About John P Overton
In Easington Church there is a marble plaque to John Overton Esquire and to his wife Joan, who died before 1651. During the English Civil War John was a faithful follower of Charles I and despised the Roundheads.
The marble tablet in Easington Church
to the memory of John and Joan Overton
Photograph courtesy of P.Crowther (2007)
The inscription on the tablet reads;
THIS MONUMENT SPEAKS THE MEMORY OF THE DECEASED
BUT NEVER TO BE DIVIDED JOHN OVERTON ESQ AND JOAN
HIS WIFE WHO LIVED BELOVED AND DIED LAMENTED
THEIR SACRED DUST ONE GRAVE CONTAINS UNTIL THE TRUMP OF
GLORY SHALL UNITE THEIR BODIES TO THEIR SOULS
PRETIO PRUDENTIA PRAESTAT
NE FAMAM PERIMAT MARMOR LONGAEVA VETUSTAS
VENTURIS MEMORA NOMINA GESTA VIRIS
NON OPUS HAEC ARTIS CONATU PINGERE TANTO
INCLYTA VIRTUTES SUNT MONUMENTA SIBI
NIL DECORAT LONGO CENSERE SANGUINE MENTES
SED QUAE NOBILITAT MENS GENEROSA VIROS
qUID MULTISS LECTOR VERAE VIRTUTIS IMAGO
CONDITUR HIC SINE QUA STEMMATA SPRETA IACENT
BE INDEX MARBLE TO THEIR FAMES
RECORD THEIR VIRTUES WITH THEIR NAMES
WHICH ART NEEDS NOT TO REPRESENT
VIRTUE ITS OWN VIVE MONUMENT
FOR BLOOD NOT MINDS BUT MINDS ADORN
THEIR BLODD WHO RE BETTER THAN GREAT BORN
IF SO KNOW READER IN ONE WORD
HERES MORE THAN MADAM OR MY LORD
ROBERTUS FILIUS MAERENS
SCRIPSIT ANNO 1651
The Overtons sold the Hall and lands to William Milner in 1720, and in 1771 at the parliamentary enclosure of Easington, Sir William Milner was allotted 88 acres of land. His son, Sir William Mordant Milner, sold the land to Robert Taylor in 1796. He died in 1798, and the land was sold in 1800 by his trustees to Robert Linsdall, later passing through other hands.
A FEW EXCERPTS FROM: Historical Southern Families, Vol. 5, pp. 124-135
"OVERTON OF VIRGINIA, NORTH CAROLINA, TENNESSEE and LOUISIANA"
"Tracing the name Overton from the days of the Seventeenth Century in
England has not been difficult, because of the life and activities of Major
General Robert Overton, who is described in history as "The Rebel General
Overton." He served under and was eventually imprisoned by Oliver Cromwell,
the "Protector" of the Commonwealth of Great Britain. He was a scholar as
well as a soldier, and the poet, Milton, who celebrated his exploits in the
DEFENSIO SECUNDA, addressed him as "bound to me these many years past in a
friendship of more than brotherly closeness and affection, both by the
similarity of our tastes and the sweetness of your manners.""
"MAJOR GENERAL ROBERT OVERTON, the son of John Overton and wife, Joan, was
born in Easington Parish, Yorkshire, England, in 1609. He erected a tablet
in honor of his father and mother in the church there in 1650. It is located
near the place where Overton Hall, his ancestral home, stood until about
1887. Overton Hall was continuously occupied by members of his family for
many generations. He married Ann Gardiner, daughter of Jeremy Gardiner of
Stratford Bow, Middlesex, England, in 1632. He is said to have been of the
same family as the famous Bishop William Overton of Coventry and Litchfield,
England. It is probable that he named his son, William, born December 3,
1638, for this relative. General Overton's eldest son, John, was admitted
to practice Law at Gray's Inn on November 11, 1661."
"He was a staunch defender of the rights of the people in England and
of the interests of his country. Much of his correspondence will be found
among the "Thurloe Papers," and in one of them in 1654 he wrote, "If I be
called to seal the cause of God and my country with my blood, by suffering
death, or by bearing any testimony to the interests of my nation and the
despised truths of these times, he is able to support and save me, as the
sun to shine upon me-- if I can but keep faith and a good conscience, I
shall assuredly finish my course with joy." The dictionary of National
Biography states that General Overton flourished between 1640 and 1668. He
was admitted to practice law at Gray's Inn November 1, 1631.
