Col. Edmund Scarburgh

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Edmund Scarburgh (Scarborough), Il

Birthplace: London, Middlesex, England
Death: Died in Occahonnack Creek, Accomack, Virginia
Cause of death: Smallpox
Place of Burial: Accomack, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Capt. Edmund Scarburgh, l and Hannah Smith
Husband of Mary Scarburgh
Father of Littleton Scarburgh; Tabitha Smart; Tabitha Smart-BROWN-CUSTIS-HILL; Col. Charles Scarburgh; Matilda West and 4 others
Brother of Sir Charles Scarborough; Henry Scarborough; Ralph Scarborough; Hannah (2) Wise; Katherine Revell and 1 other

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Col. Edmund Scarburgh

Col. Edmund [3] Scarburgh (II)1

Married Mary (NOT a Littleton) in 1635. He was part or sole owner of vessels - Deliverance, Mayflower, a galliot the King David, the Sea Horse, the Hobby Horse and the Artillery.

He had 3000 acres in Maryland and 46,000-75,000 in Virginia. Leader in production of sale, one of the first industries in the Americas. Both he and his father were educated at Caius College, England.

From Wikipedia... Colonel Edmund Scarborough (also spelled Scarburgh) (September 1617–1671) was an influential early settler of Virginia and member of the Virginia House of Burgesses from 1642 to 1671.

ol. Edmond Scarborough, the second son of Captain Edmond and Hannah Butler came to America with his father. He married Mary Littleton, [sic; see Mary] daughter of Col. Nathaniel Littleton, in England, and patented vast tracts of land in Virginia. (Mary Scarborough did not come over with her husband, but arrived in 1640, brought over by her husband, Edmond Scarborough, of Accomac, according to Greer.) He held the highest offices within the gift of the people, and the Crown, and was the most distinguished member of the family, as well as the most spectacular. There are many traditions concerning him and his high handed actions in Colonial Virginia, some of which were called unscrupulous. He was called "Conjurer" by the Indians, who hated and feared him, and was anathema to the Puritans and Quakers, whom he considered his special enemies.

The Scarboroughs were the largest land owners on the Eastern Shore, and with their powerful connections, exercised almost feudal powers in the Colony. Though there were many clashes with Colonial authorities, and sometimes with the mother country, Col. Edmond Scarborough was able to avoid serious punishment because of the influence of his brother, Sir Charles Scarborough, Court Physician at the Court of St. James. When under fire in Virginia, he conveniently removed temporarily to Maryland, where he had large holdings, or to New England, where his ships were constantly in port. (Owned a ship called Mayflower but not Pilgrim's Mayflower.) As Surveyor-General, Col. Scarborough fixed boundary lines that suited his convenience, and was able to extend the southern boundary of Accomac County in order to include his home, which normally would lie in Northampton County, if the two counties were equally divided. He still owned land in Northampton, after the division of the two counties, and was the King's Collector of Quit Rents, among his other official duties under the Crown.

When Col. Edmond Scarborough surveyed and marked the boundary between Maryland and Virginia, Governor Calvert, of Maryland, was vigorous in his protest. A new survey was finally made, called the Calvert-Scarborough Line, ratified by the Legislatures of the two states, and recognized in 1688 as the boundary line.

Col. Edmond Scarborough was indeed a versatile man. He not only managed his large plantations, with his many slaves and servants, and had heavy official duties with his various Colonial offices, but he was interested in many of the colony's early manufacturing ventures. He had the exclusive right to make salt, had one of the earliest shoe factories, and malt plants, and carried on an extensive shipping business. He was also an able lawyer, and a power in the Courts. Though an ardent Royalist, it has been said that would undoubtedly have joined Bacon in his Rebellion, as his son, Col. Charles Scarborough, did had he lived a few years longer, for he was an avowed enemy of Governor Berkeley, with whom he had many clashes. Col. Charles Scarborough was joined in his allegiance to Bacon by his cousin, William Scarborough, though his brother, Captain Edmond Scarborough, remained loyal to Governor Berkeley. After the death of Bacon, and the collapse of the rebellion, Col. Charles Scarborough escaped with only a fine, while his cousin, William Scarborough, was sentenced to death and his property confiscated, March 16, 1677. The defection of Col. Charles Scarborough was evidently forgiven, for in 1692 he was the Naval Officer and Collector for the Eastern Shore, under Governor Andros, and served until 1698. His father, Col. Edmond Scarborough, had held this office during his lifetime, and the son of Col. Charles, Henry Scarborough, succeeded his father in 1699.

