Col. Thomas Pate III

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Major Thomas Pate, III

Birthplace: of, Leicester, England
Death: Died in Abingdon, Gloucester, VA
Immediate Family:

Son of John John Pate and Jane John Pate
Husband of Elizabeth Pate
Father of John Edward Pate; Matthew Pate; Thomas Pate; Elizabeth PATE; Mary PATE and 1 other

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Col. Thomas Pate III

Birth: 1650, England Death: 1703 Yorktown York County Virginia, USA

House of Burgesses member. Thomas Pate was an active member of the Gloucester County society. He was the owner of the Richard Pate Plantation est. 1650, in Gloucester County, Virginia from 1672-1703. Pate was also vestryman and warden in Petsworth Parish from about 1675-1684. He was a member of the House of Burgesses from Gloucester County in 1684 and the Collector of Plantation Duty for the Colony of Virginia in 1686. Pate also owned the ferry and ordinary in Yorktown from 1694-1703.

Nathaniel Bacon, the leader of Bacon's Rebellion, died in Col. Pate's Gloucester home in 1676.

Family links:

 Thomas Pate (1630 - ____)

 Elizabeth Pate*

 John Pate*
 Matthew Pate (1685 - ____)*
  • Calculated relationship

Inscription: Owner of the Richard Pate Plantation est. 1650, Gloucester County, 1672-1703.

Vestryman and Warden, Petsworth Parish, Gloucester Co., c. 1675-c. 1684.

Nathaniel Bacon, leader of Bacon's Rebellion, died in Col. Pate's Gloucester home, 1676.

Member, House of Burgesses, Gloucester Co., 1684.

Collector of Plantation Duty for the Colony of Virginia, 1686.

Owner of the ferry and ordinary in Yorktown, 1694-1703.


Burial: Grace Episcopal Churchyard Yorktown York County Virginia, USA

Created by: Dan Silva Record added: Sep 05, 2009 Find A Grave Memorial# 41616233 _____________________________________


Birth place also reported as London. Other sources list his birth as early as 1636.

"Col. Thomas Pate was born in England c. 1650. He was the son of Edward Pate, a London merchant, who was apparently well-connected. There was private correspondence between Edward and Baron Francis Howard, who was appointed Governor-General of Virginia by King Charles II in 1684. Upon arriving in Virginia, Sir Howard's first residence was in the home of Col. Pate in Gloucester County, Virginia.

Thomas was preceded to Virginia by his great-uncle Richard Pate in 1636 who later established an 1140-acre tobacco plantation in Gloucester County. Richard was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1653, the same year his nephew John Pate emigrated from England.

Upon Richard's death in 1657, with no sons, John inherited the plantation and proceeded to add another 1000 acres. In 1671, John was appointed to the Virginia Council of State by Gov. William Berkeley.

Thomas emigrated in 1672, shortly before his uncle John's death, and inherited the now 2100-acre tobacco plantation. His uncle John had a wife in England who never came to Virginia, and he perhaps had no sons there.

Thomas held a number of civil and military positions in Gloucester County, representing the county in the House of Burgesses in 1684. Nathaniel Bacon, leader of Bacon's Rebellion, died in Col. Pate's home in 1676.

In 1686, Thomas was appointed Collector of the Plantation Duty for the Colony of Virginia by the Earl of Rochester, Lord High Treasurer of England.

About 1690, he started ferry operations across the York River to what became the port city of Yorktown, primarily for export of tobacco to England. By 1694, he also owned an ordinary (inn) at the port of Yorktown, where he died in 1703."

For all descendants of Col. Thomas Pate, the Pate DNA Project, through its Pate Genealogical Convocation, has placed an impressive memorial marker for him in the beautiful and historic cemetery of Grace Episcopal Church (the original York Parish Church) in Yorktown. This marker was placed in September 2008 in one of the most desirable places in the cemetery, close to the church and next to the gravestone for George Read, gg-gf of George Washington.

Timeline for Col. Thomas Pate and Associated Persons and Events 1629 Charles I dissolves the English Parliament, until 1640. 1636 Great-uncle Richard Pate apparently arrived from England by September 23. 1642-9 English Civil War begins between the King and Parliament. 1649 Charles I executed, and Oliver Cromwell abolishes the monarchy, establishing

a republic. Cromwell becomes Lord Protector in 1653 and dies in 1658.

c. 1650 Thomas Pate born in England to Edward Pate, a prominent London merchant. 1650 Great-uncle Richard patented 1,141 acres on Poropotank Creek in Gloucester

County on December 12.

1651 Uncle John Pate apparently arrived from England by October 10, likely to help

his uncle Richard with the plantation.

