, then withheld, 
were restored and confirmed. The Assembly further pro- 
ceeded to make itself pleasant by sending a memorial to the 
Lords Proprietors, wherein the loss of Burrington was 
greatly deplored and deep concern expressed at the prospect 
of so vile an administration from the new Governor, who was 
declared to be entirely influenced by a few irreligious persons 
of immoral character.* 

Soon after this Sir Richard became involved in a dispute 
with the Rev. Thomas Bailey, on account of some praise be- 
stowed by the latter upon the recent administration of Gov- 
ernor Burrington and that gentleman's "vast character." A 
riot resulted, led by the Burrington faction, which carried 
Bailey in triumph to the court house, where he was pre- 
vailed upon to favor his friends with a sermon. After this, 
Everard had the pleasure of paying his respects to the Rev. 
Thomas, in a letter to the Bishop of London, wherein he de- 
scribed the missionary as a riotous individual, much given 
to drunkenness, whose vile actions had caused him to be run 
out of Philadelphia into Virginia, whence he escaped to 
North Carolina. But the vestries of Hyde and St. Thomas 
soon came to the rescue of their parson's reputation, and de- 
clared him to be a most pious and exemplary minister, well 
deserving of encouragement. f 

* Colonial Records II, 576, 577, 578. 

t Colonial Records II; 579, 580, 581, 604, 624. 



The Assembly, which had been prorogued to meet in 
April, 1726, convened at the appointed time, and was ad- 
dressed in a spirit of conciliation by the Governor, who 
sought to impress upon it the necessity of harmonious ac- 
tion. The reply to this expressed pleasure at the good inten- 
tions avowed, but declared that the most effectual method 
of seeking redress would be to lay aside all formalities of 
speech. Then followed a catalogue of grievances, entitled 
"Exclamations of the Injured & Oppress'd." Shortly after 
receiving these "exclamations" the Governor became ill and 
again prorogued the Assembly, which was not much im- 
proved in humor thereby.* 

Governor Burrington had lingered in the province, after 
his removal from office, and was an interested observer of 
these occurrences. Before the Assembly met, he had made 
himself rather disagreeable to Everard, by going to that gen- 
tleman's house and calling for satisfaction, also indulging in 
some questionable language, which the writer, having 
quoted in two previous sketches, does not deem it necessary 
here to repeat. Suffice it to say, that Sir Richard's "damn<^ 
thick skull," as Burrington politely termed it, remained un- 
scalped, contrary to the charitable intentions of his assailant, 
who soon found it convenient to leave Edenton.f 

A few months later, Edmund Porter was also taken with 
a fit of belligerency and attacked Secretary Lovick, but fared 
worse; for the latter was joined by Governor Everard, At- 
torney General Little, Colonel Worley, and a few more offi- 
cial dignitaries, who soon gave the aggrieved Mr. Porter 
more satisfaction than he knew what to do with. J 

The next bellicose individual, who ran amuck of the Gov- 
ernor, was Dr. George Allen (or Allynn, as he signed him- 

* Colonial Records II, 609, 613, 622. 
t Colonial Records II, 647 ei seq. 
% Colonial Records II, 659. 



self), a "Chyrurgeon" or "Practiser of Physick & Surgery.'' 
This gentleman was generously donated to North Carolina 
by the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, where an indictment 
had been found against him for cursing King George and 
Governor Drysdale. After his arrival in Edenton, he was 
again brought before the courts for damning the King 
"while a drinking of clarett." But, from the nature of an 
undertaking he had in view, one might suppose it was 
something stronger than claret which Dr. Allynn drank; for 
he wanted to go to Hanover and get King George's estate, 
as that monarch owed him money! Being ofifended by Gov- 
ernor Everard, the worthy chirurgeon armed himself with 
a sword, and two pistols "loaden with powder and ball," 
wherewith he went in search of his adversary. Sir Richard 
disarmed him of his horse pistol, but he then resorted to a 
pocket pistol "and did continue to raise sedition & mutiny" 
till driven off by numbers. On being summoned to court, 
he increased his arsenal by the acquisition of a gun, and it 
was some time before the provost marshal could get him into 
custody. When his trial came off, he plead guilty and was 
released upon payment of costs.* 

Even this did not close the list of Everard's quarrels, for 
he afterwards figured in another altercation, with John 
Lovick; and had to defend his house against a motley as- 
semblage described by him as being composed of Major Jo- 
seph Jenoure, Thomas Betterly, Peter Osborne, Tom y^ 
Tinker alias Cockram, Robert Robinson, Peter Young, 
Charles Cornwall, James Roe, Richard Robbins, a carpen- 
ter, two foreigners, a tall Irishman, and divers others, who, 
when commanded to depart, refused to do so, and struck one 
of the Governor's servants, breaking his head.f 

In additon to his disputes within the colony. Governor 
Everard had to contend with enemies in England, who repre- 

* Colonial Records II, 653, 710, 718, 824 ; III, 220, 223. 
t Colonial Records II, 824. 



sented him as too much given to intoxication.* Thereupon, 
the Provincial Council was requested to express itself as to 
the truth of this allegation, and unanimously declared that 
he had never come before the public "disguised in drink." 