This fiery Col. Edmond Scarborough, with all of his faults was a remarkable man of his day, for in spite of his unbridled violence, and will, his loyalty to Virginia and her institutions could not be questioned. Among his many offices were the following: Member of the House of Burgesses, 1642-1671; Speaker of the House of Burgesses, 1645; Justice of Northampton County; Sheriff in 1666; Surveyor General for Virginia, 1665-1671, and numerous offices in the Church. He died circa 1673 and is probably buried on his estate on Occahannock Creek, where his home, called Hedrick Cottage, was still standing a few years ago. The neck of land between Craddocks Creek, and Occahannock Creek was called Scarborough's Neck.

(Southern Kith and Kin, p. 16-18)

He was baptized October 2, 1617 in St. Martins, London, England.(908) He accompanied his parents to Virginia, while his elder brother Charles remained in England to complete his education. At the death of Captain Edmund Scarborough, he assumed the responsibility of settling his fathers affairs in Virginia. On November 28, 1635 he patented 200 acres of land on Magothy Bay in Accomac County- "fifty acres for his late father, Captain Edmund Scarborough, fifty acres for the personal venture of his mother, Hannah Scarborough, fifty acres for his own personal venture, and fifty acres for the transportation of one servant called Robert Butler." This was the first of many land patents issued to Col. Edmund Scarborough; in subsequent years he acquired lands totaling more than 46,500 acres, and became the largest landholder on the Eastern shore of Virginia. Col. Edmund Scarborough was a vindictive Indian baiter, an intolerant persecuter of the Quaker settlers in the area, and a totally unscrupulous politician and business man. On the other hand, he was totally fearless, a gifted orator, a shrewd lawyer, an accomplished surveyer and engineer, and a highly successful planter and merchant. He served a number of terms in the house of Burgesses (where for a time he was speaker), was sheriff of Northampton County, played a major role in drawing up the famous "Northampton Protest", and for many years was Surveyer-General of Virginia, in which capacity he surveyed the boundry between Virginia and Maryland on the Eastern Shore. He erected on his estates a malt house, a shoe factory, and a salt works, and he was the owner of numerous ships with which he carried on an extensive trade with England, New England, the Netherlands and the West Indies. He was the first to import Negro Slaves of any number into Virginia. The Colonel was constantly involved in quarrels with his neighbors and business associates. At one time (July 1653) his conduct was such that he was charged with treason and piracy and forced to flee the colony. In a little over a year, however, he was back in Virginia, and incredibly enough, within a few months gained back everything he had lost and more. From this time to the restoration (1660) he was on the best terms with Governor Bennett and the Parliamentary authorities - indeed, his eldest son Charles later married Governor Bennett's daughter Elizabeth. With the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II, Scarborough's influence and power increased still more, and he consistantly flouted the laws, refused to pay his debts, and blithely disregarded the decisions of the courts and the mandates of Governor William Berkely. The influence of his brother Sir Charles Scarborough at the English court seems largely to account for the Colonel's immunity.

In 1652 Col. Scarbrough planned to return to England for good. He sold the following ocean going ships to William Burton of Boston, Mass.:

1. The Deliverance

2. The Mayflower

3. King David

4. The Sea Horse

5. The Holly Horse

6. The Ann Clear

7. The Artillery

The reason this is of interest to me is that we have a reference stating that Daniel Isham (Esham) was brought to Northampton Co. from London in 1652 on the bark Mayflower a ship owned by Edmund Scarbrough. This reference was obtained from the MD archive by one of the above addressees but has since vanished.

This find on Ghotes is the first verification I have seen that Edmund Scarbrough was a ship owner and did indeed own a bark named Mayflower. "Early Virginia Immigrants" by George Cable Greer sites Thomas Teakle as the sponsor of Daniel's trip for which he received the usual fifty acres. Daniel was indentured to Derman MacCloud and five years later received a cow called "Sweet Lips" for his servitude. This is proven by the will of MacCloud.

