|Birthplace:||Somerset, England, United Kingdom|
|Occupation:||Planter, soldier (Colonel), Acting Governor of Maryland, Speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses|
|Managed by:||Ben M. Angel, on hiatus|
About Col. Edward Hill
Colonel Edward Hill (died c.1663) was a Virginia farmer, soldier and politician. He was Speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses three different times (1644–45, 1654–55, and 1659). He declared himself acting governor of Maryland while leading an expedition to put down Richard Ingle's 1646 rebellion, ceding to the proper governor, Leonard Calvert, on his return. He also established the current farm at Shirley Plantation in 1638.
Edward Hill settled at Basse's Choyce, in the Warrascoyack area downstream from Bennett's Plantation in an area in which a patent had been granted to Nathaniel Basse and Arthur Swayne (Swan). Edward Bennett had undertaken the plantation and we find him in Virginia with his settlers in October of 1622. Most, if not all, of the settlers in Bennett's settlement were Puritans. Edward arrived with his wife, Hannah Jordan and his brothers: Thomas and William. The Hill's, Edward, William and Thomas, settled beside Edward Bennett. In the Census of the Living of Feb. 16, 1623, we find Edward Hill listed with Hannah Hill and infant daughter, Elizabeth Hill, Edward's brothers William and Thomas and Frances Hill, all listed as living at Basse's Choyce. The Hills were probably a seafaring family involved in the trade between Virginia, the Caribbean and England. http://genealogical-gleanings.com/Jamestown.htm#hill
Hill, Edward, Sr., is supposed to have been the son of "Master Edward Hill," of Elizabeth City county, buried there in 1622, who distinguished himself by a brave and successful defense of his house against the Indians. Our first acquaintance with Col. Edward Hill, the subject of this sketch, is in 1630, when we find him living at the famous old Virginia home, "Shirley," and representing Charles City county in the house of burgesses. Mention is again made of him as a burgess for Charles City in 1642, as burgess for Charles City and speaker of the house in Oct., 1644, and in the following year. In March, 1645-46, the assembly ordered Capt. Hill and Capt. Thomas Willoughby to go Maryland and demand the return of certain Virginians who had remained there without permission. While in Maryland, Hill was chosen governor by the insurrectionist party, and stayed there in that office for some months. He held a commission from the council of Maryland, dated July 30, 1646, under the name of Gov. Calvert, but it cannot be proved that Calvert really signed it. On Jan. 18, 1646, Edward Hill wrote from Chicacone, Northumberland county, to Leonard Calvert, asking payment of his "sallary in that unhappy service." Gov. Thomas Green answered, promising that his demands should be satisfied. Near the end of the year, Gov. Calvert, in command of a small body of troops, entered the Maryland capital and reinstated himself in the government, whereupon Hill surrendered and returned to Virginia. In August of the following, Mr. Broadhurst was charged with saying that "there is now no governor in Maryland, for Captain Hill is governor, and him only he acknowledged." At a meeting of the Maryland council held June 10, 1648, Capt. Hill demanded from the governor and council "the arrears of what consideration was covenanted unto him by Leonard Calvert, Esq., for his services in the office of Governor of this province, being half of his Lordship's receipts for the year 1646, and half of the customs for the same year." It was ordered that he should be paid. On Aug. 26, 1649, Lord Baltimore issued a proclamation in which he declared that "Captain Edward Hill (the Governor in 1646)" was only his "pretended lieutenant of said province," but never fully authorized by or from him. After his return to Virginia, Hill resumed his seat in the assembly, as a burgess from Charles City. From that time until 1654, when he is mentioned as having been unanimously chosen speaker of the house of burgesses, nothing is known of him except that, in 1650, he was summoned before the council because, without obtaining the license required, he had "collected fifty men to accompany him on an expedition to the lands west of the falls, with the avowed intention of finding gold and silver in these parts." After his election as speaker, one William Hatcher "maliciously reported" him to be an atheist and blasphemer, to the great indignation of the "Honorable Governor and Council," who "cleared the said Colonel Hill, and certified the same unto the House." On March 31, 1654-55, Col. Hill was a member of the council, and in March of the year following, the council ordered that he should be given command of "100 men at least," and sent to remove "by force if necessary," 600 or 700 western and inland Indians who had "set down near the falls of James river and were a great danger." Hill, who was at that time commander-in-chief of Henrico and Charles City counties, at the head of a force consisting of colonists and friendly Pamunkey Indians, met the hostile savages on a small creek in Hanover county, as John Ledderer recites. His little army was put to confusion, and Tottopottomoy, the chief of the Pamunkeys was killed, whence since that day the creek has been known as Tottopottomoy Creek. The failure of the undertaking brought down upon Col. Hill, the censure of the assembly, which directed, in 1656, his suspension form all civil and military offices, that he should be "incapable of restitution but by an assembly," and charged to his account the expenses of procuring peace with the Indians. Col. Hill was successful, however, in regaining the favor of the assembly, for in April, 1658, he was again a member of the council, and in march, 1659, he was a burgess for Charles City and speaker of the house. His death occurred about the year 1663, and he was succeeded in his large landed estates by his son, Col. Edward Hill Jr., of Shirley, of whom a sketch will appear later. Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Section III, pp. 119-120