It is little to be wondered at that, after a few years of ex- 
perience with the civil discords of North Carolina, Sir 
Richard was even melted into expressing some sympathy 
for his old enemy, Burrington, who had undergone a similar 
ordeal. Such, indeed, is the tone of a letter written by him 
in 1729, in which he deplores his hard lot in being sent to 
rule so incorrigible a people, whose sole occupation in life 
seemed to be the abuse of their ofificial superiors. f 

The only event of importance, which marked Everard's 
administration, was the settlement of the long disputed 
boundary question with Virginia, by commissioners ap- 
pointed from the two colonies for that purpose. t Colonel 
Byrd's famous History of the Dividing Line gives a humorous 
account of the party's experiences; and a more modern dis- 
course, from North Carolina's standpoint, will be found in 
the able address, delivered November 26, 1879, before the 
Historical Society, in Wilmington, by the Honorable George 
Davis, of that city. 

When appointed Governor of North Carolina, in 1725, Sir 
Richard was somewhat advanced in age. In December, 
1705, he had married Susannah Kidder, a daughter and co- 
heiress of the Right Rev. Richard Kidder, Lord Bishop of 
Bath and Wells, who was killed in his Episcopal Palace at 
Wells, by a falling chimney, during the great hurricane, in 
November, 1703. Governor Everard left four children. His 
sons, Richard and Hugh, both succeeded him, in turn, and 
died without issue, whereupon the baronetcy became extinct. 

* Colonial Records II, 724. 
t Colonial Records III, 19. 
X Colonial Records II, 740. 



The younger Sir Richard, fifth baronet, was an attorney- 
at-law, while in North CaroHna, and remained there after in- 
heriting his father's title. He was a representative in the 
Provincial Assembly from Beaufort county, in 1739; and 
from Bladen, in 1740.* His death occurred two years later, 
on the 7th of March, 1742. 

Sir Hugh, sixth baronet, succeeded his brother and re- 
sided for a time in Georgia, where he married, but left no 
issue. f 

As to the Governor's two daughters: Susannah miarried 
David Meade, an American gentleman who will be men- 
tioned later; and Anne became the wife of George Lath- 
bury.| Of Mr. Lathbury and his descendants — if he left any 
— the writer knows nothing. 

Governor Everard's family does not seem to have made 
a very favorable impression on the people of North Caro- 
lina, and his "pack of rude children who gave offence daily" 
were the objects of special complaint. The Provincial Coun- 
cil declared that he had set up a sort of Inquisition, and 
would order servants of the colonial gentry to appear at his 
house, where they were questioned upon oath as to whether 
any disrespectful remarks had ever been privately made, by 
their masters, concerning the Governor's household. 1| In 

* Colonial Records IV, 346, 493. 

t So says Burke's Extinct and Dormant Baronetage (1844 edition), 
p. 190. The Secretary of State, however, writes from Atlanta, 
Georgia, as follows : " The name 'Everard' does not appear anywhere 
in the records of this office. If Sir Hugh ever came to Georgia, he 
never owned any land or held any official position." Though Burke 
gives 1745 as the date of Sir Hugh's death, it would seem that the 
title was thought to be still extant by Betham (in iSoi") and by Kim- 
ber (in 1771), when those authors compiled their baronetages ; for the 
works, here mentioned, do not treat of extinct titles. Kimber speaks 
of Sir Hugh Everard as "the present baronet, who now enjoys the 
title and estate." Vol. I, p. 348. All three of these works refer to 
Sir Hugh as residing in Georgia, but neither Betham nor Kimber 
mention his marriage. 

t Betham 's Baronetage I, 369. 

II Colonial Records II, 660. 