1652 First mention of Gloucester as a county, probably formed in 1651 from York


1653 Great-uncle Richard became member of House of Burgesses. 1653 For the next 50 years to 1703, England had a Lord Protector for 16 years and

four different monarchies over the following 34 years.

c. 1656 Gloucester County divided into parishes. 1657 Great-uncle Richard died. 1660 Uncle John appointed Justice of the Peace in Gloucester County. 1660 The monarchy restored with Charles II, who died 1685. 1662-6 Uncle John patented an additional 700 acres to plantation. 1670 On April 19, uncle John appointed attorney as administrator of several estates

by Council of State.

1671 On November 20, uncle John sworn in as member of the Council of State by

Gov. William Berkeley, serving with Edward Digges and Nathaniel Bacon. 

1672 Thomas apparently arrived from London by September 6 before uncle John's

death, perhaps to administer his estate and manage plantation.

1672 Uncle John died in October. Death recorded by Council of State November 8. 1672 Thomas appointed administrator of the "considerable estate" of uncle John

by the Council of State on November 8. One of the sureties for Thomas as
administrator was Major Richard Lee, one of the first attorney-generals of
Virginia and ancestor of Gen. Robert E. Lee. The other surety was Col. John
Armistead, a member of the Council of State, whose granddaughter Lucy
Armistead married Gen. Thomas Nelson, Jr. and granddaughter Martha
Armistead married Dudley Digges.

c. 1675 Thomas married Elizabeth (surname unknown). 1676 The Bacon Rebellion ended with the death of his friend Nathaniel Bacon at

Thomas' home on October 26.

1677 John, first child, born on April 27. c. 1677-84 Thomas was vestryman and church warden of Petsworth Parish from January

1677 to September 1684. Could have served earlier and longer but parish
records are missing prior to 1677 and from September 27, 1684 to
September 22, 1690.

1678 Thomas patented additional 200 acres to plantation, then totaling over 2000


1684 In February, home of Thomas, Gloucester Hall, was first residence in Virginia

for Baron Francis Howard, newly-appointed Governor-General of Virginia by
King Charles II. Sir Howard’s wife, Lady Philadelphia, and their children
joined him in December.

1684 Thomas became member of House of Burgesses from Gloucester County.

Served with Miles Cary of Warwick County. Assembly met from April 16 to
May 24.

1685 James II becomes king upon death of Charles II in February. He was deposed

in 1688.

1685 On August 13, Lady Philadelphia died at Thomas’ home, Gloucester Hall.

Shortly after her death, Gov. Howard began dividing living arrangements
between Gloucester Hall and the nearby home of Ralph Wormeley, Rosegill. 

1686 Son Matthew christened on February 21. 1686 On May 6, Thomas appointed Collector of the Plantation Duty for the Colony

of Virginia by the Earl of Rochester, Lord High Treasurer of England,
replacing Philip Ludwell.

1689 Son William christened on February 16. 1689 William III and Mary II became joint monarchs succeeding deposed James II. 1689-90 Robert Read had license to operate ferry at Tindal’s Point. He was in the

House of Burgesses for York County in 1688. His father was George Read,
Secretary of the Colony and member of the Council of State. His niece Anne
married Matthew Pate, son of Thomas, c. 1710.

1690 Thomas began ferry operations “in York Parish and York County”. According

to a petition to the House of Burgesses on August 19, 1702 for exclusive
rights, he stated that he had been operating “for the space of twelve years”.

1691 Yorktown established by the Act for Ports. Fifty acres were purchased by the

General Assembly from Benjamin Read for 10,000 pounds of tobacco. The
land was divided into 85 half-acre lots. First lot sales were on November 24.

1691 Lot 42 in Yorktown sold to John Seabourne, carpenter, who failed to build on

the lot, and it reverted to the trustees (feeoffees).

1692 Sir Francis Howard's term as Governor of Virginia, appointed in 1683, ended,

though he had left Virginia in 1688. He died in 1694.

1693 Robert Read was Justice of the Peace for York County. 1694 On March 24, Thomas granted license to operate ferry and "keep an

ordinary" at Yorktown, likely the first person there to operate both. On
March 26, bond to keep ordinary was set at 20,000 pounds of tobacco.

1696 Joane Lawson started working for Thomas, perhaps at his ordinary. 1697 The York County Courthouse (Henry Cary, builder) and York Parish

Church were built.

1699 On January 24, Thomas' ferry license was renewed for the place commonly

called the Well, where ships usually watered and where his ordinary was
located, a prime location for trade from both land and sea travelers.

