About William Farrar
He was the son of John Farrer, Gentleman, of Ewood Hall and Cecily Farrer, nee Kelke, and was baptized in the Parish of Croxton, Lincolnshire, England on April 28, 1583 and died bef. October 1636 in Farrar's Island, Henrico Co. Virginia.
He trained in the law, and around the age of 34 he set sail for the New World of Virginia, America on board the "Neptune", arriving in August of 1618.
The Farrar's Island Marker reads: K 199 FARRAR'S ISLAND
In 1611 Farrar’s Island was the site of the "Citie of Henrico," one of Virginia’s first four primary settlement areas under the Virginia Company of London. Later, it was part of a 2,000 acre land patent issued posthumously to William Farrar in 1637. Farrar, who arrived in Virginia from London in 1618 aboard the Neptune, invested in the Company under its third charter. In 1626, Governor Sir George Yeardley appointed Farrar to the governor’s Council, a position occupied until 1632. He also served as a justice for two counties. Farrar family members resided on the island until they sold it to Thomas Randolph on 26 Jan. 1727.
(See account of William Farrer's settling in Virginia at http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/m/a/y/Lyndall-J-Mayes/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-0108.html)
- Cecily (widow of Thomas Bayley & Samuel Jordan) on Bet. January 03, 1624/25 - May 02, 1625 in Charles City, Henrico, Co. Virginia.
- Cecily Farrar, b. Abt. 1625, Jordan's Journey, Henrico Co. Virginia, d. April 1703, Henrico Co. Virginia. Married Isaac Hutchins and secondly Henry Sherman
- +William Farrar, b. Abt. 1627, Jordan's Journey, Henrico Co. Virginia, d. February 01, 1677/78, Charles City, Henrico Co. Virginia. Married Mary.
- John Farrar, b. Aft. 1632, Farrar's Island, Henrico Co. Virginia, d. March 1683/84, Henrico Co. Virginia.
In 1611, four years after Capt. Christopher Newport's early explorations, Sir Thomas Dale left Jamestown to establish a settlement upriver. Relations with the Indians had steadily deteriorated since 1607, and Dale's company suffered constant attacks. The party finally came to a peninsula on the north side of the river, now Farrar's Island, where Dale established the colony's second settlement, "Henricus," known also as the "Citie of Henrico", one of Virginia's first four primary settlement areas under the Virginia Company of London.
In just four months the town grew to a fortified settlement. Frame houses lined three streets, and the men had built a wooden church, a brick foundation for a permanent church, storehouses, watchtowers, and huts. An Indian uprising on March 22, 1622 demolished Henrico. William Farrar fled with other survivors and managed to escape
The site of the City of Henrico's first settlement was later part of a 2,000 acre land grant - known as Farrer's Island - issued posthumously to William Farrar in 1637.
William arrived from London in 1618 aboard the Neptune with Lord De la Ware (who died on the voyage), and invested in the company under its third charter. "Unlike the Second Charter made up mostly of tradespeople, three fourths of the Third Charter were of the gentry," Appointed 1626-632 to the King's Council. As late as 1632, Charles I appointed a commission, which included Nicholas and John Ferrar Esquires (William's brother and father were both named John), "as Council of Superintendence over Virginia, empowering them to ascertain the state of its laws, commerce and government and report back to his Majesty." It was during this critical period, 1625-1635, that William Farrar served on the Council, considered by historians the most important in the government of the colony, for laws were passed and the representative form of government which we have today became well established, based on the liberal charter, which Sandys and Nicholas Ferrar are said to have written. Justice for 2 counties. (William Farrar was well trained in the law which in addition to his families' wealth and high standing enabled him to make a valuable contribution in the New World)
There is no record of whether William Farrar was married in England or possibly brought a family with him to Virginia. If he had a wife and children they died before or shortly after he arrived in Virginia. William Farrar 42, and Mrs. Cecily Jordan (widow) 25, were married shortly before May 2, 1625. The children born to William and Cecily Farrar, of whom there is record, were Cecily, William and John
John Farrer specified that his sons Henry and John, who were occupying the property Great Amwell at the time should relinquish it to William, which they did, for at the time William sold his inheritance to them, Henry was "of Reading, Berkshire," and John of Ewood, John having purchased Ewood from Henry for 2,000 pounds. In June 1631, according to the deed dated Sept. 6, 1631, William returned to England from Virginia, USA, and disposed of his entire inheritance, selling the Hertfordshire properties to Henry and his annuities from the Ewoods to John for a total of 240 pounds.