ID: I01729

Name: Edmund Norton SCARBOROUGH

Sex: M

Title: Colonel

Birth: 25 DEC 1584 in North Walsham, Norfolk County, England

Death: BEF. 9 JAN 1634/35 in Magothy Bay, Accomac County, Virginia

Immigration: 1620

Education: Caius College Cambridge

The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 4, 1897, pp. 317-8

The first immigrant to Virginia of the family of Scarborough or Scarburgh (the latter ultimately became the usual spelling), was Captain Edmund Scarborough, who settled on the Eastern Shore, was justice of Accomac 1631, and member of the House of Burgesses from that county 1629, 1631, 1632.

He married Hannah , and dying in 1634-35, left issue:

I. Charles, afterwards Sir Charles, born about 1616, entered Cain's College, Cambridge, 1632, took the degree of A. M. in 1639, and became a fellow. Being a staunch royalist, he was deprived of his fellowship by the Parliamentarians, lost his library, &c, and retired to Merton College, Oxford. He was created Doctor of Physic in 1643, and was a celebrated physician and scholar, and particularly distinguished for his learning in anatomy and mathematics; was physician to Charles II, James II, and William; was member of Parliament, and was knighted August 11th, 1669. He died in 1693, and was buried at Cranford, Middlesex. His portrait is in Barber-Surgeon's Hall, London. By his wife , daughter of Thomas Daniel, of Newberry, Bedfordshire, he had one son, Charles Scarborough, who was in the service of Prince George, of Denmark (husband of Queen Anne), and was envoy from him to his brother, the King of Denmark, on his accession to the throne. Several letters among the Virginia correspondence, in the English Public Record Office, show that Sir Charles and Colonel Edmund Scarborough, of Virginia, were brothers;

II. Colonel Edmund (the patentee), of Northampton county, Va., for many years one of the most prominent and useful men in the Colony. He was member of the House of Burgesses, 1642, 1644, 1645, 1647, 1652, 1659, and from 1660-1671; Speaker of the House, 1645; justice of Northampton; sheriff, 1660, 1661; appointed Surveyor-General of Virginia 1655, and held the office during life; was a leader in all efforts for public improvement, and "at his particular charge, but to the infinite good of the country," erected salt works.

He died in 1670 or 1671, and left issue by his wife, Mary:

I. Colonel Charles,' of Accomac, "eldest son," as a patent states; had many large grants of land; in 1647, in Northampton; in 1652, in Northampton 3,051) acres on Pungoteague; in 1655, in Northampton; in 1681, in Accomac, &c.; was a member of the House of Burgesses in 1688 and other years, of the Council from 1691 until his death; in 1692 was Councillor, Collector of the Eastern Shore, Naval Officer of the same, Commander-in-Chief of Accomac, and presiding justice of that county. He took part in Bacon's Rebellion; but escaped with a fine and was pardoned as to his life. In 1687 he was again prosecuted by the authorities for saying " King James would wear out the Church of England, for whenever there was a vacancy he filled it with one of another persuasion.". He died about 1703. He was probably married more than once; but one of his wives was a daughter of Governor Richard Bennett;

II. Captain Edmund,' Jr., who with his brother Littleton and sister Matilda had a grant of land in Northampton in 1655. and others to himself in 1673 and 1674. He had a son named Edmund;

III. Littleton,' had a grant in Accomac in 1664. He died without issue, as the records state that his brother Charles was his heir;

IV. Matilda," married Colonel John West, of Accomac;

V. Tabitha, married four times, viz:

  • (1) Colonel Wm. Smart, who came to Northampton county from Lancaster county, Va., and had one child, Tabitha Scarburgh Smart, who married Richard Hill, of Accomac county;
  • (2) Devereux Browne, of Accomac, by whom she appears to have had no children;
  • (3) Major General John Custer, (his third wife), but she appears to have had no children by this marriage;
  • (4) in 1696 Colonel Edward Hill, of "Shirley," Charles City county, had no issue by this marriage.

Her daughter, Mrs. Tabitha Scarburgh (Smart) Hill, was the mother of Tabitha Scarburgh Hill, who married Edmund Custis, of "Deep Creek," Accomac county.