He was appointed deputy to Sir Thomas Fairfax, Governor of Pontrefact in
1645. In 1647 he was placed in command of a Regiment of Foot Soldiers and
shortly thereafter appointed Governor of Hull. In the second Civil War,
Overton's Regiment fought under Cromwell in Wales. In 1650, he accompanied
Cromwell to Scotland and commanded a brigade of foot soldiers at the Battle
of Dunbar and was designated Governor of Edinburgh by Cromwell. He commanded
the reserve forces at Inverkeithing with Monck in Scotland and assisted in
the subjugation of Scotland and the garrisoning of the Orkneys. At this
time, Cromwell accompanied King Charles I back into England.
Parliament paid him 400 pounds a year as a reward for his services and
General Deane designated Overton to command all the English forces in
Western Scotland. He was designated Governor of Aberdeen at that time. In
1653, he succeeded to the family estate at Easington, returned to England
and became Governor of Hull. At that time he hailed with enthusiasm Cromwell
's forcible dissolution of Parliament as he was dissatisfied with the slow
process of reformation under that body. But shortly afterwards when Cromwell
assumed the post of "Protector" and dissolved the "Little Parliament," he
became suspicious and told Cromwell that if he saw he did design to set up
himself and not the good of the nation, lie would not set one foot before
another to serve him, and retained his commission on the promise to
surrender it if he could not conscientiously serve Cromwell.
In December of 1654 he was arrested and sent prisoner to England on the
charge of intending to head a military insurrection against the Government,
and placed in the Tower of London, where King Charles II wrote him promising
forgiveness for past disloyalty and reward for service in effecting a
After two years in the Tower, he was sent to Jersey and confined in
Elizabeth's Castle until March 1658. His sister petitioned Richard Cromwell'
s parliament on February 3, 1659, to release her brother, and on March 16,
after hearing Overton at his trial in London, Parliament voted his immediate
release and pronounced his imprisonment at Jersey illegal. On October 12,
1659, he was one of the seven Commissioners appointed by Parliament to
administer the Armed Forces of England. He frustrated Moncks, who planned
to bring back King Charles, and was again arrested and sent to the Tower in
1660. Soon liberated, he was almost immediately arrested as "refusing to
take the oaths or give security". In January 1664, the government again
sent him to Jersey, and he was still imprisoned there in February of 1668,
after which all trace of him in England was lost.
The custom of the times was to send political prisoners to the Barbadoes or
to Virginia and it is believed he was transported to the Barbadoes, for
Hatton's Christ Church, Barbadoes, 22 December, 1679, includes one Robert
Overton, living there alone, without family and without servants, possessing
but five acres of land.
It is believed and family tradition has always had it, that his son,
William Overton, came to Virginia in search of his father about 1669 and
failing to locate him, remained in Hanover County, Virginia, where in 1670
he brought over his fiancée, Elizabeth Waters, daughter of Samuel and Ann
Waters of St. Sepulcher, London, England, and they were married on board the
ship November 24, 1670, it having cost him fifty pounds of tobacco for her
passage from England to America. Their love story is said to be the basis
for the famous novel, "To Have and To Hold."
The Virginia Land Books contain records of a deed for 4600 acres on the
south side of Pamunky River on Falling Creek April 23, 1681, to William
Overton for transporting ninety-two persons to the colony. Another deed to
William Overton In 1690 was for additional land in St. Peter's Parish.
William Overton's marriage to Elizabeth Waters, daughter of Samuel and Ann
Waters of London, is proven by the will of Ann Waters, of the Parish of St.
Sepulchre, London, widow, dated Sept. 29, 1697, probated July 1700, by her
son Thomas Waters.(P.C.C. 108 Noel). She stated "I give unto my daughter,
ELIZABETH OVERTON, now in Virginia, the sum of ten shillings and to my
son-in-law, WILLIAM OVERTON, her husband, ten shillings.. I give unto my son
JOHN WATERS who for divers years past hath gone to Virginia.etc."
Samuel Waters, evidently the husband of Anne Waters, was buried from St.
Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London, September 6, 1665. He was the son of John
Waters who made his will July 20, 1626, as of Eastcott, Count of
Northampton, yeoman," and mentioned his five youngest sons "Thomas, Joseph,
Ambrose, James and SAMUEL, the last two not 21 years of age. (Northants
W.B.T. (I) p.65). Samuel Waters was apprenticed to John West, Citizen and
Skinner of London, Feb.7, 1631, and on Sept. 3, 1639, was admitted to the
Freedom of the Skinners Company of London.
Samuel Waters was related to Sir Robert Peake, Citizen and Goldsmith of
London, whose will was proven in London, May 26, 1667. P.C.C. Carr - 96)
Sir Robert Peake bequeathed "to cousin James Waters, the son of Joseph
Waters, L. 50; to cousin Waters, relict of Samuel Waters, Skinner, deed. L.
WILLIAM OVERTON, the immigrant, b. 12/3/1638 in England, rn.11/24/1670 at
Yorktown ELIZABETH WATERS. They had six children.
(Note: In tracing their descendants, reference is made to "The Early
Descendants of William Overton and Elizabeth Waters of Virginia, and Allied
Families," published 1936 by W.P. Anderson, and page numbers in this book
are given for further reference to their descendants.)
I. Elizabeth Overton, b. 6-28-1673. Thought to have married Robert
Anderson II, b. about 1663, d. 1716. (See pp. 60-64)
II. William Overton, b. 8-14-1675, d. 6-18-1759, in. Peggy Garland.
III. Temperance Overton, b. 3-2-1679, d. 2-19-1716 (buried at "Cedar Hill",
Hanover County, Va.) m. about 1695 William Harris (b. 1669,
d. before 1733). They had nine children. (for further reference, see
1. Major Robert Harris, b. about 1696-1700 in Hanover County, Va.
Will proved 1765 in Albemarle Co., Va., where most of his descendants
lived. Served in House of Burgesses in Hanover Co., appointed
Surveyor of new County of Louisa, cut off from Hanover in 1742, settled
and afterwards moved to Albemarle Co. where he owned a large
estate. Married 1/13/1720 Mourning Glenn (will proven 1776 Albemarle Co.)
They had ten children.
2. Elizabeth Harris, baptized 11-27-1698.
3. George Harris, baptised 4-13-1701.
4. John Harris, baptised 3-28-1703, of Carolina Co., Va., m.
Ann -------. They had John Harris (b. about 1730) who had issue.
5. Benjamin Harris.
6. William Harris, b. 1707, believed to have married and had issue.
(See pp. 84-85)
7. Jemima Harris m. William Overton (her cousin, son of Capt. James
Overton) and had issue which will be given under William Overton.
8. Edward Harris, m. Ann --
9. David Harris.
IV. Samuel Overton, b. 8-14-1685, died before 1725, lived in Hanover Co.,
m. Miss Carr. They had six children:
1. Samuel Overton
2. John Overton
3. James Overton
4. William Overton, patentee of lands in Louisa Co. 1725, m. and had
a. James Overton, died single
b. Samuel Overton, m. Elizabeth (he and his wife, of Hanover
County, deeded 10-14-1765 400 acres lying In Louisa County, described as
land left to his brother James by their father, William,
and James, dying intestate, it had descended to Samuel Overton, his other
5. Daughter - who married John Ragland.
6. Ann Overton m. Dabney Pettus (b. about 1704). They had five
children. (See pp. 92-95)
V. CAPTAIN JAMES OVERTON, b. 8-14-1688, d. 6-18-1748, m. Elizabeth
Garland (Widow Truhart) 1690-1739. Captain James Overton,
Justice of Hanover Co., Captain of Militia (descendants entitled to
membership in Society of Colonial Wars). They had seven children.
VI. Barbara Overton, b. 2-5-1690, d. 10-30-1766, m. 1706 John (or James)
Winston. They lived in Hanover Co., Va., and had two sons. Her will,
dated 10-6-1754, mentions six children of each of these Sons.
1. John Winston, b. 6-9-1724 in Hanover Co., d. 1-23-1772 St.
Paul's Parish, Hanover Co., m. 2-3-1746 Alice Bickerton. They had eleven
2. James Winston, b. about 1725/6, m. Anne Farrell (or Ferrell).
They had eight children. (See pp. 128 through 136 for descendants)
John P Overton's Timeline
July 5, 1585
Essington Manor, Holderness, Yorkshire, England
Easington Manor, Holderness, Yorkshire, England
London, London, , England
October 8, 1650