The deed states that William was to have the privilege of buying back the property at its sale price plus cost of repairs to be made. From this and the report of the Hertfordshire archivist, Mr. W. R. Hardy, in 1959, that he could find no records of Farrers in the Great Amwell area except of Henry and his family, it is evident that William did not return to England to occupy the property, but remained in Virginia, USA.
His father's will read:
"To my son William Farrar "all those messuages, land, etc., in Hoddesden, Bloxeborne and Amwell or elsewhere in the countie of Hertford - heretofore conveyed to Henry and John Farrer my sons to use - to my son Willian and his heirs.
To him also (William) and his wife and children 20 pounds annuity a yeare during the terme of their lives and longest liver of them to be paid out of Greate Ewood and Little Ewood at ye feaste of ye Annunciation of ye blessed Virgin and St. Michaell the Archangel by my sonne Henry Farrer his heirs or assigns. Also my will is that my son William shall receive of mine executor fiftie pounds at his return into England.My books and apparel equally between my sons Henry, John, William and Humphry. ... My pewter, brasse, bedding and Linen shalbe divided equally between my fower sonnes Henry Farrer, John Farrer, William Farrer and Humfrey Farrer... and that William Farrar's part shal be reserved for him or ye valewe thereof in the handes of my overseers, and in case he be not living it shalbe reserved for his wife and children."
-------------------- William Farrar was the third son of John Farrar the Elder of Croxton and of St. Mary, Aldermanbury, London, and his wife Cicely Kelke.
William Farrar's father was of an ancient family of Ewood, in Midgley, Parish of Halifax, Yorkshire. He was a relative of Nicholas Farrar, Sr., (1544-1620) a merchant and leading member of the Virginia Company.
William arrived in Virginia on August 1618 with Lord De La Warr aboard the Neptune. In 1611 Farrar’s Island was the site of the “Citie of Henrico”, one of Virginia’s first four primary settlement areas under the Virginia Company of London. Later, it was part of a 2,000 acre land patent issued posthumously to William Farrar in 1637.
In 1626, Governor Sir George Yeardley appointed Farrar to the governor’s Council, a position occupied until 1632. He also served as a justice for two counties. Farrar family members resided on the island until they sold it to Thomas Randolph on 26 Jan. 1727.
This William Farrar was known as Councillor William Farrar. He came to Virginia at age 24 on the ship Neptune in August, 1618, becoming the founder of the American Farrar family. (See Photo of Historical Marker above.) He was the 3rd husband of Cicely Reynolds. He was a subscriber to the Third Charter of the Virginia Company and served as an appraiser, executer of estates, member of the King's Council, and justice of two counties, establishing a plantation of 2,000 acres - very large for its day - for the transportation of forty settlers. His plantation was known as Farrar's Island, was located about twelve miles south of present-day Richmond, VA, and was on the site of the first settlement of Henrico, VA. Farrar's Island has also been called "The Great Bent" because of its location on the James River. The Indians around the area thought of the "white man's" settlements as a threat, and on March 22, 1622, in what was known as "The Great Indian Massacre", they attacked and burned houses and settlements throughout the colony of Henrico. Many survivors relocated to Jamestown, and the former city of Henrico was abandoned, thus giving way to the land grant that was made to William Farrar. http://www.angelfire.com/al2/bcampbell/farrar.html
Notes for William Farrar: (from http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/m/a/y/Lyndall-J-Mayes/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-0108.html)
WILLIAM FARRAR was the third son of John Farrer the elder of Croxton, Ewood, and London, Esquire and Cecily Kelke. He was born into the wealthy landed gentry of Elizabethan England. It is not known for certain where the family resided at the time of William Farrar's birth. Though it is known that John Farrer preferred to live at Croxton, Lincolnshire near his wife's family, the Kelkes, rather than at Ewood, the Farrar ancestral estate since 1471. Christening records of two of the sons of John and Cecily Farrar seem to confirm that the family resided at Croxton:
"John Farrer" Sex: male, Christening: 20 January 1581 in Croxton Parish, Lincoln, England.
