Captain Thomas Williford

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Captain Thomas Williford (Wilsford), IV

Birthdate: (58)
Birthplace: Northumberland, Virginia
Death: October 1676 (54-62)
Green Springs, James, Virginia (hanged for participating in Bacon's Rebellion)
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Thomas Wilsford, Kt., MP; Sir Thomas Wilford and Elizabeth Wilsford
Husband of Bridget Williford
Father of Thomas Wilford, II; John Thomas Wilsford; Andrew Williford; John Williford, Sr. and Andrew Wilsford
Brother of Lebbeus Wilford

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About Captain Thomas Williford

Captain Thomas Wilsford, Esquire, was one of the genuine Cavaliers who came to Virginia. In March 1651-1652 Thomas represented his country in the Virginia House of Burgesses. On Nov. 25, 1652 he became the second Clerk of the Northumberland County Court. On April 5, 1653 James Magregrory and Hugh Fouch used Thomas Wilsford and "Bridget his wife" as headrights. In 1676 Thomas Wilsford became an active participant in Bacon's Rebellion. This Captain Wilsford, a contemporary wrote, "though he was but a little man, yet he had a grate heart,and was known to be no coward. He had for some years bin interpreter betwene the English and the Indians, in whose affaires he was well acquainted, which rendered him the more acceptable to Bacon, who made use of him all along in his Indian War. By birth he was the second son of a Knight who lost his life and estate in the Kings quarill; against the surname long Parliament, which forst him to Virginia (the only city of refuge left in his Magesties dominions, in those times for distressed Cavilers) to seeke his fortunes which through his industry began to be considerable, if the kindness of his fate had bin more permanent, and not destined his life to so reached a death." [Peter Force, Tracts and other papers, Washington DC 1836 no XI page 33-34]

Captain Wilsford was captured and carried before Governor Sir William Berkeley. In the recent fighting he had lost an eye but he made jest of it in declaring that as the governor had long ago promised him a hanging as being one of those who went out with Bacon on his first expedition against the Indians, it made no difference whether he had one or two for that in either case the governor would see him well guided to the place of execution. (Tyler's Encyclopedia Vol I page 250). About Oct 1676 he was one of those who suffered the extreme penalty on the gallows. On Nov. 13th 1676 Governor Berkeley wrote a testimonial to the loyalty and services of Major Robert Beverley who with a party of about forty on his second expedition after rebels following Bacon's death, "took several of their garrisons and chief commanders" including Thomas Wilford" on whom the rebels had great dependance, trusting in his skill to retreat." On Feb 20 1676-1677 in an Act of the General Assembly of Virginia, Wilsford was described and "one of the notorious actors and confederates with the said Nathaniel Bacon, junr. in the said rebellions and treasons" and was executed after being "tryed found guilty, and deservedly adjudged to death by the right honorable the governor and Councill of war of the chief commanders of the county" (Hening Vol II pg 370). On the preceding date the real and personal estate of Captain Thomas Wilsford was declared forfeited to the King and an order was issued that it should be inventoried and held after the posting of security by the persons in whose hands it then was until the King should decide upon its final disposition. (Hening Vol. II pg 377). This inventory is said to have been made in Oct. 1677. (the Virginia Magazine of History and biography Vol XXII page 366).

Page 13, 14, 15 "The Williford Family" Captain Thomas Wilsford had two sons, Charles & Thomas II. The Wilsford family of Virginia were communicants of the Church of England and following the Revolutionary War, the Episcopal Church

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Captain Thomas Williford's Timeline

Northumberland, Virginia
Age 22
Nether Broughton, Leicestershire, England
Age 28
Canterbury, Kent, UK
Age 35
October 1676
Age 58
Green Springs, James, Virginia
Age 58
Age 58
Of, Westmoreland, Virginia, United States