Hon. Lewis Burwell

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Hon. Lewis Burwell

Birthplace: Virgina
Death: September 17, 1796 (113)
Fairfield, Gloucester County, Virginia, United States (Very old age.)
Immediate Family:

Son of Maj. Lewis Burwell, of "Carter's Creek" and Martha Burwell
Husband of Frances Burwell and Elizabeth Burwell
Father of Lewis Burwell; Armistead Burwell; Anne Mooring and Nathaniel Burwell
Brother of Colonel Nathaniel Bacon Burwell; John Burwell; Jane Atkinson; Susannah Goode and Mary Jane Flowers
Half brother of Joanna Bassett; Elizabeth Harrison; Lucy Burwell; Martha Armistead; Jane Burwell and 7 others

Occupation: Burgess, College President, Acting Governor of Virginia in 1750
Peace Keeper: Effected peace between Nottoway Cheraw and visiting Cherokee
Sponsor of 1750: Jefferson-Fry Map of 1750
William & Mary Professor: President of the college
Managed by: Loris Joy Matheny
Last Updated:

About Hon. Lewis Burwell


Lewis Burwell built a significant mansion at his Kingsmill Plantation in James City County. A major landholder in Isle of Wight, James City, King William, and York counties, he became a naval officer and collected customs fees at what became known as Burwell's Ferry. The largesse allowed him to build his home near where his nephew Carter Burwell would construct Carter's Grove. Kingsmill was an important example of Virginia's Georgian architecture, though it burned in the 1840s.

Burwell was born probably in York County, the son of Lewis Burwell (d. 1710) and his second wife, Martha Lear Cole Burwell. The date of his birth is not recorded, but in June 1718 his half brother Nathaniel Burwell complained that Lewis Burwell could scarcely write, spell, or do his sums correctly and was likely to spend his life as a "Blockhead." This characterization may suggest that he was then still a pupil at the College of William and Mary and therefore was born probably closer to the date of his mother's death in August 1704 than to the date of his parents' marriage in 1694 or 1695.

On another unrecorded date, probably about 1720, Burwell married Elizabeth Armistead, the sister-in-law of his half brother James Burwell. They lived at one of the large properties he acquired on the north bank of the James River south of Williamsburg and had at least two sons. In December 1725 Burwell became a member of the vestry of Bruton Parish, and on August 15, 1728, the governor appointed him to the vacant position of naval officer, a lucrative post from which he drew large fees as overseer of the collection of royal customs and enforcer of the trade and navigation acts. The site of his office quickly became known as Burwell's Ferry. He was listed as a justice in a new commission of the peace for James City County on December 15, 1737, but he may already have been a member of the county court for some time previously. Burwell represented James City County in the House of Burgesses from 1742 until his death and served on the Committee of Privileges and Elections.

By 1736 Burwell owned more than 2,000 acres in James City and York counties, 1,800 acres in Isle of Wight County, and an additional 4,800 acres in King William County that he had inherited from his father. He then erected a large new mansion at his Kingsmill plantation, near both Burwell's Ferry and the site where his nephew Carter Burwell built Carter's Grove a few years later. Kingsmill was an impressive demonstration of the Georgian building boom that swept up the Virginia rivers after the construction of the governor's palace in Williamsburg, and it was overshadowed by only a few of the larger James River plantation mansions such as Westover. Thereafter often known as Lewis Burwell of Kingsmill, to distinguish him from several close relatives of the same name, Burwell was a conspicuous and consequential public man.

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Burwell's elder son and namesake succeeded him as naval officer but eventually moved out of Kingsmill and with his brother Armistead Burwell and their sons established themselves as prominent gentlemen in Southside Virginia, leaving the Tidewater Burwells in possession of most of the choice Charles City, Gloucester, James City, and York County properties and public offices. Burwell's namesake grandson sold Kingsmill during the 1780s, and during the 1840s the elegant mansion burned, events that Burwell certainly never anticipated in the 1730s when laying out "great sums of money, in building a mansion-house, and other out-houses, and in making gardens, and other considerable improvements … intending the same for the seat of the eldest son of the family" and succeeding generations of Burwells at Kingsmill. Burwell died, probably at Kingsmill, on November 19, 1743, and was most likely buried in the family cemetery there.