Father: John Farrer
"Willyam Farer" Sex: male, Christening: 28 April 1583 in Croxton Parish, Lincoln, England.
Father: "John Farer."
Prior to the discovery of the Croxton Parish christening records William Farrar's age was based on the 1625 muster of colonists at Jordan's Journey where his age was given as 31 years old thus presumedly born about 1593-4. The christening record is considered to be the more reliable source.
The importance of education was long stressed by families of Halifax Parish and many made their mark beyond the borders of Yorkshire. Among the earliest in the Farrer family was Bishop Robert Farrar (1500-1555), educated at Cambridge and Oxford, which a number of later generations also attended. It is not known where William Farrar received his education, though it is certain that he and his brothers attended the finest institutions. William Farrar was well trained in the law which in addition to his families' wealth and high standing enabled him to make a valuable contribution in the New World.
WILLIAM FARRAR who emigrated to Virginia in 1618 was a subscriber to the Third Charter of the Virginia Company (He paid £37 10 shillings, although many who subscribed never paid.). His name appears among the citizens and merchants of London listed in Article V of the Charter, "So that posterity may hereafter know who have adventured and not been sparing of their purses in such a noble and generous action for the general good of their country..." Alexander Brown wrote: "Unlike the Second Charter made up mostly of tradespeople, three fourths of the Third Charter were of the gentry," and many of those named in Browne's Biographies, among them William Farrar, "are originators of families who are today largely represented in the United States, and as patriotic citizens should take much pride in being of the Founders' Kin as is taken by Englishmen in tracing from the Roll of Battle Abbey."
At the age of 35 William Farrar cast his lot with the venturers and sailed from London March 16, 1618, in the "Neptune" with Lord De la Ware, who had been urged by the settlers to return to Virginia as a governor and who had persuaded many of the gentry to emigrate to Virginia. Although the ship was a large one, with 200 passengers, especially equipped by the Virginia Company for Lord De la Ware's return, the voyage was a long, perilous one lasting sixteen weeks.
"Meeting with contrary winds and much bad weather many fell sick, and thirty died (among them) Lord De la Ware himself... Camden tells us he had been feasted at the Western Islands, and that his death was not without suspicion of Poison. And I think I have seen that he died about the mouth of the Delaware Bay, which thence took its name from him... After his death they were forced on the the Coast of New England, where they got a Recruit of Wood and Water and took such an abundance of Fish and Fowl, as plentifully served them to Virginia. They likewise here met a small Frenchman, rich in Bever and other Furrs, who feasted them with so great a Variety of Fish, Fowl and Fruits, they were all amazed." (From the History of the First Discovery & Settlement of Virginia by W. Stith)
A further account of the Neptune's wanderings was given in a lawsuit by the owner of the ship Treasurer, which, while on a fishing voyage, met the Neptune at sea, June 5, 1618, and took on eleven of its passengers due to sickness aboard. The ships then parted, the Treasurer turning south, the Neptune taking the usual northern course, but later their paths met again and sailed along together for awhile. At the mercy of winds and sickness that so often accompanied these voyages, the Neptune finally arrived in Virginia in August.
In spite of the great tragedy of the voyage, the Neptune brought welcome news that "multitudes were preparing to be sent." Although the cultivation of tobacco was becoming profitable for trade, attracting an increasing number of settlers, the colony was struggling desperately for survival. In the summer of 1618, Virginia experienced a severe drought and an epidemic considered the worst in the colony's history. That William Farrar survived and remained to play an important part in the establishment of the colony is a great tribute to his stamina as well as his ability.