8 

addition to his immediate family, the name of James Everard 
— possibly a relative — also appears in the records, as an at- 
torney-at-law.* 

One charge, more creditable than the average in its na- 
ture, stated that Sir Richard was an ardent Jacobite, who 
had figured in the Preston Rebellion of 171 5, and desired to 
celebrate the Old Pretender's birthday (June loth) in North 
Carolina.! When the death of George I. was announced, he 
is said to have exclaimed, "Then adieu to the Hanover fam- 
ily, we have done with them!" 

As heretofore mentioned, Everard's administration was 
brought to an end by the sale of North Carolina to the 
Crown, by the Lords Proprietors, in 1729. During that 
year, Burrington was again appointed Governor; but did not 
qualify until the beginning of 1731,! and Sir Richard con- 
tinued in office for the space intervening. 

After his removal, Governor Everard went to Nansemond, 
Virginia, and thence to England. At Nansemond, his 
daughter, Susannah, was married to David Meade, by whom 
she became the mother of seven children. They were: 

I. David Meade, of Macox, in Prince George county, 
Virginia, who afterwards removed to Kentucky. He mar- 
ried Sarah Waters, only child of Col. William Waters, of 
Williamsburg, Virginia. 

H. Richard Kidder Meade (an aide-de-camp, during the 
Revolution, to General Washington), who married, first, 
Elizabeth Randolph, daughter of Richard Randolph, the 
elder, of Curies; secondly, Mrs. Mary Randolph, nee Grymes, 
widow of William Randolph, of Chattsworth, and daughter 
of Benjamin Grymes. 

HI. Everard Meade, (an aide-de-camp, during the Revo- 
lution, to General Lincoln), who married, first, Mary Thorn- 

* Colonial Records III, 4. (As Richard, Jr., was an attorney, this 
name may have been erroneously entered for his). 

t Colonial Records III, 4. 

X Colonial Records III, 211. 



ton, daughter of John Thornton, of North CaroHna; second- 
ly, Mrs. Mary Ward, ncc Eggleston, widow of Benjamin 
Ward, and daughter of Joseph Eggleston, of Egglestetton, 
in Amelia county, Virginia. The distinguished Revolution- 
ary officer, Major Joseph Eggleston, of Lee's Legion, was 
Mrs. Meade's brother. 

IV. Andrew Meade, of Octagon, in Brunswick county, 
Virginia, who married Susannah Stith, daughter of Captain 
Buckner Stith, of Rockspring, in the same county. 

V. John Meade, who died young. 

VI. Anne Meade, who married Richard Randolph, the 
younger, of Curies. 

VII. Mary Meade, who married Colonel George Walker. 
It is not within the scope of this brief biography to give an 

account of Governor Everard's more remote offspring. 
From his grandchildren, just named, many of the most noted 
families in Virginia, Kentucky, and throughout the South- 
ern States in general, trace their descent. 

The marriage of Susannah Everard to David Meade, of 
Nansemond, is mentioned in Betham's Baronetage, and 
some of the other works on heraldry that we have had oc- 
casion to quote, and also in Campbell's History of Virginia,* 
which contains the following: 

"Andrew Meade, first of the name in Virginia, born in County- 
Kerry, Ireland, educated a Romanist, came over to New York, and 
married Mary Latham, a Quakeress, of Flushing, on Long Island. 
He afterwards settled in Nansemond, Virginia, and for many years 
was burgess thereof ; from which it appears that he must have re- 
nounced the Romish religion. He was prosperous, affluent, and 
hospitable. He is mentioned by Colonel Byrd in his Journal of the 
Dividing Line run in 1728. His only son, David Meade, married, 
under romantic circumstances, Susannah, daughter of Sir Richard 
Everard, Baronet, Governor of North Carolina. Of the sons of David 
Meade, Richard Kidder Meade was aide-de-camp to General Wash- 
ington; Everard Meade aide to General Lincoln." 

* History of Virginia, by Charles Campbell (i860), p. 690. 



10 

The same authority also says: 

" The name of Richard Kidder is said to be derived from a bishop 
of Bath and Wells, who was from the same stock with the Meades of 
Virginia." 

This personage will easily be recognized by the reader as 
Sir Richard Everard's father-in-law, Bishop Kidder, whose 
death in the great cyclone has already been mentioned. To 
have called him an ancestor of the Meades would be more 
explicit. As David Meade was an only son of the family's 
progenitor in America, all members of the connection who 
bear the name, as well as many other of his descendants, are 
also descended from Governor Everard. But Andrew 
Meade also left a daughter, Priscilla, who married Wilson 
Curie, of Hampton, Virginia, and her descendants, of course, 
are not of the Everard stock. 