There have been numerous descendants of Colonel Edmund Scarborough. Hugh Scarburgh lived in Accomac in 1714. William Scarburg;h was Collector of the Eastern Shore in 1724. Littleton Scarburgh appointed justice of Accomac 1731. Henry Scarburgh, Jr., appointed justice of Accomac 1731, and was a member of the House of Burgesses in 1736. Henry Scarburgh (probably the same) was a member of the House of Burgesses from Accomac in 1744, and died in that year. Colonel Edmund Scarburgh was member of the House of Burgesses from Accomac 1723, 1738, and doubtless other years; sheriff in 1721; naval officer in 1731. Colonel Edmund Scarburgh, of Accomac, died in York county in 1753, and his will was recorded there July 12, 1753. He left a large estate in both counties. Legatees: son William, grandson Edmund Scarburgh, daughter Elizabeth Hill, daughter Priscilla Johnson, and his wife, Anna Maria (to whom he gave various lands, personal property, his chariot, horses. &C. ). She married, second, in 1755, John Thornton, gentleman, of Gloucester county. Henry Scarburgh lived in Accomac in 1762. John Scarburgh was lieutenant in the 5th Virginia Regiment in the Revolution.

George Scarburgh, of Accomac, married Anne West, and had issue: (1) Ann, married Addison; (2) Susan, married Mapp; (3) Cassandra, married Lofland; (4) Elizabeth, married Chandler; (5) Catherine, married - Dix; (6) George Parker, appointed judge of the General Court of Virginia 1844, afterwards judge of the Hustings Court of Norfolk city, and professor of law in William and Mary College. He married, October 10, 1833, Mary Stockley, daughter of Thomas R. Joynes, and had issue: George.Thomas, Sarah Satchell, Southey Satchell, and Charlotte Joynes.

...John Alexander, who in company with Littleton Scarburgh and Tabitha Smart, children of Col. Edmund Scarburgh, obtained a grant for 1,500 acres in Northampton county on March 24, 1659.... WIlliam and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine 1900, Vol 8, p. 262

Edmund Scarborough

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Edmund Scarborough

  • 3rd Speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses
  • In office
  • 1645–1646
  • Preceded by Edward Hill, Sr.
  • Succeeded by Ambrose Harmer

Personal details

  • Born September 1617
  • England
  • Died 1671
  • Virginia
  • Resting place Hedra Cottage, Accomack County, Virginia
  • Residence Accomack County, Virginia
  • Occupation Farmer, soldier, surveyor

Colonel Edmund Scarborough (also spelled Scarburgh) (September 1617 – 1671) was an influential early settler of Virginia and member of the Virginia House of Burgesses from 1642 to 1671.

Early life and family

Scarborough was born in England. His father, Capt. Edmund Scarborough (1584–1635), was a barrister and graduate of Caius College, and an army captain, who emigrated to Virginia about 1621. He settled on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with his family around 1628, and represented the Accomac Shire in the Virginia General Assembly in the 1630s.[1]

A brother, Sir Charles Scarborough, remained in England, became a noted mathematician, studied medicine, and was a founding member of the Royal Society. A Royalist, he served as physician to Kings Charles II and James II after the Restoration.[1]

Scarborough's eldest son would drown as an adult in the York River on September 21, 1739.


Scarborough was one of the most prominent of the early English settlers of the Accomac Shire of the Virginia Colony, now the Eastern Shore of Virginia.[2]

On April 28, 1651, Scarborough led a raid of some fifty men, on the nearby Pocomoke Indian village along the northern boundary of Accomac Shire, after convincing the settlers that the Indians planned to attack. At least one historian doubts the veracity of his story and suggested that he may have invented the story in order to raise enough men for the attack on the village. After the settlers captured some of the villagers and bound two of them in chains, the Indians massed along the border, and it was believed they were about to attack the English. In May all the men involved in the action were called to appear in court, including Ambrose Dixon, to account for their actions. Scarborough was exonerated, however, when the court found that his raid had been justified by the circumstances.[3]