Time Line

ca. 1720 - Lewis Burwell (d. 1743) marries Elizabeth Armistead, the sister-in-law of his half brother James Burwell. They will have at least two sons.

December 1725 - Lewis Burwell (d. 1743) becomes a member of the vestry of Bruton Parish.

August 15, 1728 - Lieutenant Governor Sir William Gooch appoints Lewis Burwell (d. 1743) to the vacant position of naval officer.

1736 - By this time Lewis Burwell (d. 1743) owns more than 2,000 acres in James City and York counties, 1,800 acres in Isle of Wight County, and an additional 4,800 acres in King William County.

ca. 1736 - Lewis Burwell (d. 1743) erects a large new mansion at his Kingsmill plantation, near Burwell's Ferry and the future site of Carter's Grove.

December 15, 1737 - Lewis Burwell (d. 1743) is listed as a justice in a new commission of the peace for James City County.

1742–1743 - Lewis Burwell (d. 1743) represents James City County in the House of Burgesses. November 19, 1743 - Lewis Burwell dies, probably at Kingsmill, and is likely buried in the family cemetery there.


Lewis Burwell, III was born circa October 9, 1682 in Colony of Virgina, British Colonial America. Lewis married Francis (Armistead) Burwell. Together they had the following children: Anne Mooring. Lewis married Elizabeth Burwell circa 1724 in Gloucester County, Virginia. Together they had the following children: Lewis Burwell, IV; Armistead Burwell; Anne Mooring; Nathaniel Burwell.

Lewis Burwell was the son of Major Lewis Burwell, of "Carter's Creek," Gloucester county, and Martha Lear, his second wife, was a student at William and Mary College in 1718 where he served as President. He resided at "Kingsmill" in James City county, and was a Colonel of the militia and Burgess in 1742-1747. In 1750, as acting governor, he effected the peace between the visiting Cherokee seeking trade relations with Williamsburg and the Nottoway Cheraw (see the media section). Lewis laid out great sums of money in building a mansion house and gardens on James river. Gov. Lewis died about 1744, leaving issue Lewis (q. v.) and Armistead (q. v.).



A prominent member of the Virginia Company, Richard Kingsmill, became the namesake of the Kingsmill Plantation. The Virginia Company was a for-profit organization chartered in England which was charged with the founding and settlement of Virginia under the reign of King James I. Richard Kingsmill was given one of the first land grants of 300 acres (1.2 km2) in the southwest area of what later became a much larger plantation.

In the mid-1730s, British Colonel Lewis Burwell III established a 1,400-acre (5.7 km2) plantation which he named Kingsmill Plantation. It included a mansion, outbuildings and garden. He was the colonial customs inspector for the upper James River. Along the river, Burwell's Landing, site of his inspection station, also featured a tavern, storehouse, warehouse, and ferry house. Quarterpath Road extended between Burwell's Landing and Williamsburg.[2]

Lewis Burwell, III 1744 https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/123449876/lewis-burwell atDna Trees=== GEDCOM Sources ===@R753407887@ @R-1547272335@


Lewis Burwell (1684 - 1744), son of Lewis Burwell Lewis Burwell (1651 - 1710) Note: Lewis Burwell II had two sons named Lewis, one with each wife--the elder (1682-1696) died aged 13.

The younger (1699-1744) married Elizabeth Armistead and Frances Thacker: Hon. Lewis Burwell

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Hon. Lewis Burwell's Timeline

October 9, 1682
King William County, Virginia
Carter Creek, Gloucester County, Virginia, Colonial America
Gloucester, Virginia, United States
King William County, Virginia
Age 61
September 17, 1796
Age 113
Fairfield, Gloucester County, Virginia, United States