Eleanor (Elizabeth) Shelton (Parks) (c.1706 - c.1777) MP

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Nicknames: "Skelton"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Shepherdstown, Jefferson County, Virginia
Death: Died in Mecklenburg, VA, USA
Managed by: Vicki Worthington
Last Updated:

About Eleanor (Elizabeth) Shelton (Parks)

For almost two centuries the Tavern provided meals and lodging to those having business before the Hanover County courts. The Tavern served as post office for the area from the 1790s until 1911. Until Rural Free Delivery was introduced early in the 20th century residents from miles around viewed the Tavern as a community center as they came to the Tavern to pick up their mail and hear the neighborhood gossip.

John and Eleanor Parks Shelton, parents of Patrick Henry’s wife Sarah, owned the Tavern from 1750-1764. In December 1763, Patrick Henry was called to the Courthouse adjacent to Hanover Tavern to argue the Parson’s Cause case, the famous challenge to royal authority that helped to spark the American Revolution. Although Patrick Henry is best known for his “give me liberty or give me death” speech delivered at Richmond’s St. John’s Church in 1775, his great oratory skills and patriotic fervor were first recognized when he argued damages for the defense in the famous Parson’s Cause.

The original building of the Hanover Tavern, directly across Rt. 301 from the courthouse green, actually predates the courthouse. Records show that the ordinary was erected around 1723, and became a stopping-off place for people traveling from Philadelphia to Williamsburg. The owner, William Meriwether, founder of the town of Newcastle, built the Hanover Courthouse in 1735, patterned after the courthouse building in King William County. The earliest part of the present tavern was built in the 1790's.

William Parks, who in 1736 founded the first official newspaper in the colony, the Virginia Gazette, bought the tavern from Meriwether, and it is through his Granddaughter, Sarah Shelton, that young Patrick Henry, the "Voice of the Revolution" became connected with the tavern.

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Eleanor Shelton's Timeline

1706
1706
Shepherdstown, Jefferson County, Virginia
1725
1725
Age 19
Virginia
1727
1727
Age 21
Brunswick, VA, USA
1730
1730
Age 24
1730
Age 24
York, Virginia
1731
1731
Age 25
King Queen, Virginia, USA
1732
1732
Age 26
1734
1734
Age 28
Virginia
1736
1736
Age 30
Virginia
1738
1738
Age 32