Scarborough at various times served as Speaker of the House of Burgesses,[4] on the Governor's Council, county sheriff, lawyer, planter, surveyor, firearms dealer, cattle rancher, merchant, ship owner, Accomack Justice, and militia colonel. He employed Indians to herd his livestock while at the same time selling guns to them and condemning them in the General Assembly for obtaining firearms. In the 1650s when England was at war with the Dutch, one of Scarborough's ships was seized en route to other colonies for trade. He retaliated by seizing a Prussian ship of similar size, no matter that it was not of Dutch ownership. In 1652, Scarborough sold his seven ships (Deliverance, Mayflower, King David, Sea Horse, Holly Horse, Ann Clear, and Artillery) to William Burton of Boston. He also incited a scandal among a local parson to deflect criticism about his own lack of morals. Near the end of his career, Scarborough helped survey the border between the Eastern Shore of Maryland and the Eastern Shore of Virginia, the Calvert-Scarborough Line, moving it substantially northwards to keep his own holdings within the colony of Virginia.

A familiar tradition on the Eastern Shore holds that he once called local Indians to a great feast where he reported the Great Spirit would speak to them. The Indians dared not disobey, and when they assembled Scarborough fired on them from an artillery piece hidden nearby.[5] This most likely took place in Northampton County in 1671. This was Scarborough's way of eliminating enemies and dispersing the local tribes, as well as consolidating his power in the two counties of Accomack and Northampton (which at various times were combined to form one county).

Scarborough's main adversary, Colonel Obedience Robbins (from Northamptonshire, England), served as a foil to "King" Scarborough during the forty years that he was in power on the Eastern Shore. It is said that the two counties were finally created by the two arch rivals because they did not wish to live in the same municipality; hence, Northampton and Accomack Counties. Robbins also served as a burgess with Scarborough and sought to nullify any attempts by his crafty nemesis to cause trouble on the Eastern Shore, whether it be with local Indians or with local government.

Scarborough also took a mistress named Ann Toft (1643–1687). Ann lived in Accomack from at least 1660 as a femme sole and was probably the wealthiest woman in Accomack due to her association with Scarborough. Ann bore three daughters during the 1660s who were probably fathered by Scarborough. Scarborough set Toft up in business at a plantation known as Gargaphia on present day Gargathy Neck in northern Accomack County (seaside). This 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) of land was transferred from Scarborough to her in Feb. 1664 when Ann was 21. Gargaphia, as it was known, shows up on many maritime maps of the time and would have been a convenient stopping point for sailors and a good embarkation point for Scarborough's many products and crops. Ann married Daniel Jenifer soon after Scarborough's death from smallpox in 1671.

By 1663 Col. Scarborough had become an enemy of the Quakers located in Accomack County, Virginia (including Ambrose Dixon). After the group of Quakers moved to Maryland where they were offered more religious freedom, Col. Scarborough used his positions as commander of His Majesty's Forces on Virginia's Eastern Shore and Surveyor-General of the Virginia Colony to lead a force of men into Maryland and claim the area for Virginia.

Scarborough's main residence was a property in Accomack County on Occahannock Creek known as Hedra Cottage. Although the original house is gone, a later one stands in its place. When Scarborough died after 1671 he was buried there but it is thought that his gravestone was removed by friends to keep his enemies from desecrating his remains. A modern marker has been placed on the grounds.[6]


  1. ^ Jump up to: a b Kukla, pp. 40-41
  2. Jump up ^ Wise, pp. 85-86
  3. Jump up ^ Wise, pp. 117-19
  4. Jump up ^ Kukla, pp.40-43
  5. Jump up ^ Wise p. 87
  6. Jump up ^ "Edmund Scarborough grave marker". Retrieved 2009-02-18.


  • Kukla, Jon (1981). Speakers and Clerks of the Virginia House of Burgesses, 1643–1776. Richmond, Virginia: Virginia State Library. ISBN 0-88490-075-4.
  • Wise, Jennings Cropper (1911). Ye Kingdome of Accawmacke, or The Eastern Shore of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century. Richmond, Virginia: The Bell Book and Stationery Co.
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Col. Edmund Scarburgh's Timeline

October 2, 1617
London, Middlesex, England
October 2, 1617
St Martin In The Field, London, Middlesex, England
May 30, 1639
Age 21
Accomack County, Virginia, United States
Age 21
Age 22
Age 25
Accomack County, Virginia, Colonial America
Age 26
Accomack , Virginia
Age 29
Accomack County, Virginia
Age 30
Age 42
Accomack County, Virginia, United States