William Farrar quickly made a place for himself in the colony acting as appraiser, executor of estates, a member of the the King's Council and justice of two counties. There is no record of whether William Farrar was married in England or possibly brought a family with him to Virginia. If he had a wife and children they died before or shortly after he arrived in Virginia. William Farrar was first granted 100 acres on the Appomattox River, Charles City County, about three miles from where it flows into the James River. Listed in the minutes of the Virginia Company, May 1625: "Land laid out for ye Company below Shirley Hundred Lland: Wm. ffarrar uppon Appomatucke River 100 acres."
During the famed Indian massacre of Virginia settlers, which began on Good Friday, March 22, 1622, ten persons were killed at William Farrar's house upon the Appomattox River. There were... "slain at Mr. Farrar's house, Master John England and his Man; John Bell, Henricke Peterson, Alice his wife, William his son, Thomas his Man; James Wardlaw (Woodshaw); Margaret and Elizabeth, Maidservants." Some writers have erroneously stated that William Farrar was then living at Farrar's Island, but records show that the Island was not abandoned as Henrico City until some time after the Massacre. William Farrar fled with other survivors and managed to escape and find refuge at the fortified home of his neighbors Samuel and Cecily Jordan on the James River arriving the next day, where he stayed for years thereafter. Beggar's Bush, the plantation of Samuel Jordan (a member of the First Virginia Assembly, whose name is on the monument at Jamestown), was a stronghold of the colony to which settlers fled for safety when attacked by Indians. After the Massacre, "Master Samuel Jordan gathered together but a few of the stragglers about him at 'Beggar's Bush' where he fortified himself and lived despite the enemy." Governor Wyatt wrote to the Virginia Company, April 1622, "that he thought fit to hold a few outlying places, including the plantation of Mr. Samuel Jordan; but to abandon others and concentrate the colonists at Jamestown."
It is thought that Beggar's Bush, soon to be known as Jordan's Journey, one of the earliest land patents of record, was a large area similar to the "hundreds". It was located at the present Jordan's Point, Prince George County (formerly Charles Cittie), near where the Appomattox River flows into the James River, and where the Hopewell Airport is now located. In the Muster of Jordan's Journey, February 16, 1623, nearly one year after the massacre 42 persons are shown still living at Jordan's Journey. Two years after the massacre on January 21, 1624/5 William Farrar and seven of the settlers for whom he later patented Farrar's Island, are among those listed. About one third, 347 of the 1240 Virginia colonists perished during the Indian Massacre. As Indians continued to prey upon settlers, colonists were ordered to remain in specified settlements. In the years following the Indian uprising of 1622, the colonists engaged in regular attacks against the Indians, pushing them farther and farther westward. Presumedly William Farrar's home on the Appomattox River was burned and destroyed by the Indians, and he did not return to live on the property. He stayed on at Jordan's Journey as he and other survivors had been ordered to do:
"At a Court 7 and 8 Aug. 1625, presided over by Sir George Yardley, Governor, Dr. Pott, Capt. Smith, Capt. Mathews, Mr. Abraham Piersie, Capt. Tucker, Mr. Wm. ffarrar; Yt is ordered yt not planter shall remove from ye plantation whereon he is seated, without penalty ... and to be returned to his former plantation only if the Governor and Council permit ...
"Yt is ordered that no one go or send for fowling, fishing or otherwyse whatsoever without sufficient parties of men nor to go out to work without their armes and a Centinell uppon them ... Every Commander of the a Plantation to take care that there be sufficient posder and munitions and their peeces fixt and their armes compleate."
From Persons of Quality: A List of Names; of the Living in Virginia, February the 16, 1623
At Jordan's Jorney
(37 more names follow the above listed.)