During the Revolution, it was Colonel Richard Kidder 
Meade's painful duty to superintend the execution of Major 
Andre. In recounting that tragic event to Colonel Theo- 
dorick Bland, junior, under date of October 3, 1780, he 
wrote: "Poor Andre, the British adjutant-general, was exe- 
cuted yesterday; nor did it happen, my dear sir, (though I 
would not have saved him for the world,) without a tear on 
my part. You may think this declaration strange, as he was 
an enemy, until I tell you that he was a rare character. From 
the time of his capture to his last moment, his conduct was 
such as did honor to the human race. I mean by these 
words to express all that can be said favorable of man. Tlie 
compassion of every man of feeling and sentiment was ex- 
cited for him beyond your conception."'^ 

Both Colonel Richard Kidder Meade and Major Everard 
Meade were original members of the Virginia Society of the 
Cincinnati. 

In his well-known work on Old Churches and Families 

* Bland Papers, II, 34. 



11 

in Virginia,* the Right Rev. William Meade, late Bishop of 
that State, who was a son by the second marriage of Colonel 
Meade, f of Washington's staff, gives an account of the union 
of his ancestor, David Meade with Susannah Everard, as 
follows : 

" The God of Love was present at their first interview, and made 
them feel the effects of his disposition at the same moment. But 
there was a considerable lapse of time between their first meeting and 
marriage. Her father was Governor Everard, of North Carolina, then 
living with his family in Edenton, and was unwilling to leave his 
daughter in the wilds of America when he should return home. When 
about to sail — the ship in which they were to embark lying in Hamp- 
ton Roads, then called Nansemond River — there was no other house 
at that time, convenient to the place of embarkation, at which they 
could be well accommodated but Andrew Meade's. To this they 
went ; and, being detained some weeks by adverse winds, or other 
causes, the earnest entreaties of a most affectionate father, almost 
distracted with the thought of parting with his only son (who was 
determined to follow her) at length prevailed, and they were imme- 
diately married." 

Here endeth the "Story of Susannah," and, with it, we 
close our account of the descendants of Governor Everard. 
In returning to the old baronet's personal history, little re- 
mains to be said. As his successor qualified on the 25th of 
February, 1731, Sir Richard probably left Virginia during 
the following summer, though history fails to give us the 
exact date. His death occurred on the 17th of February, 
1733, in London, two years after his retirement from office. 

The Daily Journal, for Monday, February 19, contains 
the following obitnary : 

" On Saturday morning at 6 o'clock, died at his house in Red Lyon 
street, Holbourn, Sir Richard Everard of Much Waltham in Essex, 
Bart : late Governor of North Carolina, descended from a very 

* Vol. I, Article XXIV, p. 292 (edition of 1872). 

fCol. R. K. Meade left no surviving children by his first marriage. 
For the issue of his second marriage, see Memoir of Bishop Meade, 
by Bishop Johns, p. 10, note. 



12 

ancient family in the county of Essex. Sir Richard married Susanna, 
one of the daughters and co-heirs of Dr. Richard Kidder, formerly 
Bishop of Bath & Wells, by whom he has left two sons and two daugh- 
ters, and is succeeded in his honours and estate by his eldest son, 
now Sir Richard Everard." 

In its issue of Wednesday, February 21, the Daily Courani 
says: 

" On Tuesday, the corpse of Sir Richard Everard was conveyed 
from his late dwelling house in Red Lyon street, Holbourn, with 
great solemnity to be interred at Much Waltham, Essex." 

At his old home in Essex, here mentioned as the burial 
place of Sir Richard, many memorials of the family were 
preserved, including recumbent efifigies of Sir Anthony 
Everard and his lady, who lived in the sixteenth and seven- 
enteenth centuries. Among other persons of note, there in- 
terred, are also Sir Hugh Everard, Baronet — father of the 
Governor — who died in 1706, and Sir Richard Everard, 
Knight, who died in 161 1. 

Again reverting to North Carolina, it must be confessed 
that little good accrued to the province from Governor Ever- 
ard's administration. He had been born and reared in the 
upper class of English society and was too far advanced in 
age to adapt himself to a change of situation. In a colony 
which required more than ordinary activity to develop its 
resources, he sought to preside with dignified ease; and, 
when aught unclean came "betwixt the wind and his nobil- 
ity," dignity and temper, alike, were too quickly cast aside. 
But, before indulging in overmuch adverse criticism, we 
should remember the difficulties with which he was forced 
to contend. Though endowed with less patience than the 
average mortal, his trials and vexations were indeed suf- 
ficient to test the forbearance of a saint. 

" So may he rest ; his faults lie gently on him !" 



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