Francis Gray, of St. Mary's & Machodoc

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Francis Gray, of St. Mary's & Machodoc

Also Known As: "Grey"
Birthdate: (52)
Birthplace: England
Death: 1667 (52)
Machadoc, Westmoreland , Virginia
Immediate Family:

Son of unknown Gray and unknown Gray
Husband of Alice Gray, of St. Mary's & Machodoc
Father of Grace Allday; Anne Rush, of Machadoc; William Gray, of Machadoc; Francis Gray, Jr. and Mary Lancelot

Occupation: Planter, carpenter, rebel, vestryman
Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About Francis Gray, of St. Mary's & Machodoc

From Francis Gray and Maryland's Civil War

The life of this Francis Gray (Graye) is fascinating since he was one of the earliest settlers of the Province of Maryland, was elected a Burgess, actively participated in the rebellion again Governor Leonard Calvert, became one of the first white settlers of the Northern Neck (link) of Virginia and was elected a founding Vestrymen of Appomattocks Parish, Westmoreland County.

The GRAY FAMILY of Westmoreland County, Virginia

Notes The spelling Gray and Grey was often used interchangeably.

  • FRANCIS GRAY.  Born before 1616 He was one of the first emigrants to Maryland, found living in 1637 at St. George€™s Hundred just three years after the arrival of Leonard Calvert and his emigrants  That year he served St. George’s Hundred in the General Assembly of Maryland and was reelected annually until 1643 On 26 Nov 1638, Francis Gray applied for a license to marry Alice Moorman, which license was issued (Archives of Maryland, IV, p. 51)  Alice Moorman had been brought to Virginia in 1637 by Capt. Thomas Cornwallis, one of the Council of Maryland (Neill’s Founders of Maryland, p. 78) 
  • From The William and Mary Quarterly, XII [1904], p. 267-8 Owing to the disturbances in Maryland occasioned by William Clayborne and the differences between Catholics and Protestants, several settlements were formed about 1638 on the south bank of the Potomac, at Machodoc and Chicacoan, under the government of Virginia.  Francis Gray took an active part in these troubles against Lord Baltimore, and finally found it more agreeable to settle in Virginia  He sold his cattle in Maryland in 1647, and removing to Machodoc, Westmoreland County, Va., died there in 1667
  • Francis Grey patented 1000 acres in Westmoreland County on 16 July 1654 for transporting 20 persons to America, including one George Rush, which patent was renewed 18 March 1662 He patented another 374 acres on 16 Nov 1664  (Cavaliers and Pioneers, Patent Books 3, p. 288 and 5, p. 501)
  • The will of Francis Grey was written 7 June 1667 and proved 31 July 1667 Therein he referred to his loving wife Alice Grey, son Francis Grey, daughter Anne Rush, the wife of William Rush, and Ann Lancelott, the daughter of John Lancelott   His widow, Alice Grey, was appointed as executrix (Westmoreland Co. Deeds and Wills, 1653-1671, p. 312-313)

From The William Rush Family of Westmoreland County

"The first Assembly minutes state in part: "The Acts of the First Day:.... ffrancis Gray of St maries hundred, carpenter". [154]

Newman provides a footnote: €œMr. Smith's sermons were most likely not of the orthodox Episcopal {Church of England} order, for both Sedgrave and Gray were radical Dissenters and became accomplices of {Richard} Ingle during the 1645 Puritan rebellion.” [157]

Timothy B. Riordan, chief archeologist of St. Mary’s City, remarks about this incident in The Plundering Time: Maryland and the English Civil War :

  • “This case clearly demonstrates how far the Maryland authorities were willing to go in pacifying the Protestant faction. The court, comprising only Catholics, imposed a heavy fine on Lewis, a fellow Catholic, but did not punish Sedgrave or Gray at all....."

Francis Gray bears most of the responsibility in this case. He seems to have been the instigator of events. Gray was present  in the house when the book was read, it was his idea that Sedgrave write the petition, and he was going to get the Protestant freemen to sign it. Lewis claimed that the petition was aimed against him personally, but the request for assistance is not specific and could have been used as an excuse for overthrowing the Proprietary government.....It may be that Cornwaleys prompt action is the only thing that kept the first Protestant rebellion from occurring in 1638 [158]


!31 Jul 1667: GRAY, FRANCIS, will dated 7 June 1667; probated and recorded 31 July 1667. "In the name of God Amen, I Francis Gray do make and constitute and ordain this My Last will and Testament in manner and form as follows: I give and bequeath unto my loving wife, Alice Gray, and my son Francis Gray all my movable Estate, such as horses, cattle, hogs, to them and their heirs forever. I will and bequeath to my son, Francis Gray, all my land in this County or elsewhere, be it by bill of Sale, Contract, Patent, Purchase or otherwise, to him the said Francis Gray and to the heirs, male or female of his body, lawfully begotten to him and them to enjoy forever. In case of the failing of the said heirs of the said Francis Gray as aforesaid, then the said land to be equally divided between my daughter Ann Rush, the wife of William Rush and Ann Lancelott, the daughter of John Lancelott, for them to enjoy forever. I appoint my loving wife, Alice Gray, full sole executor of this my Last Will and Testament, utterly renouncing other Wills and Testaments by me made. In witness thereof I have here unto set my hand and seal this 7th day of June 1667. Teste: John Ashton Mary Gardner. Francis Gray

!29 Feb 1671: Launcelot, John, of Washington Parish, planter; No date. Probated 29 February 1671. Wife Joane; issue: John, William, Ann. Land on Potomack. Westmoreland County, Virginia Wills 1654-1800.


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Francis Gray, of St. Mary's & Machodoc's Timeline

Age 15
Westmoreland Co.
Age 24
St Mary's, Maryland
Age 25
Age 31
Age 52
Westmoreland , Virginia