Upon the death of Samuel Jordan, nearly a year after the Indian Massacre and shortly before the February 16, 1623 Virginia Muster, the Reverend Greville Pooley 46, minister of the Parish of Fleur-Dieu Hundred, near Jordan's Journey, read the burial service and four days later wooed the widow, Cecily Jordan, and thought he was accepted. The parson, in his joy at having won her hand "spread the word" of the engagement and boasted of his good fortune, which Mrs. Jordan resented, saying he would have fared better had he not revealed it, for she had not wanted her engagement announced so soon after her husband's death nor until after she had delivered her unborn child. The young widow refused to go through with the wedding and instead accepted William Farrar's proposal of marriage. Enraged Parson Pooley, undaunted, went before the Council on June 14, 1623 to state his claim thus instituting the first breach of promise suit in America. Pooley accused the lady of having jilted him and alleged that it was nothing short of "Skandelous" for Mr. Farrar, his rival, to be "in ordinary dyett in Mrs. Jordan's house and to frequent her Company alone." This was the celebrated case of its day! The Governor and Council could not bring themselves to decide the questions and continued the matter until November 27, 1623, then referred the case to the Council for Virginia in London, "desiring the resolution of the civil lawyers thereon and a speedy return thereof." But they declined to make a decision and returned it, saying they "knew not how to decide so nice a difference." Reverend Pooley was finally persuaded by the Reverend Samuel Purchase to drop the case. As a result on January 3, 1624/25, Reverend Pooley signed an agreement freely acquitting Mrs. Jordan from her promises. Cecily Jordan then went before the Governor and Council and formally "contracted herself to Captain William Farrar." William Farrar, trained for the law in England, successfuly defended Mrs. Jordan winning not only the suit but his client in matrimony!
During the course of the breach of promise suit, William Farrar was made administrator of Samuel Jordan's estate. A worn record, dated November 19, 1623, shows Court presided over by Sir Francis Wyatt, Governor, and Christopher Davison, Secretary, indicates that a warrant was issued "to Mr. Farrar to bring in the account of Mr. Jordan his estate by the last day of December." Another warrant was issued to "Mrs. Jordan, that Mr. Farrer put in security for the performance of her husbands will." An abstract of the orders were to be delivered to Sir George Yeardley.
In the 1624 will of Richard Domblawe of London, bachelor, "Mr. William Farrar" was appointed co-executor of his affairs in Virginia.
In the census of January 1624/5, William Farrar was listed at Jordan's Journey, where his muster was recorded jointly with that of Mrs. Sisley Jordan and her three daughters:
THE MUSTER OF THE INHABITANTS
OF JORDAN'S JOURNEY AND CHAPLAIN CHOICE
TAKEN THE 21TH OF JANUARY 1624
THE MUSTER OF Mr WILLIAM FERRAR & Mrs JORDAN
WILLIAM FERRAR aged 31* yeares in the Neptune in August 1618.
SISLEY JORDAN aged 24 yeres in the Swan in August 1610.
MARY JORDAN her daughter aged 3 yeares }
MARGARETT JORDAN aged 1 yeare }borne heare
TEMPERANCE BALEY aged 7 yeares }
(*The age of 31 years stated for William Farrar is in error by ten years based on his 28 April 1583 christening record in Croxton, Lincolnshire, England, and his age stated at his marriage to Cecily Jordan.)
William Farrar 42, and Mrs. Cecily Jordan 25, were married shortly before May 2, 1625. The young, attractive, and wealthy twice widowed Cecily came with a ready-made family of girls as Cecily had had two daughters by her second husband Samuel Jordan- Mary 4, and Margaret 2, plus her daughter Temperance Bailey 8, from her earlier first marriage.
Since William Farrar and Cecily Jordan had married, his bond to administer Samuel Jordan's estate was ordered canceled: "At a Court, 2 May 1625, 'Yt is ordered yt Mr. William Farrar's bonde shall be cancelled as overseer of the Estate of Samuel Jordan dec'd."
William Farrar was given a position of great responsibility when on March 4, 1625/6, Charles I appointed him a member of the King's Council, a position he held until 1632. He attended quarterly court at Jamestown and was closely associated with the governor, councilors and burgesses. Shortly after William Farrar's appointment to the Council, he was made commissioner of the Upper Partes on August 7, 1626:
"Monthlie Courtes to be kept above Percies hundred shalbe kept at the discretione of Mr. William ffarrar, one of his Majesty's Councill of State, either at Jourdan's Journey of Shirley Hundred."