1699 On August 11, Thomas purchased Lot 42 from the trustees. 1699 By December (or early 1700), Thomas built his house on Main Street at the

corner of Read, one of only three streets connecting Main Street to
Water Street along the York River. The law establishing trustees for the sale
of lots required building on the lots within four months.

1702 In August, the House of Burgesses granted licenses to Thomas Pate and

Mungo Somerwell to "keep the Ferry at York Town".

c. 1703 Mungo Somerwell built his home on Main Street, at the corner of Church

Street, next door to Thomas Pate‘s home.

1703 On April 7, Thomas wrote his last will. Among other bequests, Thomas gave

a gold ring of 20 shillings price to Margaret Read, cousin of his son Matthew’s
future wife Anne. Margaret was the daughter of Robert Read, and later wife
of Thomas “Scotch Tom” Nelson. Scotch Tom Nelson was the grandfather of
Gen. Thomas Nelson, Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a
hero of the Revolutionary War, and governor of Virginia.

1703 Thomas named Robert Read and Captain Lawrence Smith as trustees on his

will. Smith was married to Read’s daughter Mildred. Smith was also in the
House of Burgesses from York County in several years.

1703 On April 14, Thomas gave home and Lot 42 to Joane Lawson, wife of John

Lawson, upon his death by Deed of Gift.

1703 Thomas died between April 14 and October 25, about age 53. 1703 Court settled suit by Elizabeth, estranged wife of Thomas, by awarding home

and lot to Joane Lawson.

1704 Son John owned 1100 acres on the Gloucester Rent Roll, Petsworth Parish,

and 1000 acres on the King and Queen County Rent Roll.

1705 John Martin built a warehouse at waterside. 1705 On September 17, Joane Lawson sold Lot 42 to John Martin for 20 pounds


1706 On March 28, the Council of State appointed son John as a Justice of the

Peace for Gloucester County with Thomas Read and Phillip Smith.

1706 Son John died in Gloucester County, only 29 years old. c. 1710 Son Matthew married Anne Read, daughter of Francis Read and niece of

Benjamin Read, who had owned the land at the site of Yorktown. Anne’s
grandfather was George Read, Secretary of the Colony and member of the
Council of State, who was a greatgreat-grandfather of George Washington,
the first President of the United States.

1713 In January, Cole Digges purchased Lot 42 from John Martin for 90 pounds


c. 1728 Granddaughter Sarah (daughter of son John) married Col. Wilson Cary of

Richneck and Ceelys plantations, whose father Miles Cary was a member of
the Council of State. Wilson Cary’s uncle Henry Cary was a building
contractor who built the courthouse in Yorktown in 1694, the first capitol
building at Williamsburg in 1701-03, buildings at the College of William and
Mary c. 1705, and the Governor’s Palace in 1705-10.

1729 On June 12, the Council of State granted Cole Digges the right to build a

larger warehouse and extend a wharf into the river.

1744 Cole Digges died about age 53 and left Lot 42 to son Dudley Digges. Cole

buried at Edward Digges Plantation.

1744-84 House on Lot 42 rented and used as warehouse. 1770 James Anderson bought the former home of Cole Digges in Williamsburg

(today known as the “James Anderson House”). In a strange twist of fate, his
mother, Sarah Pate, daughter of Matthew and granddaughter of Thomas
Pate, died in this home in 1778. Ironically, Sarah’s brother, Thomas Pate born
1728, had been a witness on the deed when the home was purchased.

1784 Lot 42 sold to David Jameson for 175 pounds sterling, including two shops.

House described as "old brick storehouse".

2008 On Sunday, September 14, at 7:00 AM, attendees of the Pate Genealogical

Convocation at Colonial Williamsburg held a dedication service for a
memorial marker for Thomas. This bronze marker, mounted on granite, was
placed in the historic cemetery of the original York Parish Church (now
Grace Episcopal Church) next to the gravestone of George Read. The service
was conducted by the rector of the church, Rev. Carleton Bakkum.
A. J. Pate

Houston, Texas

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Col. Thomas Pate III's Timeline

of, Leicester, England
February 15, 1656
Age 20
of, Leicester, England
April 29, 1677
Age 41
Gloucester, VA, USA
April 1680
Age 44
Abingdon, Gloucester, VA
April 27, 1684
Age 48
of Abingdon, Gloucester, VA
February 20, 1685
Age 49
Abingon, Goucester, Virginia, United States
February 16, 1688
Age 52
Abingdon, Gloucester, VA
February 16, 1688
Age 52
Abingdon, Gloucester, VA
Age 67
Abingdon, Gloucester, VA