At a Court at James Citty, 18 Sept. 1626, "Ellmer Phillips gent stated he was at Jourdan's Journey at Mr. ffarrar's Howse at the reading of a Proclamation, etc."
William Farrar's appointment, in 1626, as commissioner of the Upper Partes was affirmed in 1628: "Minutes of the Council and General Court 1622-29: At a COrt at James Citty the 7th of March 1628, prsent John Potts Esqr, Govenor and Captain General, Captain Smyth, Captain Mathews, Mr. Claybourne, Mr. ffarrar ffor the ease of the People and according to the order established in General Assembly it is ordered that a Commission be drawen for a Monthly COrt to bee holden in the Upper Partes. The Commissioners to bee vizt: Mr. ffarrar, Capt. Eppes; Capt. Davis; Capt: Mr. Thomas Palmer; Henry Throgmorton; Mr. ffarrar to bee alwaies one."
BACKGROUND: The important Virginia Assembly, established by the Greate Charter in 1619, had functioned five years when James I dissolved the Virginia Company in 1624, and was not called to reconvene until 1628. During this period of great uncertainty and insecurity for the colonists, not knowing what to expect under Royal rule, the King's Council, formed to represent the Royal government, made the laws and all decisions, most of which were later ratified by the Assembly when it was recalled. As late as 1632, Charles I appointed a commission, which included Nicholas and John Ferrar Esquires, "as Council of Superintendence over Virginia, empowering them to ascertain the state of its laws, commerce and government and report back to his Majesty." It was during this critical period, 1625-1635, that William Farrar served on the Council, considered by historians the most important in the government of the colony, for laws were passed and the representative form of government which we have today became well established, based on the liberal charter, which Sandys and Nicholas Ferrar are said to have written. C. M. Gayley states in Shakespeare and the Founders of Liberty in America: "Jefferson was right when he said that 'the ball of the Revolution received its first impulse, not from the actors in the event, but from the first colonists.' ... He might well have added ... and the other Patriots of the Virginia Company."
Of the Council and General Assembly which met in the church at Jamestown, one hour after sunrise, Fiske gives an interesting picture: "The meeting was always opened with prayers... In the choir of the church sat the governor and Council, their coats trimmed with gold lace. By the statute of 1621, passed in this very church, no one was allowed to wear gold lace except these high officials and the commanders of hundreds... In the body of the church facing the choir, sat the burgesses in their best attire, with starched ruffs, and coats of silk and velvet in bright colors. All sat with their hats on, in imitation of the time-honoured custom of the House of Commons, an early illustration of the democratic doctrine, 'I am as good as you.' This General Assembly was both a legislative and judicial body... From sweeping principles of constitutional law down to the pettiest sumptuary edicts, there was nothing this little parliament did not superintend and direct."
William Farrar and his wife Cecily continued to reside at Jordan's Journey after their marriage. Records from the Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia 1622-1632 show that William Farrrar was living at Jordan's Journey as late as September 1626, and possibly until 1631/32. The children born to William and Cecily Farrar, of whom there is record, were Cecily, William and John. The children were probably all born at Jordan's Journey. Thomas Pawlett, of West & Shirley Hundred, who had arrived in Virginia aboard the "Neptune" with William Farrar was named godfather of William Farrar II. The numerous Farrar descendants of Councilor William and Cecily Farrar all stem from the elder son, Col. William Farrar, Jr.
In the list of burgesses for 1631/32, Arrowhattocks, Neck-of-Land and Curles were represented by Capt. Thomas Osborne, while "both Shirley Hundreds, Mr. ffarrars and Chaplaynes" were represented by Francis Eppes and Walter Afton. This would seem to indicate that William Farrar was not at the Neck-of Land (Farrar's Island) and it may be that it was only after the sale of his inheritance in London in 1631 that he patented the Island. After the Great Massacre of 1622 many colonists were in doubt as to where to locate and did not settle permanently until after 1628. Whatever the date, the delay proved fortunate for William Farrar, for he was able to select one of the choicest locations, the site of Henrico Towne, the second settlement in the colony. His land extending to Varina, the county seat, and his duties as "chief" justice of the county made him a close neighbor and associate of the leading families of Henrico as well as Charles Citty County.
William's father, John Farrer the Elder had his very long will written on November 14, 1627. On May 28, 1628 the will was proved by his son Henry. (Excerpts from the will of:) John Farrer, the elder of London, Esquire, of parish of St. Mary Aldermanbury Parish, bequeathed: To third son William Farrar "all those messuages, land, etc., in Hoddesden, Bloxeborne and Amwell or elsewhere in the countie of Hertford heretofore ... conveyed to Henry and John Farrer (which they were to relinquish to William) ... To William and his wife and children 20 pounds a yeare during the terme of their lives and longest liver of them to be paid out of Greate Ewood and Little Ewood at ye feaste of ye Annunciation of ye blessed Virgin and St. Michaell the Archangel by my sonne Henry Farrer his heirs or assigns."
In the codicil to his will dated April 24, 1628, "Also my will is that my son William shall receive of mine executor fiftie pounds at his return into England ... My pewter, brasse, bedding and Linen shalbe divided equally between my fower sonnes Henry Farrer, John Farrer, William Farrer and Humfrey Farrer... and that William Farrar's part shalbe reserved for him or ye valewe thereof in the handes of my overseers, and in case he be not living it shalbe reserved for his wife and children."
"Son Henry Farrer sole executor; overseers, son John Farrer and nephew Henry Wilkenson. Witnesses to codicil: Henry Croke, Henry Wilkenson."
William, at age 48, returned to London in the summer of 1631 after his father's death and sold his inheritance to his brother, Henry Farrar of Berkshire, for £200 in a document dated September 6, 1631. William's wife, Cecily, and his children, Cecily and William appear in the deed and relinquished their rights to his inheritance. It isn't known whether his wife or children accompanied him on the trip. William carried with him letters from Virginia colonists, as was the custom to do. A letter from John Ferrer of Little Gidding to his brother Nicholas: "I have since I wrote my other letter gott from William (Farrar) these inclosed which I send you now what is best to be donne for delivery of them I leave to you as being best able to judge..."
SALE OF WILLIAM FARRAR'S INHERITANCE
September 6, 1631, indenture between William Farrar of London gent of the one part and Henry Farrer of Reading, Berkshire, Esquire, of the other part. Whereas John Farrer the elder of London Esquire, deceased, bequeathed to William Farrar and Cecily his wife and Cicely and William his children one annuitie or yearly rent of 20 pounds from the lands of the said John Farrer called Great Ewood and Little Ewood in the parish of Halifax, Yorks.
And, whereas, William Farrar had by his "Deed in writinge bearing date of the eight and twentieth day of June last past" for the sum of 240 pounds of good and lawfull money of England "had released (his inheritance) unto the said Henry and John Farrer, his brothers, then owners of the lands called Great Ewood and Little Ewood." William Farrar acknowledges the receipt of 200 pounds paid to him by Henry Farrar for the purchase of "all messuages, howses, buildings, lands, meadowes, pastures with all and everie their appurtenances scituate lying and being in Hoddesdon, Broxbourne and Amwell or any of them in the county of Hertf.," which Henry and John Farrar did, in accordance with their father's will, convey to William Farrer ..."
Henry Farrar, his heires or assignes will pay to William Farrar 'or his executors if he be not living" such further soms of money as with money already paid unto him for he true value of the land; otherwise upon repayment to Henry Farrer or his heirs by William Farrar or his heires, of the said 200 pounds, plus any expense Henry my have had in repairing the house and said buildings, etc., Henry will reconvey the property to William free of any incumbrances."
Signed and sealed "the day and yeare first above written Annoque domini 1631."
(Abtstracted from transcription by Miss Mary Flower, of a Crown copyright, by permission of the Public Record Office. From The Farrar's Island Family by Alvahn Holmes.)
The achievement for which William Farrar is most remembered is the establishment of Farrar's Island, in what is now Henrico Co. Virginia on a bend in the James River. The estate consisited of 2000 acres, very large for its day, granted to William Farrar for the transportation of forty settlers. It probably wasn't until after the sale of his inheritance in London in 1631 that William Farrar patented Farrar's Island, living there for only about the last five years of his life. It was not until after William Farrar's death, at the age of 54, that the patent for Farrar's Island was finally granted posthumously by King Charles I to his and Cecily's son William Farrar II on June 11, 1637.
One of the most dramatic events occurring during William Farrar's tenure on the Council was the arrest and deportation of Governor Harvey, "a Royal governor who had exercised unbearable tyrannical and arbitrary power." After an eventful decade during which the Virginia Company was overthrown, along with the loss of a representative form of government which it had attempted to establish, there was uncertainty about what to expect from Royal rule. In March 1634 the Council reluctantly voted to accept the loss of prime territories to Lord Baltimore, but rebelled against Gov. Harvey.
- William Farrar was one of a committee of 20 appointed to arrest Gov. Harvey and return him to England in protest.
May 1636: Nathan Martin patented 500 acres, 100 acres of which was due "by surrender from William Farrar Esquire for transportation of two servants."
William Farrar's brother Humphrey's will dated October 1636 mentions property bequests to each of his brothers except William Farrar of Virginia. It is presumed that this omission establishes that William Farrar had died prior to the drawing of the will. William Farrar was survived by his wife Cecily 37, and children Cecily, William and John. He undoubtedly left a will, but it does not survive.
FARRAR'S ISLAND TODAY
It's about 15 miles down the James River from Richmond. While in it's early days it was actually connected to the land and technically not an island, today it is an island. A canal was cut through by the Union Army during the Civil War saving about 7 miles via the James River to Richmond. In more recent times gravel operations were set up on the island. Much of anything related to Historical context has been destroyed by flooding over the years.
The Farrar Family Reunion’s grand and noble effort, the Farrar’s Island Historic Highway Marker project, was realised in early 2000. The Farrar's Island Marker was firmly implanted in the soil of the Old Commonwealth, right at the Fall Line between the Tidewater and the Piedmont. The Marker is situated at the southeast corner of US 1/301 and Osborne Road, Chester, VA. Osborne is the road that leads approximately three miles to the Dutch Gap boat launch and parking area. The head of the 1 1/4 mile nature trail to Farrar’s Island is at the far end of the parking area.
The Farrar's Island Marker reads:
In 1611 Farrar’s Island was the site of the
"Citie of Henrico," one of Virginia’s first four
primary settlement areas under the Virginia
Company of London. Later, it was part of a
2,000 acre land patent issued posthumously
to William Farrar in 1637. Farrar, who arrived
in Virginia from London in 1618 aboard the
Neptune, invested in the Company under its
third charter. In 1626, Governor Sir George
Yeardley appointed Farrar to the governor’s
Council, a position occupied until 1632.
He also served as a justice for two counties.
Farrar family members resided on the island
until they sold it to Thomas Randolph on
26 Jan. 1727.
THE FARRAR'S ISLAND FAMILY AND ITS ENGLISH ANCESTRY by Alvahn Holmes 1972. -------------------- William emigrated, 16 Mar. 1617/18, on the "Neptune" with Lord de La Warre. Arriving in Virginia, he settled in Henrico Co., Virginia. He traveled to London in 1631, but returned to Virginia.
SOURCES: RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project: "Celtic Royal Lineage," by Arthur E. Turner-Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org, sources-"Plantagenet Ancestry of 17th Century Colonists," 1st edition, pg. 100, "Farrar", by David Faris; published by Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD, © 1996. -------------------- William Farrar who emigrated to Virginia in 1618 was a subscriber to the Third Charter of the Virginia Company. He quickly made a place for himself in the colony acting as appraiser, executer of estates, a member of the King's Council and justice of two counties as well, establishing a plantation of 2,000 acres, very large for its day, for the transportation of forty settlers.